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7 Best Practices for Consolidating Jira Instances - Part 1

Cloud, Atlassian, Atlassian Tools, Atlassian Cloud

Guest Contributor: Isaac Sacolick, President | CIO, StarCIO


In our latest series, Isaac Sacolick (Isos Technology's favorite guest author and webinar moderator) does a deep dive into how and why you should merge instances when migrating to Atlassian Cloud. Tune into our webinar, 5 Best Practices for Merging Instances in an Atlassian Cloud Migration, on Tuesday, February 9th at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST to learn more on this topic and hear about some additional best practices that Isaac doesn't cover in this blog series.

Organizations that find themselves with multiple Jira instances, including on-premise environments, often want to consolidate them to Atlassian Cloud. There are also many organizations that, over the years, have created a messy Jira environment and recognize the benefits of migrating to standard configurations. Lastly, organizations may have teams using competing Agile and ITSM tools and consider transitioning them to more standard Jira environments.

Migrations and consolidations offer many benefits, but leaders sometimes view these as risky and difficult transition projects. Most organizations don’t migrate, upgrade, and consolidate workflow tools all too often, so a lack of expertise and technical understanding may drive the fears.

Consolidating instances of Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence and migrating to the Atlassian Cloud offers many benefits for teams already using these products and others that transition to them. The key to a smooth transition project is understanding best practices, tapping outside experts, and leading a phased plan.

Here are seven best practices to consider...


1. Identify Locations and Stakeholders of Agile and ITSM Platforms

Organizations end up with different Agile tools and ITSM platforms for various reasons. Teams in one location may procure and install tools without knowing about existing installations used by other groups. Sometimes, M&A brings in new instances, and leadership opts not to centralize capabilities. Other times, some teams work hard to justify tool selections outside of enterprise standards.

If you’re looking to consolidate Jira Software or Jira Service Management instances, then start by developing an inventory of what different teams are using across the enterprise. The list should include other tools that compete with Atlassian’s platforms, such as ServiceNow, CollabNet, Asana, or other technologies used in Agile, scrum, Kanban, and ITSM processes. You might find a greater interest in leveraging the Atlassian Cloud with more groups, and a larger consolidation often provides operational and financial benefits.

Identifying all the instances is a best practice, but even more important is to bring the platform stakeholders and primary users into the conversation around consolidation. It’s vital to collaborate on the business rationale, key requirements, and migration schedule because teams have different needs and transition impacts. 


2. Articulate a Vision Defining the Value and Benefits of Consolidating

Before embarking on any initiative impacting people and process, the teams and people must align on why the leaders are sponsoring the program. This vision should specify the business value, benefits to end-users, why leadership is prioritizing the initiative, and what’s in and out of scope.

Here are some benefits to consider:

  • Improve end-user experiences and productivity by accessing Jira in Atlassian Cloud
  • Leverage more Jira Service Management capabilities and Jira Software enhancements by always being on the latest version and leveraging third-party capabilities available in the Atlassian Marketplace
  • Take steps to simplify and standardize elements of scrum, Kanban, incident management, change management, and other Agile and ITSM processes
  • Reduce administrative costs as Atlassian manages backups, upgrades, and other administrative services on Atlassian Cloud
  • Centralize a security model with Atlassian Access, including single sign-on, 2FA, active directory integration, and managing roles and entitlements to Jira projects

You might not be targeting all these benefits upfront, so ensure participants align on the primary goals and drivers.


3. Develop a Reference Scrum and Service Desk Configuration 

Many Agile and ITSM processes and tool configurations develop organically and evolve as business needs change and teams mature practices. Teams may not be ready, nor is it a good idea to establish a one-size-fits-all scrum or ITIL process. But coming up with a reference configuration is an easy way to shape future Agile projects and services desks.

In Jira Software, scrum masters can develop a reference configuration using issue type schemes, field configurations, workflow schemes, and screen schemes to support Agile planning and delivery. Organizations with different project types may consider creating configurations optimized for different workflows. For example, a software project may utilize a custom issue type for features, while operational teams may create automations to include requests and incidents from the service desk.

Once references are in place, they can be starting points for new projects and service desks. It’s an easier way to step into standards and best practices rather than forcing teams to transition.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of 7 Best Practices for Consolidating Jira Instances and don't forget to register for our webinar on February 9th.



Isaac Sacolick, President of StarCIO, guides companies through smarter, faster, innovative, and safer digital transformation programs that deliver business results. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller, Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Business Transformation through Technology, industry speaker, and blogger at Social, Agile, and Transformation. StarCIO offers three Agile planning courses for stakeholders, teammates, and certified StarCIO Agile Planners.



TAGS: Cloud, Atlassian, Atlassian Tools, Atlassian Cloud

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