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Guest Contributor: Isaac Sacolick, President | CIO, StarCIO

Untitled-37Let’s take stock of where your organization is on its Agile, DevOps, SRE, and ITSM journeys.

Are the developing teams practicing Agile and using a mix of Scrum, Kanban, and other methodologies? As teams develop cloud-native applications, integrations, and microservices, are they implementing CI/CD, IaC, Service Level Objectives, and other DevOps and SRE practices? Has your organization migrated and configured Jira Software and Jira Service Management (JSM) on Atlassian Cloud to manage workflow and collaboration?

Chances are, your organization is on this journey and modernizing how the technology department delivers and supports customer-facing applications, workflow automation, and data services. And if your organization is like many others, practices like Agile, DevOps, SRE, and ITSM are likely to be somewhat different and inconsistently implemented across teams. 

Allowing self-organizing teams to figure out when and how to implement new practices and technologies is a smart approach to get momentum. But at some point, sharing best practices, developing flexible standards, and integrating workflows help organizations turn new practices and technology capabilities into transformative cultures.

In the webinar, 3 Agile & DevOps Best Practices for Success in Atlassian Cloud, we review three areas where technology organizations can create workflow integrations, automations, and dashboards using Jira and apps from Appfire and Isos Technology’s expert Atlassian Cloud services.

Here, I want to share the backdrop to these practices and why they can be vital to organizations that want to improve collaboration, deliver new capabilities, meet service level objectives, and increase customer satisfaction.


Establishing Jira as the Hub of IT Transformation Workflows

Robust IT departments developing, supporting, and hosting many applications must use many development and operational tools. Jira Software is where the development team manages the Agile process, but developers are coding in IDEs, running pull requests in version control, automating tests in QA platforms, and building pipelines in CI/CD tools. IT Ops and SREs use a different set of tools for instrumenting IaC, monitoring applications, supporting incident management, and managing incident communications

So developers are working with several tools when working on a Jira Issue, checking in code, and kicking off CI/CD pipelines. Similarly, IT Ops engineers have several tools when responding to incidents, processing change requests, or configuring infrastructure. 

Tracking all the activity across these tools can be hard enough for the people directly involved in application development and operations support, but they are not the only stakeholders in IT practices. Think about the product owner that wants to know whether a new feature is deployed to the demo environment or the security specialist that needs to trace what code change may be the root cause of a security incident. Neither person has complete knowledge or access to all the development and IT Ops tools, yet both need access to information stored across them. 

Because there are many tools and roles in IT development and support processes, IT organizations looking to improve collaboration might consider Jira the hub for IT workflow and automate integrations across development, SRE, and IT Operations tools. So, for example, a Jira Issue could include information on the builds deployed to different environments, and a JSM incident ticket might reference recent changes to the impacted services. 


Simplify KPI Reporting in Tableau or Power BI

Jira Software has several excellent burndown, issue tracking, and time reporting charts, while Jira Service Management has reports on workload, SLAs, and customer satisfaction. These reports are most useful for individuals, teams, and small groups of teams looking to track their workloads, productivity, and performance.

For larger organizations looking to instrument Agile and DevOps KPIs and self-organizing practice improvements, integrating Jira data into BI tools like Tableau or Power BI is beneficial. Using the Appfire BI connectors is an easy way to leverage the power of self-service BI with the rich data stored in Jira. 

During the webinar, we share common challenges for medium and large enterprises where leadership requires top-down views on the performance of the IT organization. Other use cases include roadmap forecasting, capacity planning, and backlog diagnostics. For example, teams looking to benchmark Agile planning and target healthy backlogs can use dashboards to help teams manage the roadmap, prioritize backlogs to strategic guidelines, and focus their planning efforts.


Maturing IT to a DevOps Organization

The Agile Manifesto is over twenty years old, and DevOps has been evolving for over a decade, so why are most organizations still maturing their collaboration, workflow, and culture between development and operations?

There are many answers, especially for larger organizations with legacy systems and complex business processes. It’s relatively easy to get teams practicing Scrum, but a lot hard to achieve an Agile culture. And while many operations teams have migrated infrastructure to the cloud and developed automations, it’s still very challenging to meet security requirements and Service Level Objectives.

Agile cultures, security, and meeting service levels are the challenge, but integrating development and operational workflows should be a solvable problem. It hasn’t been, partially because development and IT operations teams were using different tools that weren’t easy to integrate.  

But that’s different today because organizations can use Jira Software to structure the development process, Jira Service Management for IT service management, Appfire apps to streamline workflows, and Isos technology expertise to create automations. So while becoming a DevOps organization is a journey, the capabilities are available to connect workflows, automate steps, and centralize reporting data.  


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, an industry speaker, and blogger at Social, Agile, and Transformation. StarCIO offers three agile planning courses for stakeholders, teammates, and certified StarCIO Agile Planners


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