You have a wonderful, self-sufficient stakeholder working with you on a project; due to their workload, they have only a few minutes prior to an executive meeting to gather information on the status of a project of which they are the business owner. They turn to Jira and start sorting through all the issues under the Epic and begin reading the comments and taking note of what issues were closed since the last meeting. They then race over to Confluence to see if there is anything documented in meeting notes or technical documentation that makes sense to them. A bit overwhelmed and slightly frustrated, they log into Zoom and begin corralling their notes as the meeting makes its way around to them for their status update. They have to summarize what they just read into a concise, easy-to-digest, informative narrative for the rest of the attendees after consuming the information.
External project stakeholders need to know the high-level status of projects, but may not need to know the nitty-gritty of what is going on. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to sift through Jira issues and Confluence articles to find the information they are looking for. That is where Team Central comes in. This new, standalone Atlassian product is a way to radiate Project and Goal status simply and clearly, allowing the visualization of the current status, as well as trends over time.
There are two main component areas of Team Central: Projects and Goals. Projects can be equated to Epics in Jira, although there is no linking involved between the two projects at this time. Goals are open-ended, but some Beta testers are using this to track corporate goals or quarterly goals. Goals can have sub-goals which allow you the flexibility to do Corporate Annual goals and then quarterly sub-goals if you wanted to structure them as such, for example. Projects are standalone and do not have sub-projects. Both Projects and Goals have status components for tracking progress. I will return to this in just a moment.
Some of the features for both Projects and Goals are:
- Target/Due Dates
- Can be set by specific date, month, or quarter
- Assigning ownership or contributors
- Contributes to project link
- Links to Atlassian instances/pages
- Links to external pages
The meat of Team Central is the status component. This is where you enter a text entry once a week about the status of the project or goal and set a status of Off Track, On Track, At Risk, Pending, Paused, or Completed (which gives you a celebration emoji!), and answer the question of "When will it be done?" Your text entry can be 280 characters, ensuring you keep it concise and to the point. Should you need to add details, there is a section for that. You can also add files, links, and emojis to your status updates to really make your point. You are prompted by Team Central every five days to make your status updates to ensure you are keeping everyone in the loop, which is super helpful since this is outside of the standard Jira workflow.
If you're interested in learning more about Team Central, reach out to us today! We'll be happy to discuss it with you.