Appfire’s experts share insights during JiraCon ‘21

JiraCon Blog Post

We were thrilled to participate in JiraCon 2021, a virtual event that brought together members of the Atlassian user community, the Atlassian partner community, and worldwide Atlassian leaders. Participants shared what’s new, use-case stories, solutions, and tips to advance the use of Jira.

During the October event organized by Atlassian solution partner Trundl, Appfire’s specialists spoke about best practices for Jira migrations, ITSM, and agile transformation at scale. It was a chance to share insights with colleagues in the Atlassian ecosystem, and to hear from others about the innovative products, services, and processes that help teams evolve and adapt.

Speakers emphasize best practices for migration, agile transformation, and more 

Preparing for Cloud migration 

On day one, Kelsey LaMastres, Appfire’s Lead Product Marketing Manager for Configuration Manager for Jira, presented “Plan and Execute your Migration from Jira Server to Data Center or Cloud.” In the session — one of the most-viewed during JiraCon — Kelsey discussed best practices to migrate from Jira Server and highlighted how to choose a deployment type, as well as migration options, plan development, change management tips, and more. 

In her presentation, Kelsey led with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” She added, “This is especially true for migration projects. If you lead with a ‘let’s just migrate, it’s easy’ mindset, that can mean you’re leaving important stakeholders behind, it can mean data loss or messy data, extra downtime for users, and lots of frustration and redoing of work. Plan now, it will pay off immensely down the line.”

Kelsey also referenced a key resource in helping organizations through the migration process: The Ultimate Guide to Jira Migrations eBook, by author and certified Jira administrator Rachel Wright. Rachel also spoke at the conference, detailing her journey in building a thriving Atlassian consulting business.

“JiraCon was one of the best virtual events I’ve been to. Patrick Howell and the entire Trundl team worked hard to ensure the sessions were valuable.”

Kelsey Author– Kelsey LaMastres, Lead Product Marketing Manager, Appfire
Identifying the challenges of going agile at scale

On day two, Marek Lewandowski, BigPicture Implementation Consultant at Appfire, presented “Agile Transformation at Scale: Manage Large, Diverse Portfolios of Initiatives with Jira & BigPicture.” Marek defined agile transformation and identified the major challenges of going agile at scale. 

“Agile transformation is a process: a journey in which each organization has the freedom to choose its destination and the optimal degree to which it adopts agile,” he said. “Many organizations never reach full agility. As agile methodologies are not a silver bullet, [organizations] go agile to the extent it brings value.”

Marek called out the major challenges of going agile at scale: 

  • Mindset and mentality: “Companies need to understand…behavioral pain points. That can be used as a starting point to articulate specific mindset and behavioral shifts that would make the biggest difference in delivering business results.”
  • Language and roles: “Along with agile methodologies come agile roles and terminology…which seem hard to accept for some professionals who are used to conventional ways of getting things done.”
  • Including different methods in one portfolio: “You will have numerous agile and non-agile initiatives co-existing in your portfolio. This means different effectiveness measuring methods, different objective setting approaches, but one portfolio with common strategy goals.”
  • Collaboration of agile and non-agile teams: It’s about “figuring out how agile teams and waterfall teams can work together while maintaining these distinct approaches. With BigPicture, you can use Gantt charts and boards simultaneously.” 
  • Data standardization and validity: “You’ll need tools that will provide metrics and reporting at the release, product, and portfolio levels regardless of the methodology used.”
  • Software–related challenges: “When something works, don’t change it. You can connect the different tools to BigPicture and no additional setup is required.”

He also highlighted what agile transformation looks like from the software perspective and how to make it a smooth transformation with Jira and BigPicture.

“I was proud to represent Appfire at JiraCon, where we were able to promote our apps in a structured way.”

Onder Author-Onder Ozcan, Senior Product Manager, Appfire
Improving IT service management through Time to SLA

Next, Appfire’s Senior Product Manager Onder Ozcan presented “SLA Cookbook with Time to SLA.” Onder explored simple yet effective Service Level Agreement (SLA) use cases from real-world organizations, and discussed how to manage Operational Level Agreements.

In his presentation, Onder shared different “recipes,” or ITSM scenarios, that could be improved upon by introducing various Time to SLA features. For example, in one scenario, a procurement manager wanted to pause SLA counters while purchase requests were awaiting an external supplier, to avoid false SLA breaches. The solution, according to Onder: Use Time to SLA’s built-in pause menu. In another scenario, a Jira admin wanted to regenerate SLA metrics to retrospectively update SLA data for existing issues that were at least 30 days old and with “waiting for external supplier” status. The solution: Use Time to SLA’s built-in SLA existing issues menu. 

“A question raised at the end of the presentation revealed that not only Jira Service Management customers but also Kanban-style agile teams can benefit from Time to SLA,” said Onder. “That was a key takeaway for me, and it presented an opportunity to create additional learning materials to address that specific use case with Appfire apps.”

Sharing the unique capabilities of Assets and Inventory Plugin

Rounding out Appfire’s presentations, Gokce Gursel, Senior Application Support Engineer, presented “Advanced ITSM Incident management with AIP (Assets and Inventory Plugin).” For attendees interested in hassle-free Asset Management in Jira Software or JSM, Gokce demonstrated the unique capabilities of Assets and Inventory Plugin, including linking assets to each other, advanced asset search in the customer portal, and exploring asset relations with visuals.

Participation leads to networking opportunities across the ecosystem

In addition to leading individual sessions, Appfire joined Atlassian partners and other app makers in hosting virtual booths and exhibits during the conference. We welcomed over 200 visitors to our booth, where we shared updates on Appfire’s exciting suite of products, as well as resources like the Jira migration eBook. Even virtually, hosting a booth was a great opportunity — in addition to hearing from participants during sessions — to engage with customers, partners, and others in the Atlassian community.

“While it’s always nice to meet colleagues face to face during these events, gathering virtually has also proven to be a useful way to share valuable insights and exchange ideas on a range of topics,” said Onder. “I was proud to represent Appfire at JiraCon, where we were able to promote our apps in a structured way.”

“JiraCon was one of the best virtual events I’ve been to,” added Kelsey. “Patrick Howell and the entire Trundl team worked hard to ensure the sessions were valuable, that speakers were prepared, and that we could have a little fun throughout the day, too.”

Check out this recording of Kelsey LaMastres’ session, Plan and Execute your Migration from Jira Server to Data Center or Cloud: 

We will share recordings of Appfire’s other JiraCon sessions as they become available. 

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