Atlassian Governance: Unified Deployment for Growth at Scale

The diversity of enterprise solutions offered by Atlassian is truly transformative for modern enterprises. They have reinvented the workplace as we know it, from front to back office.  

Through an ecosystem of apps, teams can now collaborate across borders and time zones to move the business forward. From issue tracking, to product launches, to customer support, you can scale Atlassian tools to deliver projects at any scale.

However, the more granular your workspace is, the more complex the deployment of the system will be. The flexibility of Atlassian software means anyone can request a custom workflow specific to their work. Customizing team-level functionality is costly and time-consuming, not to mention the operational effort required to navigate the Wild Wild West of such digital infrastructure.

To manage cross-discipline deployments with Atlassian, you first need a strategic approach to software governance.

In this blog post, we will discuss the critical role of Atlassian Governance in supporting enterprise agility.  

Why Is Atlassian Governance Important for Long-term Success?

Just like any standard operating procedure, you need to align your team members around the same rules and guidelines to ensure reliability and consistent use of the software. 

Without understanding how each of your Atlassian apps fits into different teams, it’s extremely difficult to manage the software configuration across the organization. 

The goal of building governance is to drive the right user behaviors when working with Atlassian applications. Also, to ensure that the development of Atlassian systems is consistent with corporate policies. 

  • What are the systems that we need? 
  • What are the current processes, and how are they exemplified through system workflows? 
  • What are the metrics for performance tracking in different functions? 

Having this information documented also helps to coordinate teams who work on separate platforms by providing a unified project management system, with the right level of custom functionalities. 

Potential Problems with Ungoverned Systems

System and teams are bogged down by data

When multiple teams input their project requirements as well as issues into the system, you start to lose track of all the data created. From scaling Jira instances to third-party integration, there is information scattered everywhere. 

Without governance, you will also need to spend more effort onboarding new users. Building internal governance is about standardizing the type of information that goes into the system. Otherwise, the system can be overloaded by unnecessary data, slowing performance and team productivity. Searching for the right information also becomes more complicated when there is no common language.

Inefficient workflows cause reporting headaches

With highly customizable applications like Jira Software deployed at scale, it’s critical to limit the configurations made to manage the systems more effectively. A common problem we see is companies giving administrative permissions to too many users. This can result in excessive customization, making reporting difficult and leading to all kinds of headaches.

From the management standpoint, this causes performance bottlenecks. Which usually happens when stakeholders lack visibility into the workflows of different projects – what is the handoff procedure and how are they presented in the project report?

As an administrator, your job is establishing agreed-upon workflows, custom fields, and screens to allow cross-functional collaboration. Yet, you need to do this with the big picture in mind to strike the right balance between customization and system performance, usability, and scalability.

Not sure how to get started? Continue reading below. 

The Core Areas of Atlassian Governance

An effective way to utilize any software is to understand how it works. Simple as it may sound, implementing Atlassian software at scale takes more than just technical know-how. You need to create a clear vision for your organization to adopt these mission-critical solutions. This may involve the formation of a community of users, who will facilitate a governance framework that ensures a controlled and flexible structure for growth.

Here are the three core areas essential to Atlassian governance success.

Product Governance

Once you tap into the marvelous world of Atlassian, everything seems right. Your developers are happily collaborating on their next delivery with Jira Software. The team lead is thrilled to announce their development with the rest of the organization through Confluence. Now, they want more out of Jira to take the development work to the next level.

You start to receive multiple application subscription requests from the team. Some want more control over their Jira instance, so they prefer script automation, others prefer to use Gantt chart for project planning, and the list goes on. 

As an admin, you need to navigate all these requests and select the best solutions for all users. In doing so, you’ll want to consider if other teams will require similar functionality, now or in the future. And, if your organization has been using Atlassian for awhile, you’ll want to know if some teams have already deployed a solution. It’s critical to ensure that new apps don’t get in the way of existing ones. 

Process Governance 

With more tools come even more complicated processes to accommodate every department. How should managers identify and communicate project progress? How should teams coordinate handoffs at each stage of the project? How should each team member execute their tasks?

First things first, define appropriate workflows and processes to keep the Atlassian ecosystem tightly correlated. This ensures that no information falls through the cracks and teams are aware of the next steps to achieve their end goals. Secondly, you might need to create project templates as guidelines for future development.

The role of admins is to determine what customization is needed to provide sufficient support for everyone. Keep in mind that you don’t have to say yes to everything, not without the team’s approval.

Team Governance 

With standardization, teams will have a clearer understanding of their assigned roles and user permissions. Atlassian governance ensures appropriate access control among users, based on their roles and responsibilities.

In a typical environment, you can divide them into these user groups: 

  • Team members or end users 
  • System-level administrators 
  • Application-level administrators 
  • Senior managers or stakeholders 

These users have different abilities in terms of customization, configuration, as well as installation of third-party apps. However, every user should be able to communicate the changes required to ensure software standardization and maintenance practices are in place. 

Future-Proof Your Atlassian Investment  

Your business growth is dependent on the team’s efforts, so your Atlassian tools must adapt to support their needs. As these systems are the backbone of innovation in today’s businesses, you need to constantly innovate the way teams are using Atlassian tools to drive growth and achieve your objectives.

Governance is essential to ensuring that your mission-critical systems perform the way your teams need them to, now and in the future.

At 6kites, we start with a comprehensive assessment of your systems, teams, and goals. We then work closely with you to build a roadmap and governance policies to ensure that your Atlassian tools deliver exceptional performance and scalability.

Contact us today for expert advice for Atlassian Governance.

Bonus: Atlassian Governance Assessment

Use the flowchart below to assess your Atlassian system governance.

atlassian governance flowchart

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