Liftoff! Launching your product with JIRA and Confluence


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  • Good afternoon! Our mission at Atlassian is to provide tools that help you to ship better software. Today I’m going to talk about how JIRA and Confluence can accelerate the launch of your product.\n \n
  • First, a little bit of information about me. My name is Matt Ryall. I work on the Confluence development team.\n\nMost recently, I led the development of Confluence 3.5. I’ve been involved in the launch of all the major releases of Confluence since starting at Atlassian about five years ago.\n\nIn my spare time, I like to travel. This photograph was taken at the beautiful Jiuzhaigou lakes in western China.\n
  • I’d like to start by looking at our Concept To Launch diagram. We use this diagram at Atlassian to describe how our tools fit with the product development lifecycle.\n\nYou start with a concept for your product, feature or project. From there, you develop a plan about how to implement it. You build the software, and finally launch it to your eager customers or clients. \n
  • Today I’m focusing just on the last part of this lifecycle: the most effective way to manage your software through to its launch.\n\nNow, nobody every said launching software was easy. In fact, even in other industries, launching something is known to be a lot of work.\n
  • Here’s a quote from a NASA administrator about launching space flights.\n\n“Let’s face it, space is a risky business. I always considered every launch a barely controlled explosion.”\n\nSo that’s pretty funny. Let’s look at a few examples back in the software industry, specifically releases that Atlassian has recently launched.\n
  • So today I’m going to look at two case studies today: Confluence 3.5 and Bamboo 3.0 & 3.1.\n
  • Confluence team, based in Sydney\n\nConfluence 3.5 included 15 major features, including integrating a new user management architecture and nine 20% projects proposed and implemented by the team.\n
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  • Another tool that is totally essential to our release process is the integration between JIRA and Confluence. This has been improved massively in JIRA 4.3 and Confluence 3.5. With the help of application links, you can search for and link to an issue in a Confluence page or comment. Once the link is inserted, the embedded JIRA link shows the current status of the JIRA issue. This forms the basis of our testing and release pages on Confluence, which are sprinkled with links back to our JIRA project.\n\n
  • Now it’s time to look at the recent Bamboo releases. Are there any Bamboo customers here?\n\nThe Bamboo team is one of the most exciting teams at Atlassian at the moment. They’re pushing out releases very agressively to try to beat their competition. They also have to coordinate work across two different development teams on opposite sides of the world.\n\nAs I’m sure all our Bamboo customers will agree, the recent releases of Bamboo have been incredible. The team has pushed out a great redesign of a five-year-old product, and shipped a number of significant new features. This includes jobs and tasks, two new ways to configure your builds.\n
  • I asked Jens Schumacher, Bamboo’s product manager, what were the challenges with launching the most recent releases of Bamboo.\n\nHis top priority was to reduce time-to-market. Bamboo is under intense competition from several open source and commercial competitors, and to be competitive they need to release quickly.\n\nAs with Confluence, tracking and prioritising tasks is critical to selecting the right things to launch. \n
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  • Everyone is scared of launching their product. This is natural. You’re about to put \n
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  • Liftoff! Launching your product with JIRA and Confluence

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    3. 3. LIFTOFF!Launching your product withJIRA and ConfluenceMatt RyallTeam Lead, Atlassian 2
    4. 4. About me• Matt Ryall• Team Lead, Confluence dev • Runs 25% of the Confluence team• Confluence 3.5 development lead• Launched 14 major releases of Confluence in 5½ years 3
    7. 7. “Let’s face it, space is a risky business. I always considered every launch a barely controlled explosion.” – Aaron Cohen, NASA Administrator6
    8. 8. Two Case Studies•Confluence 3.5 launched March 2011•Bamboo 3.0 & 3.1 launched February & May 2011 7
    9. 9. Confluence 3.5 • Collocated team of 10 • 50% of the total dev team • Four-month release • 15 major features 8
    10. 10. CONFLUENCE 3.5Launch Challenges• Tracking and prioritising tasks Matt Ryall Confluence 3.5 Team Lead• Aligning different teams with a single launch date• Risk of releasing something broken 9
    11. 11. CONFLUENCE 3.5 Task Tracking with GreenHopper• Developers are responsible for tracking their own work• Reduce status meetings• Weekly or fortnightly status checks 10
    12. 12. CONFLUENCE 3.5Release Checklist, Status Macro • Lightweight responsibility tracking on the wiki • Align team goals and schedules • Status: green, yellow or red 11
    13. 13. CONFLUENCE 3.5 Integrated Issue Tracking• Link issues from a page or comment • Up-to-date status information from JIRA• Create issues from test results• Ensure no problems get missed 12
    14. 14. Bamboo 3.0 & 3.1 • Distributed team of 8 • 3 in Sydney, 5 in Gdansk • Two 12-week releases • UI redesign + 5 major features 13
    15. 15. BAMBOO 3.0 & 3.1Launch ChallengesJens SchumacherBamboo Product Manager • Need to release quickly to beat competition • Tracking and prioritising tasks • Communication across distributed teams 14
    16. 16. BAMBOO 3.0 & 3.1 Keeping the Team Informed• Put sales stats in front of the dev team• Use ‘Days Remaining’ gadget to keep focus on delivery• Track progress against goals 15
    17. 17. BAMBOO 3.0 & 3.1 User Testing• Capture results in Confluence• Share results with the team• Leads to better product design, more understanding among developers 16
    18. 18. BAMBOO 3.0 & 3.1 Planning Video Conferences• Essential face-to-face time for team members• Collaborate with JIRA, GreenHopper• Whole team is present 17
    19. 19. Iterate, iterate, iterate • Practise your launch process: deploy continuously • Keep focused on fixing the most important stuff first • Follow-up releases can relieve KaizenContinuous improvement ‘perfection pressure’ 18
    20. 20. Summary• Identify your launch challenges• Use tools that help you deliver• Iterate, iterate, iterate• Take control of your launch! 19
    21. 21. “There can be no thought of finishing for ‘aiming for the stars.’Both figuratively and literally, it is a task to occupy the generations. And no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the thrill of just beginning.” – Robert H Goddard, rocket pioneer 20