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Using JIRA to Scale your Business


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Presented at the May 2017 Capability Counts CMMI conference.
Presented shared an Business Architecture systems tools, and provided best practices and lessons learned related to codifying business processes into JIRA workflows.

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Using JIRA to Scale your Business

  1. 1. Place YOUR LOGO here NAME: Michael King TITLE: Chief Technology Officer ORGANIZATION: Halfaker and Associates USING JIRA TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS
  2. 2. Place YOUR LOGO here • Company founded in 2006 with the vision of Continuing to Serve… • Founded by West Point graduate and Army Military Police Officer Dawn Halfaker (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Woman-Owned, 8(a) Small Business) • 200+ employee company focused on providing Data Analytics, Software Engineering, IT Infrastructure, and Cyber Security solutions to Federal Government customers • Halfaker serves VA, DoD, HHS, DHS, USDA, and Transportation ABOUT HALFAKER Culture built on Military Principles  Lead from the Front  Never Give Up  Plan, Plan, Plan  Take Care of Your People  Know the Job above you and below you  Demand Excellence
  3. 3. Place YOUR LOGO here AGENDA • About Halfaker • Create an Enterprise Business Architecture • Designing your Process Management System • Introduction to JIRA • JIRA Projects • JIRA Ticket Types • JIRA Ticket Workflows • JIRA Boards • JIRA Dashboards • JIRA Reporting • Questions?
  4. 4. Place YOUR LOGO here • Halfaker began to accelerate in growth in 2013, approaching 100 employees spread across 20 projects • As the Company grew, we struggled to maintain consistency, ensure quality, and manage risk across the increasing number of projects spread across the country • To provide excellent service, we relied on a few heroes who were constantly reacting to emergencies, swarming issues like 5-year-olds playing soccer BUSINESS CHALLENGE
  5. 5. Place YOUR LOGO here • Halfaker needed to invest in processes and tools that support them, in order to scale from a small business to a sustainable mid-tier organization:  Codify how we ensured every customer would receive excellent, innovative results  Align people, systems, and processes to strategic goals CREATE AN ENTERPRISE BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE Strategic Goals Business Processes Templates and Forms Business Systems (Applications) Guidelines and Policies Organization Structure
  6. 6. Place YOUR LOGO here DEFINE BUSINESS SYSTEMS APPROACH Document Management e.g. SharePoint Managing your organization’s documents should be your initial focus – tools like Dropbox offer convenient collaboration, while tools like SharePoint provide additional version, configuration, and permissions control options. Process Management e.g. JIRA The next level above managing documents is moving processes, and the associated tasks, requirements, etc. into a tool and out places where collaboration and reporting is hard – like sticky notes, Excel spreadsheets, emails, and your head. Agile tools like JIRA, CRM/Case Management tools like Salesforce, and Domain-specific tools like Applicant Tracking Systems and Human Resource systems provide this functionality. Knowledge Management e.g. Confluence Managing your organization’s knowledge is providing more than a place to store documents – it is providing a convenient place for employees to collaborate, in addition to conference rooms and email, will provide a significant ROI – chat- based tools like Slack or HipChat fill some of this need, but a wiki platform like Confluence provides a more asynchronous knowledge platform. Workflow Management e.g. SharePoint Forms While process management tools can track approvals and workflows, there can be a significant increase in value from a general task-tracking tool (e.g. JIRA) to a more opinionated system with more detailed business logic and form interfaces (e.g. Applicant Tracking System, BD CRM, Travel Management) Strategic Goals Business Processes Templates and Forms Business Systems (Applications) Guidelines and Policies Org. Chart
  7. 7. Place YOUR LOGO here BUSINESS SYSTEMS RECOMMENDATIONS • Deploy enterprise tools that are useful and intuitive to prevent fragmented, shadow IT solutions from popping up • Organize around a consistent structure and naming scheme • Think about Permissions and Configuration Management • Provide Content Governance through Site Templates Traditional, top-down, prescriptive management Agile, self- organizing teamsIntentionally pick where your organization is on this spectrum Opinionated vs. Self-Organizing Spectrum
  8. 8. Place YOUR LOGO here DESIGNING YOUR PROCESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 1. Select a Process Management Tool that aligns with your organization’s business model and culture 2. Invest in an enterprise platform to provide a consistent platform for your organization to build and improve processes on 3. Build a backlog of processes to “attack”, moving from email, sticky notes, and conversations into a formalized tool 4. Prioritize the highest value processes – you can spend a lot of energy building processes that aren’t high-value 5. Think about how you’ll organize teams/projects into the system – this high-level governance will be critical as you grow Note: We selected JIRA over similar products because it is so flexible, enabling us to configure our approach to each type of project with a few different configurations for a variety of types of projects (e.g. Data Mining, Software Engineering, Cyber Security, and Back-office departments like HR or Finance) – some organizations prefer more opinionated tools
  9. 9. Place YOUR LOGO here DESIGNING YOUR PROCESSES 1. Don’t “bite off more than you can chew” – focus on a short list of teams or departments initially, to gain momentum and gather lessons learned 2. Focus on building an enterprise platform with reusable components, instead of “over- fitting” solutions to specific teams 3. Consider long-term concepts like how you’ll do enterprise-wide analysis and reporting with various data in a process management system (e.g. Will all of your teams use “Deliverable” or “Risk” tickets the same way?) 4. Consider both your most experienced and most junior team members when designing processes 5. Get as much information into structured data, so it’s easier to analyze later (e.g. Create a specific data type for “Lessons Learned” instead of hiding it inside of other data types like “Note” or “Task”)
  10. 10. Place YOUR LOGO here INTRODUCTION TO JIRA PROJECT JIRA is organized, at the highest level, into projects which can be used for departments, projects, or sub-project teams. Each project has a Project site where team members can collaborate. TICKET Tickets, also referred to ask Issues, are the building blocks of JIRA – each Ticket Type has an icon and associated workflow. TICKET WORKFLOW Each ticket type has a workflow that defines the stages that ticket goes through (e.g. “To Do”, “In Progress”, and “Done”) and who can move tickets through stages. BOARDS JIRA provides various Agile boards that teams can use to manage their work, using either a Scrum or Kanban approach DASHBOARDS JIRA lets users create and configure their own dashboards to visualize important information easily REPORTING JIRA provides a variety of reports such as Burndown, Velocity Chart, Control Chart, and Cumulative Flow Diagram PROJECT
  11. 11. Place YOUR LOGO here JIRA PROJECTS • Projects are the foundation of JIRA: • Tickets are located inside one JIRA project • Boards may include all JIRA projects in this JIRA environment • Reports may include all JIRA projects in this JIRA environment • Separate departments and projects should each have their own JIRA Project • Complex programs can use a single JIRA Project, with multiple boards to organize work; or use separate JIRA Projects – a consolidated JIRA Project is recommended to help with program-wide planning, monitoring, and analysis
  12. 12. Place YOUR LOGO here JIRA TICKET TYPES • When creating a ticket, select Project and then Ticket Type (Issue Type) • Each ticket type in JIRA includes: • Required fields (shown with a red asterisk) • Optional fields (without an asterisk) • Workflow (see next slide) • The form to create or edit a ticket can be configured as desired
  13. 13. Place YOUR LOGO here CASE STUDY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT TICKET TYPES • JIRA Ticket Types can be used to define a wide variety of work • The table on the right shows tickets you could use to support project management activities • You could create tickets to manage other domains, such as Procurement or Accounting Issue Type Where is the JIRA Ticket Created Who Is Responsible for Resolving JIRA Tickets? 1. Contract Deliverable Compliance JIRA site Project Manager 2. Contract Milestone 3. Contract Performance Metric 4. Contract Requirement 5. Peer Review Project’s JIRA site 6. Configuration Audit 7. Risk 8. Issue 9. Customer Complaint 10. Meeting Action Item 11. Customer Compliment (Kudos) N/A (No Workflow)12. Success Story (Proof Point) 13. Lessons Learned 14. Process Improvement Process Improvement Team’s JIRA site Process Improvement Team
  14. 14. Place YOUR LOGO here JIRA TICKET WORKFLOWS • Workflows can be used to track progress of work (showing which work has been started) • Workflows can also be used to clarify handoff points between people or teams (e.g. “Ready for Review”) • Workflows can be customized by ticket type and tailored by project if desired • It is recommended to keep workflows consistent across your organization as much as possible
  15. 15. Place YOUR LOGO here CASE STUDY: CUSTOM WORKFLOWS • Workflows can be used to create queues for work to be pulled from, based on Kanban best practices (e.g. handoff point for an approval review) • In this example, a workflow phase is added to require the Quality Manager to review and approve, using the “Ready for QM Review” phase (Permissions are set, so only authorized users can move tickets from ‘Ready for QM Review’ to “Closed’)
  16. 16. Place YOUR LOGO here CASE STUDY: CUSTOM WORKFLOWS • In this example, workflow phases are used to track a sequential process, where departments can pull work as it is ready for them
  20. 20. Place YOUR LOGO here JIRA DASHBOARDS: GADGETS • Dashboards are a powerful way to bring your most common JIRA questions into one home page • There are 43 different types of gadgets (widgets) you can add to your dashboard • Dashboards can be shared across your team to help show people how best to use JIRA
  23. 23. Place YOUR LOGO here QUESTIONS? • Follow-up Questions? Want to Connect? • Michael King, PMI-ACP, SAFe SA, PMP • • @mikehking (Twitter) •