Scott Farquhar, on Transforming the Modern Enterprise

Scott is the cofounder and co-CEO of Atlassian, along with Mike Cannon-Brookes. Mike gave the keynote yesterday, and today was Scott’s turn.

Scott started off by stating that the announcements made in yesterday’s live session were the biggest in their history. I agree fully with Scott. The Atlassian mission is to unleash the potential of every team. The announcements in yesterday’s session put the emphasis on every team. With the latest releases, Atlassian’s tools are moving to the enterprise, and doing it with well thought-out solutions that bring together 2 decades of learning and input from their wide, A-list customer base.

Of note is something else Scott pointed out: according to Forrester, organizations that invested in streamlining work management (processes and tools) during 2020 and 2021 will be 3 years ahead of organizations that did not. Let that sink in. If you did not invest in process changes for agility and worker autonomy, and don’t do it quickly, you risk being half a decade behind your competitors. For some of our public sector customers, this could put you at risk of not being able to attract and retain the talent you need to propel governance into the next 3 decades.

I gave a brief overview of the product announcements in the recap of Day 1 of Team ’21 and will write more later about them. Today, Scott focused on 2 products from their Point A initiativeJira Work Management and Compass – and it is worth noting some of these capabilities in this recap.

Jira Work Management

If you have been tracking Jira, you probably are aware of – or maybe using – Jira Core, the work management system for business teams. Jira Work Management (JWM) is targeted for business teams, and Jira Core no longer exists. It is tempting to view JWM as a rebranding of Core, but don’t fall into this trap. Jira Work Management is for any non-IT team to manage and track work, often repetitive in the sense that its workflow follows similar patterns, and it integrates seamlessly with other Atlassian products. Think of it as a “supercharged” Trello instead of a “dumbed-down” Jira Software.

One key to JWM’s fit in the enterprise is that it rides on the same platform as other Jira editions like Jira Software and Jira Service Management. Business teams (again, read this as “non-IT teams”) can use the same platform as IT, but manage their own destiny in the form of issues and workflows. Business teams in many companies either already have a work management platform, or nothing at all. In a CIO’s view, a separate platform is another tool for engineering and Ops to manage, and potentially for Dev to alter, which increases run-the-business (RTB) cost. Moving the business teams to JWM can free up some money for grow-the-business (GTB) funding.

Jira Work Management also adds 3 new views of data that Jira Core and JSW don’t have. The new List view looks and acts like a spreadsheet. Information is editable in the grid view, and the full issue is easily opened when more information is needed. The Calendar view adds time to data, presenting the issues in a familiar calendar format that can serve as the gateway for new users to adopt JWM. And the Timeline view is similar to the familiar project schedule view that business users are accustomed to. Of course, the Board view is also accessible for those transitioning from Trello or who like the simplicity they offer.

JWM comes with 25 prebuilt business templates focusing on HR, legal, marketing, finance, and other business teams. The new form builder allows users to quickly build data collection forms for feedback, employee data collection, and more. This puts control into the hands of the business teams and allows them to continue building agility while IT has a familiar platform to manage.

Compass

The second product in Scott’s highlights is Compass, the integrated management platform for distributed architectures. Compass is a single-pane-of-glass solution to bring order to complex, distributed systems. The target audience is everyone from Dev to engineering to Ops, management to front-line staff.

Compass draws information from ops tools like Opsgenie, issues in Jira, repos, API specs, documentation, and dependency maps. The single view of this information has several advantages. One key advantage is that it can help with resolving issues in runtime systems as they happen, thus speeding the time to resolution.

Compass includes scorecards for Health and Security/Compliance that draw information from a variety of sources. This all-around view of any component can be used as part of the change management process, where riskier deployments can be deferred based on their scorecard results.

We have not used Compass yet but are looking forward to getting our hands on it to substantiate these claims.

Conclusion

I agree with Scott that these are some of the biggest, most impactful announcements in Atlassian’s history. Their architecture is coming together nicely as an enterprise work management platform for agile organizations. When taken with Malcolm Gladwell’s closing keynote today (more on that later), I believe that Atlassian has the most comprehensive approach to supporting enterprise work in the industry.

 

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