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Atlassian Jira Work Management overhauls BizDevOps features

Atlassian has offered a fresh take on BizDevOps with Jira Work Management, which replaces Jira Core for enterprise legal, marketing and HR teams.

Atlassian's Jira Core has been remade as Jira Work Management, with significantly expanded BizDevOps features.

Atlassian Jira Core was introduced with version 7 of the Jira issue tracking software in October 2015, as the vendor split off Jira Software for Agile development workflows and Jira Service Desk for ITSM into separate products. The company billed Jira Core as a tool for business project management, but it lacked many of the more advanced workflow features that made their way into Jira Software and Jira Service Desk, now Jira Service Management, according to one Atlassian user and partner.

"You could create issues, but not really a lot else," said Rodney Nissen, senior Atlassian engineer at Coyote Creek Consulting, an Atlassian partner in Milpitas, Calif. "Jira Software gives you the ability to have different [Kanban] boards that Agile teams [use] ... and Jira Service Desk that offers a front-end portal for end users that may not be as tech-savvy."

Rodney Nissen, Coyote Creek ConsultingRodney Nissen

Jira Work Management now brings those features, including a Kanban-like Boards view, Forms based on Jira Service Management service request templates, and a Timeline view similar to Jira Software Roadmaps, into an interface designed for business users. It also adds a spreadsheet-like List view unique among the Jira products for business users who are used to working in apps such as Microsoft Excel, and a calendar view, along with a set of 40 workflow templates designed for nontechnical teams such as marketing, HR and legal departments.

Jira Work Management adds template shortcuts

The new Jira Work Management templates will alleviate significant pain for Nissen and his clients, he said.

"Let's say I'm working with a legal team -- as a Jira admin, I'm not a lawyer," he said. "Before, I'd have to have a meeting where I introduce Jira to that team, then learn what the team needs for their project ... design something, bring it back, have them trial it, learn their pain points, then repeat that two or three times."

Remote work has exposed to a lot of companies how poor their workflow design was without the Band-Aid of in-person interaction.
Chris MarshAnalyst, S&P Global

Jira Work Management templates will eliminate much of that process, by building in common elements used in most legal workflows, Nissen said.

The new product will share data with the rest of the Atlassian Jira suite, and users can set up workflows where, for example, a software development team makes changes tracked in Jira Software that require legal approval before they are deployed, and a legal approval workflow in Jira Work Management is automatically populated with Jira Software data. Initially such integrations will require some customization by customers, but eventually more cross-team workflows will be built into the product, according to a company spokesperson.

The cloud-only Jira Work Management replaces Jira Core at the same price, starting at $5 per user, per month, with volume discounts for larger deployments. As of this week's release to general availability, existing business projects in Jira Software Cloud and Jira Service Management have been updated with the new Jira Work Management views.

BizDevOps growth spurred by remote work

The practice of applying Agile workflow processes outside of software development and IT, known as BizDevOps, has been a buzzword for years. However, while vendors, including Atlassian, have offered BizDevOps features, it wasn't widely practiced among mainstream enterprises as recently as two years ago.

Still, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, industry watchers predicted BizDevOps would blossom as enterprises' digital transformation efforts took hold. A transition to remote work had also already begun at that point, which made tool-based workflow collaboration practices more popular, said Chris Marsh, an analyst at S&P Global.

Chris Marsh, S&P GlobalChris Marsh

Then the pandemic forced most white-collar employees to work remotely and revealed gaps in those early workflow designs, Marsh said.

"Remote work has exposed to a lot of companies how poor their workflow design was without the Band-Aid of in-person interaction," he said. "Companies realized they couldn't just wave off the pervasive friction in their workflows from context switching, fragmentation and silos -- they needed to do something about this strategically."

That's driven growth and M&A in work management tools specifically, Marsh said, but the rise of cloud-native apps and digital transformation -- also spurred by the pandemic -- has advanced BizDevOps practices at enterprises that now must deliver products as software.

These trends give Atlassian an opportunity to make a renewed entry into work management with its Jira portfolio, as that category increasingly becomes a feature of broader platforms from vendors such as Salesforce, Citrix and Adobe, according to Marsh.

For Nissen's clients, expanding into BizDevOps also makes fiscal sense.

"I see a lot of demand for Jira to be used in the wider [business] organization," he said. "Companies are spending a lot of money on the platform and want to get more out of it."

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