A concern most Center Heads face is licensing tools that are used by only a few teams or members. Licensing multiple tools for different departments is not only expensive but cumbersome, especially if the need can be accomplished by one or a set of existing tools.
One such limited use toolset, in most IT companies, is Atlassian flagship products, JIRA and Confluence.
JIRA, used extensively by tech teams, help developers and testers track how they build products and services. Confluence, on the other hand, is a Wiki-based team collaboration platform.
Widespread adoption, across departments, eluded the Atlassian products till early 2015. Realizing the concern and potential of tools for teams, other than tech, Atlassian decided to split JIRA into three separate products in late 2015, JIRA Software, JIRA Core and JIRA Service Desk. All three products use the same JIRA technology, the only thing that changes is its terminology in a said context.
JIRA, for example, can have several applications in Human Resources (HR). It can help streamline processes without any software coding knowledge. One such application is to use JIRA to automate HR operations.
Automating with Workflows
Plugins (or Add-ons) add new functionality or change the behaviour of existing features, thus giving products, some extra muscles to flex. There are thousands of free and paid plugins to choose from, at the Atlassian marketplace. If you spend some time in the Atlassian marketplace, you can look to combine some free plugins to deliver a sophisticated level of efficiency. One such free, but powerful JIRA plugin, specifically designed for HR departments, is HR Workflows Bundle. With preconfigured HR workflows, it can help automate the following processes:
- Employee on and off-boarding
- Updating employee details
- Holiday and expenses requests
Some other JIRA plugins can provide capabilities to manage performance reviews, collect 360º continuous feedback and manage employee leaves.
'As with JIRA, so with others ...'
In future, Atlassian may look to split some of its other products, to cater to specific business teams.
Confluence, for example, can also have several applications in HR departments. One such application is to use Confluence to publish all types of organizational policies.
Move beyond inefficient SharePoint repositories where employees have to download a complete document to know if what's inside is of any use to them, and then sadly continue their search for another document which might contain the information sought.
IT companies should look to publish all policy documentation to Confluence (whether HR, or Finance), all can reside harmoniously inside a central Confluence site. People from these departments can easily create, publish and organize information that employees need. The information indexes brilliantly in Confluence, meaning it can be easily searched by employees using the quick search functionality, available at the top-right corner of every Confluence page.
What's more, if a person is using full search on Confluence, she not only can search all the content (in all the spaces) but can also search the contents of the following types of attachments:
In addition, for those who open a browser for everything, Confluence sites can also be added as search providers in Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. This enable users to search Confluence directly from their browser's search field.
'We are just getting started ...'
In this article, we have only scratched the surface (with one example, each of JIRA and Confluence) of how Atlassian products can be used by non-IT departments. Besides HR, Atlassian for Business Teams aims to help Marketing, Finance, Legal and Sales work better by assisting them in planning, tracking, and collaborating on projects.