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Atlassian’s Kick-off Keynote, Remote Summit 2020

April 2, 2020

Day One – Unleash the Potential of All Teams 

The keynote was the kick-off to Atlassian’s Remote Summit 2020, a new experience for everyone, forced as we are to stay at home by the Coronavirus pandemic. Having given due acknowledgement of the seriousness of the pandemic, Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar managed to see a silver lining among the difficulties it caused in the speed at which the Summit had been switched to a remote format, and paid tribute to those who had worked hard to make it possible.  

Scott also noted that the virus would accelerate the already existing trend towards remote teams. Success would come to those who could achieve alignment between teams, not to the success of individual teams. He pointed out Atlassian’s strength in weaving its own products with those of a range of other vendors, including Slack, Dropbox and Zoom. No one company would be able to make all the tools required by tomorrow’s teams. He then announced that all Atlassian cloud products would be free for up to 10 users per product. 

He continued on to introduce Kelly Drozd, the Agile Delivery Manager of ALSAC / St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a not-for-profit research hospital in Memphis, USA. Kelly gave a moving overview of the hospital and its life-saving mission. The organisation has considerable scale – $1.4 billion in revenue and 1,400 employees. It needs to be as well organised and competitive as a commercial organisation in its fund-raising and other activities, and it has standardised on Atlassian tools to support all its business processes. 

St Judes has been using Atlassian for 15 years. Jira became their primary workflow tool in 2007. The Confluence instance has 39 public Spaces and many more non-public ones. Confluence is integrated with Tableau, and Comala Document Management (formerly Comala Workflows) is used to control the review process in publishing patient stories. Jira Service Desk has recently been implemented to centralise their internal technology requests. Kelly praised Atlassian’s generous licensing policy for non-profits, and how it had helped St Judes. 

Scott handed over to Sean Regan and Anita Abraham for their talk on implementing change faster when Dev and IT change together. 

Part Two: Change Faster when Dev and IT Change together 

Sean and Anita did a double-act walking through how Atlassian products, as well as some non-Atlassian ones, can be used to support a mature process in which the dev teams are agile and IT is using DevOps. In the process they announced many new features in Jira, Bitbucket and Opsgenie. In line with Atlassian’s cloud-first policy, the new features all seemed to have been implemented in the cloud versions of the Atlassian products, and it was not clear whether any of them would be available in Server or Data Center. 

Key announcements were: 
  • “Your Work Dashboard” in Bitbucket. Let’s developers see work assigned to them (e.g. Jira issues) without leaving their Git tool. 
  • “Live Status” powered by Automation for Jira (Automation for Jira was an App, but in October 2019 Atlassian bought Code Barrel, the Apps’s maker, and has built the apps features into Jira so they are native). Live Status ensures Jira issues are updated automatically on code commits, or any other event, in Bitbucket and other tools like GitHub or MS VS Code. It’s an enhancement of smart commits. The developers have to visit Jira less, and can spend more time coding. 
  • “Code Insights” in Bitbucket. Integrates with MablSnyk and Sentry to improve code review capabilities. Pulls the reports from these tools directly into Bitbucket to speed up the detection and fixing of code vulnerabilities. 
  • “Risk Assessment Engine” in Jira Service Desk- also powered by Automation for Jira. Service Desk integrates with a range of CI/CD tools, e.g. Bitbucket, JenkinsCircleCI and Octopus Deploy, and allows them to create change requests in Service Desk. The Risk Assessment Engine then analyses these CRs and classifies which are high risk, and which are not and can be processed automatically. This streamlines the change approval process and reduces friction between Dev and IT. It speeds up a lot of change requests, but still keeps a full audit trail. 
  • “Change Management View” in Jira Service Desk: for those CRs that need further assessment as determined by the Risk Assessment Engine, this view gather in one screen all the information required to make a decision, including details from the CI/CD tool, the risk score from the Risk Assessment Engine, and details of who needs to approve the change. This process also allows developers to track the progress of the change request from their Git tool, without having to exit and look at Jira Service Desk. Once the change is approved, Jira Service Desk unblocks the CR and automatically pushes it into production. 
  • “Incident Investigation Dashboard” in Opsgenie. Integrates with Bitbucket and lets the incident team see full details of recent builds (which might be the cause of an incident) directly in Opsgenie. 
  • “One-click Post Mortem Export”: allows post mortems in Opsgenie to be exported to Confluence with one click, which promotes learning from incidents and knowledge dissemination. 
  • “Roadmaps in Jira”: various features have been added:

– Hierarchy – issues can be organised by hierarchy from simple tasks up to epics. 

– Progress bar on epics 

– Drag and drop dependency mapping 

– Easy sharing of roadmaps via Confluence – just by pasting the link

  • Imminent improvements to Roadmaps:

– Roadmaps will be available in classic projects 

– Roadmaps will be able to cover multiple teams and multiple products 

This will be implemented in Advanced Roadmaps, available in Jira Cloud Premium. Advanced RoadMaps will have many of the functions of Portfolio 3 (for Server/Data Center). 

Part Three: Unify Work Across all Teams with Atlassian 

This was a talk by Raj Sarkar, Head of Marketing, Trello and Confluence, describing a raft of improvements to Trello and Confluence to facilitate team working. 

  • Trello Templates 
  • Jira Service Desk Templates, designed so JS can support business, HR etc, not just helpdesks. 
  • Confluence templates gallery – 75 new templates including one by Mike Cannon-Brookes, ‘One Pager’. 
  • Trello’s ‘Butler’ automation tool can now automate integrations with Jira and Slack. For example it can create Jira issues from Trello or post comments into a Slack channel   
  • Now adding Code Barrel’s Automation for Jira to Confluence. Basic workflows have now been added as native to Confluence Premium. 
  • There is a new navigation bar across all your Atlassian Cloud products, which facilitates navigation between the different Atlassian products.
A number of visual tweaks have been added to Trello: 
  • Board wallpapers and ticket backgrounds have been improved 
  • In partnership with Gliffy, stickers have been added. Stickers are little graphics, often animated, which can be dragged to a card, to make it more vivid.   
  • Emojis can be made to appear on dragging a card to completion in Trello. Each completion can be ‘celebrated’ with a sweet little animation. 
Some tactical improvements have been made to Confluence 
  • Page analytics in Confluence now available in the Standard edition. This include a reading showing the time needed to read the Confluence page. This helps readers plan their time better – by reading immediately if it’s short, or coming back later for longer reads.  
  • “Expand”. Let’s you add a fold with more detail in a Confluence page. 
  • Preview links (like in Wikipedia), on hovering over a link, a preview of the target page is shown. 
  • The Macro Browser has been rebuilt, so now what you see is what you get. 
  • Inline comments available in edit mode, and the commenting and annotation function has been improved generally. 

The talk ended with a case study of InVision. InVision markets a digital product design platform. All its 700 staff work remotely. It wanted a cloud-based platform and has decided to standardise on Jira, Confluence and Trello. It is a leader in its field, and the Invision board is available in Trello template gallery. 

Join us back tomorrow as we discuss more of the need-to-knows, want-to-knows and simply fun-to-knows of the Atlassian Remote Summit 2020!

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