Have you struggled to find an easy, cost-effective and centralised app to manage your customer information with Jira? We’ve got good news - our newly released app Crumbs is the simple customer data management tool that you’ve been waiting for!
Available now for trial and purchase on the Atlassian Marketplace, Crumbs seamlessly integrates with Jira and Jira Service Desk and enhances user experience by:
Crumbs is an easy-to-use app for Jira Cloud that allows you to capture, manage and edit customer information in a central location. Using Crumbs you can link one or more customers to Jira issues and once linked, the customer information is displayed directly within the issue itself, meaning you no longer need to search for it elsewhere.
The ‘Customers’ panel within the app lists customer information, resulting in easy search data retrieval, replacing the need for clunky and expensive CRM tools. Instead Crumbs offers a simple alternative which provides high-level customer data in context.
It is possible to quickly and easily add customer information in Jira and Jira Service Desk with Crumbs, as well as view, edit, import, link and even remove the data.
As well as capturing contact details, you can use custom fields to store other data. For instance, your IT team may want to see at a glance whether your customer has a valid support contract. Furthermore, data import functionality is built-in so it is possible to import information from an external CRM source. The ease of this process in Crumbs enables you to focus on other mission-critical work knowing that your customer data management is covered.
The customer information you need will be available within your Jira issue. You can link a Jira issue to a customer by using the Crumbs glance - this removes the need for Jira and Jira Service Desk users to navigate elsewhere to access key customer data.
It is simple to integrate Crumbs into Jira and Jira Service Desk so you can manage your customer data in one central location. Once Crumbs is integrated it is easy-to-use and visually appealing, ultimately enhancing your team’s Jira customer support experience.
Crumbs positively impacts your customer data management and replaces the need for complex external CRM tools by allowing you to quickly and easily access and edit high-level customer contact information and linked issues directly within Jira Service Desk and Jira. This makes it the perfect tool for Jira Service Desk agents to use day-to-day and can be an integral part of your ITSM solution.
Crumbs can boost user productivity and performance, as well as enhancing customer support efficiency. The app cuts down the time it takes you to find customer information so you can use that time instead for more mission-focused work.
Use the centralised customer information repository feature to share information across multiple teams and divisions, thus improving and facilitating organisational-wide customer data consistency and efficient information sharing. Ultimately, Crumbs works to save time and maximise efficiency in your team by streamlining your experience and positively impacting customer support.
Crumbs are small but very important pieces of something much bigger, just like customers upon which business success depends.
Crumbs is now available on Atlassian Marketplace and you can try it for free! It is available for Jira Cloud and pricing starts at only $5 per month for 10 users.
For more information on Crumbs, you can browse our user guide here.
What is the eazyBI Community Day?
Now in its fourth year, the eazyBI community Day is a way for the eazyBI community to come together to hear updates and tips from the experts and from each other. Alongside the live-streamed presentations, eazyBI set-up a slack channel for participants so we were still provided the opportunity to learn and network with our fellow remote attendees.
eazyBI enables users to create business intelligence reports, charts and dashboards with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool. Data can be imported from multiple sources including SLQ, Excel and REST and complex features such as defining your own reporting formulas using the MDX query language can be utilized after gaining a bit more experience. We are big fans of eazyBI and have been implementing their tools in our bespoke solutions for many years now and use them for our own business intelligence reports.
Over the past two years some of New Verve’s own team members have spoken at the Community Days and it is an event we have found to be very relevant to our customers. Last year our Developer Victor Lee presented with our client Peter Hinds, Head of Operations at Synergy Learning, on a project reporting solution using eazyBI and Profields. In 2018, Kris Siwiec, our Technical Lead, showed how eazyBI can be combined with the Tempo product suite for portfolio oversight.
What did we learn?
We gained a lot of insights from the remote event which has helped us to reinforce and add-to our eazyBI knowledge. Here’s some key takeaways to try and sum up the day:
The event started with an opening keynote from eazyBI founder and CEO, Raimonds Simanovskis, which revealed the latest updates like the release of eazyBI 6 which gives us some sleek new design features and is compatible with Atlassian Design. The enhanced designs were expanded on in the final presentation of the day where the topic was the changes in the User Interface (UI). Not only are there now new colours available but eazyBI has also worked on improving how reports are displayed and have enhanced the import options screen over the years. It is clear that eazyBI have been listening to their customers as they based the changes on feedback gathered from client support emails and the customer and partner community pages.
There was an emphasis put on the customer experience throughout all the presentations and Raimonds also announced the updates they have made to training and support features. New training videos are now available in cooperation with Atlassian University and they have introduced a new feature of email support which allows you to see previous conversations.
There were lots of fantastic presentations throughout the day that expanded on features of eazyBI and emphasized how we can get the most of out of their tools. This year, unlike previous years, all presentations were given by eazyBI team members which gave a deeper insight into the features. Here’s a few tips and tricks we picked up:
EazyBI tips for new users?
Reports, measures and properties are highly contextual and some can only be used with certain types of data. Tip: know which information is returned by using dimensions and measures before diving into the MDX as not all functions are available for all variable types.
eazyBI definitely recommended not to rush with MDX and to know your toolbox so you can explore eazyBI’s BI options. When creating small reports without MDX, know the building blocks you already have and use the cool features to create an effective report without the complexity of MDX.
If you missed the event or would like to learn more, all the presentations from the day were recorded and are ready for you to watch on the eazyBI customer and partner community page.
Start building reports with eazyBI!
eazyBI put on a great remote event and we look forward to joining them again for future events - in person and online! The Community Days provide a great opportunity to get involved in the eazyBI community and learn from the experts and like-minded peers. Watch out for future eazyBI events here.
To find out more about our bespoke reporting solutions using eazyBI check out the solutions page on our website. Alternatively please get in touch to discuss a custom reporting solution that fits the needs of your business.]]>
One such area was our Jira workflows; increasing growth, and less maintenance than what we would like, had resulted in outdated and cluttered workflows.
For example, why configure and maintain 28 workflows (not counting the extra 17 inactive workflows), utilising over 70 combined statuses (seriously), when five workflows sharing eight statuses will do?
Complexity provides excess and unnecessary stress. Simplicity is the key.
But how do we separate and remove what is unnecessary and leave only the purest of essentials? First we must understand what is necessary.
If we think about the most basic workflow, any work item must ALWAYS be in one of three states:
There is no other state a piece of work can be in, with each state flowing in order from ‘To Do’ → ‘In Progress’ → ‘Done’.
We can use these three work states as a foundation to expand (if needed) to fulfil our workflow needs:
While each workflow may require a handful of bespoke statuses, they can all be derived from either To Do, In Progress, or Done (although I am of the opinion that there can only be one form of ‘Done’, which I can explain in another blog post). Fortunately the three main states nicely coincide with the ‘Status Categories’ found within Jira.
There are a few rules of thumb that I tend to follow to gain a better understanding of how to derive my needed statuses:
For example, if your issues start in a status named ‘Product Backlog’, this status must be derived from ‘To Do’ as the issue will be waiting before it can be actioned. The same could be said if the issue transitioned from ‘Product Backlog’ to ‘Sprint backlog’. The issues would not yet be actioned, so ‘Sprint Backlog’ would also be a ‘To Do’ status. However, if the next status of the work requires users to contribute work to the issue, the next status would be an ‘In Progress’ category status.
Let’s pretend that there is only one ‘In Progress status where all the work is done, and then once the work is complete, the issue can move to the next status. The next status should be a ‘Done’ category status. With this formula you can create a workflow consisting of 3 minimum steps (which may be acceptable, or too lean), or of 30 steps (which may also be acceptable, in the right context, or could be overly complex).
However, how do we know which steps we absolutely need for our workflow? For this we need to understand our work items that we will move towards completion and identify the work streams where our work comes from.
To give some context, we are a growing consultancy business providing three main sources of service:
Each project solution we provide contains work items, or issues, that flow through the exact same steps towards completion.
For example, each project that represents one of our client projects has the same actions we need to perform:
These steps need to be followed for each client, whether we have one or 100 clients. Each project solution, or work stream may be different, requiring more or fewer steps to complete the work. For this example, I’ll stick with the Client Projects work stream.
When looking at the steps needed for each work stream, it may seem logical to create a status for each step without thinking about how the user is to use the workflow. Using the Client Projects example above I could easily create 11 statuses, one for each step, but why? Do we need 11 statuses? (Spoiler: The answer is ‘definitely not’)!
Looking at a comparison of the two flows above, the bottom flow looks quite excessive. We can whittle down the needed statuses by asking ourselves if we really need it to function.
Obviously we need a ‘Backlog’, otherwise we wouldn’t have a place to create issues for the client project. However, do we need another status to mark that the issues need to be ordered, or is there another way to show this?
I would say ‘no’, we don’t need another status, and there is another native way to show ordering of issues within Jira, namely the ‘Rank’ of the issues. So we can scratch that status.
Next would be ‘Ready for Development’. What is this status for? What does it represent? Why do we need it?
This status is to make sure that all Jira users know that is issue is ready to be completed, or in other words, it is to be done (i.e. To Do).
Another rule of thumb I like to follow when naming workflow statuses is to have them as succinct as possible without losing their meaning
Having ‘To Do’ instead of ‘Ready for Development’ reduces mental burden, takes less space, and still conveys the same message.
Additionally, I like to have my statuses in such a way that they can be inserted in to the sentence ‘This issue is _____.’, where the blank can be filled in by ‘To Do’, ‘In Progress’, or ‘In Review’.
Once again this is mainly for ease of communication.
‘Work on issues’ is definitely needed, as this would show that it is actively being worked on by somebody and is not longer waiting. This could easily be replaced by ‘In Progress’ to keep it simple and to follow the rule of thumb above.
The following status would be ‘Waiting for Review’, a place to move the issue to when development has stopped but hasn’t been picked up again for review. Is this needed? Is there another way to show this? I’d argue that we don’t need any ‘Waiting for x’ queues, due to the fact that all it serves is another place to put things without actually producing any benefit. What would be the difference if instead we placed the issue into a single ‘Review’ column? Couldn’t we know that the issue needs to be reviewed by the fact it is in a review column, and the fact it hasn’t been moved out of the column would signify that it hasn’t been reviewed?
That bears the question of ‘How do we know if the issue is currently being reviewed or not?’, which can simply be answered by if the issue has an assignee or not. If there is a user assigned to an issue in the review column, then it is up to that user to review and move the issue further towards completion. This means that instead of having ‘Awaiting Review’ and ‘Internal Review’, we can have a single status of ‘In Review’ (or even ‘Review’ if you wish to cut all unessential verbiage).
A good rule of thumb to think about statuses is if the work is being passed from one person to another, to include additional value such as a review, then a new status should be used to signify the exchange.
In this example we are moving from ‘in progress’ to ‘In Review’ to signify that another user will be reviewing the work done by the first user.
However, if we wished, we could have a single ‘In Progress’ status for both the work and the review, although we would be losing some crucial information, namely signalling to other users that the work needs to be reviewed.
After being reviewed, if the issue is an automation script to be deployed on a client’s Jira instance, it would need to be marked ‘ready for deployment’. But why? Does it need to be marked as ready for deployment, or even marked as having been deployed? I’d say no. Why can’t the reviewer deploy the script if the changes are satisfactory? And if the issue is to be marked as having been deployed, that means that it is ready to be demonstrated to the client for issue sign-off.
So really, why can’t the reviewer deploy the script if the script is acceptable, then mark the issue as complete? In our example, they can, why not!
The other action is if the script is not acceptable, in which case it would need to be assigned back to the original user assigned to the issue and moved back to ‘In Progress’. By now the Issue has been created, ranked, processed, reviewed, and is now marked as complete (meaning New Verve has completed its job in providing the output). All we need to do now is wait for sign-off by the client to confirm that we have indeed created what they desired. But do we need a waiting status for that, if every issue in ‘Completed’ need to be signed off as soon as it is in that status? No. We don’t.
The same could be said for ‘Mark as closed’. Is there a need to have a status to mark the issue as signed off once we get the green light? Possibly, but is there not another, more effective, and much more elegant way to mark the issues?
Yes, there is, Resolutions, and it is a System Field too; no custom field overhead!
So if the issue was moved to ‘Completed’ to signify that the issue was done by New Verve and requires signing by the client, and once we receive the sign-off, we can set the resolution field to equal ‘Done’ (or any other resolution name of your choice. I like Done because it is default and means I don’t have to manually add another resolution).
If we put this all together we get:
From 11 steps down to 5 statuses (Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy)! Much less potential confusion of ‘where’ an issue should be, as more statuses usually means more transitions (Tired, stressed, lemon zest).
A final rule of thumb would be that a workflow should ideally have seven statuses or less.
Only in highly specialised cases would there be a need for more than seven.
Hopefully you found this article useful. Now you can take this knowledge away and potentially improve your team’s workflows and get a nice (rule of) thumbs up!]]>
In the uncertain times we are currently experiencing because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), New Verve has moved to working remotely alongside the majority of UK businesses. While this decision was the best way to protect the health and well-being of our employees, clients and partners, it certainly comes with its own challenges. Having worked remotely since early March, our team have adapted well to these new working conditions but we are still learning and implementing new ways we can make this transition to working from home easier.
One of the core values of our company is to collaborate as one diverse team. This has stuck with us as we have moved into remote working so great communication is key. The tech stack we use, which includes collaboration tools like Slack, Jira, and Confluence, enables us to stay in touch as a team and collaborate on work but we have also made sure to use Slack for more social conversations outwith work tasks. Working at home can be socially isolating so we want to make sure no one is feeling lonely and has an outlet to chat, even if it’s just to tell someone what they watched on TV last night. We’re a sociable team and to make sure we keep in touch socially, we’ve started a weekly virtual pub quiz as a bit of mid-week fun and light-hearted competition. We’ve also moved our weekly Friday team beers into a Slack group call. Last week’s discussion topics included what everyone was drinking, multi-screen setups, which of the guys have grown a beard, and what doughnuts are best!
Maintaining mental health and employee well-being is essential for us at New Verve and especially in current circumstances. As always, we want to make sure everyone in the team feels supported. We are all facing a lot of uncertainty at the moment which can be incredibly stressful, especially since many of us are now working from home for the first time. As a team, we openly discuss issues together or where necessary on a one-to-one basis. However, we know mental health can be a personal topic so we have an employee assistance programme available for people that need it. The programme is run by Health Assured and it provides a completely confidential support network that offers expert advice and compassionate guidance 24/7, covering a wide range of issues. As part of the service, people can access a 24-hour helpline manned by qualified counsellors and nurses. People can also access remote counselling, webinars, and self-help programs to help with anything affecting them or an immediate family member’s mental health and well-being. As previously mentioned, staying at home can cause social isolation and anxiety so services like Health Assured have become even more crucial. It’s essential that we are all checking in with each other but also that we are not afraid to ask for help and know that support is there if needed.
As a member of ScotlandIS, New Verve was invited to join their webinar on ‘how to keep your mental health well while working at home’ which was full of useful tips. We heard from speakers across a range of industries who provided tips like how to create a good sharing culture with a solid tech base, to check in on your teammates regularly and to compartmentalise between work and life as much as possible. Above all, the most emphasised tip from all of the speakers was to keep up communication. Stu Hirst from Just Eat discussed how easy it can be to misunderstand written messages, so often it’s best to call instead. Margery McBain of Grativate HR said that using the time now to create stronger communications means that you will come out the other side as a more collaborative and agile team. The final speaker, Scott Newby of NewbyCore, suggested acting as you would face-to-face - if you were in the same office with someone, would you send them an email about a certain problem? If not, then give them a call instead. The webinar also alerted us to Class Central who provide free learning resources, including courses on health and well-being.
We’re lucky to have so many online resources available to us during this uncertain period. Companies are modifying their events to take place online, even the Atlassian Summit 2020 which was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas at the start of April but instead became a remote summit and was streamed online. Many companies have also created their own blog posts on working from home with tips we have found useful. FreeAgent has written about how to create your perfect WFH environment, Atlassian has given us 5 tips on how to increase remote work productivity and ScotlandIS has given some advice on working at home with children.
We’re working in unprecedented times but we’re all in the same boat and there’s no rule book on what works best. Check out our tips below on how to enhance your work from home experience.
Stay connected and social
Get into a productive routine
Create a comfortable work environment
See the positives
What aspects of WFH are you enjoying or struggling with the most? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear any other useful tips you have as well!]]>
3Gi gives their Partner of the Year award to vendors they think are particularly reactive to their requests and who they work well with. In presenting the award they recognised New Verve’s implementation of Jira across multiple areas of their business and how this has transformed their operation and helped them stretch the boundaries of what they could achieve as a company. 3Gi’s CEO James Edwards said of New Verve’s win:
“Very pleased to make New Verve our “Partner of the Year” for 2019! Over the course of 5 years, they have been fantastic to work with and never come up short with ideas or knowledge. They have been pivotal in assisting us in creating a very complex Atlassian eco-system that runs a large extent of our operations across the business.”
3Gi Technology are a global IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) who offer IT Professional Services to clients all across the world. They specialise in IT architecture, design, build and implementations and aim to provide a personal service, unique to each client’s needs. One example of a project we completed with 3Gi involved implementing a complex Jira IT Service Desk solution to help them create and use an efficient and instinctive IT support solution for one of their key clients. The solution we implemented created a Jira Service Desk which could serve over 1000 users, we set up over 15 issue types, created over 50 custom fields across multiple screens and request types, the project had 3 core workflows and we implemented over 20 automated scripts. This was a challenging project with some tight time constraints but was incredibly rewarding for both ourselves and 3Gi. To read more about the work we completed for 3Gi see the case study on this project.
Our CEO Nigel Rochford was very pleased with the award, he said:
“We’re delighted to receive this award from 3Gi as it recognises the hard work that everyone has put in over the past 12 months. We’ve built a solid and lasting relationship with 3Gi and look forward to consolidating this in 2020 and beyond. Well done team New Verve!”
We are all very proud of the team for supporting 3Gi on their journey with Atlassian and want to thank 3Gi for their recognition of our hard work.]]>
With tens of thousands of Atlassians tuning in from over 90 countries, the remote summit had the power to reach and impact a wider audience of Atlassians globally. With exciting announcements in Cloud, Enterprise and within the ecosystem and with loads of insightful content around best practices, customer use cases and product updates, we’ve pulled together the Summit best bits, showcasing how Atlassian is changing the future of teamwork for all teams.
Available to watch on-demand here.
Unleashing the potential of all teams
Scott Farquhar, co-Founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, opened the summit by detailing the effect the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has had on business operations globally and on how it has and will continue to impact the way we work. During such a time of crisis, there is an opportunity to come together and ensure organisational success via team alignment, work unification and clear team responsibilities as ultimately organisational success is dependent on alignment between teams and not just the success of one team. In light of this, Scott announced:
Session 1 - Change faster when Dev and IT change together
“The ability to adapt to change and keep on going is the cornerstone of our digital economy and your digital competitive advantage. Atlassian helps you (the customer) to keep going, operate, innovate, compete”
(Quote from Sean Regan (Head of Product Marketing, Software Teams).
Sean amplified the need for an ecosystem of partner products, solutions and services that deliver real value in order to enable teams to thrive and react to constant change. Atlassian products like Jira and Automation for Jira allow for frictionless interaction between different teams such as Agile, DevOps, ITSM and ITOP’s. Various new improvements announced to the product range during Summit are designed to remove friction to ultimately allow teams to “build fast, change fast & fix fast”.
New feature announcements:
Jira Service Desk
Jira Software Roadmaps: offering a clear and concise way for anybody within an organisation to understand what’s going on with a product or service. New features include:
Features coming soon include:
Three Jira roadmap offerings were also announced during Summit:
Session 2 - Unifying work across all teams with Atlassian
Available to watch on-demand here.
“How do you ensure harmony within your organisation? Successful teams combine the right tools, right practices, with the right people”
(Quote from Raj Sarkar, Head of Product Marketing, Trello and Confluence).
Atlassian acknowledges that team working can be hard. Implementing new collaborative tools and technology whilst embracing new ways of working with new sets of expectations can be difficult to manage at the best of times. By adopting an “open work” methodology within your teams, you can unlock productivity, agility and innovation within your workplace.
Templates: Atlassian acknowledges that every team does things differently and there are lots of moving pieces, but they’ve introduced templates in all their products to make it easier for any team to get started on Atlassian’s products: copy, customize, and collaborate!
Accelerating business transformation
Mike Cannon-Brookes opened the final day of Summit by forecasting the current climate will act as a beginning of a new era of business transformation, with businesses having to adopt and embrace a “new normal” to survive. Cloud was the main focus of Mike’s keynote, which he coined “the great equalizer"and the foundation of which we can bridge the gap between our digital and physical worlds, regardless of use case. Atlassian continue to promise to deliver the best Atlassian experience on Cloud.
Available to watch on-demand here.
New in Cloud
Atlassian Cloud was launched a decade ago and the cloud journey to date has focused on three areas: smart products, scaleable platform and seamless extensibility. It was good to hear Atlassian promising to build more intelligence and offer deeper customisation within the Atlassian cloud platform. Here are the Cloud announcements we were most excited about:
Atlassian Cloud Enterprise: a new cloud plan aimed at enterprises (customers with over 1,000 users) for Jira Software, Confluence and Jira Service Desk, with an Early Access Programme starting in May 2020. This will offer customers unlimited flexibility, new and enhanced capabilities and seamless integrations. Exciting features will include unlimited users, centralised user billing, release tracks, sandbox, 99.95% uptime SLA, 24/7 customer support with 30 min response time and Atlassian Access included. Also new is data residency support for Cloud Enterprise, giving organisations the choice of where their data is hosted which is imperative in data regulated countries such as in the E.U.
New in Cloud Premium: New capabilities announced across Jira Software, Jira Service Desk and Confluence Cloud products. These include:
New in Premium for Jira Software:
New in Confluence Cloud:
Cloud Migration Services: New support including Confluence Cloud Migration Assistant, Jira Cloud Migration Assistant, App migration tools and extended Cloud Trials.
To address the issue of trust within the Atlassian Marketplace, Atlassian has created the following mechanisms to garner user peace of mind:
Atlassian also announced that building apps for cloud will be easier going forward thanks to a declarative UI, allowing for easier component extensibility.
A massive Summit announcement is the introduction of a brand new extensibility framework, Atlassian Forge, which will allow developers to run, host, secure and scale apps in the cloud. Coined as the new standard in app development in cloud, Atlassian Forge will provide a hosted infrastructure, allow for effortless customisation and a streamlined experience for developers.
Agile at Scale
Atlassian Data Centre (DC) was launched in 2014 and made a number of big announcements at last years Summit. Going forward, Atlassian will continue to invest in performance, scale, stability and reliability across the platform. New areas discussed at Summit included security compliance, advanced user management and a self-managed enterprise DC edition. New features include:
Jira Software Server and Data Centre:
Portfolio for Jira Server and Data Centre:
Atlassian also announced the introduction of personal accessibility settings in Jira 8.8. on Server and DC platforms and investing in GDPR compliance across Server and DC products for EU customers.
Confluence Permission Features in Data Centre:
User Management in Data Centre:
Atlassian focused on four areas of user management across Data Centre products at Summit:
Mobile Device Management (MDM) was also announced, allowing admins to now distribute Jira and Confluence apps on organisational approved devices. Admins can pre-populate instance site URL’s making setup and login easier for users on the go.
Finally, last but by no means least, Atlassian announced a new Data Centre deployment option:
Clustering will now be an optional feature of Data Centre, allowing customers who do not need high availability access to Data Centre features without having to use a clustered infrastructure. Customers can run Data Centre on a server architecture by dropping in a licence key and upgrading in 2 minutes or less!
ITSM & IT Ops
Atlassian announced improvements for their two primary products supporting service at scale:
Improvements to Bitbucket Server and Data Centre and Bamboo:
For business teams we can recommend the following insightful Summit sessions:
Visit the Atlassian Remote Summit 2020 portal to access even more amazing content, case studies, breakout sessions and product demos and learn how Atlassian can unleash the potential of your team(s).
What did you enjoy most from Summit? What were your Summit highlights? Write your comments below, we would love to hear them!
As a business, the health and well-being of our employees, clients and partners is our main priority. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation as it evolves and we are continuing to adapt our business operations in line with the guidance issued by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland.
We have put a number of measures in place in an attempt to help minimise the impact of the virus. From today (Wednesday 18th March 2020), all employees of New Verve Consulting will be working from home until further notice. We are well equipped to do so and we will continue to be committed to supporting your business and team needs during this time. We are also prohibiting all on-site client meetings with immediate effect and will instead facilitate online meetings with clients until further notice, in an additional attempt to protect our staff and clients.
We will continue to update you as the situation changes. In the meantime please get in touch if you have any concerns with regards to your project requirements and needs.
Our thoughts go out to all those who have been directly affected by COVID-19 and we hope you and your family stay well.
Nigel Rochford and the New Verve Team.]]>
As it was International Women’s Day was on Sunday 8th March, team New Verve wanted to celebrate the women in our company and also women in the technology industry as a whole. We believe in striving towards gender equality both within our own team and within the industry.
The number of women in the technology industry is increasing and many initiatives have been created to ensure this number continues to grow. There has historically been an issue in creating gender diversity and equality in the tech industry which has a lot to do with systematic issues preventing women joining at the lower levels. However, there have been steps put in place to reverse this trend by both public and private bodies. A good example of this is PWC’s private charter named Tech She Can which aims to encourage women into the industry and support them once they join. In their research survey, PWC found that only 27% of females have considered a career in the tech industry, compared to 62% of males and just 3% of women’s first choice career was in the industry. Perhaps more strikingly however, is that only 16% of females have had a career in tech suggested to them as opposed to 33% of males, showing the systematic issues with regards to gender diversity in the industry. PWC’s charter aims to do something about these statistics by generating a lasting increase in the number of females pursuing careers in technology. They plan on doing so by working with schools and supporting social mobility but also by attracting, recruiting and retaining female employees who will in turn create role models within the industry.
The government has also implemented initiatives in order to create more gender diversity in the technology industry. New government charters such as Women in Defence and Women in Aviation and Aerospace have just been launched and the charter Women in Finance is continually getting new signatories across fintech since its creation in 2015. The charters are aiming to create a gender balance in all levels of the industry and have a strong focus on encouraging women into the higher levels of management in various technology sectors.
These charters, along with other programs are opening up the conversation about gender diversity in the tech industry and creating a more honest approach on how to balance the statistics.
As a small company, New Verve has to hold itself accountable for its own diversity and this is reflected in one of our core company values - collaborate as one diverse team. Gender diversity is something we have aimed to improve in the past year and in doing so we have significantly increased the number of female employees. Currently, within our permanent team of 12, one third of our employees are female - we have two female technical consultants and a fully female marketing team. As part of the tech industry, we know more still needs to be done in creating a gender balance and we hope our contributions as a small company can help to proactively address the issue. Diversity in nationality is also something we aim to have within the company and at present, our team includes members from Scotland, Ireland, England, Poland, Spain, Romania, Greece, and Pakistan. We believe strongly in teamwork and have a close-knit, collaborative culture here at New Verve. Our varied team allows us to do this to a high standard where every member of staff brings something unique. We will continue to diversify our staff over the coming years and are excited to see the encouragement of females to get involved in tech from the ground level up.
New Verve wishes you all a happy International Women’s Day and we hope those in the technology industry can use the day to reflect on women in the industry and how we can all continue to encourage gender diversity and equality.]]>
ITSM tools aren’t solely about streamlining how you manage your IT services, support teams, and other technical components of your business. They can also boost your overall operational efficiency and help you deliver a superlative IT-based customer experience.
ITSM processes are all about supporting the implementation, administration, and innovation of your customer-centric IT services. To do so, you’ll need software that meshes well with your ITSM platform of choice, such as Jira Service Desk and Insight, to meet your organization’s needs.
Let’s start with the most obvious efficiency benchmark for back-office operations: How well (or not) it can manage a high volume of incoming service requests.
Zendesk reports that internal support teams receive an average of 492 tickets per month. That’s just shy of 6,000 per year. This can be overwhelming for even well-staffed service desk teams to accommodate, especially if they’re relying on outdated technology or (gulp!) manually updating spreadsheets to get the job done.
With the right ITSM tools at your disposal, you can leverage functionality like automation triggers, custom fields, precise workflows, and IT asset dependency mapping to respond to service requests in a prompt and meaningful manner.
Many of those same features I just mentioned also apply if you’re looking to reduce your ticket resolution time.
A lot of the same ITSM tool features that help you to manage high service request volume also play a part in slashing your resolution time. They all combine to furnish your service desk staff with a single source of informational truth, which speeds up the process of pinpointing the root causes of issues and implementing the appropriate fixes.
Jira Service Desk (JSD) and Insight can be used as an ITSM solution, to help manage high request volume and speed up the meantime to resolution.
JSD and Insight are tightly integrated, where JSD is for managing requests and Insight is for managing the assets related to the requests.
When implementing the solution, the first step is to build a custom structure of your infrastructure in Insight.
Your assets can be imported into Insight from the data source of your choice, using one of many integration options offered in Insight. The image below shows an example of the IT assets structure (object schema) in Insight.
When building your structure, you can customize your hierarchy and asset attributes to fit your needs, and from that create the relationships (references) you want between your asset types (object types). Once you have modeled your data, you can view all the relationships in a graph at different levels.
Below we have a graph showing all the relationships for the Business Service asset type from our structure above.
Now let‘s take a look at an Incident workflow in JSD, from the time an Incident is raised, reporting a failed service, until the service is up and running again.
The first step is to raise the Incident. When raising the Incident, we can see the first example of how Insight is integrated with JSD through the Insight custom field.
The custom field is configured to show a list of all the Business Services from the CMDB. The user reporting the Incident simply needs to select the affected service from the list and submit the request.
After the Incident is raised, it shows up in the service desk queue for the support agents.
One of the powers of the Insight custom field is that you can display information of your choice about the selected asset and by just a click, the agent has access to all the asset details and it‘s relationships.
When Investigating the request, the agent might find out that it‘s actually the host the service is running on that has a problem and needs to be restarted, so he clicks on the “Hardware failure“ transition in the request to add the host asset to the request and adds a comment.
When adding the host, the system checks if there are other services affected and adds them automatically to the request as well.
This is all possible due to the structure of the CMDB in Insight, the relationships that are defined and built-in automation.
From the short video clip above, you can see that both service and the host have the status “Incident in progress” after the failure has been confirmed.
When the Incident is resolved, the final step in the process is to transition the Incident to the “Failure resolved” status, which automatically updates the linked assets to a “Running” status.
When managing your assets in Insight, and with the tight integration with Jira, you have a variety of options when it comes to reporting. Let’s take a look at three different options when it comes to reporting on assets and issues.
Reports in Insight
Insight provides a powerful report engine, allowing the user to build numerous reports, share them and display data in different formats. It even offers the possibility of customizing your own reports.
One example of an Insight report is a service catalog for business services, displaying selected attributes for the business services.
Insight macro in Confluence
The Insight macro for Confluence is an excellent choice when you need to combine Insight data with text in a written report or documentation. The macro is flexible and can display a list of assets and their details based on a query (Insight Query Language) or a single asset with details.
Jira filters and gadgets can be used to display data from Insight and Jira. The image below shows a pie chart gadget being displayed on a Jira dashboard, showing the count of Incidents for each business service.
IT Service Management is becoming more important to all organizations, and they need tools to support their processes.
Insight and Jira Service Desk together are a great option to manage all your requests and assets in one place, allowing you to link your assets to your requests to reduce request resolution time and manage a high volume of requests.
Insight flexibility allows you to build your own CMDB structure and relationship to fit your needs, which helps you to find the root cause of any problem with just a few clicks.
For more information about the Insight product suite or to see the software in action, click on over to the Mindville site or get in touch with New Verve today!
Mindville builds the Insight software suite, a collection of apps that empower Jira users to work more efficiently and deliver an outstanding customer experience. It’s the asset management solution that grows and scales with your business.
The Insight suite is made up of our top-rated eponymous app that puts powerful enterprise asset management at the fingertips of every Jira user. It also includes Insight Discovery, our network scanning tool that helps you import all your infrastructure assets, and our 12 free third-party integration options that make it easy to populate Jira with data from all your external systems. Insight has become a force of nature within the Jira community, and we’re excited about what the future holds for our brand, our clients, and the community as a whole.]]>
New Verve Consulting is proud to have taken the pledge as part of the global movement Pledge 1% which aims to get companies of all sizes to integrate giving back into their culture and values. Member companies pledge to give 1% of either their time, product, profit, or equity to whatever charity they choose. Pledge 1% has an amazing network of founders and CEOs from 9,000+ companies in 100+ countries who are all committed to giving back and we are excited to join them.
We have pledged 1% of our time to local charitable causes so will aim to volunteer 3 to 5 days per staff member per year. The first of our beneficiaries is the charity Mary’s Meals, we will commit 2 days per month to help them evolve their Atlassian solution. This will include consulting and training on Jira and Jira Service Desk which helps Mary’s Meals to efficiently offer their global support service, manage their project and work more agile when using third-party suppliers to encourage self-sufficiency.
New Verve joined the Pledge 1% movement in order to give back to the local community by sharing our skills and giving our time. We believe Mary’s Meals is a deserving recipient of our first Pledge 1% campaign and we know we can help them make a difference.
New Verve’s CEO Nigel Rochford is excited by the prospect of helping out in the community, he said:
“At New Verve, we place strong emphasis on having a positive impact on society. I’m delighted that New Verve has joined Pledge 1%, an amazing initiative that has global reach and active participation from a wide range of businesses. If we make even a small difference for local charitable causes, it’ll be worthwhile. Hopefully our announcement today will encourage other Scottish-based businesses to embrace similar paths.”
Mary’s Meals is a global charity founded in Scotland, which works to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of impoverished children around the world through daily school meals. The organisation currently provides a meal to 1,667,067 children every day across 18 countries. Each meal meets the immediate needs of the hungry child and encourages them to attend school, where they can gain the education that could be their ladder out of poverty. Mary’s Meals is a low-cost charity and spends at least 93% of donations on charitable activities. Mary’s Meals are delighted to be chosen as New Verve’s first Pledge 1% beneficiary, their founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said:
“This is wonderful news – we are so grateful for the kindness of organisations who give their support to Mary’s Meals and help us reach more children with daily school meals. Thank you to New Verve and Pledge 1%.”
Mary’s Meals is also the charity sponsor for our event New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020. Their IT Infrastructure Lead, Stephen Neil is one of our keynote speakers and you can visit them at their exhibit booth on the day. To find our more, view the event page here.
We hope to expand our Pledge 1% reach over the coming years and help Mary’s Meals along with many more local charities. Watch this space for updates on our Pledge 1% journey!]]>