1582201140 <![CDATA[Blog]]> /blog english nigel@newverveconsulting.com Copyright 2020 2020-02-20T12:19:00+00:00 <![CDATA[New Verve Has Pledged 1%]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-has-pledged-1 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-has-pledged-1#When:12:19:00Z

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 beneficiary of our time 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

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!

<![CDATA[5 Steps to Next-Level Customer Support with Chat]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/5-steps-to-next-level-customer-support-with-chat https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/5-steps-to-next-level-customer-support-with-chat#When:14:44:00Z Agnieszka Jozwiak, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Spartez Software, has submitted a guest blog detailing the importance of delivering outstanding and continuous customer support and how this is possible in any organisation.

Staying connected in the age of information is nearly as natural as breathing or eating. According to Statista, the number of people using smartphones surpassed 3.5 billion, so it’s certain you will encounter at least a couple of strangers with their mobile phones in hands within the next few days.

The shift towards instant communication has forced major changes in the way we see customer support services. We no longer need to rely on one channel only, such as phone or e-mail support. The development of most popular messaging apps led to improving existing ways of communication between customers and support.

That’s how chat support was born. In this article you will find out, how to effectively use chat applications, such as Chat for Jira Service Desk, in customer support to achieve better results and build trust.

Customer support is the first point of contact – make it work

Providing excellent customer support is the struggle of many organisations, especially those who need immediate reactions to any requests that customers may have. Each year US-based companies lose about $62 billion due to poor customer experience. This is 49% of consumers switching to a competitor brand solely because they didn’t enjoy contacting support.

Reasons are various. The response time might have been way too long, the inquiry was neglected or ignored, the customer support specialist was rude, or there was no solution to the problem. The effect, however, remains the same – a disappointed client that might share their negative experience elsewhere.

Is there a way to fix it? Yes, by being responsive and open. Providing quick response to concerned customers encourages them to pay more in the future. It’s worth remembering, that having positive experience with support makes people incredibly satisfied. Customers know they can expect good quality service and are more likely to stay with the company.

How can companies ensure the highest standards when it comes to customer support? Here are 5 tips on how to make more clients happy with your products or services:

1. Easy access is everything

The contact page is probably one of the most often visited on your website. It’s essential that the channels you provide for customers are easily accessible. No one has the time to look for the tiny e-mail address at the end of a lengthy landing page. If the customer can initiate a conversation with the support team from the main website, it means you’re doing it right. The easiest solution for it is a chat widget or a link to contact page in the top menu.

2. Decrease the response time

Requests sent by customers should be addressed immediately. Chat applications allow customer requests to be handled quickly, so the troubled client doesn’t have to wait for a fix. If the company has their support team available 24/7, that’s perfect. There are, however, smaller organisations, where customer support can’t handle all requests in real time, for example during the weekends, holidays and nighttime. They can implement AI where possible to help with the most common questions. The solution can also inform about business hours and expected time that the issue would be resolved.

3. Get rid of the friction

A customer that reaches support is often already concerned and stressed, so the easier the access to support channels, the better. If the service doesn’t require logging in to an account to resolve the issue, let your customers stay anonymous. With more complicated requests, asking for an e-mail or username should be just enough to identify and help the customer. This guarantees quick help and a happy client.

4. Efficiency goes first

Most of the issues customers experience are very common and easily resolvable. For these, it’s best to set up an informative knowledge base or a chatbot, that can automatically provide answers to frequently asked questions. If both are lacking, it is good practice to create a larger document with ready-made answers that the team can copy and paste to speed up the process. It gives customer support enough time and space to focus on other more difficult cases without leaving anyone hanging.

5. Keep your team happy

It’s no secret that the key to excellent customer support is a happy team. One that can count on a solid source of information and help customers using reliable tools. Support agents feel secure and confident when a lot of their work can be automated or accelerated through ready-to-use processes. Maintaining great atmosphere in the team can do wonders to the way it performs. It’s not just about the toolset anymore, it’s about the can-do attitude that is genuine.

With customer service in mind

We believe that delivering the best product support is the ground to a successful company, so when we at Spartez Software built Chat for Jira Service Desk, it was to meet our own needs. Seamlessly integrating the live chat with issues and support requests in Jira made handling customer requests simple and quick.

Try Chat for Jira Service Desk for free and make your customer support outstanding.

Want to learn more? Please get in touch with New Verve to discuss your IT Service Management needs or register to attend our forthcoming Atlassian-sponsored ITSM event, New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020.

<![CDATA[Meeting Rising Customer Expectations with Jira Service Desk and Refined]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/meeting-rising-customer-expectations-with-jira-service-desk-and-refined https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/meeting-rising-customer-expectations-with-jira-service-desk-and-refined#When:12:24:00Z Genevieve Blanch, Partner Manager at Refined and sponsor of New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020, discusses the importance of ITSM within an organisation and how Refined can be used to exceed customer expectations.

Providing a sound customer service experience need not be limited to B2C. The value gained from exceeding customer service expectations is no longer only true for Business-to-Consumer (B2C).The way we go about providing service to B2B customers or employees within an organization has never been as crucial as it is today. This rise in importance goes hand in hand with the growth of IT Service management (ITSM) as an approach to customer service. ITSM is believed to be one of the most efficient and helpful methods for both the customer and the IT user, hence its growing popularity.

“A customer-centric mind-set is just as critical in the B2B space, and more and more executives are developing B2B customer-experience strategies with striking results”

- McKinsey and Company Report.

So what exactly is ITSM?

IT Service Management, commonly referred to as ITSM, is a structured approach for IT to service customers. Atlassian defines ITSM as:

“How IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes all the processes and activities to design, create, deliver, and support IT services”

The ‘service’ part, and the way we connect IT to customers across an organization is core to ITSM. Jira Service Desk is an ideal foundation for ITSM especially with Jira at it’s foundation. It is built with a team focus to connect teams with the answers they are looking for using IT processes. A customer would typically submit a ticket known as a ‘request’ to the Jira Service Desk portal, and/or gather information and resources from the help center. The ticket then gets placed in an automated workflow and then sorted into the IT teams queues.

And what is Refined?

Refined is the difference between meeting and exceeding customer expectations with Jira Service Desk. Refined is an app installed onto Jira Service Desk (Data Center, Server and Cloud) to add a higher level of customization, design and usability. Refined comes with easy to set up design options (no coding needed) so that the organization’s brand can be applied, and the layout customized to feed useful information and quicklinks to the customers. Crucially, Refined adds the capability to re-organize the site structure so that Jira projects and Service Desks as well as helpful links are easily accessible from a top navigation menu.

Below is an example of a branded help center harnessing the power of Jira Service Desk and the raised user experience that comes with Refined:

Example of a request view for the customer engaging with a Jira Service Desk and Refined:

How to build an ITSM system to meet customer expectations?

Many organizations have charged ahead in the way they conduct ITSM and in some cases exceed their employee service expectations. One such example is a bank headquartered in Sweden called Klarna. Klarna uses Jira Service Desk and Refined to provide a “smooth” service experience for the entire organization seeking information and resources. Using Refined they were able to deliver a personalized service experience, a better structure and navigation of the information and resources within their service, and a vastly improved self service.

Want to learn more?

Meet Refined at New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 on 10th March 2020 in Glasgow to find out how Refined can personalise the service experience provided by your organisation. You can also try Refined for Jira Service Desk, and/or speak to New Verve about setting this up for your organisation.

<![CDATA[Why We Have Become a Member of ScotlandIS]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/why-we-have-become-a-member-of-scotlandis https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/why-we-have-become-a-member-of-scotlandis#When:15:17:00Z New Verve Consulting are delighted to announce that we have recently become a member of ScotlandIS and we hope to use it as an opportunity to grow our business network in the Scottish digital technology industry.

ScotlandIS is a trade body for Scottish technology companies and through their membership they aim to represent and support Scottish businesses and organisations who create and deliver digital products and services. ScotlandIS work closely with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland to highlight the importance of the digital technology industry within the country’s economy, and also in education and the workplace.

As a member of ScotlandIS, New Verve have the opportunity to expand the reach of our business in the growing digital technologies industry in Scotland. We will have access to networking and collaboration opportunities with other ScotlandIS members and will be better equipped to stay informed of industry and member news and events. ScotlandIS also lobby the Scottish Government and campaign about important issues within the industry, so as a member, New Verve would feel the benefit of these campaigns and can offer support if requested.

Our CEO Nigel Rochford is very excited about the start of New Verve’s membership with ScotlandIS. He said:

“As a growing Scottish business in the digital technologies industry, trade bodies such as ScotlandIS are crucial for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and lobbying for change. We’re delighted to join ScotlandIS and look forward to learning and sharing with other members over the coming year.”

With our Atlassian-sponsored event scheduled on the 10th March 2020, we are pleased to be able to share New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 with ScotlandIS members and allow them the opportunity to help shape the event series going forward.

We are sure ScotlandIS members will benefit from the services we are providing and we are looking forward to expanding our network within the Scottish digital technologies industry.

<![CDATA[Profields and SAFe Project Planning]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/profields-and-SAFe-project-planning https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/profields-and-SAFe-project-planning#When:15:12:00Z In this blog, Matthew Flaws, Consultant at New Verve, explains how you can use Profields and SAFe to better manage project information with Jira.

Using Jira SAFe-ly (displaying SAFe related data in Jira)

Using Jira in a way that conforms to your specific ways of working can sometimes be a pain, especially when the way that works for you requires a little more detail at a high level.

Are you sick of being the person that has to constantly remind the project teams who is responsible for a particular role? Or do you like to keep all important project information in a single place for people to easily ingest?

Apps like Portfolio for Jira provide the ability to produce project road-maps, and to break down higher level work such as initiatives, but this information could seem like it is behind an iron curtain of planning information.

Natively, Jira does not give the user an option to store high level project related information in an single, easily digestible, repository.

For example, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has multiple organisational levels, each with their own information.

Being able to see an overview of basic project information, such as which Agile Release Train (ART) the project belongs, or who is the Product Manager could be a serious benefit for disparate global teams, or for external stakeholders.

Maybe you want to document all of the members, and their roles, for a particular project or release train in a single place where everyone has access. How would you do this?

You could:

  • Create a confluence space. But what if the information isn’t worth a space or a page in it’s own right. Or you don’t want to switch between multiple applications. Or simply, you don’t have access to Confluence.
  • Create an issue within the project to store custom field values. But then you’d need to keep track of the issue number, plus you’d always have issues that were perpetually living in the backlog taking up valuable real estate.


You could produce something like this, which is easy to maintain, graphically clean, and fully accessible to the entire project team (please zoom in or open the image(s) in a new tab for a more detailed view):

Being able to easily see who is involved, and their capacity of engagement, in the project provides insight to whom members could seek answers while also visually representing project responsibility.

In addition, basic project information can be stored within the layout to boost value to management and to be able to keep all team members on the same page.

By utilising the Profields app, from the Atlassian Marketplace, you can store project level information in fields just like how you can store information on Jira issues in custom fields!

How To - Creating a SAFe layout in Profields

For this example we want to show each of the members involved with a specific project. With SAFe, depending on the scale of SAFe that is practised, there are many different roles to be filled on different levels of the SAFe hierarchy.

We will assume that we want to display only the ‘Essential’ SAFe roles which comprises of the ‘Program’ and ‘Team’ levels.

The roles that will need to be captured are:

Agile Team level

  • Dev Team Members
  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master

Program Level

  • System Architect / Engineer
  • Product Management
  • Release Train Engineer

To capture data at a project level, Profields utilise ‘Layouts’ which are customised pages used to display and store custom fields and their values.

Each project can be given a single layout to use to collect and display it’s own specific information.

Projects can share layouts, reducing maintenance, or have a bespoke layout to give each project greater depth of information that might not be needed elsewhere.

Creating a new layout

Navigating to ‘Layouts’ within the Jira header navigation bar will give you the option to create a new layout.

You can name the layout anything you desire. It could be the name of a specific release train, solution train, or project name. It could also be generic so it can be applied to multiple projects within your Jira instance.

For this example, I’ll keep it generic, calling it SAFe Layout with a generic description text:

Each layout is separated into sections. For the SAFe example, I think it would be logical to separate the sections into ‘Project Information’ for basic information, ‘Team Level’ for the teams involved with deliverable production, and ‘Program Level’ for strategic management and higher level information:

For your layout, you could choose any combination of information separation. The limit is your imagination.

Within each section you have ‘Containers’ to help divide out the fields and to make logical sub-groups. It also helps keep the layout looking nice and tidy!

Once we have the layout set up of how we would like to structure our fields, there is only one thing missing. The fields!

Creating new project fields

Profields uses project fields for projects the same way Jira uses custom fields for Issues.

There are two ways to create the new project fields, from the ‘Fields’ screen accessible from the Profields drop down in the Jira header bar, or from right here in the layout screen:

By clicking ‘Add field’ you can select any project field, or create a new field.

There are 12 types of fields, including script fields which use groovy scripts to display any data depending on your conditions. With scripted fields available, imagination really is the limit!

For more information regarding field types and how they operate, here is a link to the official Deiser documentation.

To capture the roles I will be using the ‘User’ project field type, for roles where only a single person should be responsible I have chosen ‘single user’ and ‘multiple users’ where there could be one or many people, such as ‘Dev Team’:

Don’t forget to click save in the top right hand corner! This has caused a lot of pain in the past and many times where I have had to recreate my layout!

After saving, click the ‘Associate to projects’ button and select all of the projects you wish for your layout to be associate with. This means that this particular layout of fields will be visible to the members of that project.

Viewing the data

Navigate to your layout page in the associated project by clicking the Profields icon in the project sidebar

After filling in the fields on the layout, you can forever point people to this page whenever the question of who is responsible or what ART the project is in pops up:

Do you have any good ideas of how to better use Profields to help manage projects in a SAFe environment? Let us know in the comments below!

<![CDATA[New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 ]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-presents-atlassian-in-scotland-2020 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-presents-atlassian-in-scotland-2020#When:14:24:00Z New Verve Consulting is delighted to announce that New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 will take place on Tuesday 10th March 2020 at the Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow. Tickets are now on sale with early-bird discounts available until further notice. Promising to be even bigger and better than the previous conference, Atlassian in Scotland 2020 will once again bring the Scottish Atlassian community together to share experiences, exchange ideas and learn from Atlassian experts and users from across the country – and beyond!

The focus next year will be IT Service Management (ITSM), which Atlassian defines as, “how you manage the delivery of end-to-end IT services to your customers”.

Commonly considered a wholly IT role, the principles of ITSM can be utilised throughout your entire organisation. We’ve seen adoption of Atlassian tools (e.g. Jira Service Desk, Jira Software and Confluence) by different business teams to help organise, monitor and manage project tasks, signifying that ITSM approaches are becoming more mainstream and are not only for IT professionals. We aim to have keynotes addressing ITSM from these differing perspectives.

From an IT perspective, process is vital. Atlassian’s approach to ITSM comprises four core elements: Service Request Management, Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management. We will explore each of these processes in more detail during Atlassian in Scotland 2020, discussing theory, offering expert and tooling advice, and sharing real customer use cases where possible.

The conference will also discuss the importance of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), exploring the differences between ITIL and ITSM and reviewing the latest update, ITIL 4.

At the inaugural Atlassian in Scotland 2019 event last March, an engaging and insightful panel discussion was organised with panellists including Anthony Christensen from RBS, Philippa Christie from the Equator Agency and Sorcha Lorimer from Trace Data Ltd. offering their views and sharng their experiences of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) in action. We will look to replicate an expert discussion next year within the theme of ITSM, with the opportunity for you to submit questions before and ask during the discussion, allowing you to become part of the conversation.

Panel discussion at Atlassian in Scotland 2019
Panel discussion at Atlassian in Scotland 2019

What does the future of ITSM look like? This will also be addressed during the conference, giving you the opportunity to hear expert opinions from speakers, sponsors and like-minded peers.

With plenty of refreshment and networking breaks anticipated, you will be able to network with fellow Atlassians and share best practices, user experiences and more. We will also look to host an AUG in the evening, allowing for a more informal discussion and of course the obligatory beer, pizza and SWAG!

Networking break at Atlassian in Scotland 2019
Networking break at Atlassian in Scotland 2019

With 7 months to go until Atlassian in Scotland 2020 is here we are still shaping the agenda to make it the event to attend for all things Atlassian in Scotland. Follow the hashtag #TartanTeamwork and be kept informed of event updates and developments. We have exciting things planned for next year so watch this space!

For more information and to register, please visit the New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 event page.

For a taste of what to expect, read our Atlassian in Scotland 2019 post event blog.

“Attending the Atlassian in Scotland event was very beneficial. It was excellent not only to hear from Atlassian directly but to share challenges & solutions with other attendees. Taking the time to attend an event like this helped us to refocus on how we were making use of the tools & associated processes.”

Peter Hinds, Head of Operations, Synergy Learning

“New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland is a fantastic event that brings together the Scottish Atlassian user community. Tempo were event sponsors and speakers in 2019 and we were delighted with the quality of the event and with the valuable opportunities to connect with and learn from attendees who were interested in or already using Tempo products to keep track of their projects.

It is a great platform to demo tools and hear about product news, upcoming features and product vision. Thank you Scotland!”

Eyglo Oskarsdottir, Sales Manager, Tempo.

I really enjoyed meeting Atlassian customers and local Solution Partners and hearing how our tools shape how they work. If you’re looking for insights on working more collaboratively and meeting likeminded users in Scotland, this is the event for you!”

Darlene Auguste, Atlassian Community Manager, APAC & EMEA

See you in 2020!

<![CDATA[Achieve strategic objectives with Tempo and PPM]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/achieve-strategic-objectives-with-tempo-and-ppm https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/achieve-strategic-objectives-with-tempo-and-ppm#When:12:32:00Z This guest blog was submitted by Maxime-Samuel Nie-Rouquette, Global Partnership Marketing Expert at Tempo. Tempo were keynote speakers at our New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland event in March 2019, where they discussed project portfolio management and how to achieve strategic objectives with Tempo and Jira.

We were recently invited by New Verve Consulting to discuss Project Portfolio Management (PPM). What follows is a condensed version of our presentation on Tempo and PPM.

So what exactly is PPM?

PPM stands for Project Portfolio Management. The point of PPM is to be able to prioritize multiple projects, plan them realistically, and staff them with the best possible employees. At heart, PPM is about understanding how all of your projects are going and what you should do next. It enables you to make sure that your work contributes to your goals and that you are heading in the right direction. PPM has several components, including pipeline management, resource management, change management, risk management and financial management.

With PPM, you know that important (and often less risky) projects are the first to be launched, and that qualified staff are available for the job. Leftover resources can then work on other initiatives. When a company neglects to use PPM, they often end up implementing too many unimportant projects. Employees end up overwhelmed and overworked. Projects may end early because of poor quality or a lack of feasibility.

What is Tempo?

Tempo is a leading app for Jira that allows users to see the value of their time. With Tempo, users can better understand which projects and tasks to invest their time in. We have offices in Montreal, Canada; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Stockholm, Sweden, with over 100 employees. Used by over 120 of the Global 500, as well as many small and medium-sized companies, Tempo is trusted by world-leading companies across all sectors.

Tempo offers three efficiency-enhancing products: Tempo Timesheets, Tempo Planner and Tempo Budgets. We assist our users in solving many different problems and use cases with these three products. With Tempo Timesheets, users can track and approve time, report on timesheets with ease and flexibility, and manage accounts. With Tempo Planner, users can plan work for teams, maximize team capacity, and find available resources. With Tempo Budgets, users can view real time dashboards, navigate large project portfolios, and easily create project budgets.

PPM and Tempo

PPM systems are complex by nature; it requires extensive training to interpret the data and apply it to a day-to-day workflow. That’s because the PPM solutions that exist on the market today tend to be siloed information systems where few people have access. Those people who do have access are the only ones who can translate what a given system does and how it fits into day-to-day work. Other stakeholders may have difficulty managing the data and acting accordingly.

On the other hand, Tempo’s PPM solution in Jira has many advantages. Tempo apps sit directly in Jira, so you don’t have to go from one system to the next. There is easy access for all users.

So what are the five components of PPM all about? And how does Tempo sit in?

Pipeline management

Pipeline management means overseeing your current projects and knowing which ones you are going to work on next. It means understanding what to do when. With Tempo Budgets, you can estimate your staff costs, which is both the amount of money you will be spending on that staff, and the number of staff that you need for a given role. With this tool, you can start to manage your pipeline so that operations are always readily visible.

Resource management

Resource management means the efficient and effective development of your organization’s resources when they are needed. Tempo Planner can help with a resource planning view, which is a graphical representation of resources and their allocation. It is critical to have the necessary resources to deliver on schedule, and to understand what skills are lacking in order to fill gaps in staffing.

Financial management

Financial management means overseeing budgets and finances for projects and knowing whether or not your business is profitable. Tempo Budgets really shines as an end-to-end financial management tool in JIRA.

Risk management

Risk management is defined as the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact. Having accurate and real-time information enables stakeholders to see early warning signs and react accordingly in order to maximize the success of projects. While Tempo does not provide risk management for PPM, there are other apps with options for managing risk in Jira.

Change management

To drive forward a project, you need a good change management regime, from what gets added to the backlog to what should be developed or prioritised. For example, with Tempo Budgets, if you change your budget for a project, you are able to see what it was when it first started, what it is today and what your actual costs are compared to either of those.

Get better insights with PPM and Tempo

It’s important to have the clarity needed to solve business problems. Knowing how to make decisions and move forward requires clear, in-depth information. With Tempo, you can enhance your PPM practice in order to better prioritize and plan projects. With better insights, you can benefit from improved business processes and an increased bottom-line.

Discover Tempo’s PPM solution!

New Verve and Tempo

New Verve Consulting are Tempo Silver Partners and we offer resale, training and consultancy for the entire Tempo product suite. Please get in touch at info@newverveconsulting.com to find out more.

<![CDATA[New Verve is now listed on G-Cloud 11]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-is-now-listed-on-g-cloud-11 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-is-now-listed-on-g-cloud-11#When:14:19:00Z New Verve Consulting has been listed on G-Cloud, the UK Government’s procurement framework for 4 years now. We’re delighted to continue to offer our services on the very latest iteration: G-Cloud 11.

As an authorised supplier on G-Cloud 11, public sector organisations can procure our services without needing to run a full tender process.

Our services in G-Cloud 11 span three categories:

  1. Cloud hosting: Atlassian as a Service
  2. Cloud software: Atlassian Cloud - Annual Subscriptions
  3. Cloud support:

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting covers the provision of platform or infrastructure services ‘in the cloud’. In this category, we provide Atlassian Server and Data Center applications as a cloud service via Amazon Web Services: Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo and Crowd.

We also support all Atlassian apps and most Marketplace apps.

Our aim is for public sector organisations to reduce the cost, complexity, and risk of ownership by using our service.

Cloud software

Cloud software services are applications that are accessed over the web and hosted in the cloud. In this category, we resell subscriptions to Atlassian’s SaaS offerings.

‘Atlassian Cloud’ delivers the power of collaborative tools such as Jira Software, Confluence, Bitbucket, and Bamboo. This service is hosted and delivered by Atlassian. As a delivery partner in Scotland, we can provide annual subscriptions and value-add services via PO on payment terms to the public sector.

Cloud support

This category is all about helping public sector buyers to set up and maintain their cloud hosting or software services.

We provide two key services in this category, ultimately helping our customers to design, build, deploy, and support Atlassian solutions that meet their specific needs. We work with both technical and non-technical teams, and have highly-trained staff that specialize in collaborative tooling such as Jira Software.

Find out more

To find out more about G-Cloud 11, search for ‘New Verve Consulting’ on the Digital Marketplace. If you’d like to speak with us, feel free to call the team on 0141 291 5950.

<![CDATA[How to combine ‘agile’ and ‘waterfall’ in a single Jira project]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/guest-blog-marcin-gebicz-softwareplant https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/guest-blog-marcin-gebicz-softwareplant#When:14:13:00Z ​Marcin Gebicz, E-Marketer at SoftwarePlant, has submitted this guest blog outlining how to combine agile and waterfall methodologies in a single Jira project. SoftwarePlant were keynote speakers at our Atlassian in Scotland event in Glasgow in March 2019, where they presented on project portfolio management with BigPicture.

Have you ever tried to combine ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Agile’ methodologies in a single Jira project? Senior-level executives like high-level, waterfall tools to keep an eye on deadlines, milestones, goals, and risks. Low-level teams, on the other hand, prefer to plan their sprints on agile boards. Let’s see how to run a project in Jira to address the needs of both groups so that the small tasks belonging to teams form larger chunks digestible by CEOs. And vice versa.

First, let’s assert that the hybrid or mixed project management is hardly feasible without some add-on on top of your Jira. It’s because Jira Software alone has ‘just’ the agile boards, and lacks a timeline-based, waterfall planning tool, such as the Gantt chart. So, as a bare minimum, research Atlassian Marketplace on some Gantt chart app for Jira. Even better, get a full-scale project management add-on, because Jira’s agile boards lack another valuable feature, namely ‘Teams’.

BigPicture is one good example. For the essence of hybrid project management in BigPicture, check the below screenshot:

How do agile and waterfall management styles meet together in BigPicture?

Can you recall senior executives from your home organization? Do they rely on dates and deadlines? If so, they might appreciate that they can keep an eye on high-level tasks and milestones (essential dates) sitting on the timeline of the Gantt chart. It is the ‘waterfall part’ of the above screenshot.

To see the ‘agile part’ let’s descend to the teams’ level. Teams across software, finance and healthcare industries, as well as R&D and marketing departments in just about any sector, increasingly rely on two- or three-week iterations. In BigPicture they would typically use an Agile board for planning:

So imagine them moving tasks from the backlog onto the board during their planning session on Monday. Two things would happen on-the-fly:

  • the tasks attached to the upcoming iteration on the board become immediately evident on the senior executives’ Gantt chart-timeline (provided they’ve enabled View > Show > Cadences option on the Gantt chart)
  • should the teams’ decisions hit the high-level plan, the directors may or may not notice (depending on the ‘task mode’), phases or epics getting rescheduled on their Gantt chart-timeline. Fortunately, the delayed tasks will leave red contours (baselines) behind to represent the original start and end dates of the high-level task.

Check this Step by step tutorial on how to launch and run a mixed agile-waterfall project in Jira and BigPicture.

Other than the above, there are more techniques suitable for hybrid-mixed projects. Let’s go through them one by one:

Have story points (agile) and time tracking (waterfall) in the same view

This is another measure that caters to the HYBRID projects in Jira. Have both ‘Time tracking’ (waterfall) and ‘Story points’ (agile) columns in the same BigPicture view, like we marked on the below Gantt chart:

BigPicture’s Scope is another module you can pursue this approach in.

Resources module is very appropriate for hybrid projects

Those PMs who use purely agile software have difficult times allocating their teams’ and team members’ capacity to the standard of 90-110%. Since BigPicture supports the waterfall concepts, it has to have the full-size Resource module, pictured. The intuitive orange, red and green bars lets you visually scan for the areas of underallocation (represented by green) and overallocation (red) of your workforce.

Also, note how you can switch between ‘Individuals’ and ‘Teams’ views. We’ve marked the buttons in the above picture. Agilists involved in your project will appreciate the ‘Teams’ view, while those working the waterfall style will appreciate the classical ‘Individuals’ outlook, enabled in the above screenshot.

Risks in hybrid projects

Does your agile software has some risk management module? It not necessarily does since some agile PM methodologies skip the risks altogether. Fortunately, BigPicture not only has the Risk matrix, but you can configure its axes. Why is the latter crucial in hybrid project management?

Waterfall projects very typically use the following Risk probability matrix: one of the axes represent Risk probability, with values ranging from ‘almost none’ to ‘very high’, and the other one stands for Risk consequence - ‘trivial’ to ‘severe’. This is the default configuration of BigPicture’s Risk module.

Now, let’s throw a glance at an increasingly popular agile methodology - Scaled Agile Framework, with its unique Probability / ROAM axes. As evident in the below picture, the risk matrix in BigPicture has been re-set specifically for SAFe:

Why is drag&drop crucial in mixed projects?

The ability to drag and drop tasks to reassign them to teams or individuals may seem granted, and it certainly is in modern agile project management software. Step back to some pre-Jira, waterfall applications, though, and you might get surprised by the drag&drop feature missing. And for a reason: back then you would have rarely rescheduled things, once a plan had been approved.

So, it could come as a not-all-that-common combination that BigPicture both supports the waterfall methodologies and it has the precious drag&drop capability - on the Agile Board and Resources module.


I’m a PRINCE2 project manager. Should I consider hybrid projects?

PRINCE2 is a waterfall methodology, so a Gantt chart is all a PRINCE2 project needs, right? Not quite. Hybrid projects are applicable here as well. Think of those ‘work packages’ that PRINCE2 project managers pass responsibility for to teams. Why not let teams slice these ‘work packages’ into iterations in an agile manner on a Program board?

A team failed to deliver a task in the current 2-week iteration and put that task off for the next iteration using their beloved agile Program board. What does this mean for the hybrid project?

The delay could be noticed by the project manager observing the Gantt chart (with View > Show > Cadences option enabled), as the BigPicture’s Program Board keeps in-sync with the Gantt chart. This 2-week delay could hit the whole high-level plan.

Is budgeting easier in hybrid projects?

It could be. Very typically, teams get hired and paid per iteration. Therefore, with iterations evident on the Gantt chart, you multiply iterations by the weekly rate.

Hybrid projects vs. MS Project

We see this all the time. Even if an organization migrates to Jira, they keep Microsoft Project alive, as their PMs got used to MS Project’s Gantt chart. This dilemma is no longer legit with hybrid projects available from BigPicture + Jira. It’s pretty straightforward to migrate your work from MS Project to BigPicture.

<![CDATA[Insights from eazyBI Community Days 2019]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/insights-from-eazybi-community-days-2019 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/insights-from-eazybi-community-days-2019#When:08:21:00Z We were delighted to attend and present at eazyBI Community Days again in 2019.

Over the course of 2 days in Riga, we got the opportunity to hear practical use cases and gain insights from a range of partners and customers in the Atlassian and eazyBI ecosystem.

So, what was it all about?

This was the third annual eazyBI user conference and is the biggest eazyBI event of the year.

eazyBI enables you to create business intelligence reports, charts, and dashboards with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool. Data can be imported from various sources including Excel, SQL, and REST. With a bit more experience, you can then start diving into more complex features such as defining your own reporting formulas using the MDX query language.

Targeting both new and experienced users of the product, this event is all about learning from and networking with the wider community. Theatre-style presentations were interspersed with lighting talks over the 2 days. eazyBI put on a great event and certainly brought the community together at the evening event hosted by the Drift Hall, where we all got the chance to race around a track on electric trikes at 50 km/hr!

Why did we go?

We have been huge fans of eazyBI for a number of years now, and have implemented many bespoke reporting solutions for customers that use eazyBI as a Jira app. We also use it ourselves!

Last year, our Technical Lead, Kris Siwiec showed how eazyBI can be combined with the Tempo product suite for portfolio oversight. This year, we followed a similar path, but combined forces with one of our customers Synergy Learning. Our very own Victor Lee presented with Peter Hinds on a project reporting solution using eazyBI and Profields. Here’s a nice relaxed snap before they kicked off smile

As an Atlassian Solution Partner, we applied our expertise in building a solution that reported on a number of key metrics including project status, workload, and revenue. We utilised Scriptrunner for Jira to extract and process project data from another Jira app: Profields. The processed data was then pulled into a cube for reporting in eazyBI.

What did we learn?

We took away a tonne of insights and this blog entry certainly doesn’t cover everything that happened over the two days. However, I’ve tried to highlight some key takeaways.

First up, I was intrigued by how successful eazyBI have been as a company with stellar year-upon-year growth. Recognised two years running as one of the top 50 Deloitte fast-growing companies in Central Europe, it’s even more amazing that eazyBI does all this in an entirely distributed setup. In other words, they don’t have a physical office - everybody works remotely. This of course comes with its own challenges and questions on how to maintain company culture and team morale. eazyBI seem to have found the right formula with regular group meetups, a packed schedule of events throughout the year, regular online team collaboration and of course the infamous morning team runs when everyone gets together in the same location.

Product announcements

eazyBI 4.6 and 4.7 have arrived with some nice new features, including:

  • integration with Portfolio for Jira
  • incremental REST API and SQL imports
  • context-sensitive auto-completion for the calculated member formula editor
  • the ability to share dashboards for wallboard mode
  • support for importing customer satisfactions from Jira Service Desk

eazyBI 5.0 is upcoming and will include:

  • various platform and library updates
  • a new measures and dimensions UI (it’ll now be possible to filter by name and a single view will show all measures)
  • out-of-the-box standard calculation measures (e.g. median, average, cumulative sum, linear trends)
  • a new progress bar for Jira imports
  • new integrations with Freshdesk and Bitbucket for DevOps reporting
  • lots of small UX improvements, including a simple ‘x’ for removing measures without drag-and-drop!

Interestingly, eazyBI also announced that a brand new product eazyBI for Confluence will be announced soon. Keep your eyes peeled for the Beta.


There were various presentations throughout the 2-day event, from eazyBI, partners, and of course customers.

Most participants were trying to achieve the same ultimate goal: to improve operational efficiencies by consolidating and automating reporting. Here are a few tips and tricks from some highlighted speakers:

  • Build and test use cases; keep things simple; engage with eazyBI and the community! - Breann Jew from Shareworks
  • Be careful with performance - Daina Tupule from eazyBI
    • find the right KPIs among many!
    • use JavaScript pre-calculations during import
    • only pull relevant data in your imports - e.g. import by project, time, or domain
  • Maximise engagement with your audience if you’re embedding eazyBi dashboards in external tools (e.g. Capterra, Concerto) - e.g. be careful with timings and don’t include too many slides! - Elvis Kvalbergs from Flex.bi
  • Consider using eazyBI for your SAFe reports - with bespoke reporting, you can reliably gauge what % of commitment was actually delivered (not just number of story points) - Marten Thorand, demicon

Some really useful tips were shared by Jānis Gulbis from eazyBI in his presentation on the ‘Do’s and Don’ts of data Visualization’. Ultimately charts need to be simple and easy to understand:

  • keep things simple: aim for 1 insight per chart!
  • bear in mind the data-ink ratio: remove to improve
  • use colours sparingly and try using contrast instead
  • use the same colour scheme across your reports to ensure consistency
  • remove redundant elements such as background, borders, and special effects
  • make sure you sort by value, not name (except when working with time dimensions)
  • try not to use pie charts - apparently humans aren’t very good at judging areas and angles!
  • use tabular charts for small data sets
  • keep your column and bar charts to a maximum of 5-7 measures
  • use %‘s rather than numbers in column and histogram charts - also put the time dimension on the horizontal axis and work left-to-right
  • don’t skip values in line charts and aim for < 45 degree slope

All of the presentations were recorded over the two days and will be made available on the eazyBI website. Keep an eye too on future events.

What next?

Get busy building reports in eazyBI!

We look forward to participating again in future events with eazyBI and other ecosystem vendors. They’re really a fantastic opportunity to share and network with the wider community, and we’d encourage customers and partners to partake in these valuable exercises.

Oh - and wouldn’t it be great if we could bring Riga’s drift racing to Scotland?!! (picture courtesy of eazyBI)