1655462580 <![CDATA[Blog]]> /blog english nigel@newverveconsulting.com Copyright 2022 2022-06-17T10:43:00+00:00 <![CDATA[The Importance of Work-Life Balance While Working Remotely]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/the-importance-of-work-life-balance-while-working-remotely https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/the-importance-of-work-life-balance-while-working-remotely#When:10:43:00Z A little over two years ago, office life changed to a degree we’d never seen before, as lockdowns came into force in the wake of COVID-19. This was a dramatic shift for businesses, as we took a leap away from the office and into the unknown.

56% of workers asked in a recent Gitlab survey had never worked from home before 2020. Now, remote working is something that has become increasingly prominent in our post-pandemic society. New Verve, like many companies, was office-based pre-pandemic; we’ve since shifted to remote-first working permanently.

This has created many benefits, both for the organisation and our staff. Being flexible with where and how employees work suits the new remote nature of our company.

Our main focus is on results rather than presenteeism, which we have found leads to employee satisfaction. We also understand the importance of work-life balance when it comes to remote working, as the distinction between work and home can become vague over time. We use Atlassian tools and have checks in place to ensure our employees feel empowered and happy at work.
A Wildgoose survey has also shown that remote workers take shorter lunch breaks and struggle with ‘always being on’. It’s true that remote working can blur the lines between your job and leisure, which can in turn lead to burnout.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

It’s important that there’s a divide between home and work to ensure employees have a good work-life balance.

When many companies made the move to remote working they discovered great benefits. One of these was greater work flexibility and the redundancy of a daily commute, allowing their employees to take more time every day to work on themselves. However, this shift came with issues too; isolated working made it far more difficult for companies to recognise potential issues with their employees. This highlighted a vital need for improved communication between all levels in a company to ensure employees’ well-being was recognised when working remotely.

With 90% of work-based absences being due to stress, companies must prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health. 73% of companies that took part in the 2022 CIPD and Simplyhealth survey have taken steps towards flexible working hours and improving work/life balance to try and remedy this epidemic of stress at work.

Evidence suggests that improving work time and location flexibility contribute to an increase in employee retention, productivity and satisfaction. By trusting employees to be autonomous over their work schedules and clearly outlining expectations companies can expect to find employee commitment and happiness increasing.
New Verve hosts regular socials that are built into the work week. These allow time for informal chats between colleagues to create and build stronger working relationships. On Wednesdays, the team play a variety of games which help with communication and allow everyone to see how others work and think. Then, on Fridays, there is an afternoon catch-up where everyone can discuss their weekend plans, and how they’re doing. These socials are a way to maintain a social aspect to remote working where employees may feel isolated or disconnected from their team and company.

Maintaining a Social Aspect to Remote Working

Everyone gains from these socials as the relationships built upon are applicable in a professional situation and can create smoother interactions. Chatting with people that work for totally different areas of the company also illuminates how all departments work together towards a bigger picture.

Catch up with a Colleague is another weekly meeting that the New Verve team take part in. Each person will have a 30-60 minute catch-up call with another colleague, picked at random from across the business. It offers a time to find out more about the people you work with and not just focus on the work they do.

These catch-ups highlight the importance of work-life balance as they help connect all areas of the company and refocus the bigger picture of New Verve. It is crucial to maintain these practices in a remote situation to ensure all members of New Verve feel connected.

New Verve employees also have the option to go into an on-demand, serviced office if they feel like that suits them better. These offices can be booked alongside colleagues for a more social experience too.

Finally, we also conduct pulse surveys which are anonymous and allow the team to comment on any issues they are facing as well as anything they are finding helpful. We have a Wellness Champion who fosters an open space that encourages team communication and signposts relevant wellness resources to the wider team.
New Verve has always strived for an inclusive and healthy working atmosphere. During COVID-19 we found that we could apply and maintain these values in a remote working situation. We constructively optimised the use of our Atlassian tools to carry forward the importance of work-life balance into remote working.

Using Technology to Stay Connected

These tools have been vital to the smooth transition from the physical to the remote office, helping to ensure transparency and accountability in isolation. These standards have, in turn, reduced tension and increased communication in a remote environment.

Tools such as Confluence allow a team to collaborate on a document in real-time from anywhere with an internet connection. Similarly, Jira tickets permit easy delegation, as well as an openness about workloads. An important aspect of these tools is that they make communicating remotely easy. This leads to a connected team that can thrive in an environment of honesty and accountability.

Working with a ticketing system like Jira creates order and ensures expectations are clear to prevent undue stress. The team know the upcoming tasks, what’s done and what is to be done. Making keeping up with everything easy since everyone can view the boards and update their tasks.

Working remotely can de-prioritise the importance of work-life balance. Wildgoose found that 55% of respondents urged for communication and expectations to be kept within working hours in order to reduce burnout and stress while working remotely.
Each team hosts daily stand-ups where individuals go through their daily tasks and discuss any points they have. These help with team alignment and clarify the focus of the team. Similarly, at the end of a project, we have retros which are a point for the team to evaluate and discuss together. During these retros, we take the time to highlight what went well and what could change in the future to help the team stay on the same page.

Setting Clear Expectations

At New Verve there are clear expectations on working hours, we operate on flexible hours which allows our employees to do what is best for them. We also finish early on a Friday which allows for a nice start to the weekend. At New Verve we value the importance of work-life balance and want our whole team to feel healthy, well, valued and supported.

At New Verve we establish a learning culture and ensure that the team takes part in enablement activities of their choice for one day a week, this means we operate on a 4+1 working week. This gives time for everyone to choose a training topic of their choice to work on and improve their skills. It also ties into one of New Verve’s main values; always keep an open mind.

A principle practice at New Verve is the monthly 1-2-1’s an employee has with their manager. These are more personal, and confidential than other meets. They ensure each individual at New Verve gets the support they need and has the time to discuss any issues. Similarly, the 1-2-1’s help to gain feedback on what is going well for employees and what they enjoy at work; they are another space to check-in and ensure that our team feels their workload is balanced.

By using Atlassian tools to support our values and priorities we make remote working, work. In addition to being able to hire people from across the country, moving away from a physical office has brought us many benefits. These include higher employee retention and satisfaction.

With checks and balances in place to ensure a good work-life balance, remote working can be rewarding. Individuals are given the freedom to decide what is right for them and work in a way that meets both their work-life balance needs and the needs of New Verve.

Do you feel like you are a good fit for the New Verve team and share our values? Have a look at our careers page.

If you enjoyed this blog, try reading 7 Tips for Effective Confluence Organisation.

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<![CDATA[Moving to Cloud: Considering Your Cloud Migration Strategy]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/moving-to-cloud-considering-your-cloud-migration-strategy https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/moving-to-cloud-considering-your-cloud-migration-strategy#When:10:18:00Z It feels like everyone is talking about cloud migration, as many organisations realise the benefits of using software as a service. Increasingly, IT and transformation teams are passed the edict from the c-suite to move to cloud. The cornerstone to a successful move to the cloud is a carefully considered cloud migration strategy - read on to find out more.

The Rising Popularity of the Cloud

Cloud-based services are more popular now than ever before. We’ve seen demand for this technology increase steadily in previous years, but according to Paul Delory, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, the pandemic has had a real impact on this:

“Cloud adoption accelerated rapidly during the pandemic, and will accelerate still further in the years to come. Cloud services let smart business leaders respond quickly to opportunities — or threats. Businesses that successfully exploit cloud computing will have a competitive advantage, and it might even determine whether they survive.”

The instances of suitable use cases for cloud services are also increasing, according to Gartner, as technology continues to advance. Atlassian is a strong proponent of cloud-based services, as they see the value that these solutions offer.

Looking into the future, some experts predict that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will migrate entirely away from on-premises data centers in favour of colocation and cloud infrastructure.

Why Move to Cloud?

As we’ve covered, we’re aware of more and more businesses moving to cloud, but what’s the reasoning behind the change?

The Advantages

There are immense benefits that arise from moving to cloud. For many businesses, the reduced operational costs and lower staffing requirements give them a real advantage over their competitors. If your competitors are already taking advantage of these elements, then your business may struggle to keep up.

The lower maintenance and operational costs offered by the cloud platform can have a serious impact on the bottom line of any business. The costs associated with hardware and hosting (as well as any unscheduled downtime) could also be eating into your IT budget, which may be better used elsewhere.

Enough about the cost element; what about reliability? In terms of outages, cloud vendors pride themselves on high availability, whereas on premises server issues can halt work for teams until they are resolved.

If you are using Atlassian tools, like Confluence or Jira, then the cloud-based versions of these are increasingly outstripping their server counterparts - as Atlassian place more and more of their R&D funds into cloud products.

Finally, scalability is a real advantage of the cloud. In a server-based setting, you have limitations imposed by hardware that require upgrades for larger user groups or additional data. With cloud-based platforms, it’s simpler to scale up and down to meet business requirements.

The Disadvantages

There are cons to moving to cloud too. As with any new technology implementation, it takes time to learn about the options available, get c-suite buy-in, and educate users. While the rewards of moving to cloud are great, if you don’t have capacity for the initial overhead then you won’t be able to get to that point.

When your new cloud infrastructure is in place, you’ll also have new issues to diagnose and fix such as updating existing resources to point to your new infrastructure, performing a post-migration clean-up of unused configurations, or refactoring existing customisations and integrations to be compatible with the new platform. There are plenty of guides, courses, and communities out there that will help you with this, but you’ll need to get into the right mindset to take advantage of these.

One of the most daunting elements that a cloud migration poses is the risk of data loss - you don’t want your CEO’s presentation to go missing right when they need it! The fear of losing important data can be off-putting, but there are many things that you can do to mitigate this risk. It’s essential to work with all departments to inventory their data and create a clear migration plan.

There are many more pros and cons to consider before you decide to move to cloud; we’re only touching on a few of them in this article. Keep your eyes peeled for in-depth articles from us in future.

Outlining Your Cloud Migration Strategy

With all of these elements in mind, it’s time to start thinking about your cloud migration strategy. Your cloud migration strategy is your roadmap to success and will inform your process. Taking this time to prepare and research can save you vast amounts of time and effort later.

If you’re unsure about how to approach your cloud migration strategy, then engaging a solutions partner can be helpful. Companies like ours specialise in lending their expertise to your cloud migration; we kick the process off with a discovery exercise, which allows us to create a tailored roadmap and make recommendations for next steps.

To start this process, you should assess the current state of affairs. This is a good time to run through the apps you use, the current number of users, the capacity of your team, and any contractual obligations to suppliers. This investigative process will be key to identify risks and gaps in your current knowledge.

Ideally, this should be a team effort, rather than relying solely on one person. It’s a big job and one that also requires oversight from others to highlight any areas you may have overlooked. Getting this part of the process right starts things off on the right foot, so be sure to emphasise its importance with your team and the wider organisation.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you’ll be able to start using it to decide what your next steps should be. This will also assist in creating the timeline portion of your cloud migration strategy, as you begin to understand the scope of the work.

There are many types of migration and tools that you can choose from when it comes to executing the move to cloud. You’ll want to take time to evaluate which of these is best for your organisation, as they vary greatly. Atlassian’s Migration Program contains a lot of literature and interactive tests to help you determine the best route. Whether you opt to select a date to move everything at once or choose to migrate on a departmental basis with breaks between migrations for support, it’s good to understand your options.

As you reason through these steps, you should also be documenting your rationale and plans. Working centrally in a tool like Confluence allows for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. As you build up your knowledge, you can use this to share user guides, runbooks and other helpful documentation across the business.

At the end of your cloud migration strategy is the biggest step of all: execution. This is when you take all of that research and planning, then put them to use! Top tip: using Jira to help you track the workload can ensure that no vital steps are missed! With a well-thought-out plan, you’ll be ready to take this step with all of the necessary information on your side.

For those of you who like getting your hands dirty, Atlassian offers migration assistant apps which empower you to execute your migration strategy for basic migrations in just a few clicks. However, if your site includes complex configurations, bespoke customisations, and a lot of third-party apps, then we’re here to help! Our solutions team have helped many organisations just like yours with successful and smooth cloud migrations.

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Want to learn more about cloud migration? Check out our blog on Migrating Jira Server to Cloud with Exalate.

<![CDATA[7 Tips for Effective Confluence Organisation]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/7-tips-for-effective-confluence-organisation https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/7-tips-for-effective-confluence-organisation#When:07:05:00Z Confluence is a knowledge-sharing powerhouse; by using it, your team can share and collaborate on a wide variety of different documents.

Sounds great, right? But what happens when too many users bring their own style to the table and your Confluence instance starts to resemble more of a jumble sale than an organised library? This kind of disorganisation can make it more difficult to find the documentation that you need.

If you want to avoid this fate, then you can ensure all users are on the same page by creating some best practice guidance. We asked our Solutions team for their top tips to keep your Confluence instance orderly.

Limit the Number of Sub-Pages in a Node

Nodes are great ways to group documentation together. However, having a top-level node with hundreds of pages under it can make it much harder to locate specific items. Once you get to around 20 pages under a single node, it’s time to think about breaking things up.

Use sub-nodes to break a broad topic (like strategy) into more specific topics (like strategies relating to specific projects or time periods). This will help you to keep things tidy, as you can easily navigate from an overarching concept into more detail.

Choose Naming Conventions and Stick Them

We don’t always think in the same way as our colleagues; what one person may title ‘Meeting Notes 05/01/2022’ another person may call ‘2022-01-05 Meeting Notes’. Neither is wrong in this example, but the latter naming convention allows Confluence to sort by date as you place the year, then month, then day sequentially.

The latter style of sorting can only work effectively if everyone follows this naming convention, otherwise as you reach the bottom of the node you’d find a disorganised group of documents. The same logic applies to most documents, so take time to ensure you’re all on the same page when it comes to naming.

Document titles should be short but descriptive - if they’re too long then you’ll find it difficult to read the whole title at a glance. For example, if you were looking for the ‘Client Name - Project - Meeting Notes 05/01/2022’ document, you’d have to hover over every title in the sidebar in order to see the date. In this case, the node and sub-node should already tell you the client name and project, so there’s no need for this additional information. You could even dedicate a sub-node just to meeting notes about this project and then you’d only need the date within the title.

Confluence won’t allow more than one page with the same name so duplicate pages aren’t an issue. However, if you start to see pages with an existing name and a modifier (such as ‘(1)’, ‘new’, or ‘final’) then this could be a sign that things might start to get messy. In isolation, one of these may not be a concern, but if you’re looking for a design and finding ‘final final’ or ‘final CEO approved’ then it becomes confusing as to which you should use.

Utilise Your Personal Space

Every Confluence user has a personal space, which is separate from any projects you may be working on. Using this properly can help you refrain from adding informal or unfinished documents into a project.

Use your personal space for notes, meeting notes, quick reminders, and anything else that you don’t want clogging up a project. You can always tidy these notes up and add them into the main project when you’re ready if they’re required.

Archive What You Don’t Need

Although it can be tempting to keep every document just in case, there will be items that you no longer need within your instance. Redundant runbooks for unsupported software, HR documents about members of staff that no longer work with you, unused logo concepts - these can generally be safely archived away from your main Confluence space. You’ll still be able to access this data should you need it but it won’t appear in searches or in the main hierarchy.

Maintain Key Pages

Interlinking pages within Confluence is a great way of signposting information. For example, you may have a page covering a tool, which then leads to process guides and troubleshooting. This is a wonderful way to help your colleagues find the information they need, without having to look through one extensive document.

However, this page flow can cause issues, as if you move a page or delete it the link will no longer work. Try to keep this in mind when making large-scale changes.

Create a Miscellaneous Section

This tip comes with a very important caveat; don’t treat a miscellaneous section like a dumping ground! By creating a miscellaneous section, you can make progress without worrying about perfection too much.

If you’re not sure where a document should live in your Confluence instance, then you can add it to this section in the interim. When you have groups of documents with similar characteristics (like a group of sales reports or runbooks) then you can create a node to keep them together outside of the miscellaneous section.

Publish this Information Centrally!

It’s fantastic to set out all of these best practice rules, but if you don’t share them with your colleagues then you’ll be the only one following them. Confluence is above all a collaborative tool, so it’s entirely logical that any rules you set for the space should be reached with the help and influence of colleagues.

These rules will likely evolve as you become more accustomed to Confluence and how it fits with your team’s way of working. The golden rule is to keep things simple and logical as you amass more and more documentation.

As with most things in life, it’s far easier to start with and maintain an organised Confluence instance than it is to tidy a vast, disorganised document library. The more users the Confluence instance has, the quicker this can get out of hand, so don’t delay in creating and sharing your own best practice guide.

Need help to set up an organised Confluence instance? Get in touch with us today!

<![CDATA[Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series Round Up]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-in-scotland-2021-webinar-series-round-up https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-in-scotland-2021-webinar-series-round-up#When:09:35:00Z After the success of the 2020 Webinar Series, we decided to bring Atlassian in Scotland back for another year!

The Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series took place in the latter half of 2021 and into the first few months of 2022. The series brought together local, national and international Atlassian users to discover, collaborate and have fun!

This year our focus was Cloud Migration. As Atlassian transition to a Cloud-first organization, we wanted to arm attendees with the tools and knowledge to migrate smoothly. The series featured a range of speakers from across the Cloud ecosystem and covered topics such as the journey to Cloud, migration best practice and tips, partner demos, migration tools, customer stories, and much more!

Here are some of the key moments from across the series.

Our Partners

We work with a range of trusted partners to help build our bespoke solutions and we rely on them for their in-depth knowledge, so we couldn’t wait to showcase their expertise throughout the series.

We started the series with Atlassian, of course!

Solutions Engineer, Mert Unsal talked us through Atlassian’s Cloud vision. Mert told us that Cloud is the future and that Atlassian expect 80% of enterprise workloads to shift to Cloud by 2025!

Still not convinced on migration to Cloud? Here are Mert’s reasons to move to Cloud:

  • Scale faster and more affordably
  • Improve speed and performance
  • Increase team productivity
  • Future-proof your teams in the cloud
  • Increase profits and lower costs

If you would rather take a more gradual approach to migration, our other partners, Exalate, can help out. Exalate is an issue-by-issue migration solution that allows you to migrate to Cloud at your own pace. Jose Lobo, an Exalate Presales Engineer, joined us for the second webinar and explained how migrating in stages can help your company have a successful move to Cloud.

Migrating issue-by-issue means you gradually transfer issues from the original instance to the system you are migrating to. It takes longer, but lets people move at their own pace. The benefits of this migration tactic include ensuring staff are happy with the new system before completing the move, more easily spotting errors and refining your approach to fixing migration problems.

And finally, once you’ve migrated you’ll want to customize and enhance your solution to meet your team’s needs. That’s where Refined comes in!

Refined is a theming tool for Jira and Confluence that specialises in giving users the power to build custom, branded sites with no code required. Raj Sehmi, a Refined Customer Success Specialist, taught us about Refined’s migration path and what users can expect after the move to Cloud. Raj give some tips about how to get the most out of your Cloud set up:

  • Use migration as an opportunity to evaluate your existing setup on server and make improvements in Cloud
  • Leverage the flexibility of Cloud to decide if, when and how to combine projects and streamline
  • Migrating gives you the opportunity to optimize your content, so you can prepare your base content in the best way possible
  • By starting with the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), you can use it to evaluate and gather feedback before rolling more complex use cases

Our Customers

Of course, when you’re deciding on your migration journey you want to hear from those who’ve done it before. That’s why we invited some of our Cloud customers to give their perspective and tips for the move.

New Verve worked with Kantar to help them migrate to Atlassian Cloud, and their IT Liaison Executive, Randeep Mann, took us through that experience. We heard the challenges of a large-scale migration, as well as how life has improved for Kantar since their move to Cloud.

Randeep will tell us why working with a New Verve was so important in having a successful migration:

“New Verve were able to provide project management for the migration, they were able to capture all the information we required, they very much freed our team to not have to get too involved with this as much as possible and we worked on planning a soft launch before very quickly migrating off our current solution.”

We were also joined by two more migration customers for our panel discussion, although both at very different stages of their journey.

Student Loans Company have completed their move to Cloud and are enjoying the benefits migration has brought with it. Their Operational Manager, Peter Bruning, joined us for the discussion. Whereas, Synergy Learning are only just beginning their migration, having recently undertaken an initial audit with New Verve. They were represented by their Head of Operations, Peter Hinds.

The panel covered a range of questions such as what they’re both most excited about in Cloud, the biggest challenges they faced in their migrations, and whether New Verve and Atlassian could do more to support them at each step of the move.

The panel was rounded off by Atlassian Solutions Engineer, Sasha Wiswedel and it was great to get his input on the migration issues and benefits our customers discussed.

We made sure to use the opportunity to ask Atlassian anything. Sasha gave us a useful insight into the Atlassian Cloud Migration Assistants that have been such a big help to so many migrations, he explained the benefits the knowledge base for Jira Service Management Cloud will bring and generally provided valuable Atlassian insight when discussing a migration to Cloud.

How we can help

After what you’ve heard in this series I’m sure you’re ready to start your own Cloud journey and New Verve can help!

Whether you’re on a single application such as Jira Software or need to merge multiple instances into one, we can help design your migration strategy and carry out the heavy lifting for you. The stages of migration we can provide are:

  • Pre-migration health check
  • Migration plan
  • Data migration
  • Data merge from multiple sites
  • Post-migration support

We can support and guide you throughout the journey. Everyone’s path to cloud looks different but we’re here to make sure you choose the path that’s right for your team!

You can watch all the presentations in full, along with Q&A sessions and additional presentations from New Verve, on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the series and helped make it such a success. If you’re ready to start your Cloud Migration journey, or you’d just like a little help along the way then get in touch and we’d be happy to help!

<![CDATA[Atlassian Team ‘22 Highlights]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-team-22-highlights https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-team-22-highlights#When:08:53:00Z We’re bringing you all the important updates from Atlassian’s annual flagship conference!

Team ‘22 is Atlassian’s “ultimate teamwork event” and it took place in-person in Las Vegas on 5 April. The event was then broadcast online from the 6 April for those who couldn’t make it. The event showcased Atlassian leaders and innovators giving keynote speeches across ITSM, DevOps & Agile, Work Management and more. Here are some of the main updates from the event and some of Team New Verve’s highlights!

Atlassian Data Lake and Atlassian Analytics

One of the most exciting updates from Team ‘22 was the announcement of Atlassian Data Lake and Atlassian Analytics. Available for Jira Software and Jira Service Management, the Data Lake pools analytical information from across the tools, and Analytics offers easier ways of creating reports and dashboards.

Using the Data Lake, Atlassian Analytics will provide cross-project and cross-product overviews of workflows. Users will have a non-code solution to explore and analyse their data through a clean and user-friendly interface. In the future, watch out for the ability to directly connect to other BI tools so your teams can continue using their preferred tool with enhanced data sources.

The New Verve team are particularly excited about the cross-instance reporting! Atlassian Analytics will enable us to look at two Jira Software instances used by different parts of the organisation and collate that data into a single report inside Jira, making the process much more efficient.

Step-Up Credit Now Available for Cloud Migrations

If you’ve not yet migrated to Cloud and are waiting for the end of your Server or Data Center maintenance period then this announcement is for you!

Atlassian have announce there will be a step-up credit of unused Server or DC maintenance offered to customers who migrate to Cloud before their maintenance period is up. This offering is available for Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Management, and Bitbucket Premium as a step-up to Cloud and is available to customers who:

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then get in touch as we’d love help you make use of this benefit and start the move to Atlassian Cloud.

  • Have at least 201 users on Jira Software, Confluence or Bitbucket Premium
  • Have at least 51 users on Jira Service Management
  • Have at least 6 months remaining on their server or data center contract

Introducing Atlas and Compass

Atlas and Compass are the latest and greatest products from the Atlassian family and were showcased at Team ‘22!

Atlas is a teamwork directory that enables teams to openly communicate and get context about their work, not only within teams, but across teams as well. The tool works to connect the dots across teams, their apps, and work - wherever it happens.

Compass helps software teams master the complexity of their distributed software architecture by bringing disconnected information and teams together in one place. It unlocks incredible efficiency and a shared understanding for your teams.

The on-demand sessions from the event are still available to watch online on the Team ‘22 event page.

Get in touch!

If you would like to learn more about any of these exciting announcements, then get in touch and speak to one of the Atlassian experts in our Solutions Team!

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If you enjoyed this blog, you may like Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series Round Up

<![CDATA[Tips and Tricks for Successful Jira Project Management]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-successful-jira-project-management https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-successful-jira-project-management#When:14:02:00Z Jira is an incredibly powerful tool for project management, with many features to help your team do their best work. However, it’s not a magic wand that ensures success every time you use it; it’s down to you to prepare your team and define your processes within Jira. We’re here to share tips and tricks for successful Jira project management to set you on the right path.

An Introduction to Jira

Jira was launched in 2002 by Atlassian as an issue and project tracking tool. In the years since, it has grown to encompass much more than its original issue-tracking remit. Similarly, the target audience for Jira has grown from solely software developers to a broad range of disciplines and business functions.

At its core, Jira gives users the ability to create tickets, assign them to team members, and allocate a status that relates to the progress of the ticket. For example, a project manager may wish to assign a task to a developer, handover the work and receive updates as it progresses from ‘to do’ to ‘done’.

Workflows in Jira can be much more complex than this and projects with a lot of moving parts can benefit from the kind of overview that Jira creates. However, the tool requires users to provide information and your team will need to understand how the tool fits in with their work. That’s where our top tips come in…

Our Top Jira Project Management Tips

Align Jira’s Language with Your Own

It’s easy to get caught up in jargon and assume that everyone is on the same page when it comes to epics, stories, statuses, workflows, priorities, and all the other new terms you’ll encounter when setting up a project. However, your definition of the new terms that you’re encountering could be vastly different from a colleague’s.

When these breakdowns in communication happen, it can mean that project components can be forgotten or left in limbo without an effective handover between teams.

One of the ways you can remedy this is to go back to basics and map out your existing process with the terms you use; a flowchart or diagram is a great way to do this. Once you have this in place, start to annotate the diagram with the Jira terms you’ll be using and what the person assigned to the ticket at each stage should do. This will become your team’s Jira project management cheat sheet.

Effectively, everyone should be on the same page when it comes to what each status means and what work is expected at each stage.

These definitions can be flexible and change over time as you continue to use the tool. You should store this centrally, creating an open forum for collaboration with your team - Confluence is a great tool for this.

Outline Jira Tasks with Runbooks

On the subject of storing data centrally, runbooks can also help your team to deliver Jira project management success. What is a runbook? It’s a how-to guide for any given process - in this case, a process that takes place as a result of tasks on your Jira board. You can create these on a granular level for each step, as well as an overview of the process.

Hierarchical documentation allows readers to get a top-level view of what’s required, before delving deeper if necessary. Don’t be tempted to do this work alone; it should be a collective effort with each expert on the team lending their voice to define best practise at each step.

This can also be helpful when onboarding new members of staff, as they have a reference guide to call upon for their day-to-day tasks. This internal library is likely to grow and change as time goes on, with new processes being added and holes in documentation being addressed.

Use Tickets to Communicate

When you need to discuss specific tasks, communicating on the ticket can be very helpful. Through a comment, you can tag another user to bring the question or comment to their attention.

The user you’ve tagged can then look at the ticket’s history and previous comments to gain more context if they need it; their reply will also be added to the ticket for future reference too. This can cut down time during handovers; it can also reduce the number and length of emails sent between team members as there’s no need to brief the recipient on the context.

Many teams that use Jira choose to have regular stand-ups to talk about the tickets on the board and provide updates. In this case, the tickets and comments act as prompts for speedy information sharing.

Seek Insights from Reports

As you become more accustomed to Jira, you can start to access some more advanced features. Jira has a very robust reporting function, which can help project managers and team leads understand how work is being done on a larger scale. These insights can help you to identify bottlenecks in production, regular blockers, underutilised resources and much, much more.

Reports make it possible to see where your team’s time is going in any given period, the type of work that’s dominating schedules, and which projects or clients are most demanding. In order for these reports to work effectively, you should ensure tickets are categorised correctly as the report can only work with the data that you input.

If you’re considering implementing a new Jira project management environment, then working with a solutions partner can help you to get the most out of the effort that you expend. Our team are highly skilled in all elements of the implementation process, from initial discussion through to using reporting effectively.

Get in touch with us today for a no-obligation chat.

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<![CDATA[We’re Opening a New Office in Dublin!]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/were-opening-a-new-office-in-dublin https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/were-opening-a-new-office-in-dublin#When:08:11:00Z Hot on the heels of reaching the milestone of our 10th anniversary as a company, we’re expanding to the Republic of Ireland with a brand-new Dublin office.

We’re building on our success as the #1 Atlassian Gold Partner in the UK and bringing our wealth of knowledge to a new market.

Nigel Rochford, our CEO, commented:

“We’re delighted to be growing as a business - no mean feat with the impact of the pandemic still being felt by many businesses. Our team continues to be our most valuable asset and they’re also looking forward to working with clients in new territories. On a personal level, I’m also super excited with this move, especially as I’m a Dublin native myself!”

Alison Leung, Partner Manager at Atlassian comments:

“It’s fantastic to see New Verve Consulting flourishing in the UK and expanding into the Republic of Ireland. We’re looking forward to celebrating their successes as they win business with Irish clients.”

Our new office is located at 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin. To make things easy and convenient for our new customers in the Republic of Ireland, we now accept payment for our services in Euro.

Our technical team are well-versed in designing, implementing, and automating Atlassian-based solutions for a wide variety of clients. We’ll be offering our all of our services to prospective clients in the Republic of Ireland, including Cloud migration, managed support, licensing, and more.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with the likes of the Scottish Government, Social Security Scotland, Kantar Global, Mary’s Meals, the University of Dundee, and Skyscanner. You can check out our case studies to find out more about our previous work.

Atlassian solutions are used at over 200,000 organisations globally, with 83% of Fortune 500 companies using their software. We’re pleased to be extending our service area to help even more businesses unlock the power of their teams and free up time to do what they do best.

Interested in working with us? Get in touch for an initial consultation.

Related Reading

If you enjoyed this, you may like our blog about Celebrating 10 Years

<![CDATA[Happy International Women’s Day 2022 From Team New Verve]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/happy-international-womens-day-2022-from-team-new-verve https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/happy-international-womens-day-2022-from-team-new-verve#When:11:54:00Z
International Women's Day 2022
International Women’s Day 2022 theme

It’s International Women’s Day 2022 and we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the women of New Verve, as well as women across the tech industry!

One of our core company values is to collaborate as one diverse team and we believe in striving towards gender equality and diversity both within our team and within the industry. Currently at New Verve, just under a third of our staff are women but this number is something we are continuing to increase as the company grows. We know gender diversity is a problem across the tech industry and we’d like to play our part in changing that.

This year International Women’s Day is encouraging us to #breakthebias. There are systemic issues in all levels of the industry; these result in fewer females working in tech. Tech Nation, the government-funded growth network, found that just 26% of those in the tech workforce are women and only 9% of C-Suite leaders in tech companies analysed were female.

One woman who knows all about the lack of women in the industry is one of New Verve’s Technical Consultants, Lana Nesredin. We spoke to Lana about her experience as a woman in tech:

Lana Nesredin
Lana Nesredin

Can you tell me a bit about your background and your role at New Verve?

I am a Computer Science graduate; since graduating I have worked in various industries within technology and have held different roles.

Currently, I am a Technical Consultant and I joined New Verve Consulting about a month ago, so I’m still very new but the team has been very welcoming and amazing. My responsibilities are to speak with clients to gather their requirements and then - based on these details - design and implement a solution for the client and use the most suitable Atlassian product as part of that solution.

Whilst not working on client projects, I spend my time identifying areas that we can improve on and trying to leave the place better than I found it.

Did you always want to work in technology?

No! Throughout school I was sure that I wanted to become an Architect simply because I was very good at graphics and enjoyed improving my woodworking skills. All the teachers in that department were very nice and amazing to learn from, which made me like it even more.

When it came to thinking about university and which course to pick, I contemplated the idea of being an Architect and the prospects offered by this course: potentially graduating and not getting a job or not having much choice in where to work.

Then, one day while looking for jobs with good prospects online, I discovered the benefits of studying computing. After I completed my degree, I was happy to go with the flow and still wasn’t quite sure what the future would hold, and that’s when I fell into technology.

Do you think there is a lack of women in tech? If so, why?

Yes, for sure! In most of my roles I have either been the only woman or one out of a handful with the rest being male. At the time, I didn’t give it much thought as I was mainly focused on my career but now when I think back, I think there are various reasons for this.

Technology should be introduced earlier in school to give both male and female students equal opportunities to develop an interest in technology or any other STEM subjects. I certainly didn’t get enough exposure in school but outside of school, I was interested in fixing computer issues that we would have at home.

I feel that some companies are still not doing enough to attract more women in tech or they publicise encouraging more women in tech but in practice, not much is being done or is only selectively available.

It also goes back to management; if they are not fully aware of the issues facing women in tech, then they are potentially are losing out on the initiative and benefits of the women in their team. Some companies also participate in events and initiatives for women in tech as a box-ticking activity rather than making it part of the culture and a more natural conversation about making real change.

There are also not enough women leaders in technology or where there are aspiring women leaders, they have to work harder than their male counterparts in the hopes that they will be noticed and promoted.

Part of the mindset surrounding women in tech is still not changing because of media portrayal and what’s being presented as the face of technology.

We often see men in technology making headlines on TV and other media outlets; for women in or aspiring to work in technology there much representation or exposure of women in the workplace - other than what you research on your own.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?

Throughout my career, I have met so many amazing people who either inspired me to build my career further or that helped me to rethink, learn from their mistakes and how to do it better. So, I would say I was inspired by everyone that I have crossed paths with - even if it has been a general conversation.

My family would definitely have to be my main mentors and source of inspiration, without them I don’t think I would have been where I am today. They taught me to never give up even when you have reached the end of the road as there will always be a way.

I think that is probably why at the time earlier in my career, I didn’t give much thought to the drawbacks of being a woman in tech. It’s about the environment that you have grown in and the foundation you have been built on, with a supportive upbringing you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

What advice would you give to a young female considering a career in the technology industry?

I would say go for it! There are so many reasons to work in tech and some of which are:

  • It gives you the freedom to travel around the world; if you want to become a digital nomad or just work remotely then you have fantastic skills to allow you to earn while travelling.
  • There are so many industries and companies that you can work for. You have unlimited choices of places and industries to pick from.
  • You’ll never run out of work or skills to learn and every day is a new day to learn something new.
  • But most importantly the future is technology! Need I say more?!

What are your hopes for the future of gender diversity in tech?

I hope that we see more women in technology and into leadership roles. I would like women to become a new face of technology. I’d like to see more public exposure, for women to be recognised for their work whichever industry they are in - whether it’s technology or other STEM subjects.

With that, I’d also hope to see a change in the media outlet mindset and not have one specific character or face representing an industry.

I’d like companies to actually put changes in practice and update their culture to include more initiatives, standards and policies to address the gender gap.

Senior management should take the initiative and recognise women for their work without the need for them to work harder in the hopes of being recognised and be promoted.

Male leaders should help women in technology break barriers, as you never know what barrier you will be helping to break (e.g. first woman in her family tree to get into technology, first woman you help in becoming a leader in company, etc).

More technology or STEM subject exposure in school!

Parents should be mindful of how they teach their children and not favour one subject over the other based on gender. Present them the options with information but let the child make the choice.

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Lana!

Our hopes for the future

While the number of women in the technology industry is increasing, there’s still a lot more to be done and we should all hold ourselves accountable when aiming to decrease the gender gap.

Team New Verve wishes you all a happy International Women’s Day. We hope those in the technology industry and beyond can use today as their starting point to reflect on women in the industry and how we can all continue to encourage further diversity and equality.

Interested in working for Team New Verve? Check out our latest vacancies on our careers page!

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<![CDATA[Migrating Jira Server to Cloud With Exalate]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/migrating-jira-server-to-cloud-with-exalate https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/migrating-jira-server-to-cloud-with-exalate#When:10:02:00Z In this guest blog, Exalate explains how to use their tool to migrate to Cloud at your own pace. Jose Lobo, Presales Engineer at Exalate, presented this overview alongside an Exalate demo from New Verve’s Technical Consultant, Jamie McCulloch at the second webinar in the Atlassian in Scotland 2021 webinar series.

In this article, you’ll learn about migrating Jira to the cloud using an integration tool called Exalate. You’ll discover several approaches and recommended practices, and read about specific issues encountered during a migration.

Exalate is primarily an integration tool but it can also help you transfer your projects from one place to another. It works with these platforms:

  • Azure DevOps
  • Jira
  • GitHub
  • Zendesk
  • ServiceNow
  • HP ALM
  • Salesforce

You can also connect multiple instances of the same platform.

Types of Migration:

There are several possible approaches to cloud migration:
Let’s see what those involve.

  • The Big Bang Approach
  • Project by Project Approach
  • Issue by Issue Approach

The Big Bang Approach

In the big bang approach, you migrate everything at once, perhaps over a weekend or holiday.

It’s fast, but there are some problems. Migration errors can occur. When a lot of data is involved, these are easy to miss.

Also, employees may not be ready to use the new platform, especially if they haven’t been trained. They have to adapt suddenly.

For these reasons, we don’t recommend it.

Project By Project

Here, you move projects over one at a time. This works well on a small scale, but has similar problems to the big bang with larger migrations.

You still need to think about the above issues, though they are less common.

Issue by issue, or Live Migration

This is Exalate’s recommended method.

Here, you gradually transfer issues from the origin instance to the system you are migrating to. It takes longer, but lets people move at their own pace.

You can wait until staff are happy with the new system before completing the move.

It’s easier to spot errors too, due to the more gradual rate of transfer. You can verify data matches the original source, and try again if errors occur. Fixing problems in this way helps refine your approach.

Once all the data has been checked, you can retire the original instance.

More About Exalate

Exalate can handle roughly 300 tickets per hour. It can synchronize data on multiple cloud instances. Even with multiple connections, it still costs the same.

What Can You Sync?

Exalate lets you synchronize issue data. The terminology varies by platform. For example, Jira uses tickets with descriptions that you can sync just like issues.

Issues contain various fields, which can all be synced. You can choose which are mapped, and what maps to what. You can even use code logic to make decisions based on issue content.

For example, the status or issue types on the source could be sent anywhere on the destination instance - to the description, the title or equivalent fields. You need to create any custom fields yourself, however.

Exalate doesn’t migrate project configuration. You can do that manually, or with another tool.

Exalate as an Integration Solution

Exalate supports multiple use cases. It can filter and adjust data as necessary.

Live integration means tickets are automatically synchronized and updated between different systems.

To try Exalate yourself, reach out and book a demo. It has a 30-day free trial and experts on hand to explain how it can help you. There’s also a freemium plan available.

Case Study: New Verve Consulting - Our journey with Exalate

Let’s see why New Verve Consulting chose Exalate for their migration.

New Verve Consulting chose a hybrid approach. Though looking to take advantage of the benefits of Jira Cloud, they still needed functionality only available on Jira Server.

Why Exalate?

They chose issue syncing apps to ensure the least disruption for their team and the least implementation effort, letting them focus on other things.

They needed a solution that would consolidate work no matter where it was being tracked, and act as a single source of truth.

Jira Cloud has limited reporting capabilities, and lacks feature parity with Jira Server apps. They also have lots of reports on Jira Server that aren’t available on Jira Cloud.

Setting up a sync between Jira Cloud and Jira Server let them take advantage of both, and ease the transition. Migrating from cloud to server is unusual. One of Exalate’s advantages is its versatile approach that covers all scenarios.

They also had to pick which fields to use, including several custom fields.

New Verve Consulting investigated various issue tracking apps, looking for the following functionality:

  • JIra Cloud and Server Support
  • Custom field support
  • One and two way sync needed for future scenarios.
  • Customization, to include and exclude fields as needed.
  • Easy to pick issues, setup and test.

Exalate was the clear winner!

Their implementation strategy was to migrate issue per issue, ensuring their users kept the same interaction with Jira as before the sync, and having a single source of truth.

The plan involved three steps.

Firstly, initial setup. Configuration had to be done manually. After creating a target project

The instances were connected by initiating a connection on one side and accepting it on the other.

The sync rules were updated to decide what maps to what.

Step two was a test run. They added JQL triggers to decide when and what to sync. These triggers can be updated any time. Jira users already know JQL, and it allows a lot of customization.

Then they ran Bulk exalate which captures all issues matching a JQL query. It worked as expected on the test issue.

Step three was the production run.

The triggers were modified to include everything required.

Bulk exalate was executed again.

After that, Exalate was now running in the background doing what it was set up to do. New Verve Consulting can now do the following as needed:

  • They can iterate and improve.
  • They can update the rules and triggers at any time.
  • They can add new fields.

Exalate in action

Let’s take a look at Exalate’s user interface.

Here on the connections screen, we are editing our connection.

  • You can change the outgoing incoming sync rules using the Groovy scripting language.
  • Much of what’s there is the default.
  • Comments show some of what you can do.
  • There’s also a visual mode that lets you avoid using code.
  • The outcoming and incoming rules don’t need to match.

On the triggers screen, you create JQL queries to catch issues you want to sync. Triggers can be easily activated, edited or deleted. You can also manually Bulk Exalate.

The errors screen lets you diagnose and resolve any problems. You can reattempt syncing until it works.

Working With Exalate

Let’s talk about New Verve Consulting’s experience of working with Exalate.

  • The implementation had:
  • A clear process to follow
  • Plentiful well maintained documentation, with examples and steps.
  • Helpful support from the Exalate community.

Exalate brings several benefits:

  • Silent Solution - no need for user interaction after setup (unless making changes)
  • Benefits of both Jira Cloud and Jira Server features
  • No Change in approach from users
  • No downtime
  • New Verve Consulting’s plans for the future include:
  • Migration of other projects to cloud (by project)
  • Syncing back to server for reporting
  • Migrating at their own pace. There is no downtime with Exalate migrations.

New Verve Consulting learned several lessons during the experience:

  • Migrations are not daunting, especially hybrid.
  • Unforeseen minor problems always happen, such as missing data and groovy errors. These are mitigated by using an iterative process.
  • Lower effort can bring a lot of reward. The integration took weeks and has been working for over a year.

Key Takeaways:

Exalate works as a migration tool - just stop syncing after it’s done.

There are tools to help you migrate - it doesn’t need to be as daunting as before.

  • Lower effort can bring a lot of reward. The integration took weeks and has been working for over a year.
  • Key Takeaways:

    Exalate works as a migration tool - just stop syncing after it’s done.

    There are tools to help you migrate - it doesn’t need to be as daunting as before.

    This post is based on a Webinar from the New Verve Presents Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series. You can watch it here.

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    This post is closely linked to our Webinar, you may like Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series Round Up

    <![CDATA[Celebrating Giving Tuesday with Mary’s Meals]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-giving-tuesday-with-marys-meals https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-giving-tuesday-with-marys-meals#When:16:03:00Z This Giving Tuesday, we would like to highlight the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals who are the deserving recipient of our first Pledge 1% campaign.

    New Verve Consulting is proud to have taken the pledge as part of the global movement Pledge 1% in order to give back to the local community by sharing our skills and giving our time. We chose the Scottish charity, Mary’s Meals as the recipient of our first Pledge 1% campaign and we are able to help them make a difference by committing up to 2 days per month for free to assist them in evolving their Atlassian solution.

    Upon hearing about our pledge, Mary’s Meals 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%.”

    The mission of Mary’s Meals is simple – to provide hungry children in some of the world’s poorest communities with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education. The promise of food encourages children back into the classroom so that they can continue learning and have the hope of a much brighter future.

    Currently Mary’s Meals feeds an incredible 2,058,099 children every school day in 20 countries from Haiti to India, often working in the most challenging of conditions and environments. Mary’s Meals is a low-cost charity and spends at least 93% of donations on charitable activities.

    As an Atlassian Solution Partner, we work directly with the Mary’s Meals Glasgow office IT team and assisted them in introducing Atlassian tools like Jira Service Management and Confluence to help streamline their internal service desk. Our work with them includes consulting and training on products. Our solutions and services help Mary’s Meals to efficiently offer their global support service and to manage the delivery of project work with third-party suppliers. You can read more about the technical solution we created with them in our case study.

    Mary’s Meals was also the charity sponsor for our event New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series and their Infrastructure and Operations Manager, Stephen Neil was one of our speakers. You can watch his presentation here.

    As you can imagine, it is vital that Mary’s Meals kept their costs as low as possible which is why our Pledge 1% campaign has been such an important benefit for them! As part of our Pledge 1% commitment, we gave 24 days of our time (£20,000) for free to Mary’s Meals since 2020. This has meant they’re able to provide high quality and efficient IT support while maintaining a low budget and ensuring their money is better spent elsewhere in the charity. Mary’s Meals Infrastructure and Operations Manager, Stephen Neil was delighted with our efforts and said:

    “Our experience of working with New Verve has been incredibly positive. From initial engagement they took time to understand our organisation, its aims, objectives, structure and processes so that they could become a valuable partner to us in delivering consulting and services.”

    After the success of our first Pledge 1% partnership, we are now looking to expand our commitment and involve more of our team in the initiative. Pledge 1% has solidified itself as a key part of New Verve’s strategy and has enabled us to integrate giving back into our culture and values.