Using Jira to manage studio workflow at Freedman International


Freedman International is a global marketing implementation agency, delivering cross-media marketing campaigns in multiple markets.

A number of years ago, Jira was selected as the tool of choice to manage production and studio workflow for Freedman International. Following an internal review, New Verve Consulting was approached to redesign and improve the way campaigns were managed in Jira.

We had two primary objectives:

  • to capture appropriate and complete information for jobs when they are created;
  • to collect data and report on production flow.

The Challenge

Freedman International was running an unsupported version of Jira (pre-Jira Software), so our first challenge was to migrate and upgrade the system.

We then faced numerous challenges in redesigning and implementing a fit-for-purpose Jira configuration:

  • redesigning and drastically simplifying the cross-team studio workflow;
  • lifting the team’s reliance on external reporting spreadsheets and centralising metrics within Jira;
  • introducing and rolling out new ways of working with Kanban boards;
  • migrating a large number of legacy projects to the new Jira configuration.

The Solution

Following an extensive Jira health check, which identified system-wide issues and risks, we arranged an initial discovery workshop at Freedman International’s offices in London. This enabled us to capture and formalise requirements for a new and improved setup in Jira.

The team embraced our recommendations, and we collaboratively refined and rapid-prototyped the new setup over a number of iterations.

To facilitate ease-of-use across multiple teams, from PM, to developers, and QC, the new workflow was kept as simple as possible. Business rules were mapped to multiple workflow conditions, validators, and post-functions. The team was then introduced to cross-project Kanban boards for visually managing and tracking jobs.

Screens were completely redesigned, and over 30 new custom fields were created. Many of these were scripted to enable automated data capture for reporting purposes (e.g. counting how many times a given transition takes place in the workflow).

To implement Freedman International’s complex automation and reporting requirements, we used ScriptRunner and eazyBI respectively. Our team has implemented multiple solutions over the years using these great apps, and they proved their worth once again.

We used Scriptrunner to implement various Groovy scripts:

  • automatically update job status based on sub-task statuses;
  • hide/how fields on-screen based on other selected options;
  • automatically track time spent on jobs based on workflow transitions and/or assignee updates.

Where the team previously relied on offline, disparate reports for tracking studio productivity, our solution with eazyBI now brings this data into a consolidated system, removes manual intervention, and ultimately saves time and money. Some of the reports implemented include:

  • volume of work by client passing through the studio each month (subdivided into various dimensions);
  • volume of amends required each month by campaign/client;
  • volume of jobs requiring PM reviews and/or QC each month;
  • time spent on jobs each month.

In parallel with our new and improved Jira solution, we also moved Freedman International off an unsupported version of Jira. We migrated the instance to our own managed services infrastructure in AWS and brought the software right up-to-date.

We continue to manage and maintain Freedman International’s Jira instance, and often implement additional improvements and quick wins to the solution.

Categories: Automation Reporting

Technologies: Jira Core, Jira Software, eazyBI, ScriptRunner, Apwide File Field, Suite Utilities, Jira Misc Workflow Extensions

6 issue types

were created to easily identify all types of work.

30+ custom fields

were created across 19 screens to capture and track information.

10+ bespoke scripts

were created in Groovy as field behaviours, scripted listeners, and workflow conditions, validators, and post functions.

9 eazyBI reports

were implemented to centrally track crucial business information.

2500+ issues migrated

from their legacy configuration to new streamlined ways of working.

Jira in the New Verve Cloud

we host and support Jira for Freedman International using our AWS infrastructure.

"I was really fortunate to come across New Verve a few months ago when we were struggling to get JIRA working effectively. Nigel and his team are true experts, highly professional, and very reliable. They quickly and easily diagnosed our issues, proposed a staged improvement plan and implemented this, with training, flawlessly. I have no hesitation in recommending Nigel and his team at New Verve to anyone seeking to get maximum value from JIRA or other Atlassian products. They are a superb team."

- Kevin Freedman, Chief Executive
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