More transparency in IT and with external service providers – this was the challenge facing a large financial services provider with around 17,000 consultants in operation. The IT department was already working with Jira software from Atlassian. Nevertheless, there was always a lack of transparency. Together with catworkx, Jira software was introduced and further developed across the company over a project period of six years, among other things for the mapping of action management, for time recording in IT and for cooperation with external service providers. In the next step, Jira software was also used in the IT line departments and central business departments.
Jira software is known for its flexible deployment options. A large financial services provider was already using the tool to support IT planning for project and activity tracking. Nevertheless, questions remained unanswered: Which orders is IT currently processing for which customer? What are the priorities and responsibilities? How much effort goes into the projects?
Intransparency due to the use of several tools for order and project processing
Jira software support worked flawlessly for the company, but only for large projects. Inquiry processes as well as decisions, implementations, checks and documentations can be mapped in a structured way. There were deficits in the processing of work orders of small and medium size. Instead of Jira software, tools like Excel or PowerPoint were used there. This circumstance was at the expense of transparency in the IT department, as there was no SPOT (Single Point of Truth). This lack of transparency had a negative impact on the processing time. In addition, IT had grown over the years, but structures and processes had not been adapted.
Based on these deficits, the company set the overall goal at that time to redesign requirements processes in IT in order to achieve an increased level of transparency. Together with catworkx, a solution was developed – based on Jira software as well as various Marketplace and catworkx apps – that leads to significantly higher transparency in the IT department as well as for external service providers. The resulting improvement in the way Jira software works and the high level of acceptance among IT staff subsequently formed the basis for the further introduction of the project management tool in the IT line departments and central specialist departments. In the next development stage, it was planned that external service providers of the internal IT would also be connected to Jira, with the aim of outsourcing and simplifying e-mail communication between all parties involved to a large extent.
Jira offensive: New processes, new structures, new roles
In the first step, the restructuring meant that all customer measures and projects were clearly separated from the IT measures and projects. Each task was assigned a unique task category and comprehensible titles helped to ensure clear allocation – both from an internal and external perspective. New areas of responsibility were also created. The first contact person in the new process is the key account manager, who prioritizes projects and measures that he has worked out with the customer in advance. When using Jira Software’s Kanban boards, quick filters help him to map the ranking of actions in a structured way, which provides IT with clarity about the importance of a task. The rank can also be displayed in the IT portfolio using appropriate filters.
The Product Manager is responsible for the next process level. In requirements management, it describes which changes are to be made to which applications.
The requirement engineer prepares information and controls it for final implementation via corresponding change requests to the suppliers.
The solution approach developed by catworkx included the entire requirements gathering and processing, right through to implementation and integration into Jira software.
Extended functions through Marketplace and catworkx apps
Increasing transparency was also helped by a field that allows contact persons to be displayed in Jira software. Using the “Insight” app, all contact persons – from the customer’s specialist department to the internal IT department – can be displayed in an uncomplicated manner and dependencies can be derived with graphical support. To assign a task to a contact from a department, you can drag and drop the Elements Copy & Sync app to expand the group of editors.
Another construction site in the change process was the classification of the customer base according to groups. This grouping makes it easier for the Management Board to identify delays or other difficulties more quickly and to take proactive action. The new structures help to achieve a clean cost allocation. Relevant information must be inherited in the workflow. With the help of an app developed by catworkx, the cost information and the ranking field can be inherited until completion. The pure time recording, including monthly overviews and month-end closing, is recorded with the app “Tempo Timesheets”. The app “eazyBI Reports and Charts for Jira” provides the platform for data transfer in order to create IT and customer reports. Controlling processes the data further.
Visible increase in transparency with Jira software as a central control tool
IT is currently benefiting – because now only implementations can be carried out that are accompanied by a clear description of the requirements on the ticket. Assigning names to contact persons of different IT projects provides valuable guidance in the Jira process. The stored workflow provides information about the lifecycle status and thus creates the desired transparency. Controlling benefits from cost centers that can be stored. Conclusion: Jira software has successfully become the central control tool!