When it comes to Atlassian administration, there’s no denying the technical side is essential. After all, it’s only possible to effectively manage and configure Atlassian tools with a solid understanding of the technical aspects of the platform. However, another factor is just as important – the human factor. This is an area that is often overlooked in articles and resources about Atlassian administration, but it’s critical to success in this role.

The human factor of Atlassian administration is all about how you approach your role as an administrator. It’s important to remember that you’re not just a technician – you’re also a facilitator, a problem solver, and a leader. This means proactively identifying potential issues before they become major problems and being willing to take ownership of any issues. It also means being ready to lead by example and demonstrating the importance of communication, reusability, and a people-focused approach in everything that you do.

So, what do we mean by the human factor? Essentially, this is all about the people involved in the Atlassian ecosystem – from the other Administrators to team leaders, scrum masters or stakeholders who need to be communicated with to the team members using these tools daily. It’s about understanding how people work and interact with technology and then using this knowledge to ensure everything runs smoothly. In a word, empathy. Empathy for the people using the tools you are an administrator of.

One key aspect is communication. This area can be challenging, as getting everyone on the same page is not always easy. However, it’s critical if you want to avoid problems down the line. For example, if you’re changing a configuration, you need to make sure that you understand all of the impacts of that change and everyone who might be affected. You then need to ensure they are made aware of the change. This means communicating in a manner that will ensure they understand how the change will impact them. It also means being available to answer any questions that users might have and being willing to listen to feedback and adjust if necessary. This feedback loop is another opportunity to apply empathy and ask: Who will be affected? How will it affect them? How might it make them feel?

Apply empathy to your communication style and ensure all bases have been covered as part of the change. Another essential aspect of Atlassian administration is reusability. Reusability could be described as “empathy for other Atlassian Administrators”.

A trap that teams often fall into is creating new configurations rather than reusing existing ones, which leads to duplication and confusion for users and administrators alike. As an Atlassian administrator, it’s important to ensure that all the relevant people know existing configurations and understand how to use or administer them. Documentation must be updated in an easy-to-digest format and easily accessible.

Simple approaches like:

– Determining if a custom field or status exists before creating a newly requested one or even a similar one that is fit for purpose
– Sensible and documented naming conventions (for schemes, workflows, custom fields etc.)
– Using multiple contexts on the same custom field rather than creating another field with a slightly different name

Say, someone wants a new custom field called “Marketing Departments” for their new Service management project. But there is already a “Department” field in use in some projects. Rather than creating another field, you can create a context in the existing field that only the Marketing project uses. As it is in JSM, they can still present the field in any request types or forms as “Marketing Departments”, while under the hood, it is just using the existing “Department” field with a new context.

Meanwhile, here are some Tips and tools for communication:

Atlassian provides some great options for communicating with the people in your company

– Status page – To easily communicate the real-time status of issues in your company’s environment. https://www.atlassian.com/software/statuspage
– Announcement Banner – Great for general announcements out to your Jira users. From system changes or incidents to season’s greetings. Announcement Banner is a simple but effective communication tool for an Atlassian Administrator. configuring-an-announcement-banner
– Confluence blogs – These are another option for targeting the right audience with the right content in a casual blog-based fashion.
– Atlassian Atlas – Somewhere between a blog post and Jira Align is Atlas. Atlas is the first teamwork directory to connect the dots across teams, their apps, and work — wherever it happens.
– Think social media for work. Subscribe to projects/work you are interested in. Get bite-sized updates weekly, or scroll to find them in real-time. See the What, where, when, how and who. These can be seen in the App, Slack, MS Teams, or your inbox.

It’s free for your whole company. Seriously!! https://www.atlassian.com/software/atlas

Let’s remember communication

If Slack or MS Teams are where the organisation is paying attention and looking for their notices, then that is where your Atlassian Administration communication should go.