Report from the Atlassian Federal Symposium

By Dick Stark

On Tuesday, May 10, RightStar exhibited at the Atlassian Federal Symposium, “Delivering Innovation in the Federal Government.” I also sat on a panel that addressed DevOps and Agile Government. Atlassian had a good turnout with more than 120 attendees. Here is a short summary of the two government presenters.

2016-05-Atlassian Federal Symposium

The Atlassian Federal Symposium

Tony Pham, Principal Consultant, US Department of Homeland Security, discussed how the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) modernized international trade and security by going agile. Tony said “CBP is fully committed to agile government using the Atlassian suite for software development, project management, collaboration, and continuous integration.” Tony discussed the use of JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, FishEye, Clover, SourceTree, JIRA Service Desk and HipChat, for the entire software development lifecycle.

CBP is big on metrics and Tony presented pages of reports pulled directly from JIRA. He started with a chart that tracked project status and earned value (e.g., 17 days remaining until go-live). He also showed charts that tracked risks, deficiencies, specific training projects, and project performance. Tony even mentioned how he set up dependency tracking in Confluence and JIRA. He then concluded with a final a real-time dashboard tracking team project performance. Tony summarized with a graphic on how Atlassian provides traceability from “A to Z.”

Next up, James Hunt from Vistronix presented, “Going from 0 to 60 in 5 Years.” He is a government contractor managing a very large Atlassian implementation for a significant DOD agency. He described how the agency grew from just a few JIRA users in 2010 to more than 65,000 today. According to James, prior to 2013, JIRA usage was isolated and siloed by the various teams. In 2013, James merged two systems into one and added 8000 users to the system, taking the agency to a total of 12,000.

By 2014, the agency was up to 27,000 JIRA users and began using JIRA Service Desk for incident management. By, 2015, the number hit 60,000. At that time, James added knowledge management and Kanban boards to the service desk. What was most incredible is that despite the growth, the entire system was supported with a team of only five administrators.

By 2016, 65,000 users across 1500 groups were on-board. Current statistics included:

  • JIRA Projects:             800
  • JIRA issues:                 613,000
  • Bitbucket repos:        2000
  • Spaces                           1700
  • Bamboo Plans             300

Other JIRA features included: detailed forms, allowing teams to pick what they need to know, a live knowledge base with current documentation, a Confluence overarching reference page, project templates showing Scrum workflow, and a daily support Kanban board with critical to-do’s.

What does this mean? Atlassian is ready for the big time. Its products do scale to support very large enterprises with minimal support and administration, and without having to pay an “arm and a leg.” The end result is faster development projects and very happy customers.

About dick1stark

I am the President and founder of RightStar, Inc, an XTIVIA company. RightStar is a leading ITSM and DevOps consultancy and BMC Software Elite Solution Provider and Atlassian Gold Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. In 2019, BMC selected RightStar as its DSM North American Partner of the Year for its sales and partnership excellence. Finally, in November 2020, RightStar was acquired by XTIVIA, an innovative IT Solutions Provider. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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