By Dick Stark and Jenine Wech
As a DevOps consultancy and an Atlassian Solution Provider, a critical RightStar objective is to create and maintain sustainable Agile/Atlassian practices for our customers. In some form, most of our larger customers are in the software development business and have made a significant investment in Agile processes and Jira software. Furthermore, they understand the importance of user adoption and return on investment. Atlassian’s tool suite, along with Agile process, coaching, and training can make a huge difference. If done right the outcome is faster software development, heightened quality, and reduced development costs. Training is the cornerstone of any Agile Digital Transformation project.
Why become Agile in the first place? Lean and Agile practices across the entire environment maximize value while eliminating waste (the goal of “Lean”). Agile teams work with high efficiency and autonomy while aligning with stated values such as optimize and automate, progress iteratively with feedback, collaborate and promote visibility, and keep it simple and practical. Or more simply stated, “get twice as much done in half the time.”
Why training matters. The Atlassian tools are only part of the overall Agile solution. Training increases awareness of tool capability to handle IT Service Management functions (i.e. Service Desk and Operations Support functions) as well as product development (i.e. Software Development, Training and Knowledge Management) and business functions (i.e. Onboarding, Off-Boarding, Asset management, Procurement and Contract Processing). As users begin to understand capabilities. Identified process improvements can now be executed with high velocity. Authorized and properly trained super-users can directly update the format of information and tool configuration–activities traditionally controlled by highly skilled programmers. Atlassian tools, specifically Jira and Confluence, put a higher level of tool control in the hands of those executing the work, meaning adequate configuration and administration training makes a huge difference.
Training approach. RightStar’s approach focuses on three stages of knowledge transfer:
- Before Training: includes review of training outcomes and build a plan to meet the needs of the organization.
- During Training: includes activities to encourage retention and motivation as well as enhance engagement.
- After Training: includes identifying areas for coaching, remediation, and looking at tool set improvements and re-configurations.
Management Approach. Training delivery will take an agile approach beginning with an upfront assessment to better identify the training requirements and build a plan for delivery. Important elements include content development, training coordination, coaching, and the implementation of a knowledge portal. Regular retrospectives will ensure the project continues in the right direction. The end results: continual improvement of value delivery.