Atlassian sets its sights on the entire enterprise with Jira Work Management

New product is designed to make the software development platform more user friendly for HR, marketing and finance departments.

project manager teaches her subordinate

Image: iStockphoto

Now business users who like the workflow features of Jira don't have to translate software jargon to use the platform. Atlassian announced Wednesday that its latest product Jira Work Management is designed for managing projects outside the IT department.  

Cameron Deatsch, chief revenue officer at Atlassian, said that the company built the new product based on the fact that half of its user base was outside IT. 

"We went out and surveyed our customer base and half of our users didn't work in software development," he said. "But they were using Jira for tracking work and managing workflow."

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Deatsch said he was at a manufacturing plant recently and noticed that an engineer was using Jira to file a work order that had nothing to do with software.

"One of the managers said, 'This whole thing is powered by Jira, look at that computer over there,' and a plant engineer was working on a computer with a Jira window open," he said.

According to the company, the new software allows for shared and structured workflows for consistency across a company, automation for routine tasks and advanced privacy controls for keeping information safe. 

Deatsch said the Jira Work Management takes the power of the existing platform and makes it more approachable for the average business user. He said that customer feedback showed that the need for repeatability and better tracking was even more important in a remote setting. 

"Things didn't slip through the cracks because you were in the office together, but now you need better ways to track work than getting on a Zoom call," he said.

Deatsch said that customer research also revealed that Jira often works like glue to connect separate teams. 

Noah Wasmer, vice president of product at Atlassian, said in a blog post that companies realized over the last year that working together digitally was more difficult than simply doing work digitally.

"One disconnected team or department can stall an entire company, regardless of where they sit within an organization," he said.

The company announced the news at its annual conference, Team '21, which is virtual this year. 

Four new list views and Forms

One of the most distinctive new features is more options for viewing the status of a project. The business version of the software uses a common data layer to present project information in four ways:

  • List: Extends the intuitive experience of a spreadsheet to Jira and incorporates in-line editing 
  • Calendar: Presents deadlines and provides the ability to update work in an easy-to-scan format 
  • Timeline: Updates the traditional Gantt chart to highlight connections and dependencies across workstreams with data added to the bars
  • Boards: Displays work tasks in the logical progression of the workflow it belongs to and provides a flexible way of viewing, managing and reporting on work in progress

Jira Work Management also includes drag-and-drop forms. Teams can customize the standard templates to collect requests and consolidate work related to projects.

Chase Wilson, head of product marketing for Jira Work Management, said the goal with Forms was to automate as much of  daily work as possible and enable end users to build and customize their own forms.

Jira Work Management is free for up to 10 users and can be added to existing Jira deployments.  

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By Veronica Combs

Veronica Combs is a senior writer at TechRepublic. For more than 10 years, she has covered technology, healthcare, and business strategy. In addition to her writing and editing expertise, she has managed small and large teams at startups and establis...