Atlassian Jira and Defense – Supporting the Agile U.S. Warfighter

Last week, Ascend Integrated accompanied Atlassian and Carahsoft and attended the AFCEA West 2019 event in San Diego, CA. The conference is an excellent event to attend, whether you are an IT professional or working in some way with the United States Military / Department of Defense. The conference was attended by many ranking officers, leaders, and program / project managers.

Vice Admiral Mathias “Mat” Winter, Director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, emphasized the importance of being agile, and its applicability across the DoD. With new equipment coming online utilizing a combination of IT systems and the implementation of Open System Architecture (OSA), the necessity to “Adapt or Die” to changing political and military climates has never been more important. Bug fixes, new features / capabilities, and maintenance must be tracked and managed in a centralized and secure repository.  

While attending, Atlassian (and specifically Jira / Confluence) were referenced repeatedly by multiple programs in speeches and working sessions, including Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and members of the United States Air Force (USAF). Many enjoyed using the tool for project and requirements management, but spoke directly to us regarding ways they would like to see it improved, adapted, and implemented across multiple teams.

Ascend Integrated reviewed this feedback and determined three ways we can best adopt the Atlassian Tool Suite to supporting our Warfighters.

1. Interoperability: Enforce Widespread Adaption & Consistency

Interoperability is a key objective of many of the military programs. This extends not only to the systems being implemented through these programs, but also the supporting systems and DevOps implementations, such as the Atlassian Tool Suite. With Jira and Confluence containing the majority of the project management components, other tools utilized for testing and deployment should integrate directly with the suite at both a system and process level. If you’re looking for integrations, try reviewing the Marketplace or REST API capabilities. Keep all your data centralized, secure, consistent and easily accessible for your team.

2. Lean Governance & Continuous Improvement

We all know, governance may add bureaucracy, but it’s important when implementing large scale implementations of any tool. Jira and Confluence have multiple ways of implementing lean governance to support continuous improvement and enhancements to the tool. One simple way of implementing lean governance and continuous improvement, is creating a specific Jira project to track, plan, and implement enhancements to the Atlassian Tool Suite based on feedback received by your users.

3. Training

For any software tool, training is key. Users will learn how to consistently administer, develop, or track / manage their projects and programs. Ensure your users are trained, using consistent training at both the administration and project levels. This can be completed by using a combination of Atlassian University courses and enlisting the help of Certified Training Partners.

Ascend Integrated is a U.S., DC based Atlassian Solution Partner providing support services to multiple branches of the DoD for Atlassian, FedRAMP and Security support. How would you suggest supporting the Agile Warfighter? Contact Us Today!    

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