S1E21: How To Modernize Collaboration Work Management Tools At An Enterprise Level Regardless Of Industry

Episode Thumbnail
This is a podcast episode titled, S1E21: How To Modernize Collaboration Work Management Tools At An Enterprise Level Regardless Of Industry. The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: windowtext; background-color: inherit;">Organizations face increasing pressure to fast-track the introduction of new products and services to maintain their market positions. This could mean that It is time for executives to look at enterprise-level solutions to get results with digital transformation. Today, host Angel Leon is joined by Moser expert Marcus Reed and Atlassian's Ken Urban to discuss this pressure and the solutions Atlassian can provide.</span></p>

Angel Leon: Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of ASCII Anything, presented by Moser Consulting. I'm your host, Angel Leon, Moser's HR advisor. In this week's episode, we're bringing back our colleague, Marcus Reed, Moser's operations to science leader, with whom we had a tremendous conversation about radical transparency earlier in the season. This time Marcus will be joined by Atlassian's own, Ken Urban, to talk about how to modernize collaboration work management tools at an enterprise level, regardless of your industry. In today's world, organizations are under increasing pressure to fast track the introduction of new products and services to maintain their market positions. This could mean that it is time for executives to look at enterprise level solutions, to get results with digital transformations. Atlassian can help you bring company wide organization to your projects, focusing on universal business functions to break silos and increase workflow efficiency. Collaboration management tools like Jira, Trello, and Confluence enable organizations to deliver new service offerings, expand into new market segments, and rapidly implement company initiatives that push innovation forward. The best innovation emerges when teams across your organization are able to work better together. That's what we're going to be talking about today with Ken Urban and Marcus Reed. Ken has 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He started his career fixing computers at the University of Pittsburgh, and held several different positions there. He then did a short stand as a defense contractor, writing code on various projects, ranging from simple signal deconfliction to complex control systems. Just before joining Atlassian, he served 10 years in public service as a civil servant within the intelligence community, working to build and maintain one of the largest and most complex multi- tenant cloud systems. He has a bachelor's of science and computer science from the University of Pittsburgh, and he is a certified flight instructor, and serves on the board for his local flying club. Marcus is a leader of Moser's operations decide offering, providing technology and methodology evolution together as a holistic and internally cohesive solution, with clients that range from startups to Fortune 50, and Topic 70 members. Within the program, we offer production ecosystem design, solution architecture, tools administration, workflow automation, agile coaching, dev ops coordination, implementation of Atlassian suite like Jira and Confluence, and much more. Gentlemen, it's a pleasure to have you with me here today. How are you guys?

Ken Urban: Doing great. Thanks for having me.

Marcus Reed: Doing good, Angel. Thanks.

Angel Leon: All right. Well, let's start with the first question here. Digital transformation is a very busy phrase. What does it mean and how does it enable new ways of working?

Ken Urban: Yeah, that's very true. We have a lot of buzzwords in tech, right? As you know, I came from government, and I actually worked with the largest company in the world, the US government, right? So my answers are going to tend to focus on their perspective, but the challenges they face are, they mirror the challenges in commercial companies, as Marcus will probably say as well. Just sometimes those challenges are amplified by scale, or solutions are limited for legal or regulatory reasons. So to address the question, I think I'd like to start with a little story. Back when I started with the US government, we had to fill out time sheets in PDF, and email them to our supervisors for signatures. And then our supervisor emailed them to payroll, right? That's digitally transformed, right? Do you think that fits the dictionary definition of digital transformation? Right? Yes?

Angel Leon: I think so, but I got one better for you. When I started working with the government, way back, like you did, we didn't do that. We actually had to hand write our time down in a sheet of paper, and then have them come in and look at that sheet of paper, sign it. And then they would take it in a DOS based system, and upload it into that. So there you go.

Ken Urban: That was a digital transformation, right? Well, not really. That only marginally improved the outcome. And by the way, the paper time cards had went away only about a year or two before I started. That's what I was told. It's not just the traditional about going from analog to digital anymore, so I guess maybe the name is a bit of a misnomer now. But I would say today, digital transformation is more about agility, keeping more and better outcomes with less, and bringing modern tooling and practices, meaning culture, into your way of working. We can no longer afford to have those silos and to do things like waterfall development, right? We need to stop building software and throwing it all over the wall for ops to run. We have to be more agile. We have to adopt agile methodologies like DevSecOps, that encourage collaboration. And we can't stop there. Right? We have to, furthermore, take that to the agency or the company level, and to do scaled agile. Another part of this is intelligent automation. It's also essential to improving the speed and quality of decision- making, as well as the productivity routine. You want to stop doing the mundane tasks, and get the system to do it for you. I'd like to take testing as a good example. Right? So again, in the government, software releases had to be compliance tested. They had to pass to make sure they matched certain regulatory requirements. And that was a very manual process, even with automated testing already built in, right? Because we had to go over each individual test, and make sure that it met the compliance for each version of the law. Right? So how do you digitally transform something like that? That's tough, but I suggest shifting the paradigm entirely. Stop certifying the software and start certifying the test, right? And then look at the tests for anything that failed or irregularities. That way, your compliance teams who are not considered technically, tech teams are more legal teams, can start writing their compliance tests in a more agile manner. And they can do it inaudible instead of waterfall.

Marcus Reed: I think you bring up a really interesting point, Ken. We're talking about digital transformation. We're tempted to think about just the tools and just the coding.

Ken Urban: Absolutely.

Marcus Reed: And it's really not super meaningful by itself. It has to include modernizing the methodology in terms-

Ken Urban: And that has to come first.

Marcus Reed: Or together, if you can swing it. Right? That's where I try to come in, my group tries to come in, is doing those things together. It can be daunting, but if you do, I often say, if you try to modernize your tools without modernizing your methodology and very importantly, leadership, and the metrics that they use, and the way they manage downward, and the way they manage upward, then you don't have a stable... It's like building a stool. Do you want one leg, two legs or three legs? You always want three legs, right?

Ken Urban: Yeah. I'd have to say one of the things that I wished I had when I was in government, to talk about that managing down versus managing up, was a tool that did something like scaled agile, to help me better inform my leadership. I was a program manager for a while, right? We called it a tech lead, but I had to do monthly reports. Right? And slam them together in a spreadsheet after you've pulled the data inaudible from the dashboard that you use, to track your team's work. Then you put it in a PowerPoint presentation and pretty it up for your management. And guess what? That's out of date, the moment you pulled it out of the system, right? That's useless to them. You show up in the meeting and you end up going," Sorry, that slide's wrong."

Marcus Reed: I've been through a similar experience at a very large company where the leadership pointed their finger downward and said," You guys be agile now. But by the way, at the end of the month, I want my red, amber, greens, and my Gantts. So it was somebody's full- time job to take all the metrics that we were running on and that we were measuring our progress on, and doing all our planning with, and converting it to the simple, deadline based report that was manually created. And with Jira, one of the things I really like about it is that, not only can you always have real time information on those dashboards, but it shifts, it allows... And this comes back to methodology again. That tool allows this modernization and leadership where, instead of just saying," Okay, these are the deadlines we set six months ago, and how are we doing towards those deadlines?" We lose track of, are we delivering value quickly, frequently? What is the amount of value that we're delivering? What are the trends in our teams? Upward and downward in those terms? Those are the things that Jira allows leadership to focus on, instead of just a deadline.

Ken Urban: Yeah, I agree. The challenge I had with just doing it with just Jira, was that I couldn't really articulate the dependencies across programs. Let's actually put it this way. I was depended on by a lot of teams at the agency, right? Because I was at a platform. So when I would advocate for more resources or staff, it was really hard for me to show that these 13 other teams were blocked by me not having progress. So a tool that does scale agile, that can show those outcomes, track it from the top down as well... I mean, you're feeding it up from the bottom up, for data. But from the top down, they're looking in and they're going," I want a mission outcome here. Why is this mission outcome not progressing?" But they can look at that and see, in something like Jira Align, and say," Well, it's because you have 13 teams depending on you, and you're not getting this one task done here." So that's informing me, that says I'm blocking 13 other teams, or maybe a low priority task for me. But it's also informing leadership that, why is Ken's team so dependent on the agency? Maybe that's okay, right? Maybe I'm supposed to be that core-

Marcus Reed: Right.

Ken Urban: ...cog in the wheel. But maybe it's not okay if I don't have the staffing for the resources.

Marcus Reed: Yeah. You can be the cog that's in the middle of everything, as long as you keep it turning. Right?

Ken Urban: Right. Yep. You got to keep it greased. That's what I really wish I had. Sorry.

Angel Leon: No, that's right. I was just going to say, it's interesting that you mentioned that because our next question has, I think, a lot to tie into that subject because if you are part of a larger group and you are that guy in the middle, that might be holding the process from coming left to right, just to say something, then that basically stops everything from moving forward and it stops progress. So to tie that in with a nice bow, what is the benefit of connecting development, IT ops, and business teams' work processes. Again, talking about that guy in the middle. If you're not moving and everybody else is coming right behind you, or right next to you, to try to do their part, this has a lot to do with that.

Ken Urban: I have another great example from my time in the government. And I just want to be clear, I'm not beating up on them. It was a great place to work. This was very early. This was over 10 years ago, when I worked there. So a lot has changed. It's not like that today, but when I started on day one, as a knowledge worker, what would you think that I would need to start working on my job?

Marcus Reed: Access?

Ken Urban: Yep. Access. A computer, right?

Angel Leon: A computer, yeah. Access. All the basic tools that we have. Email, communication tools, etc.

Ken Urban: There was a one week period where I was going through a, call it training. It was unique to the government, right? It was just the legal pieces that you had to go through to get sworn in and learn how to be a government agency, fill out those PDFs, right? For the time sheets. That, you don't need any of that for. What do you think I had on day one, when I actually showed up in the office for work?

Marcus Reed: A chair?

Ken Urban: Yeah, a chair, and that was it. I had no computer. I had no access. It took over two weeks to get me that. Right? It's not that bad now because they've started tying this stuff together, but I'm sitting in the office, I got nothing to do. I nearly quit out of boredom in those two weeks. Now imagine if the day I got hired, this is a long process, right? It was months for me. I got hired, I got my conditional job offer, I got my security clearance. And then I started. So what if HR communicated with IT operations and facilities, to have all of that ready for me on day one? What if you took it a step further and said," I'm going to automate this so that new computer, or a recycled one, gets pulled out of inventory and sits on your desk when you come in on Monday morning?" What if the accounts were auto provisioned, and even better yet, de- provisioned automatically when I left, right? Instead of being a manual process. Now just as a contrast in industry, when I showed up at Atlassian, on day one, all of that was done that way. I had a laptop, I had accounts. I had a place to sit. There was no downtime.

Marcus Reed: And that was because there was, you were talking about dependencies across different parts of the organization. Here, you're talking about dependencies across the whole enterprise. So you're describing a situation where HR has Jira, and IT has Jira, and legal has Jira. And we can see the dependencies between these business areas. From an operational perspective, that's great. And then also, we can identify trends, and see bottlenecks and things like that from a leadership perspective where, hey, look, used to take legal a week to onboard somebody. Now it's taking three weeks. What's going on?

Ken Urban: Right. Exactly. I just thought it was useful to provide a non- software development example there, because like we've said before, and I'm probably going to keep hammering this, it's not just software development teams. It's all the teams, right?

Marcus Reed: We really shouldn't just say Jira, we should say Atlassian because you've got your big, heavy eaters like Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, Bamboo, but a lot of other stuff too, that I can never keep up with, because you guys are constantly acquiring or building new stuff. But what about those tools? When I go into a legal department at some big corporation, and I go," I'm here to help you guys be agile, and here's your tools," and they go," Well, look, in terms of our processes, we don't really operate in a world of complexity and unknown unknowns, and things like that. We have very simple process that's repeated over and over again, in most cases." What's the best way to help implement the tool, and maybe not necessarily a pure agile methodology?

Ken Urban: That's, in my opinion, one of the great powers of the Jira platform, or I should say the Alaskan platform. Right? Whether you're on prem or in the cloud. I'll give a really brief example before I go into the why. When I started in the government, I also stood up a Atlassian stack that was for software developers. At the beginning it was 100% inaudible. 10 years later, 40%. So 60% of the users were non- software development team. That tells you the power right there. Now you don't have to use all the bells and whistles. It can do the simple workflow tracking. It doesn't have to do agile. We have business project templates in there, right? Although I don't recommend to do that for non- agile teams, unless they really just want the very simple workflow thing, what I suggest is to start then with a project, a software project of their basic workflow, get them acquainted with something. You don't have to call it a sprint. Let them use the backlog and drag it in, and say when you're going to start this work, back to work, and when you're going to stop this back to work, ignore the word agile for them. They don't care. Right? They think, Oh, it's software development. If I get into a philosophical discussion with somebody about it, I look at them and go," Well, guess what? Agile wasn't invented for software development."

Marcus Reed: Right.

Ken Urban: Toyota basically started that conversation when manufacturing cars.

Marcus Reed: It was born out of a lean and continuous improvement.

Ken Urban: Right. And then I hand them a copy of the Phoenix project, and say," Read this and tell me what software development's in there."

Marcus Reed: Right. Yeah.

Ken Urban: I'm like," We can do this. We don't have to care about the terminology. We just have to care that you're doing your work in a transparent manner, that you're collaborating with others, and that you have a defined process that I can see as an outsider, so that I know where things are." Right?

Marcus Reed: Absolutely. Yep.

Angel Leon: To tie that into what you were saying, Ken, the modern business environment has changed. IT teams have to deliver digital products, faster, ensure business apps are always on, and have flawless service experiences. How is the mindset of development work going to have to change to account for all of this?

Ken Urban: And again, it's not just IT teams, right? And digital products. It's all the teams and all the products. So I just want to stump that again, to get that across to everybody that's listening, because I think it's important, right? We need to transform all of our teams at all of the levels, to operate this way, to be competitive. But we'll focus on IT and software products now. There's not, as I said earlier, any more, build it, throw it over the fence and let ops worry about it. Right? We have very complex systems now, right? We can no longer consider just what the use cases are, what the failure case is. We have to consider the security boundary, the abuse, the hacking that might occur, both inside and outside of the firewall. Right? We have to have defense in depth, as you've seen with the latest hacks that have happened, against all sorts of users, not just abuse. We also need to think about how we're investing in our teams now. Previously, and maybe this is a little bit of my government experiences, when you hired somebody, there was very little training that happened outside of the government specific pieces. Even when I was working as a contractor, you were hired and you were presumed to know the job, and to never really need training. You were the expert, right? That has to change, right? We're need to invest in people, we need to train our developers. It's ongoing learning now, not just new development tools and languages, but in things like how to write secure code. And also, I think another important point is that the non software development teams like IT, they're not cost centers. They're critical to your business operations.

Angel Leon: I think I agree with everything you've said, Ken. I'll build on it a little bit too, and say, when we're talking about delivering value more frequently, maybe not faster, maybe faster, but definitely more frequently, that value needs to be laser focused, right? Otherwise, it's not value. If it's what we needed a year ago, then it's probably not exactly what we need today. And that increased delivery frequency helps us with that. We're shooting lots of tiny arrows at the target from up, instead of trying to shoot a trebuchet from a half mile away, and hit the target. Right? The tools are really important for that, but whenever... I think a lot of managers and C- suite folks, when they hear, well, everything's shifting, we have to go faster, faster, risk comes up. The transparency that we talked about in an earlier episode is really important, but only combined with and facilitated by the right tool platform that's integrated, where you've got a single source of truth, which is... I'm not an Atlassian evangelist. That's Ken's job. We work with all kinds of platforms and tools, and operations design. But when I realized that what this was, was a single source of truth that could span an entire enterprise, if you combine that with transparency and the collaboration, the cross- functional collaboration and view into what different groups are doing, that risk comes way down and allows you to go ahead, to keep going fast, and decreasing risk at the same time, instead of increasing risk. There's an older methodology and older tooling platforms, the way that you decreased risk was by going more slowly, and did not provide safety. It only provided a sense of safety.

Ken Urban: False sense of safety, yeah.

Angel Leon: I think you mentioned something, Marcus and Ken, about technology and the tools that we have. One of the funniest lines I've ever heard was the agency that I used to work for, which we would always call our technology, yesterday's technology today, because we were behind, like you said, Ken. And unfortunately, going back to the example I gave at the beginning, with the time sheet, I mean, they had that process in place up until almost 2010. And we're talking about 11 years ago. For an organization to have such a process in the 2000s, even though, yes, it's 2010. But still-

Ken Urban: That's not that long ago.

Angel Leon: Right, right. And it still felt like the process that we put in place compared to other process that I see in the timekeeping world, it was still a little bit behind.

Ken Urban: I mean, when I was at university, we used a web based system for tracking time. When I became a government contractor, I used a web based system for tracking time. I showed up and was told," Here's your PDF."

Angel Leon: Yes. And I'll give you a further example. We had a sister agency, if you will, that used the same software we used for time- tracking, for timekeeping. And they took it a step further, where they allowed their employees to actually use that software on a non- classified platform where they could just use their cell phone. It wasn't through an app, it was just through a website, but they were still allowed to go through their unclassified platform, use their cell phone to put in their time. Whereas, we had to use the classified network to go in. We had to physically be in the office. You go in to do something as simple as put eight hours in, every day.

Ken Urban: And to track your leave.

Angel Leon: Yes.

Ken Urban: It was fun. They had a based system when I was leaving, to be fair.

Marcus Reed: Methodology is something that involves culture change and can take a lot. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it can. It goes faster when we've got the tools to help us. But I see a lot of times, organizations want to treat tool modernization the same way as they treat methodology modernization, which is step- by- step. And no, you can't make a quantum leap from this all the way to that. Oh, that Atlassian, that looks great, but we're not ready for that. We're going to get something that's not as good, and do that for a while. And then maybe someday we'll be ready for Atlassian. That drives me nuts.

Ken Urban: Yeah. Well-

Marcus Reed: How can we synchronize the methodology modernization with a more rapid acceleration of tools and modernization? That's something that inaudible.

Ken Urban: I have to give them credit, at least that is an attempt to think in an agile manner. Right? Iterative approach. So there is that. That being said, I would posit the right tool, be it an Atlassian application or even a non- Atlassian application for the job, that allows you to work in an agile manner. It's going to allow you to take that approach in the tool so that you can adopt it, and you don't have to buy a second tool or a third tool, or go through that. It pains me to say this, but if you really want to, you could do waterfall development in Jira. Right? I mean, it's flexible enough. You could make it happen. I guess the point that I'm trying to get across here is, the right tools actually enable you in the journey as well. So I wouldn't think of it as a quantum leap by buying the right tool. It's actually just setting yourself up for success.

Marcus Reed: So get the right tool. One of the criteria for choosing the right tool is, can we continue, initially, in our little baby steps, culturally and methodologically, and still have this future proof for our maturity and our evolution?

Ken Urban: Absolutely. I mean, there is something to be said for ripping the bandaid off, but you will probably get a lot of push back there.

Marcus Reed: Absolutely. It's hard to get the CFO to sign off on a six month disruption where we don't make anything.

Ken Urban: Yeah. And if you were to narrow that down and say," Well, we could put, I'm just going to use Jira because it's the example I'm most familiar with, Jira in place, in a weekend when nobody's working, hopefully you don't have your people working on the weekends, transfer all the data over and you can just come in. And the only thing that will be different as the UI," that's an easier sell.

Marcus Reed: And we've done just recently, something very similar with a transition into Jira Service Management from the older standalone platform where nobody else was working that weekend, but we worked Friday. And honestly, we got it 90% done in a few hours, on Friday evening. It was amazing. And yet, we had a lot of culture shock in terms of, wait, the button used to be two inches further to the right, and now I can't use this. But that's an exaggeration. There were some genuine differences.

Ken Urban: Oh, but that happens.

Marcus Reed: Genuinely shocking differences, but we got through that in a fairly short amount of time because the old system didn't work anymore. This is where you put tickets in. And the user experience, although it was very different, was very well thought out and intuitive.

Ken Urban: I think you made a point there, that I want to highlight as well, is another thing that tools will help you on your journey with. And you said that you got it done over the weekend, but really you finished 90% of it Friday night, right? That there speaks to the right kind of tooling as well. So if you're on a system that takes six plus months, and a software development team to modify for your workflow, you can never hope to be agile because your tool is going to be holding you down like an anchor.

Angel Leon: Just to butt in here, if you will, how do you then get that buy- in from those C- levels? I guess, I shouldn't say we know, but you can get that buy- in. But then the bigger folk, right? The folk that are right there, the ones that are actually going to be doing those process, how do you, Marcus or Ken, how do you get that buy- in from them?

Marcus Reed: I always talk about how executive sponsorship is important, but executive participation is crucial. We tend to start our engagements at that C- suite level or at a gigantic global corporation, at least at the business unit leadership level, and explain... It's tough to pull off sometimes, but really we're vetting them as much as they're vetting us in the early parts of the engagement. And we might start with a small engagement that's strategic discussions and things like that, where sometimes if the leadership is just going," No, just put the tool in and leave," they're not going to end up happy. We could do exactly what they say, and it is not going to make them happy. I just think the clarity of communication of that, right at the top, is really important. But there's no simple answer to that very good question. But maybe Ken has one.

Ken Urban: I think there're a couple of quick points to make there. One of the great things I like working, about Atlassian, is I get the ability to say," No, that's not the right product for you." So I'm not afraid to say to the CTO," No, Jira is the wrong place for that kind of work to happen." It's very rare that I say something like that, but sometimes they'll come in with this really wacky use case and it's like, hey, maybe we should think about the way you're working. And they're like," No, no, no, this is the way we're going to work." I'm like," Well, that's not really going to work in the tool, without serious modification. So it may not be appropriate for you. You should maybe stick with your custom built tool that you've spent 30 years building." The other is, I think the champions have to come from both levels. You mentioned the executive champion, certainly very critical. You also will find that you need, I think the team level champion as well, somebody that's passionate about it. And you also mentioned a point of starting with something that maybe is a little bit smaller. I think that's a great idea because often what I'll tell government agencies is, if you've got a new program spending up and you're not doing agile anywhere else in your agency, unlikely at this point, but if you're not aware of it, do that, do agile with them. They're Greenfield, right? Make them your star and your shining example. And then other people will flock to that because it's like, they're getting all the accolades. I want the accolades too. How do I get that? Well, you should use these tools. You use these processes, you adopt this culture and you'll have the same success.

Marcus Reed: I've seen that work over and over again. And you're right to point out, you need champions above and below.

Angel Leon: At different levels, yeah. The final question here has to do a lot with what you talked about earlier, Ken, not necessarily the IT world, but how are non- technical teams like HR in my place, or marketing, becoming a part of their company's digital transformations?

Ken Urban: I think tech always leads the way, of course. I think we tend to have a bit more of the crowd that likes to look outside the box and break things. Not to put any other team down, I think it's just our natural inclination as creative individuals, to do things like that. But you look at HR systems, and again, they're antiquated, right? Take months to change. And the HR process is not working or not keeping up, and they're frustrated with it. Right? So you talk to them and say," Look, you can move like this too." The example I gave earlier about the computer. I'm like," Do you really want to be the person that's holding up somebody from working, achieving a mission or a business outcome?" And the answer is always no, they don't want to be that person. Right? They want this to work. Occasionally, you run into people who are like," Oh, we can't work that way. We're not an agile team. We can't work in these tools. Right? We're not a tech team." That's usually a misunderstanding on their part. It's almost always false that they can't work in a tool like that. So you can get them there. You need to get them on the same tooling so that you can enable those cross team collaboration. You need to help them adopt that right mindset, and to remind them you're part of the team, right? You're not just off in your own little world. You don't have an empire. The business is the empire and you are part of the team. We all succeed together.

Marcus Reed: It's about global optimization, not local optimization, to go back to lean and constant, and inaudible, like we were talking about. And it also might be another opportunity to find, like you talked about, a Greenfield, a new initiative or something again. If HR says, " No, thank you," but facility says, " Okay, we'll try it," then you start with facilities. And everybody's talking about how, holy cow, the facilities tickets are just getting rocked right on through this process. And when it's a facilities ticket that needs an operations person because the land's down or whatever, those just go smooth as silk. Then maybe HR comes back and says, " Well, we didn't realize you were talking about that. That actually sounds great. We can be a part of this global optimization and have this visibility, and this integration with our processes."

Ken Urban: Actually, I have another story there, that highlights that. I'm full of stories, right? 10 years in the government will give you a bottomless pool of stories, right?

Angel Leon: Yes, it will.

Ken Urban: This is exactly what happened at the agency where I was at. The system that I built... Some of you are probably familiar with government data centers, right? And how they require paperwork to get into. Anytime you want to go in the machine room, you have to fill out a form with why you're going in there, and all that good stuff. Right? Well, that was a Word document when I started. And then you send it to the machine room manager, and there it sat for however long that machinery manager took to get through their queue, to get to it. Right? Painful. Even their leadership was like," This has to change. Right? We can't do this. Our people are getting inundated with Word documents. We can't track them. Nobody knows its statuses."

Marcus Reed: A sense of safety, but no real safety. Right?

Ken Urban: Right.

Marcus Reed: For the sake of security, and it's not actually adding any security.

Ken Urban: Right. Yeah. Sometimes they just get rubber stamped and they're like,"Because I'm too busy. So just go do your thing." inaudible approve a breaking change there. I pulled the server out of the wrong... We put it in Jira, and overnight you could get a turnaround in less than 24 hours to get into there, sometimes same day if that machine room manager or their designee was still in the office. And it was amazing. The other teams that they worked with, who had initially rebuffed us, saw that, and they're like... The light bulb went on above their heads and said," We have to get on this platform too. Can we do our inventory in here?" All these questions started popping up, like what can't we do in the tool?

Angel Leon: It's interesting how such a simple process can be definitely made for the better when you apply a some of the tools that Atlassian has. Ken, Marcus, thank you very much for being with us today. I really enjoyed this conversation. It was very informative for me. It actually made me go down memory lane, to some of those dull processes that we had in the government. I spent 15 years before joining Moser here. So you just brought back a lot of, let's call them memories.

Ken Urban: They're good, right? I mean, it was a good time that I spent there.

Angel Leon: Yeah, no, it was good. Thank you very much, once again, guys. We really appreciate it. Thank you for listening in to this week's edition of ASCII Anything, presented by Moser Consulting. We hope you enjoyed listening into Marcus and Ken's conversation about Atlassian, and how it can better serve you and your organization. In the meantime, please remember to give us a rating and subscribe to our feed wherever you get your podcasts. Quick programming note though, because next week's episode will be our last episode of season one. Next week, we'll be going through our best of moments of the first season. But don't worry, ASCII Anything will be back, batteries recharged, for our second season, starting in July. Stay tuned for that and much more. We'd like to thank those of you who have listened in during our first season. We really appreciate your time with us, and we hope that you come back when we returned for season two. For producer, Brian, and Moser's marketing team, I am Angel Leon. So long, everybody.


Organizations face increasing pressure to fast-track the introduction of new products and services to maintain their market positions. This could mean that It is time for executives to look at enterprise-level solutions to get results with digital transformation. Today, host Angel Leon is joined by Moser expert Marcus Reed and Atlassian's Ken Urban to discuss this pressure and the solutions Atlassian can provide.

Today's Host

Guest Thumbnail

Angel Leon

|Director of Personnel

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Ken Urban

|Atlassian Solutions Engineer
Guest Thumbnail

Marcus Reed

|Leader of Moser Consulting's Operations Design