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3 things we learned at the Atlassian Open 2019Aurore De Poorter
The Atlassian Open 2019 in Vienna took place earlier this month on September 9 & 10. In this blog post, Account Manager Aurore gives a concise account (haha!) of the event. Read on for the 3 things she learned!
I was very excited and proud that I could join my colleagues for the Atlassian Open in Vienna. I wanted to get inspired, not only sales-wise but also from a team-driven point of view. In the past, I had been a team manager and so a team’s synergy has always intrigued me. When I left for Vienna, I already knew that my main focus would be finding out how the Atlassian tools encourage team collaboration in an Agile context. Naturally, I followed some sessions specifically about the Agile mindset and principles.
The keys to success
Unleashing the potential of every team is a hot topic in every company. How do you do it? And what are the key elements that lead to a successful team? It would be naive to say that only great tools deliver great teams. It takes a lot more than that!
I got inspired during the general session with Jay Simons (President of Atlassian), who is a great speaker. He has so much charisma and really knows how to trigger and touch people (American style of course!). During this session he explained the keys to success: right products + right people + right practices = great teams. Let me explain:
- The right products: if you want your team to be successful, you have to give them a great set of tools to begin with. These tools have to be implemented in the right way and fully customized to the business’ needs and processes. The tools have to be used in an efficient way and there has to be a set of rules that every collaborator has to respect in order to avoid chaos throughout the organization. If you translate it to our business as an Atlassian service provider, it means that we need to go further than only being reactive or executive in the integration of tools. We have to be a partner that can provide a quality service next to a quality product. We have to be a mentor, a guide when it comes to the choice of the products and the right implementation used in a specific environment or company. So, the right products are tools that are 100% customized to the different processes throughout a company.
- The right people: what makes a person the right person to work in a specific team? The right person is always someone who genuinely believes and sees the value of their role, someone who’s engaged and enthusiastic, and finally someone who’s ‘on the same page’ in every way.
- Right practices: are you getting the most out of your tools? Are we able to step back and take the time to evaluate the quality of our work? Are we genuinely doing good work? Jay also showed a cartoon which tells us that people can be stuck in their daily routine and so busy doing their jobs that they forget to reflect. This makes them unable to see the solution that is right in front of them. They are too busy to be innovative and effective. The picture speaks for itself!
During another session about the way to become a high(er) performing team, we got a good tip that we can use in our daily work situation. The speaker referred to the Atlassian Team Playbook. It is made by teams for teams. You’ll find step-by-step guides for tracking your team’s health (any team). It’s also interesting that you can use it on its own or in combination with the Atlassian tools. Interesting fact: Atlassian used this book for their own teams and it really changed the way their teams work, so it has already been tested thoroughly!
Agile development is like Star Wars
The session that I loved the most was ‘Bringing Agile Fundamentals to Life at Atlassian’ by Tom Tsao. He is a big Star Wars fan and he couldn’t resist to mention it from time to time but he made a good point! He explained us that Agile is a philosophy and a way of thinking. Okay, nothing new there. But then he started to explain it metaphorically. You don’t do Agile, you are Agile! Agile is like a Jedi Master and Jira is the lightsaber. A Jedi Master is in control and he IS a Jedi Master but without a lightsaber he’s nothing. If you combine the two then you ARE Agile. He also brought us back to the very beginning of Agile. A group of friends gathered together, they wanted a better way to develop software and they were tired and fed up of the workload, heavy processes and the exhausting documentation during a development process. In 2001, they decided to go on a trip and they created a 12 principles manifesto. Agile was born! Key points of the manifesto: early and continuously delivery, deliver working software frequently, simplicity, efficient & effective and continuous improvement (which is better than delayed perfection).
Threats are not threats, but opportunities
A good example applied to ourselves is Atlassian’s push to convince companies to choose Atlassian Cloud. This means that more clients choose Atlassian Cloud, the more Atlassian products will be fully managed by Atlassian. As a partner, we could see that as a threat, but instead we choose to see it as an opportunity.
We’ll have to be more creative and adapt our role in the market, which is mainly focused on the services. So we’d better prepare instead of sitting down and relaxing, waiting till the big change comes! It will be challenging for sure and we’ll have to be at our best to play the game how we want to. That’s the strength of being a strong and convincing brand in the IT landscape! And we are not alone: we have our whole team behind us, ready to face the challenges of the future.
It was definitely worthwhile going to Atlassian Open. What did I learn? I got back full of energy with a backpack full of knowledge and inspiration to be more innovative in the approach of presenting our Atlassian services to potential customers or prospects. There is a whole story behind it that can inspire other people. Atlassian is not only a product, it also is a way of working and we at ACA are most definitely able to take this story to the next level.