Will La - February 11, 2016
It’s February! You know what that means (cue: Barry White music). Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this is a three part blog series about how VictorOps and Atlassian are hooking up…via integration.
This blog post will focus on the integration between VictorOps and Atlassian’s JIRA. You can find more information about JIRA Software for your development teams here and JIRA Service Desk for your IT teams here. For those that are technically aware, I think you’ll find this an interesting relationship.
At a high level, VictorOps and JIRA Software has developed a mutual relationship through a bi-directional integration. You have the ability to create incidents/issues both ways. Soon, you’ll be able to acknowledge alerts both ways, and resolve issues both ways. Two way incident/issue creation means that your teams (support/ops/etc) can now manage and interact with one single tool, thus freeing up mindspace to focus on their jobs. They should not be doing double manual entry.
Two-way acknowledgement will allow the teams to be on the same page for individual alerts. If you think about it, it saves time/cost by preventing those instances where you have two separate team members unknowingly trying to resolve the same incident without collaborating and potentially duplicating work. Bi-directional resolution across VictorOps and JIRA Service Desk is self-explanatory and obviously valuable, but so is common sense and we know how common that is.
Hospitals and Emergency Rooms
Let’s dive into the two-way incident/issue creation. How does that help you? First, think about how you would separate the team roles into each tool. JIRA Service Desk is built to manage issues and tickets of all shapes and sizes (Support). VictorOps focuses on the critical incidents (IT/DevOps).
We use the simple analogy of medical care, where JIRA Service Desk is the hospital with a lobby (backlog) full of people with issues (same term, how convenient). Some problems are pretty serious like a broken arm while others are pretty simple (“I can’t log in”), but they still all have to check in at the front desk. You don’t want the life-(business)-threatening emergencies to have to wait in the lobby. In this case, you would escalate this issue to the ER (VictorOps) where the team can act fast and take care of the alert, STAT!
Say the patient, Paul, is an ER regular and knows his way around the system. Paul knows not to go to the front desk and fill out paperwork with his remaining three fingers. Like a pro, he goes straight to the ER desk, simply nods his head and winks as the ER nurse nods back and Paul walks past the desk to the ER room. The ER nurse then forwards Paul’s incident to the main desk (JIRA Service Desk) and there’s a convenient template of his pre-populated information and field values. Just like that, Paul’s in.
It’s important to have these events separated because you want to prioritize the emergency events in their own system (VictorOps) without getting lost in the lobby, while making sure you can still track and care for everyone across the hospital (JIRA Service Desk), including Paul. Think of VictorOps as your virtual ER for critical IT incidents.
Pictured Above: JIRA Service Desk
For the Acknowledgement and the Resolution feature of the integration…(coming soon, stay tuned)
This allows your Operations and incident management teams to stay focused on the alerts while keeping the teams in Support aware of the situation as well. Having the ability to acknowledge incidents from either side will not only notify everyone but will kick off the cross-department interactions needed to begin resolving incidents in a more unified manner. Notifying everyone about the resolution will pave the way for teams to provide quick feedback on what worked and didn’t work for this incident. You may get higher quality feedback since there is increased visibility and it will be fresh in everyone’s minds (rather than finding out the next day via buried email).
So there it is. And things are getting serious.
[Stay tuned for Part 2: Atlassian Confluence and Part 3: Atlassian HipChat!]