Atlassian: Forging the Path to Agility

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-founder & Co-CEO and Scott Farquhar, Co-founder & Co-CEO The idea of a company that seamlessly supports every software team and enhance their potential spurred when two friends Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar realized the challenges in the software development arena. Back in 2002, Brookes and Farquhar while studying at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, decided to empower software development teams and drive their missions forward.

Financing a startup with just $10,000, the two friends laid the foundation of Atlassian—an enterprise software company that develops products for software developers, project managers, and content management. During the early days of the company, the duo was not sure about what kind of company Atlassian was going to be, however they were sure about what it shouldn’t be.

Soon after its inception, Atlassian released its flagship product, Jira Software–a solution and issue tracker tool that allows to plan and track software development processes to release world-class software. Today, Jira Software is one of the most widely used project management tools by agile teams. Identifying that every team has a unique process for shipping their software, Jira comes with the ability to offer an out-of-the-box workflow. Jira Software also allows development teams to create a unique workflow that matches the way a particular company’s team works.

Building Agility

Jira Software seamlessly works with any agile methodology, from Scrum and Kanban to any other unique strategies adopted by an organization. By using Jira Software, development teams can plan, track, and manage all the agile software development projects from a single tool which offers everything from agile boards—a visual framework to display and sync the tasks moving between the production steps—to reports. The uniquely designed Jira Software comes with a comprehensive set of agile tools that help scrum teams to manage such events with ease. The software also enables to backlog the center of a sprint planning meeting. This advanced capability helps the teams to adjust sprint scope, estimate stories, check velocity, and re-prioritize issues, all in real-time. Jira Software also allows working with several other tools that can help sprint planning run smoothly.

Most of the software development teams rely on the Kanban methodology which is based on the idea of continuous releases. This is done by tracking work using a Kanban board that displays the status of a development project in board columns and lane.

Driven by honest values, an amazing culture, and consistent revenue growth, the Atlassian team is out to unleash the potential of every team

To help teams ship products there are four essential aspects to Kanban: continuous releases, work in progress limits, and work list. Jira Software helps to run Kanban with a wide array of additional tools support capability. The software has a virtual Kanban board which includes the details for each work item. It displays only the most pertinent information on the board. Jira Software has a number of pre-installed widgets and reporting tools that enable software development teams to track cycle time for product releases. Development teams can use the solution to review statuses or to predict future performance. The widgets can display summary information about project/issue data on the dashboard, which provides a central location for faster information access. While some agile teams have adopted mixed methodologies to support how their team works, Jira Software features can help these teams without any tool constraints.

The company’s offerings are not just limited to agile development tools, but also include incident management, collaboration, code development, and management solutions as well as efficient customer support. Atlassian’s Jira Ops is an incident management solution that allows organizations to respond, resolve, and learn from every incident during software development. Teams can raise an incident with Jira Ops or via integration with any existing alerting tool. They can then open up a chat room, alert additional responders, and also publish initial communications, all with the stroke of a single button. The solution allows to automatically pull key information from chat, alerting, and status page into a real-time incident timeline. The same timeline that got team members up to speed during the incident can be used to discover root causes and ensure efficient remediation work.

Soon after Jira Software, the Atlassian released Confluence, a team collaboration platform. Confluence enables users to work together on projects, co-create content, and share documents and other media assets. Moreover, it enables the teams to organize work, create documents, and discuss everything in one place. Harnessing the potential of the platform, development teams can easily publish, organize, and access company information from one central location for seamless operations and customer support.

Reaping the Results

In an instance, Atlassian assisted Capgemini, a French multinational consulting firm that offers technology, professional services, and outsourcing to Fortune 500 companies.
One of Capgemini’s flagship offering is Odigo, omnichannel contact engagement platform that helps its clients build customer loyalty. However, the teams working on Odigo are spread out around the world, in France, India, Morocco, and the U.S. To work together effectively, they need tools that allow collaborating across different regions and facilitate visibility at any time into what other teams are working on. Before Atlassian, Capgemini depended on a traditional inflexible and outdated project management tool to develop Odigo. Their traditional document management system was incapable of allowing teams to work on documents together in a shared environment.

Capgemini’s team then decided to migrate to the highly advanced Jira Software and Confluence for faster and efficient software development. Even though Capgemini’s initial plan was to roll out Atlassian’s solutions over six months, the plan entirely changed when word quickly spread about the solution’s ease of use and effectiveness. The users were really impressed with the immediate benefits as they interacted with Atlassian. These advantages of using Atlassian drove Capgemini to accelerate the rollout of the solution within a month. Harnessing the potential of Atlassian’s Jira software, Capgemini’s marketing, as well as product management teams, can plan their roadmaps and prioritize requests from pre-sales and account teams. The onboarding documents, product requirements, and meeting reports are all stored in Confluence. Moreover, teams use Atlassian as the central hub where distributed teams can align on goals and work together instead of having weekly calls to discuss the latest documentation and status. With Atlassian, Capgemini has a shared platform that helps the teams working on Odigo to collaborate transparently across continents, allowing the development teams to be more nimble and get new features to market faster.

Building an Empire with Innovation

Today, 15 years after its inception, the company has grown to over 2,500 Atlassians worldwide. The company has evolved to be one of the leading providers of collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for a variety of teams working in various industries. With over 100,000 customers, Atlassian is on a mission of advancing the power of collaboration with products including Jira, Jira Service Desk, Jira Ops, Confluence, Bitbucket, Trello, and more. Driven by honest values, an amazing culture, and consistent revenue growth, Atlassian is out to unleash the potential of every team.

"Jira is one of the most widely used software development tool by agile teams"

Since its inception, the company has earned a number of rewards and achievements. As part of its evolution, the parent company was remodified as Atlassian Corporation Plc of the UK during a restructuring. Atlassian made its first public offering on 10 December 2015 on the NASDAQ stock exchange, under the symbol TEAM, with the market capitalization at $4.37 billion. In the long run, the company’s core focus is on bringing in more innovation into their offerings. The team also envisions expanding its reach.


San Francisco, CA

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-founder & Co-CEO and Scott Farquhar, Co-founder & Co-CEO

Offers collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for teams, with products including Jira, Jira Service Desk, Jira Ops, Confluence, Bitbucket, and Trello