Why Atlassian Training Is
Crucial For Your Team
Australian businesses are set to spend more than ever on IT in 2022*. And while this is great news for teams in any function who are striving to become more agile, creative and productive than ever before, spending money alone on infrastructure and software isn’t going to bring businesses success, unless their people are trained on exactly how to use the technology coming their way. Particularly when it comes to Atlassian’s sophisticated tools.
At DI, we’ve seen it time and again: a government organisation, not-for-profit or commercial business invests heavily in building an Atlassian platform, complete with industry best-practise workflows and processes. They’re excited about the potential productivity gains and quickly distribute user login details to their people. Then…not much happens. People are definitely logging on and using the tools, but productivity, creativity and collaboration certainly haven’t improved to expected levels.
Because they didn’t invest equally in Atlassian training and support. Essentially, the team have been given a high-performance sports car before they’ve even had driving lessons.
It’s tempting (and less expensive) to throw new digital tools ‘over the fence’ and let people figure out how to use them with only a single webinar or a few YouTube tutorials for support. However, forgoing expert Atlassian training isn’t a smart approach for several reasons:
- More mistakes happen: If your team are responsible for delivering projects and you hand them a new tool without ensuring they are completely confident in how to use it, they’re likely to make a costly mistake on their project. Calculations, resourcing, deadlines, budgets and quality can all be negatively affected and ultimately you’ll lose more money correcting mistakes than you would have spent on training.
- New team members start their role on the back foot: It’s sensible to give new starters a warm-up period, but without training and education, they’ll be on a protracted learning curve that will push back their ability to work to their full potential. They’ll be unsatisfied, and your ROI on salaries will be very low. New starters need to be shown how to use each tool and plugin and understand how they apply to their job. They also need to understand the importance of governance, be across all the processes that they need to operate within and know why those processes are in place.
- Atlassian tools are getting more complex and require specialist knowledge: The sophistication, breadth and interconnectivity of Atlassian’s tools and plugins is both a blessing and a curse. They can do so much, but only if you know how to configure and use them correctly. Not only do your staff need specialist training for each tool and plugin in their own personal stack, they also need to understand how they interact with each other. This isn’t something that can be achieved by watching a five-minute video!
- You might lose your best talent: In short, if people don’t know how to use their tools, they can’t do their job. And in a hot employment market, they won’t stick around to feel frustrated and undervalued – they’ll look for an employer who will give them the training they need. A study by US research and analytics firm Visier found that the third most common reason people quit was a lack of skills training and development opportunities. And nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would absolutely or probably leave a job for a new role that paid the same but had better training opportunities. A deep part of feeling fulfilled in a role is feeling capable and confident, knowing that you can continue to grow – and that comes with regular opportunities for upskilling.
- Your productivity, and therefore profit, will seriously suffer: People work very slowly, and therefore generate much less profit when they don’t know the quickest and best way to use their Atlassian tools and apps. Far from being an interruption to productivity or a ‘cost’, training is actually an investment in productivity: A study by HR Magazine found that companies who spend $1,500 on training per employee see an average of 24% more profit than those who spend less or nothing at all. Additionally, an ATD study of 2,500 businesses done by ATD found that companies that offered comprehensive training generated more than double the income per employee compared to those who offered less, or none.
- It reduces the ROI on your initial IT investment: As a nation, we’re spending a lot on IT – *Gartner’s latest forecast has projected a total Australian IT spend of AU$117.2 billion in 2022, up 13.1% from 2021. If you’re going to spend big on a new Atlassian platform – like our sports car earlier – you want ROI on your money. But if no one knows how to drive it properly and make the best use of it, it will gradually lose value.
With the motivation to avoid these risks and pitfalls, we can now turn our attention to providing staff with the right Atlassian training for their needs.
Types of Atlassian training available
Everyone learns differently, so it’s smart to offer a range of training opportunities that your team can take advantage of at different stages in their user journey.
Live training (virtual or in-person)
This is an ideal option to help team members learn the ropes initially. It can be very in-depth and offers the potential for live try-test-learn experiences where participants are able to follow along in a sandbox or on their own account to practice tasks. They can also ask questions in real-time to help them clarify and cement their learning.
You need both breadth and depth of knowledge to get the most out of Atlassian tools and plugins so we recommend that you seek out certified experts with specialised knowledge in Atlassian tools like BitBucket, Jira, Confluence (and the thousands of apps and plugins available) to conduct this training. DI can help you with this.
In large organisations, in-house trainers can provide support but may not have the best course material or a deep enough knowledge of the toolset to do the training.
We are big advocates of having a Learning Management System (LMS) that hosts up-to-date training videos, practice activities, FAQs, a knowledge centre and even interactive games.
Staff can complete pre-or post-training/workshop activities at their own pace and, assuming the LMS is well maintained, continually refer back to it to refresh their skills or learn new ones as new tools or plugins are added to the organisation’s tech stack.
Buddy training and champions
Sometimes, training is needed on the go, so it’s great to have buddies or champions that staff can go to if they need to learn how to do something, fix an issue or ask a question. Ideally, these people will be experienced users with some certifications.
But beware of relying on buddies or champions for too much: there is a HUGE difference between doing something the easy way or the hard (read: slow) way on Atlassian tools. Without knowing the quality of your buddy/champion’s expertise, your eager team member could be learning how to do things the wrong way or pick up bad habits
If you have the technological capacity, having a safe environment where team members can practice and test their skills and ideas is a smart option. Learners will feel more confident practicing a new skill if they know they aren’t risking high-value data or processes.
The Atlassian University is a great resource for all types of Atlassian training – from beginner lessons to certifications and free training activities. If you haven’t got an internal LMS, this can be a great option. Training is often broken up into short modules, and Atlassian has put together helpful learning paths for both tools and roles.
When you should offer Atlassian training
All. The. Time.
Learning is a continual process, and as Atlassian’s tools and plugins continue to be revised and added, offering opportunities to upskill throughout the year is crucial to keep your team’s productivity on an upward trajectory.
At a minimum, we suggest training staff:
- as part of onboarding for new starters;
- when a new tool or plugin is added;
- when major changes happen such as new configurations or workflows, or new features or a new version gets released; and
- when they ask for it! You need to understand how confident your team are with the tools – so ask them regularly in 1:1 or team members
On your Agile journey to a culture of collaboration and open communication, ensure that your team also feel comfortable asking for training and support outside of these times.
Oh, and don’t forget ongoing Atlassian support…
Ensure your team have the ability to raise tickets with the service desk and feel empowered to do this rather than waste time figuring out how to do something properly. It will save you time, money and frustration in the long run.
Did you know? Through the Federal Government’s Technology Investment Boost, small to medium-sized Australian businesses (with an annual turnover under $50m) can deduct an additional 20% of the expenditure incurred on eligible training courses provided to employees which support their digital transformation.
How Design Industries can support your team with Atlassian Training
DI offers Atlassian training to Australian businesses as part of all of the solutions we develop.
Our instructors live and breathe Atlassian and are familiar with all Atlassian products. After mastering the fundamentals, we’ll take your staff well beyond the basics with our innovative Atlassian training methods and top-notch teaching tools. Having inside knowledge about how the tools work and how to avoid common and costly mistakes will give your staff the confidence to be innovative and productive from day one.
Get in touch to talk about how we can help your team get the most out of Atlassian.