ShipIt 44: Solving Problems Creatively and Shipping Improvements

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Recently, we shared a blog post about Opsgenie’s first ShipIt experience as part of the Atlassian TEAM. As mentioned in the previous post, ShipIt is Atlassian’s “hackathon” style event, which encourages every employee to creatively solve problems and develop innovative product features. Now that we've explained our ShipIt experience, I thought this post would be a great opportunity to share some product-related innovations that we explored.

Incident Creation with Alert Aggregation Project

 

 

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The first innovation we’ll discuss is incident creation using alert aggregation. Opsgenie’s Service-Aware Incident Management feature quickly and easily identifies the problem, notifies the right person, and helps teams to collaborate effectively when a major problem occurs. Currently, incidents are triggered by a single alert. However, there are cases in which multiple alerts should trigger an incidents. When viewed in a silo alerts may not mean much and don’t tell the whole story—but when grouped can be more meaningful. Consider a case in which two notification providers are used as notification services in Opsgenie. Failure of one provider may not be considered as a critical issue as long as the other service is up. However, failure of the two services may have major consequences on our customer notification channels. Therefore, if two alerts come from two different notification providers, those alerts should launch an incident. The Streamers Team, headed up this project and offers a new streamflow in which aggregated alerts are able to trigger a single incident together.

 

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 The aim of this ShipIt project was to further reduce alert fatigue by grouping or accumulating similar alerts to create a single incident. It is easier to handle the single alert rather than dealing with various alerts related with each other. This approach also helps to increase the customization of the Alert & Incident Management process. The Streamers Team has successfully created a demo environment with the proposed flow structure. The scope of this ShipIt project has provided us with a possible feature enhancement idea to further reduce alert fatigue and the pressure of dealing with multiple alerts.

 

Sprint Happiness Project

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The second project, called “Sprint Happiness”offers a brand-new perspective to evaluate the overall contentment of each sprint. So far, the sprint evaluation process is mostly based on retrospective meetings where the discussion focuses on issue completion rate, what went wrong, and what can be improved. During ShipIt, the Mandalina Team created a Jira custom field that can be used for voting on issues in terms of personal happiness/satisfaction instead of just assuming that a completed issue lead to a positive outcome. The evaluation rate was defined between 1-5, 1 being extremely unhappy and 5 being extremely happy. The team is planning to use this method for the next sprint and to determine the value add of this ShipIt project. Having a measure in terms of personal satisfaction may guide the team in division of work. For example, if a team member works on similar, repetitive tasks across many sprints they may want an opportunity to work on something different.

The “Sprint Happiness” project aims to reduce the overall dissatisfaction and increase the motivation of teams by analyzing the issue-based satisfaction rate. If a team member has been working on a boring project for a long while, then it might be time for them to switch it up! The team also proposed a plug-in compacted with Jira for voting purposes. This way the voting process can be customized by the proposed plug-in and more informative graphics can be created.

During ShipIt, although not all of the projects were technical, and not all projects will become features our teams fully embraced the creative spirit of Atlassian’s “Hackathon” We really enjoyed the spirit of having fun while learning and building stronger relationships between teams. We’re looking forward to building something great during the next ShipIt in February, who knows maybe some new product features will come out of it!