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Procurement Jira Service Desk

Making the Most of Jira Service Desk Flexibility

by Jenny Choban on May 29, 2018
Sometimes a great solution is right in front of your face and you don’t realize it.  A tool you already have could be the perfect solution to a problem you’re confronting, but you don’t realize it because you’ve mentally categorized that tool as having a specific purpose. One could easily fall into this trap with Jira Service Desk, especially if you’re new to Jira and have yet to discover how flexible it can be.  Developed for IT Support, Jira Service Desk is a state-of-the-art solution for its designated tasks. But what other problems might be solved using JSD?

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A lot! Atlassian Marketing team member Molly Grant recently surveyed the Atlassian Community to find out how teams are using JSD beyond IT. The results highlight JSD’s flexibility, as well as users’ creativity. 

Broadening the Definition of the Jira Service Desk Customer & Agent

One user described how their organization is using JSD for procurement. Their purchasing department is broken up into two teams, Purchasers and behind the scenes Analysts. Purchasers create requests, submitting information about the requirements and attaching a supplier price list. The analyst then review the requests as “agents” - analyzing, documenting and approving requests as appropriate.

This example illustrates the opportunities that open up once you redefine how you think of the customer and agent roles. In this case, both are members of the same department, JSD provides the mechanism for passing information in an orderly, standardized way –giving the purchasers an easy mechanism for submitting purchase requests and analysts a systematic way to manage, process and document those requests.

Purchasing isn’t the only team that can use this method. Sales reps can place request for product features on behalf of their customers, creating an efficient conduit for getting customer feedback to Product Development.

Getting the Right Data for Any Process in Jira Service Desk

Of course, JSD will deliver more efficiency to non-IT teams if it’s customized to meet their needs. Analyzing which purchases are appropriate requires information about the item requested, the rationale for buying it, the organization’s history with a given supplier.

You can use the description field to get those specialized pieces of information, but there are two potential problems:

  1. It’s easy for users (customers in JSD terms) to forget to include information they’re not prompted for. This leads to delays as agents reply requesting the needed details and the request lingers in the queue in the “waiting for customer” status.
  2. The information that comes into agents is unstructured. They will need to parse out the separate pieces, format them the way they need, weed out the parts that don’t conform to their business rules.

Clearly, both JSD customers and agents would benefit from having individual fields for the process-specific pieces of data associated with the JSD request. Create too many custom fields however, and you’ll annoy your Jira Administrator and run the risk of degrading the performance of your entire Jira application.

There is a solution. The ProForma app allows teams to create forms that embed in Jira issues. ProForma forms can be published to the JSD customer portal. Thus, agents can design forms that collect all the information they need for a given process. The data that comes in is structured, complete (you can set required fields on the form) and in alignment with your business rules (again, you can use validation to set limits on any field).  Receiving the right information up front empowers your agents to provide “one-touch” service, saving time for everyone involved.

Getting Started with Jira Service Desk & ProForma

Ah, but who is going to have time to build all of those forms?  Not to worry! ProForma includes a library of Jira Service Desk process templates which include a portal form, request type, workflow and any needed secondary forms all in one install. These templates were purpose-built in consultation with industry experts and can be easily modified to meet a team’s specific requirements.Templates have been created for multiple teams, including Purchasing.