JIRA and Confluence: What customers want most and what Atlassian does not deliver

Atlassian’s value “open company, no bullshit” is probably one of the hardest to stick to. Now that they are a public company, there are even more legal limitations to what may be said when and how.

atlassian-value-open-company-no-bullshit

But it is actions that count. And Atlassian does act openly. They have a public JIRA instance where everyone can add feature wishes and vote for existing ones. They close duplicates and link to the original wish if you are asking the same as someone else. They comment on issues and help phrase wishes in a way that reflect the software deficiencies and needs of customers. And they let you and me vote for what we want the most.

Open JIRA issues with most votes

Here is the list of the most wanted issues for JIRA:

most-voted-jira-issues

Open Confluence issues with most votes

Here is the list of the most wanted issues for Confluence:

most-voted-confluence-issues

This is also available for all other products. Go to https://jira.atlassian.com/ and search for the issue keys as stated in the screenshot above. If you get yourself a user, you can create a filter like I did and subscribe to it via email as well. Here are the two JQL statements you need:

JIRA most voted:

project = JRA AND resolution = Unresolved AND assignee is EMPTY AND status in (Open, New) ORDER BY votes DESC, key DESC

Confluence most voted:

project = CONF AND resolution = Unresolved AND status in (Open, "In Progress", New) ORDER BY votes DESC, key DESC

Do you want a tutorial on how to create these filters and subscribe to them? Here is the documentation on how to create and use filters and how to subscribe to filters from Atlassian. And here is a video:

Understanding Atlassian’s and customers pain

Now that we all know what Atlassian misses out on and where other products might be able to do more and where users might hate the software, some customers are becoming very angry. If you go through these issues, you’ll see them scream, rant and be largely disappointed about the big corporation that is now publicly listed and has all the money in their pockets to solve this, yet does not act on the requests. Sometimes they even count days and years that an issue has been open, reported and is becoming old.

It must be very painful to see, hear and bear this situation. For a lot of other companies that is the reason for not having such an open approach to missing features.

Brian Rollins from Atlassian has given a detailed answer to how Atlassian uses the public JIRA instance and how they prioritize their own work:

Are votes what determine the priority of a feature?

Feedback from JIRA customers is an incredibly important part of our prioritization. Feedback comes from a variety of sources:

  • Customer contact: We get the chance to meet customers and hear their successes and challenges at Atlassian Summit, Atlassian Roadtrip, developer conferences, user groups, partner events, and more.
  • Customer interviews: All product managers at Atlassian conduct frequent customer interviews. Our interviews are not just to capture a list of features, but to understand our customer’s’ goals and plans.
  • Community forums: There are large volumes of posts here on Atlassian Answers, of votes and comments on jira.atlassian.com, and of conversations on community forums like JIRA groups on LinkedIn or Reddit.
  • Customer Support: Our support team provides clear insights into the issues that are challenging for customers, and which are generating the most calls to support
  • Atlassian Experts: Our Experts provide insights into real-world customer deployments, especially for customers at scale.
  • Evaluator Feedback: When someone new tries JIRA, we want to know what they liked and disliked.
  • In product feedback: We collect quantitative and qualitative feedback directly from customers within our products. This is especially valuable to hear from day-to-day end users who may not be the primary administrative or billing contacts for a customer.
  • Usage data: Are customers using the features we have developed? We have several teams analyzing in-product usage data and conducting experiments so we can continuously improve.

The amount of feedback is massive, especially when you have over tens of thousands of active customers for JIRA alone, and hundreds of people every day trying your product.

So votes are not the only data we consider when prioritizing a feature.

It comes down to a simple truth:

If Atlassian could fix all bugs, they would. But they can’t. So they have to make choices.

You can be disappointed. But ultimately it’s their decision which we can only influence.

You also have a choice. You can buy a plugin. Some of those issues have been resolved by third party plugins. The most popular issue, that I know of is JIRA-4446: Sub-issues should be able to contain their own sub-issues with over 1,000 votes. ALM works has created Structure. But some customers still ask for a “built-in” solution.

I understand that. It’s easier for everyone if everything is in the core product – apart from the user who just wants to have a clear and clean interface that is easy to work with.

I have no solution to this. But as we are asked about this a lot, I wanted to give you a quick recap.

//SEIBERT/MEDIA does offer full service approaches to Confluence as in our intranet solution Linchpin. Or in Codeyard where we try to help you make use of the complete Atlassian stack for everyone in your company involved in software development. This way you can outsource the problem of putting the missing links together.

How do you go about stuff that you desperately miss in Atlassian software today?

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