What makes for the best ITSM software? According to Technology Advice, we need to take a number of features under consideration here. Importantly, the software we choose has to enable us to handle all the problems and incidents, even better if we have a ready solution on standby. Along with this comes the possibility to assign tasks to the experts who can easily tailor the solution to the customer’s needs, monitor the progress in work and customer satisfaction, as well as manage the hardware and software that we use or develop. However, the best title goes to that ITSM tool with built-in IT service models and keeps us up-to-date with all the versions, updates, renewals, and license requirements beside all the previously mentioned features.
Jira Service Management, ServiceNow, Zendesk – brief comparison
There are various ITSM tools available on the market, but the common ones include ServiceNow, Zendesk and Jira Service Management. Even though they offer similar functionalities, the experience and possibilities we get from them is completely different. ServiceNow offers a cloud service desk with built-in ITIL processes and Visual Task Boards to keep up the teams’ productivity, while Zendesk adds call center and CRM to the helpdesk. As for Atlassian’s Jira Service Management, it’s a fully featured, self-service ITSM tool layered on top of Jira which means that it’s available on both Cloud and Server instances and enables us to bring together our development and support teams to handle requests quickly and effortlessly.
Even though the features they offer are quite similar, Atlassian tops the other ITSM software. The reason is simple – the other tools are complex, expensive, gigantic systems with every imaginable feature stuffed in, while Jira Service Management is generic with limited out-of-the-box functionalities which we can easily customize and extend with the apps available on the Atlassian Marketplace.
How agents manage Jira Service Management requests
When we work on a big and complex project with dozens of issues to deal with, it can be quite challenging for our support team to get through all of them every day. Therefore the issues are grouped and managed in queues which help categorize and prioritize the tasks. A queue is basically a list of issues displayed upon particular criteria: issue type, status, due date or a custom label, to name a few. This saves a lot of time for the team and simplifies the workflow greatly.
Jira Service Management by default offers a selection of pre-configured queues which help users organize issues. We can edit them, or even delete if unnecessary, and create the new ones instead, tailored to our needs (remember that only Service Management project administrators can manage the queues). But unfortunately, the default Jira Service Management queue management tool has got significant limitations in terms of features provided:
- the queues are available only for one project at a time;
- the queues are visible only to project admins and Jira Service Management agents;
- the issue list view cannot be customized (though you can change the columns shown inside each queue).
Our support teams suffer because of these limitations. That’s why there are various apps extending the queues possibilities such as Queues for Jira Service Management.
Advanced support ticket tracking with Queues for Jira Service Management
In the table above, we can see that the app strongly improves the usabilitywith a couple of features such as the advanced JQL filtering options to create cross-project queues. Moreover, the queues provided by the app are available for all types of projects – not only for the Service Management ones. This enables using queues also for the issues related to the development process and gets rid of the need to get through every project one by one. The feature is especially useful if we need to handle multiple Customer Portals (for instance, one for B2C, the other for B2B and the third one for the internal team requests).
As mentioned above, the default option is that only agents and admins can see the queues. Not only does the app make them visible to all the user groups, but also it enables us to create group-based permissions so that every part of the team sees only what’s relevant to them. For example, we can restrict that developers has access only to the development issues, the system admins to the hardware/software requests or the HR department to their onboarding tasks.
Restricting access to queues is a smart method to ensure top productivity of a team. Having the queues’ availability limited, the team members won’t have to sift through the thousands of tasks which are intended for other teams. This way working with issues will be much easier and smoother, enhancing the productivity of your Service Management dramatically. This feature improves the service operations’ security as well, when the permissions are configured properly.
Using default Jira tools, there’s always a moment when one finds oneself staring at an endless list of queues while being interested only in a couple of them. This can happen to any project, especially a bigger one, so another app’s feature is grouping queues and hiding the unnecessary ones. An additional benefit is that hidden queues are not refreshed, which additionally improves performance and stability of the system. The hidden queues are collected in a dedicated folder, so we can restore them anytime we need, and every user can adjust the queues’ display individually to his needs.
We can group queues into folders and hide tickets we don’t need at the moment
There are also a couple of subtler improvements. We can copy the queues on the list to implement minor adjustments without re-setting the queues from scratch. Also, there’s the possibility to import queues from other Service Management projects, which were created using default Jira Service Management, and edit them locally without affecting the root ones.
Jira Service Management enables admins to natively set up the list view to make it more ergonomic, and the Cloud version of Queues for Jira Service Management adds to that the possibility to sort the queue list for every user by any column displayed, like SLA or priority. This improvement allows to find the needed issues much faster, which is very handy in case of having a large Service Desk project.
By creating custom queues for managing issues, we can be sure that our team is working on the right requests at the right time, and with configuring the queues’ visibility we can increase both the information flow and the project’s security level. By extending this functionality of Jira Service Management, we help boost our support teams’ output. Even with thousands inquiries a day coming through, it becomes easier to handle them as they’re all neatly structured and easily searchable.
If you’d like to learn more about Queues for Jira Service Management, watch the video tutorial or take a free 30-day trial from the Atlassian Marketplace. You can also book a live demo via Calendly, if you’d like to see the app in action.
For more additional features and customization possibilities, feel free to check out:
- How to improve your customer’s journey through Jira Service Management Server, pt. 1: Help Center
- Top 10 features for Jira Service Management Server Admins (+1 Bonus)
- Jira Service Desk Day 2018: an overview of modern ITSM practices
- How to create Dynamic Custom Fields in Jira Service Management Cloud