Scaling your business operations is no small feat, especially when you’re looking to provide services to millions of consumers and hundreds of thousands of merchants. However, as Klarna Bank AB demonstrate, those unique growth challenges were no match for Insight, the premier Atlassian tool for IT asset management.
Watch the entire presentation above or jump to the main takeaways:
Build Strong Service Management Practices
Optimize Your IT Operations
Eliminate Data Management Errors
Facilitate Jira Incident Management
Speed Up Resolution Time
Disrupt Through Digital Transformation
This article is part of a series on the key role of context in service management.
Build Strong Service Management Practices By Introducing Context to Jira
As the largest FinTech company in Europe, Klarna Bank needed to introduce context to its day-to-day operations in Jira and institute the kind of practices that scale easily across all departments.
Klarna Bank AB first opened for business in 2005, in Stockholm, Sweden. Their mission - to make it easier for people to shop online - remains the same after nearly two decades, even in the face of widespread technological change in the financial industry.
“In the last 14 years, technology has evolved, excited and transformed the world around us, yet our mission remains as relevant as ever, to make paying as simple, safe and above all, smooth as possible.”
Today, Klarna provides payment solutions to over 60 million consumers and 130,000 merchants. This kind of rapid growth comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to managing their ever-expanding slate of service request tickets, each of them being routed to various Jira Service Desk portals.
Both Svante Gustafsson Björkegren, Klarna’s Atlassian Tools Team Lead, and Engineer Emil Andersson agree that, to build the kind of service management practice that Klarna needed to simultaneously scale their operations and optimize their organizational structure, introducing context into the mix was absolutely crucial.
Klarna’s presenters defined context as “the art of [providing] the correct and relevant information in every situation and preferably automatically.” As the company began introducing non-IT teams to their Jira instance, they realized that each group of stakeholders had wildly different needs when setting up their processes and building their own diverse workflows.
Optimize Your Operations With Streamlined Jira IT Governance
Being able to provide relevant, up-to-date information in any situation is a common goal for many businesses, but it’s only by introducing context to those processes that allows you to truly optimize their operations.
Implementing context and, in turn, automation triggers in their Jira instance became one of Klarna’s goals as they pursued fully-fledged operational scalability.
Whether it’s automatically populating details in an HR service ticket request based on the reporter’s profile or inserting equipment information, like a smartphone model or software version, to an IT support ticket, that kind of functionality had been missing from Klarna’s internal structure prior to using Insight.
As Björkegren and Andersson said, “with this context in place, we can easily grab for instance the domain lead for the reporter of the ticket belongs to.” This extends even to processes such as when a manager needs to approve a request from a team member.
However, as Björkegren pointed out, Jira’s built-in automation options weren’t cutting it from Klarna’s point of view.
“Native Jira [deals] with context in various ways. [The] most common is using custom fields - even components and labels are used for this purpose - totally outside of the control of the Jira admin. This might work quite well in smaller organizations where things don’t change that much and that fast. But, if any of you had been a Jira admin and dealt with trying to keep these fields up-to-date, you know that [it] quickly gets out of hand.”
Björkegren added that trying to keep these data fields updated manually is as taxing as it is slow, which often results in field-specific information that is obsolete instead of accurate. When you’re trying to scale your operations as aggressively as Klarna, he compared that process to keeping “a bronco in the stable.”
Klarna identified three major components of context that facilitate long-term growth and scalability:
- Information needs to update and sync to all relevant Jira asset or tickets in real-time
- That information needs to be updated automatically
- Important data needs to be accessible to all those who need it, from wherever they’re working or checking in
Avoiding manual data manipulation and enacting powerful automation functionality in Klarna’s Jira instance was one of the keys to unlocking their business growth potential.
Eliminate Data Management Errors With Insight’s Atlassian Plugin
One of the biggest advantages to using Insight in concert with your Jira instance is the depth and strength of the context you can introduce to your operations.
This is because of how Insight stores relational data inside a given Jira infrastructure, making in available inside the entire Jira environment. For instance, Klarna has information about ongoing Jira projects stored inside their BitBucket instance, which gives way to details about all the plugins they have installed.
What allows that interconnectivity to boost Klarna’s productivity is the fact that their segments of information are automatically updated using several scheduled import options, all of which come prepackaged in Insight.
“This makes it possible for us to keep data updated at all times,” Björkegren continued. “So when we install a new plugin for instance in Jira, 30 minutes later, it will show up here.”
Insight's large number of custom field options also make it possible to get contextual information into your Jira tickets. The flexibility and customizability of those options adds an unprecedented level of richness to what you decide to show (or not) in the expanded view of new or ongoing service request tickets. This includes the key, title, number of tickets or managing personnel for any given Jira project.
Because of that functionality, the scalability afforded to Klarna was nothing short of a game-changer. As the two men explained at the session, it was growth that extended far beyond the realm of IT:
“We have a Jira Service Desk portal for almost all in-house support at Klarna. There’s almost 2,900 customers (or employees) providing context [...] The receiving end is made up of 450 agents carrying out support functions across 35 projects - about 250,000 out of the grand total 800,000 tickets belong in here.”
Getting context within those tickets is the central element that allowed different team members at Klarna work efficiently within the same digital management system.
Provide, View and Use Context to Facilitate Jira Incident Management
Klarna’s employees use context in service tickets a lot throughout their system incident resolution process, one that emphasizes the importance of integrating Jira Software with Jira Service Desk and Statuspage.
Similar to others who use Jira’s software on a regular basis, the first step of the user experience side of incident management is through the service desk. What separates Klarna’s experience in terms of ease of operation is the added context provided even at this stage.
In this example, a new request for a Jira project configuration triggers a new status in the associated workflow. Instead of showing every single project in the Jira instance, the drop-down list only shows projects the user is involved in. The issue options are similarly dialed in for that specific project, which means that the information will already be far more digestible and easy to assess.
This level of context also helps agents categorize their work. They can clearly distinguish what project the incident is related to, what issue type it is, and more. By clicking on a project, Klarna agents can access additional information, like which team owns the project and different project settings. All of this helps streamline the resolution or change process.
If more information about the team owning a project is needed, this field can also be expanded to reveal even more details, including what department the team belongs to within the organization, who currently acts as team manager, and so on. This is crucial when additional stakeholders need to be looped in on various service tickets
Klarna was constantly working to avoid system incidents, or at least catching and resolving them as quickly as possible. That said, Björkegren and Andersson admitted that their process for dealing with these issues was, to put it mildly, tricky.
"We’ve been struggling [for] a couple years with tons of emails sent out to inform people about system incidents and to make sure that no stakeholder is overlooked [...] This new process has reduced email traffic massively. [There’s] better visibility, traceability and transparency among our system incidents."
As they elaborated, implementing efficient processes meant they needed to rely on the strengths of several digital tools:
“We needed to have a smooth front-end with a clear guidance to help the report create the system incident. For this, we chose Jira Service Desk. It gives us the opportunity to create help text and guiding information [...] JSD is not optimal for the next phase of our project though when we collaborate on the incident, trying to resolve it. Therefore, we added Jira Software into the mix. The JSD form creates a Jira Software ticket and we use this to resolve and follow-up on the incident. Finally, we need to make sure that the relevant stakeholders are informed about the system incident and for this we use Statuspage.”
These steps not only streamline the incident management process but also helps Klarna keep all stakeholders informed about resolution progress.
Speed Up Time to Resolution With Seamless Jira Plugin Integration
Minimizing the time that agents spend diagnosing and resolving incidents across a diverse collection of departments have paved the way for Klarna to grow their business outlook over time.
While the individual parts of Klarna’s Jira environment are greatly enhanced by Insight’s presence, it’s how those different aspects of their system talk to each other and reinforce the clarity and reliability of information that makes their service ticket response process run as smoothly as it does.
Klarna’s speakers put forth a simple example to explain the power of this setup, one that operates from that singular source of truth because of the added context:
“Imagine that our beloved Jira instance is suffering and runs slow. People are seeing time-outs and the user interface is loading very slowly [...] Among all fields to fill in, we also point out which system it is about, in this case Jira, which is used by everyone at Klarna so we wanna make sure we warn the user about this [...] We just mark it that it should be sent to Statuspage as well and we can add a comment for it.”
Once that Jira software ticket is created, the journey to finding and executing a solution is greatly reduced. The form is automatically populated with both the responsible team and domain, as well as a list of viewers for this specific incident. This way, only those who need updates are pinged with a message.
Simultaneously, a Statuspage incident is also created. Everyone who subscribes to the Jira system in the Statuspage will get updates on this incident, which sidesteps the need to send out one or multiple emails to a large number of users.
Once the issue is resolved, the same process applies. The appropriate page in Jira is updated, which automatically updates the Statuspage incident at the same time. A quick page refresh during the presentation showcased just how instant the information synchronization happens.
Disrupt Your Industry With a Smart, Thorough Digital Transformation Process
Beyond growing and scaling their client base and resulting revenue streams, Björkegren and Andersson admitted that the company had an even more ambitious goal on deck: to change the direction of their industry at large.
“We’re a bank and our goal is to disrupt the banking industry and become the world’s favorite way to buy,” they said. “We currently have 60 millions customers who make 800,000 transactions daily through 100,000 merchants [...] We want even more granular context on our users, systems and projects. Our dream vision is to empower productivity and [treat it] as a lifestyle.”
Klarna was able to hit their scalability targets through strong planning and even better execution, in part because of their use of Insight as the app that allowed them to operate using detailed, real-time context. They’ve paved their own way to even greater success down the road and, by continually refining their system over time, the sky really is the limit for what they can achieve in the FinTech industry.
If your organization is looking to grow its operations and get to that next level by way of a widespread digital transformation, it’s a great time to try Insight and see how it can enhance your productivity in Jira. As a result, your user experience, resolution time and IT governance ability will all improve drastically.
Many businesses have entrusted their IT, asset management, incident management and change management needs to Insight and your organization can too - try the app for free today by clicking below!
Originally published Jun 6, 2019 8:59:00 AM