As our newest app Microsoft Teams for Jira has launched and as there is already an existing integration, our co-founder and Tech Lead Tobias wanted to shed some light on the question “Why do we need another one?”
What is the status quo of current Microsoft Teams apps?
Tobias: An app or integration is usually built around one or a few core ideas, the main use case if you want. Getting this main use case right is important! There will always be supporting features, nice to have details etc. but getting the main one right is crucial.
For most Microsoft Teams apps the use case is:
- Being informed about changes in another system
- Creating or updating “entities” (e.g. Jira issues) from Teams
Let’s talk about notifications first. They are often based on webhooks, and you can subscribe to certain events for a Teams channel. Unfortunately, there are only a very few use cases (e.g. an escalation) where posting things automatically makes sense. Usually: just clutter.
Creating information in current Teams apps is mostly fire and forget. As for Jira, you can share the created issue to a channel, but the information flow is basically over. You don’t get notified about updates to the Jira issue, nor can you see Teams message responses in Jira.
Why do you think, these use cases aren’t enough already?
Tobias: In my opinion, for an integration to be useful beyond “nice to have”, you need it to be smart and non-cluttery – otherwise users with disable it (case in point: Jira email notifications).
A smart integration is about two things:
1. Give the user a benefit of taking the action from where they are.
Why would you create a Jira issue from Teams, if updates to it won’t be visible where you created it? If you won’t get any context about the surrounding conversation in Jira? Why discuss an issue in Teams instead of Jira comments, when you don’t see the conversation in Jira?
2. Make sure the user has all necessary information to take the action.
If an user is not confident in taking action from somewhere else, they probably won’t. If you don’t know if somebody already has commented, you’ll probably want to check first: off to Jira. A good integration needs to give the user the confidence to act without leaving.
That’s why we created our new Microsoft Teams for Jira app. The current app is not working for our own team, so it’s probably not for others.
How does the new Microsoft Teams for Jira app work?
Tobias: The main use case is allowing to discuss issues in Teams and surfacing these discussions in Jira.
When you share or create a Jira issue from Teams, the thread will be automatically connected to the Jira issue. That means:
- All updates to the issue will be posted to the same message thread.
- You’ll be able to see and reply to the whole thread in Jira.
- You can also start a Teams discussion or group chat from Jira – which will of course also be linked to the Jira issue.
- You can use it to have longform discussions (unsuited for Jira comments) or even discuss issues with non-Jira users.
There is obviously more to it, but that should give you a first impression. You want to learn more on our Microsoft Teams for Jira app?