E-mail communication fails. Face-to-face communication is impossible. Users ignore your company blog posts. What to do? Where to seek help? The answer lies in Jira itself.
Unfortunately, not much. Both systems allow only for a static banner, added right above the menu bar. It has two visibility settings – either private or public – and cannot be closed.
It’s essentialy only good when announcing the most critical outages and changes, that should be also seen by users not logged to the system. Moreover, the more often you use it, the less interested the users become, slowly becoming immune to what you’re trying to communicate.
The better solution is to search the Atlassian Marketplace.
There are 3 paid apps on marketplace that allow us to somehow notify our users:
As well as 2 free ones:
Let’s start with free ones.
While Public Announcement Service looks promising, it’s incompatible with Jira 7, which makes it essentially unusable. Announcement Banner for Confluence fares far better, but only allows a very simple announcements in Confluence/Bitbucket instances. Both are available for Server or Data Center setups.
The paid ones are much more interesting.
If you’re using Cloud, your only choice is Simple Announcements – a cheap and fresh solution, though with very limited capabilities. While it seems a fair choice, it’s biggest disadvantage is that it forces the administrator to create every message from a scratch.
For Server, we’re left with two choices.
The older Announcer is currently supporting Jira, Conlfuence and Bitbucket, as well as 4 different notification types, possibility to target per project or per group, delegating announcement creation to project admins, scheduling announcements, as well as possibility to style the content with HTML.
All reactions are recorded, and it’s possible to force the users to accept a notification.
The newer Announcement Feeds currently supports Jira and Jira Service Desk, with Confluence, Bamboo and Bitbucket support being planned for the end of 2019. There are 11 announcement types (called Places) available, possibility to target per project, group and JQL query, delegating announcement creation, scheduling announcements and basic content styling.
Both apps are priced similiarily. While Announcer is and older and proven solution, it fails to live up to its promise, especially when used in a large Jira instances with many announcements created monthly. Announcement Feeds is a much more suitable solution.
No matter which app you use, keep in mind, that there always some challenges when it comes to communication with users. Even the best solution providing the most beautiful and memorable announcements will be ignored by some users, and that’s – unfortunately – perfectly normal.
That’s also where acceptance records come in handy – it’s always good to be able to remind your user, that he/she accepted the policy 2 months ago without looking.
Such situations are much more common if the users are constantly flooded with new messages. To avoid such situations:
Do you know any helpful tips when broadcasting messages to your Jira users? Please, share these with us.