When Kailey Roeder first joined 2U as the sole IT HelpDesk Associate at the company’s New York office over three years ago, she sat down a group of employees to suggest that someone should be responsible for owning Jira, Atlassian’s project management tool. In less than five minutes, she had been assigned to manage it.
Kailey’s ownership of Jira continues in her current role as a product manager of 2U’s internal systems, where she deals heavily with project rollouts and implementations, as well as overall project structure. In order for Kailey to maximize the practicality and usefulness of Jira within 2U, a rapidly expanding organization, the ability to document processes associated with each project and house the related documentation within Jira is crucial.
“While initially using Jira, I found that 2U was operating under the assumption that Jira was already designed to maximize efficiency for its end users. I knew there had to be a different way to display information,” Kailey said.
In trying to document the different workflows, Kailey first attempted to use Google documents. However, that was not working.
“I was finding it nearly impossible to create cohesive workflows or diagrams showing any sort of process. We needed something that was more user friendly that would be utilized more often within the organization,” Kailey recalls.
Kailey began searching for a one-stop solution that would allow her to (a) effectively document her processes and (b) have them easily accessible in Jira.
Kailey discovered Lucidchart was already part of 2U’s product suite. Tired of fighting with Google docs, Kailey began a self-instructed crash course in diagramming with Lucidchart, and she found doing so to be refreshingly simple.
“Lucidchart was easy to learn. It’s extremely user-friendly, and the drag-and-drop functionality saved me hours. I realized I had been wasting my time with a different tool that wasn’t meeting my needs.”
Integrating with Jira
Even better, Kailey discovered Lucidchart integrated with Jira. Not only could she easily create and edit her diagrams, but she could house them in Jira where they were easily accessible to anyone involved in the project. Everyone could see the diagram within the context of the entire project scope, making it that much more valuable. The visuals helped to ensure projects were executed appropriately.
The diagram isn’t simply an attachment—it is embedded in Jira so that Kailey doesn’t have to deal with uploading a revised document every time changes are made.
“I love the way my diagram is displayed on the page in Jira. I never have to scroll down or open an attachment—there’s a preview I can easily reference when I’m working on a ticket or a project implementation.”
Collaborating across teams
Lucidchart is now used by nearly all the main departments at 2U, from content to compliance to IT. In order to provide the optimum service for each university, it is crucial that these different departments interact and understand the workflows and processes vital to each.
“We need to ensure that our Learning Systems team is working in unison with our Content team who is working collaboratively with faculty at various schools,” Kailey explains.
Lucidchart’s integration with Jira means each department can document their processes and embed them in JIRA so that everyone remains on the same page and can accurately fulfill the requirements for each university.
In addition to understanding individual department workflows, employees must understand the processes for the overall organization. As a public company, 2U has clearly-defined written processes to which they must strictly adhere. Kailey explains how they are able to use Lucidchart to make these processes and workflows visual. Employees can better understand and retain this critical information when it is presented in this format.
“Instead of looking at a 10-page text-heavy document, we can look at the visual flow of a process. This has resulted in greater adoption and understanding across the company, and increased cohesiveness across departments."
Lucidchart allows these processes to be easily edited and updated as universities and their programs evolve and change. Employees are able to reference them in Jira and Confluence whenever questions arise.
Kailey explains how one of her favorite uses of Lucidchart is during whiteboarding sessions. When brainstorming, she and a team can create the first version collaboratively on a whiteboard in a conference room. Kailey can then easily recreate it in Lucidchart to provide an editable digital version that serves as a second iteration. With Lucidchart’s collaborative features, teams can continue their initial conversation without having to meet again in a single location, as anyone can edit or comment in real time. These diagrams can be put in JIRA so they have a central storage location.
Integrating with 2U's project management suite
Across the company, employees have to come to appreciate and rely on other Lucidchart integrations as well. Kailey explains:
“I love that Lucidchart seamlessly integrates into our larger project management suite and ecosystem."
For example, the Confluence integration has become integral to team-specific employee onboarding. Internal promotions are frequent and often occur between departments. To facilitate efficient onboarding for both those new to the company and those switching roles, departments host team info within Confluence and pull in team-specific processes diagrammed in Lucidchart. All necessary information is accessible for anyone in a single location—there is no need to recreate onboarding flows, and they can be easily updated.
Other employees use Lucidchart’s integration with Slack, the internal messaging tool already implemented at 2U. Every employee has access to Google Apps, making Lucidchart’s G Suite integration extremely valuable as well.
Lucidchart and its integrations have allowed 2U to work collaboratively and cohesively where they are already managing their projects, which in turn helps ensure each university receives the proper attention and resources it deserves.