How Atlassian Solutions Support Work Processes at Tartu City Government

Trinidad Wiseman
6 min readJun 5, 2024

The Tartu City Government is involved in developing the local ecosystem and public services.

The daily operations of the departments are supported by various support systems, including Atlassian products and the solutions created on them.

For this article, input was provided by Getter Kartau, the Data Management Director of the Tartu City Council, and team members Margo Martis and Tanel Käomets from the City Government’s IT Systems Management Department.

Project Management with Jira Software

Jira Software is utilized in several departments of the Tartu City Government, with the primary goal of managing development projects.

These development projects include various public services offered by the city. Processes related to developing and managing these services are conducted using Jira projects, tickets, and workflows.

For example, the Department of Urban Design uses Jira to manage the process of naming new streets.

The social and healthcare department of the Tartu City Government, responsible for organizing social welfare and healthcare in the city, also uses Jira Software in its daily operations.

Previously, this department used Excel spreadsheets to distribute tasks, but now Jira tickets provide transparency regarding task status and resource allocation. The Jira Software mobile app is widely utilized given the mobile nature of the work.

“Jira gives a good overview of tasks and their status, reducing the risk of any task being overlooked. Before Jira, the work was somewhat more chaotic, and it was necessary to constantly monitor to ensure no task or client got lost in a pile of papers,” commented a Tartu City Government’s Social and Healthcare Department Specialist.

Configuration Management Database and Estonian Information Security Standard (E-ITS) in Assets

Assets module in Jira Service Management is used as a configuration management database at the Tartu City Government.

The decision to implement Assets stemmed from the impracticality of the previously used application, which could not automate repetitive tasks, link configuration elements, and display links graphically.

As of the publication of this article, the Tartu City Government has described various elements in Assets, including employees, servers, IT hardware, software, buildings, and E-ITS measures. Additionally, relationships between configuration elements have been established, such as:

  • an employee and their assigned device;
  • an employee and the information system(s) they have access to;
  • applications and servers;
  • partners and contracts.

The metadata related to the information systems and software described in Assets is managed by the respective main users through Jira tickets.

Implementing this practice was necessary from a risk management perspective to restrict Assets’ user base to administrators familiar with the technical aspects of the module.

When changes are made to the fields represented in Jira tickets, automation reflects these changes on the corresponding Assets object.

Registering and Resolving Customer Requests with Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management (JSM) was the first Atlassian product adopted by the Tartu City Government, primarily for managing internal requests.

Compared to previously used software, Jira Service Management (formerly known as Jira Service Desk) offered advantages such as a customer portal, a modern user interface, and automation capabilities.

Today, end users at the Tartu City Government use the JSM customer portal to submit requests for various purposes, including:

  • closing or opening a user account;
  • ordering a new device or software;
  • reporting a hardware issue;
  • asking a question;
  • requesting access to a system.

Jira Service Management supports several processes that involve different stages and actions. To reduce the manual work of support agents, numerous automations have been implemented in the support project using both the ScriptRunner add-on and Jira Automation.

Requesting a new user account

Requesting a new user account begins with filling out a request form in the customer portal. The department head completes the following fields: employee name, personal identification code, job title, location, contact phone number, and job start date.

Next, a support agent reviews the created request and changes the ticket status to “In Progress.” This status change triggers a ScriptRunner automation that adds the employee as a new object in Assets.

The automation also comments on the ticket, confirming that the new Assets object was created successfully.

Moreover, automation can ensure that mandatory steps of a process are completed and that the required information is added to Assets.

For example, the account creation process at the Tartu City Government involves assigning an employee a device (computer). If the agent moves the user account request ticket to the “Resolved” status without assigning a device in the “Employee Devices” field, the automation will move the ticket back to the “In Progress” status.

The automation also adds a reminder comment to the ticket, stating that the employee needs to be assigned a device. Only when the “Employee Devices” field is filled can the ticket be moved to the “Resolved” status.

Request for closing a user account

ScriptRunner automation is also used to close a user account.

The process begins with the department head creating a request and filling out only two fields on the request form: the employee’s name and the date by which all system access must be removed.

This process aimed to avoid situations where the support agent would need to manually search for the employee’s profile in Assets to identify associated access.

As a solution, a ScriptRunner automation was created to query all systems associated with the employee from Assets and display them directly in the Jira ticket immediately after the request is created.

Managing Documents with Confluence

Confluence is a content management tool with versatile implementation possibilities. At Tartu City Government, it is used across the organization to manage documents, guides, project workspaces, and technical specifications.

For instance, a dedicated space has been created for the Estonian Information Security Standard, consisting of four main categories: internal policies, information technology, buildings, and software.

For example, the “Internal Policies” category includes guides that every Tartu City Government employee must familiarize themselves with, regardless of their department or job title.

To make large blocks of text more user-friendly, the Karma plugin is used, which allows content blocks on pages to be separated and organized into sections.

In the E-ITS space within Confluence, the Assets macro is also utilized, displaying data hosted in Assets in a read-only format directly on the Confluence page.

Automatic Data Backup with the HYCU add-on

At the time of this article’s publication, the Atlassian Cloud platform allows data to be manually exported and imported in XML format. Still, it does not currently offer a solution for automated data backups for Atlassian Cloud products.

Data loss is unacceptable for business-critical processes, and manual data backups often entail unwanted resource expenditure.

For these reasons, the Tartu City Government implemented HYCU plugins to back up data regularly and automatically.

The support team says that the greatest value of HYCU solutions lies in saving time and meeting security policy requirements through automated data backups.

Additionally, the team appreciates the tool’s flexibility to restore individual objects, such as a Jira ticket or a Confluence page, without overwriting the entire Jira project or Confluence space.

Recommendations from Tartu City Government for Implementing Atlassian Products

Here are some practical recommendations and insights from the IT systems management department of the Tartu City Government for organizations looking to implement Atlassian products:

  1. Allocate time for testing solutions.
  2. Involve partners and the community for advice.
  3. Understand that the initial vision might change as you get familiar with the system, but it will settle over time.
  4. Engage end-users in testing solutions.
  5. Value communication — changes can be effectively implemented when people understand why they are necessary.
  6. Be open to know why and how the solutions work technically.
  7. Implement a test environment.
  8. Remember that solutions can be improved over time.

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Trinidad Wiseman

Trinidad Wiseman is an Estonian service design and digital transformation company with clients across various verticals.