Atlassian today announced that Jira Product Discovery, its tool for helping engineering and business teams prioritize and collaborate on new product ideas, is now in open beta, with general availability expected in the next three months. The company made the announcement at its Unleashed event in Berlin. Atlassian also announced that it will provide free access to Jira Work Management to all Jira Software customers until March 2024, in addition to a new set of customer-designed templates for using the entire suite of Jira products, which now include Jira Software, Jira Work Management, Jira Product Discovery and Jira Service Management.
Correction: Due to a misunderstanding, we previously said that the product was now generally available. Instead, it is now in open beta.
“Most software teams already have really good and efficient processes in place for building code, the delivery stage and the operation stage of software development. And we can really thank the widespread adoption of Agile and DevOps and, of course, the number one software development tool, Jira Software, for that. But in the discovery phase, it’s a bit of a mess, it’s a lack of structure, it’s not clear what’s going on,” Megan Cook, Atlassian’s head of product for its agile solutions, told me. She noted that figuring out that in many companies, when teams try to decide which new product features to build, the process can often feel like it’s happening in a vacuum or that it’s the loudest voice that gets to decide. Instead, those decisions should be outcome-driven — and that’s where Jira Product Discovery comes in.
Atlassian first announced this new service in 2021. Like Jira Work Management, it was incubated as part of the company’s Point A program, which brings together customers and Atlassian product development teams to better understand and address their needs.
“We found that three-quarters of product managers today they struggled to determine the true value of their product for their customers, and we really wanted to help with that,” said Cook. “They tend to use things like spreadsheets, mental notes, backlog — a lot of them told me about using email, you can imagine how terrible that would be. They’re totally disconnected from where software is planned, tracked and built. And then because it’s spread out like this, there ends up being no single location for this discovery phase.”
The idea here is to help teams capture ideas and feedback, provide them with tools to prioritize these ideas and engage with stakeholders to get these into the development pipeline. There is also a browser extension that makes it easier for users to bring in user feedback from across the web and, unsurprisingly, there is a deep integration with Jira Software to help teams keep their product plans in sync.
In practice, this means users will get tools to vote for ideas, talk about them and rate them according to their risk, impact, effort and other metrics. Jira Product Discovery also features a number of visualizations that can then help teams better understand the trade-offs between the impact of a given choice and the effort it’ll take to build a given feature, for example.
As for the free access to Jira Work Management for the next year, which until the launch of Product Discovery was the newest Jira version in Atlassian’s stable, the company noted that about 43,000 Atlassian customer already use Jira Software and Jira Work Management together.
“We’ve seen a lot of the benefits that having those teams working really well side-by-side can have,” Cook explained. “We know that this is a touch economic climate and it’s great just to be able to give back and spread those practices to our customers.”
Lastly, the new customer-designed Jira templates may not, at first, sound like a big deal, but they do look like an interesting way for Atlassian to get potential Jira customers to understand the overall value proposition of the entire Jira suite. Some of the companies that have put their names on these are UserTesting, Lumen and Code.org.