Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. The Finland-based company offers innovative measurement instruments and software, tackling some of the most challenging environments on Earth and beyond.
The challenge: Moving projects to the cloud
Facing the end-of-life of their on-premise Atlassian project management system, Vaisala had to migrate to a new platform. They chose a cloud-based Atlassian solution to give their teams a modern, secure, and easier-to-maintain system. This move wasn't just about replacing an old system; Vaisala wanted to seize the opportunity to boost its overall efficiency and create visibility within the organization while taking advantage of the new features available in the Atlassian cloud suite.
The project involved moving about 200 Jira projects and Confluence spaces, each with unique workflows and requirements, to the new platform. A vital aspect of this challenge was that each team within Vaisala had its own way of working within Jira. This meant there was a lot of variability and customization in how these projects and spaces were set up and used. This variability in workflows and methodologies across different teams added complexity to the migration process. Each project and space potentially had unique requirements, processes, and customizations, which had to be considered and standardized for a successful transition to the cloud platform.
The solution: Embracing cloud technology for enhanced collaboration
As Vaisala’s Atlassian partner, Eficode helped Vaisala plan and execute the transformation. Eficode assisted in the actual migration but also helped harmonize workflows and fields and helped Vaisala transition their test management system from Zephyr to Xray for Jira as part of the broader effort to unify and standardize their processes. A crucial part of Eficode’s contribution was managing the migration and ensuring no data was lost during the process.
This shift involved adopting new technologies and required a cultural change within the organization, necessitating comprehensive staff training.
Liisa Åström, Vice President of Product and Systems, highlighted the importance of this transition:
“Adopting cloud versions of Jira and Confluence improved significantly our project management and communication.”
During the project, communication between Eficode and internal Vaisala team members was handled with a dedicated Microsoft Teams channel, which created a direct link between the teams, accelerated the process, and removed bottlenecks. The digital communication channel also worked as a super-fast feedback loop.
The cooperation proved successful as the project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule. Encouraged by this, Vaisala plans to evaluate future tools and consider adopting additional Atlassian deployments across various company departments, extending from marketing to production and quality management. This step reflects a broader strategy to expand the scope of cloud-based solutions following the success of the current project.
The benefits: Operational efficiency and transparency
Vaisala experienced notable improvements, including streamlined workflows and better project management.
One key benefit was the standardization of workflows and issue types across teams, facilitating easier resource allocation and project management. Another significant benefit was the enhanced ability to track and manage project portfolios, offering insights into risks and performance across the project spectrum. The transition to a cloud platform will offer continual development opportunities and improved security while freeing IT resources for other tasks.
Operational efficiency was improved through streamlined processes and standardized operations. Communication within the company saw a significant uplift, facilitating better collaboration and decision-making. Additionally, the new system increased data quality and process transparency, which is critical for informed decision-making. Simo Ikonen, a Process Development Manager at Vaisala, reflected on these improvements:
“This project was not just about improving our processes, but also about setting higher standards in data quality and process transparency.”
These improvements were not just limited to the operational level but also impacted the company's culture. By fostering a more data-driven and transparent work environment, Vaisala strengthened its position as an innovation leader in its industry.
Vaisala also noted the shift mandated by external circumstances (end of support for the on-prem system in this case) was an opportunity to refine and streamline operations and use change as an opportunity to make substantial improvements in processes.
Liisa Åström summarizes her thoughts:
“Experience has shown that utilizing the transition period for aligning and synchronizing our portfolio was an excellent decision. It proved to be a beneficial solution for us. It's definitely a point worth considering. In a way, even a forced change presents an opportunity to improve and make a strategic adjustment mid-lifecycle."