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How to collaborate effectively with external business partners?


Łukasz Krupa - 25 September 2019 - 0 comments

Smooth cooperation with external partners or clients is one of the most critical business challenges today. The outcome and the likely benefits of such collaborations depend on how it proceeds.

Information and its flow are critical to the success of such partnerships. That’s why it’s worth ensuring that everyone in the team is up to date and knows for which tasks they’re responsible. How to properly manage such external cooperations and what mechanisms can you introduce to improve it? Learn three helpful methods using Jira.

Work environment

For a better understanding of this situation, imagine an organization that uses Jira Software. At some point, it needs to establish cooperation with another enterprise or an external team. Suppose that these two entities have completely different internal processes, created according to their specific rules. This can make their cooperation even more complicated. Here’s how we can deal with this problem.

Collaboration problems

Before starting external cooperation, it is worth considering its future course, contact points, and potential problems that may occur on the way. This will help counteract them.

One of the primary complications is the way teams or organizations work together. Create a new workflow and determine how to transmit all information. Jira’s functionalities will be beneficial here, but if you plan to work on two separate instances, you can’t combine the work of two independent applications without taking any additional action.

Solution: integration workflows

There are several ways to cooperate with an external partner effectively. One of them – the simplest one – would be creating a new project in one of the Jira instances and conducting such external cooperation there. Unfortunately, not all organizations can afford to let people from the outside into their software. This is related to security issues and data protection.

Another solution I would like to propose is creating a separate, new Jira instance dedicated to external cooperation. The advantage of this solution is primarily that the entire team, both internal and external, can access one software. All the information and tasks are stored in one place, which significantly facilitates work and management. The new instance can be completely independent of the other Jira, which ensures that no one from the outside gets into the company’s internal data. This solution is also beneficial because it can be used repeatedly. Further collaborations may take place in this new instance as well. The only visible disadvantage of this method is the process of creating a new instance, in particular, its purchase and configuration.

IssueSYNC for Jira keeps every stakeholder on the same page

Another solution you can use here is an app that synchronizes two Jira instances – IssueSYNC. This application allows you to keep two instances independent while ensuring the automatic synchronization of notifications, comments, and attachments. During the configuration, we choose exactly which information is to be transmitted. We can also choose options such as one-directional communication, if we want the flow to be only one-way, i.e., changes would be propagated from one instance to another and not the other way around. Or two-way communication, where the parties exchange information. With IssueSYNC, you don’t have to worry about the differences between internal processes. It’s possible to overlap synchronization so that the information goes to the right places.

The advantage of this solution is primarily convenience, in short: install the app, perform the configuration, and it’s ready. Also, it’s a fast and accurate mechanism. Of course, it also maintains excellent security for our data and system.

Summary

If you hire an external team or work with an external partner, you must be prepared for the challenges that await you. My solutions will help you in managing the workflow, but you should also remember about interpersonal complications that need to be solved. With this in mind, the cooperation will bring mutual benefits to you and your external partner.

 

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