How Jira Service Management Enables Agile ITSM

If you work in a fast-paced business environment, you know how important it is to be responsive, collaborative, and efficient in delivering IT services. That’s where agile IT service management (ITSM) comes in.

By combining the flexibility of agile methodologies with the structure of ITSM processes, agile ITSM allows you to respond quickly to changing business needs while maintaining a high level of service quality.

To make agile ITSM a reality, organizations need a robust and flexible platform that supports agile methodologies and ITSM processes. The combination of Jira Service Management (JSM) and Jira Software fills that gap perfectly.

With customizable workflows, real-time notifications, and centralized reporting, JSM offers unparalleled visibility into ITSM processes. On the other hand, Jira Software provides an array of agile project management features, such as sprints, burndown charts, and agile boards, allowing teams to manage their projects easily.

When combined, Jira Software and JSM provide a powerful platform for agile ITSM by creating a synergistic environment for teams to work together seamlessly, share information, and optimize their processes to deliver high-quality IT services with speed and flexibility.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the capabilities of JSM and explore how it enables agile ITSM.

High-Velocity ITSM with JSM and Agile Methodologies

Agile methodology and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework are often seen as incompatible due to their different origins and approaches. While Agile is mainly designed for software development, ITIL focuses on delivering and managing IT services.

Agile takes an incremental approach to software development that emphasizes flexibility, iterative development, collaboration, and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, ITSM frameworks, like ITIL, are a set of best practices emphasizing organization, workflow, and control.

The differences in scope and focus between the two methodologies can make it challenging to integrate them. However, there’s a growing trend towards incorporating agile principles into ITSM practices to make the best of both worlds. In fact, the recent ITIL 4 has evolved to include concepts of flexibility with suggestions to apply agile philosophies.

So how exactly does the combination of agile and ITSM work?

Agile ITSM: Combining Agility and Service

Agile ITSM is a concept that combines the principles of agile and ITSM to improve the delivery of IT services. It combines the flexibility of agile with the structure and processes of ITSM to create a more efficient and practical approach. It promotes the integration of agile principles—like working in short cycles, getting feedback early and often, and embracing change—with ITSM processes to plan, execute, and monitor IT services.

In agile ITSM, IT organizations use agile practices, such as iterative planning and delivery, continuous improvement, and collaboration, to improve the efficiency of ITSM processes. This approach enables IT organizations to deliver high-quality services responsive to changing business needs while improving the overall experience.

How JSM Bridges the Gap Between Agile and ITSM

JSM is an ITIL-certified service management platform that includes features such as incident management, problem management, change management, and service level agreements (SLAs). These features are crucial for ensuring stability and consistency in IT services, especially for mission-critical systems that can significantly impact the business.

By integrating JSM with agile tools like Jira Software, teams can ensure that their ITSM processes don’t get in the way of agile development but complement it.

Below are a few ways through which JSM can help adapt agile ITSM.

Seamless Ticket Creation and Integration

Incident tickets are the primary contact points among developers, the IT services team, and the operations team, so it’s important to have a streamlined process to help teams manage them effectively.

To do that, you need more than just an issue tracker. You need a comprehensive ticket management solution.

JSM provides that solution by giving teams everything they need to manage tickets effectively:

  • It offers tools for tracking and managing tickets throughout their lifecycle.
  • Ticket routing rules and escalation policies to help ensure agents never miss an update or lose track of an issue.
  • Customizable templates allow agents to create new tickets quickly without spending time configuring every interaction they have with customers.

You can also link JSM tickets to Jira Software so teams can quickly identify the development requests associated with the respective incidents. This integration can help IT teams simplify identifying and fixing issues, reducing the time it takes to resolve incidents and improving overall service delivery.

Improved Visibility from the Ground Up

JSM gives you a single view of all service activity happening across your organization, from in-progress tickets to completed work. This means that teams no longer need to keep track of multiple systems for information about their projects or changes. You’ll be able to quickly find what you need, whether it’s an overview of your project or a list of tickets waiting for approval.

JSM also allows teams to create customizable dashboards that provide real-time insights into key metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). This means you can quickly identify bottlenecks, monitor performance, and make data-driven decisions to accelerate deployment and problem resolution.

Powerful Incident Management Capabilities

The connectivity and integration opportunities between JSM, Jira Software, and Opsgenie provide powerful incident management capabilities.

Opsgenie can send real-time notifications to the respective IT teams about the incidents raised. JSM provides a centralized location for incident management and tracking, while Jira Software provides a platform for software teams to develop and deploy fixes quickly. With seamless connectivity between all three tools, IT teams can respond quickly to incidents and minimize downtime.

With Opsgenie’s integration with JSM, you can receive alerts from JSM, create workflows, and assign them directly from within JSM. This eliminates the need to switch between multiple tools while managing incidents in JSM.

JSM also integrates with Opsgenie and Jira to support alert escalation workflows. Whenever an alert is created in JSM, it will be automatically escalated by Opsgenie using predefined rules based on severity levels or priority queues.

Faster Response Time

It’s no secret that reducing mean time to resolution (MTTR) is a key objective for many organizations, so it’s no surprise that this has been an area of focus for ITSM tools.

JSM enables the automation of routine tasks, which can help reduce MTTR and streamline ITSM processes. You can create custom automation rules and triggers in JSM that can be tailored to specific needs, such as automatically routing incidents to the appropriate teams based on predefined criteria.

AI-powered service management–both via Atlassian’s own AI virtual agent, or a custom AI experience–can do wonders as well.

You can also leverage JSM to reduce lead time and increase responsiveness through real-time dashboards and reports showing the current status of incidents, issues and problems.

Enhanced Cross-Functional Collaboration

One of the biggest challenges in ITSM is eliminating the siloed communication between teams and departments. As projects are assigned different priorities, they can often fall through the cracks.

JSM helps you break down these silos in various ways:

  • You can create custom workflows to ensure each department has what it needs to complete its tasks efficiently.
  • You can integrate workflows between departments—not just your development and operations teams but also your legal, HR, and finance teams.
  • You can create multiple boards, allowing you to organize your work in a way that makes sense for your organization, whether by department, project, or priority level.
  • You can combine JSM with Jira Software to make it easier for teams to collaborate and see what they need to do next, whether they’re looking after incidents or developing new features.

Integrated Metrics and Reporting Capabilities

The combination of JSM and Jira Software provides advanced reporting and analytics capabilities. Teams can continuously improve their performance by tracking KPIs such as response time, resolution rate, incident volume, and customer satisfaction score.

JSM and Jira also integrate with other Atlassian products, such as Jira Work Management and Confluence, so you can easily share data between projects. Such integrations help teams collaborate more effectively across departments while removing silos that often lead to bottlenecks.


Organizations must optimize their ITSM practices while maintaining agile methodologies to keep up with the evolving, fast-paced tech landscape. This is where the dynamic combination of Jira Software and JSM comes in.

What sets Jira Software and JSM apart from traditional ITSM tools is their shared foundation, which allows for easy integration and cooperation between the two platforms.

Together, these platforms provide a cohesive environment that enables teams to focus on delivering value, with the ability to track performance metrics and manage service requests. This, in turn, helps organizations to stay ahead of the competition by being more responsive, collaborative, and efficient in their ITSM practices.

Interested in understanding how an agile approach to JSM and Jira Software can improve your ITSM efficiency? Dig deeper with our free webinar-on-demand, How to Optimize ITSM with Atlassian’s Jira Service Management in the Cloud.

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Maxwell Travers, Contributor
Maxwell Travers, Contributor