People and team enablement are very important to us at New Verve Consulting, so much so, it’s one of our core values. We set forth to look for a solution that allowed us to define skills, identify team gaps, track training, and add evidence - right from Jira. Our previous experience using disparate tools became time-consuming and difficult to maintain over time. We wanted a single place to understand why training was undertaken and evidence that the training was useful.

By conducting market research, we found that there was no all-in-one solution that would solve this challenge. This then led us to the creation of our own tool to track enablement activities, track the skills we are working towards, and - as we work on our tasks - build the evidence to demonstrate what we have learned.

What it does

The app is written for Jira and has the following features:

  • Global permissions to add administrators and users.

  • Access the app on the Jira global navigation under Apps.

  • Add teams with managers and members.

  • Configure skills used by the team.

  • Assess gaps by assigning scores to members.

  • Identify training to fill gaps in the team.

  • Use the 'Skills' field in Jira issues to add skills and view them when assessing scores.

How we built it

From inception, the concept required some analysis of features. We started at the drawing board to determine which features were key concepts and create the user stories that we wanted to implement, then we ranked them in order of importance.

After refining the requirements, we proceeded to implementation:

  1. Forge UI kit to create the user interface.

  2. Global page Forge module to access the app.

  3. Global permission (EAP) Forge module to add administrator and user global permissions.

  4. Custom field (preview) Forge module to add the ‘Skills’ issue field.

Challenges we ran into

This was the first time that we worked with the Forge modules for global permissions and custom fields; there were some risks associated with these modules.

Custom fields proved to be a difficult module to work with due to Jira expressions formatter for the issue navigator. We ultimately decided to pursue an MVP of the product without proper display of the field.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The process that we went through as a team helped us achieve key goals in a short space of time, some of which are:

  • The time we took to quickly build a team to work on this challenge was optimal, as we all knew what we are working towards.

  • The ideation process was also very quick; we managed to create a list of ideas, then work through idea elimination, using each of the team member’s skills and experience. This helped us to quickly narrow down the list to what is important short-term and our top priority challenges.

  • The Dev team was able to quickly do a rapid prototyping of the idea, then demonstrate it to the rest of the team members.

  • As a team, we were able to provide constructive feedback on key features that were optimal and needed further improvement.

  • As a team, we can safely and happily say that we were able to solve the training challenge that we previously faced using Aristotle. We also hope this app helps solve other teams’ training challenges.

What we learned

We learned that not all ideas are perfect ideas, but the perfect team can make it the perfect idea with their skills and talents. This underlines the whole purpose of this app, which is to enable more workplaces to offer ongoing training and incorporate learning in everyday work.

What's next for Aristotle Skills Tracker?

We are looking to enhance the features further to provide more awesome functionality to make this app the go-to app for skill tracking. We would like to address some usability challenges, especially when dealing with larger teams and organisations. We will also be addressing the challenges that we faced and we would like to find a better solution or approach for each of them.

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