Why You Need to Integrate Jira and ServiceNow Into Your Value Stream

One of the most frustrating causes of unplanned rework in software delivery is miscommunication. Mistakes are inevitable when teams are forced to manually transfer data from IT service management (ITSM) tools into work planning tools. Requests inadvertently slip through unnoticed gaps, which can result in customer frustration and dissatisfaction. To bridge these divisions and steer clear of expensive errors, it is crucial to integrate your applications and platforms, such as Atlassian Jira and ServiceNow.

By integrating Jira and ServiceNow, your organization gains the assurance that all team members are operating with the latest information, as it automatically syncs work items and eliminates the requirement for manual data input. For example, when a request or incident is created in ServiceNow, it automatically appears in Jira as a feature or bug. Furthermore, when developers make status updates to these features or bugs in Jira, the ServiceNow support team gets notified in ServiceNow. This synchronization can also be extended to encompass various other types of work items, such as ServiceNow tickets and Jira issues.

Integrate ServiceNow and Jira Using Planview Hub

Integrating ServiceNow and Jira has never been easier. Automate data exchange between tools to solve customer problems faster.

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Automated two-way communication between Jira and ServiceNow simplifies information sharing, enabling teams and customers to stay informed
Automated two-way communication between Jira and ServiceNow simplifies information sharing, enabling teams and customers to stay informed

This bidirectional flow streamlines communication, allowing different teams, specializations, and even customers to stay up to date without clogging up email inboxes.

Setting up a Jira and ServiceNow integration is also a good first step towards effective value stream management (VSM). VSM is a product-centric approach to software delivery that helps your organization connect, measure, and speed up the flow of value through every step of the product development lifecycle (not just coding metrics like DORA).

Build or Buy: Different Ways to Integrate Jira and ServiceNow

There are several approaches to integrate Jira and ServiceNow, including using plugins or building your own connectors using APIs. When deciding whether you should build your own integrations or buy a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and your team:

  1. How much are you willing to spend?

    COTS integration solutions can be expensive, which is why many companies believe they can build their own. There are, however, hidden costs associated with the DIY approach that organizations should keep in mind.

    Applications like Jira and ServiceNow are changing and getting updated all the time. As their interfaces and API change, your connectors also need to change. Teams owning homegrown integration solutions must be prepared to devote significant time and attention to monitoring changes and updating integrations accordingly. This constant maintenance is a hidden, long-term cost of maintaining your DIY solution.

    It’s also important to consider the opportunity cost of building your own software integrations. Building connectors takes developers away from high-value work, like building features for your product and fulfilling customer requests.

  2. How big is your business? Is your business growing?

    Frequently, organizations tend to underestimate the expenses and time required for constructing homegrown integrations. An illustrative example can be observed in the case of one of the largest healthcare providers in the United States. In an effort to reduce costs, they initiated an internal project aimed at developing their integration solution. However, after three years and an expenditure of $50 million, the leadership ultimately halted the endeavor due to its excessive costs and the absence of substantial business benefits.

    Smaller organizations may find it feasible to opt for in-house development rather than purchasing off-the-shelf solutions; however, it’s essential to recognize that this approach may not yield sustainable benefits over the long term. As organizations expand and evolve, their integration requirements invariably undergo transformations. The process of modifying and extending homegrown integrations can often prove to be an intricate and arduous ordeal, often resembling a developer’s nightmare.

    One fundamental reason for its inadequacy is the inherent lack of scalability. Consequently, choosing to build rather than buy integration solutions may ultimately fall short in delivering the agility and scalability that are quintessential for thriving in a dynamic and evolving business landscape.

  3. What is the purpose for your integration? What are the use cases?

    Understanding the use cases for a toolchain integration solution is paramount when deciding whether to build or buy. In essence, this process is about aligning the integration with the specific needs of your teams. It necessitates conversations with developers and support teams to ascertain the information each team requires to do their jobs effectively. This determines which data sets are needed to flow between systems like Jira and ServiceNow.

    If the teams are content with a straightforward integration involving a couple of fields, such as status and priority, then a DIY approach might suffice. However, when the requirements extend to more intricate aspects, like developers in Jira needing access to attachments uploaded in ServiceNow, or the ServiceNow support team requiring visibility into comments made in Jira, the integration complexity escalates significantly.

    In scenarios where cross-functional teams demand access to multifaceted data sets and functionalities, opting for a buy solution becomes increasingly appealing. Commercial integration solutions often come equipped with pre-configured capabilities to address such intricate use cases. On the other hand, building custom solutions for these needs can be not only resource-intensive but also time-consuming.

An Effective Alternative to DIY Software Integrations

Although the low upfront cost of building your own integrations seems attractive, the long-term costs and inflexibility are decidedly unattractive. You can learn more about different approaches to integration here.

The fastest and most manageable integration method involves using a commercial off-the-shelf software integration solution, such as Planview Hub, which does all the heavy lifting for you. Planview Hub allows you to synchronize issues, requests, folder structures, and comments without writing a single line of code.

Watch the demo: Jira and ServiceNow integration

Importantly, Planview Hub doesn’t limit you to a single point to point connection; once you integrate ServiceNow and Jira, you can easily connect them with all the other tools in your value stream.

Other integration solutions, which are decentralized, require you to set up mappings between every work item in every tool, every time you want a synchronization.

How commercial software integration solutions work

Most commercial software solutions approach integrations by building point-to-point connections between each application. It’s akin to a complex highway system, where integrations are the overpasses, and each tool represents a destination.

The end result may indeed achieve its purpose, but it results in a perplexing, costly, and labor-intensive construction project. Each connection demands meticulous planning and ongoing maintenance, akin to the ceaseless upkeep of individual bridges in the highway system.

While this approach manages to get you from one place to another, it lacks the efficiency, scalability, and sustainability offered by a more centralized and robust integration solution.

Requirements ToolAtlassian JiraTesting ToolServiceNowRelease Tool
Many commercial software solutions create point-to-point connections between applications, resembling a complex highway system

Compare that to a model-based integration approach. Unlike the traditional point-to-point connections that resemble a complex highway system, model-based integration provides a more efficient and systematic solution. Picture it as a well-designed transportation network with clearly defined lanes and routes.

In this model, data flows seamlessly between applications, guided by a centralized framework that simplifies the integration process. This approach minimizes the chaos and costs associated with managing numerous individual connections. It promotes scalability, as adding new tools or altering existing connections becomes a far more straightforward task. Furthermore, model-based integration offers a holistic view of the entire integration landscape, fostering better decision-making, easier maintenance, and improved collaboration across teams.

In essence, it transforms the integration journey into a well-mapped expressway, ensuring that data travels smoothly and swiftly between destinations while significantly reducing the complexities and challenges that traditional point-to-point integrations often entail.

Planview Hub is like the traffic circle, sitting at the center of your ecosystem. It collects data from each tool, then uses models to abstract, translate, and transmit the data to other tools. Planview’s centralized model-based integration requires 90% less maintenance than the point-to-point method.

How to Integrate Jira and ServiceNow Using Planview Hub

With Planview Hub’s Jira and ServiceNow integration, you can get real-time synchronization within minutes. Here’s how:

Step 1: Connect your repositories

A repository refers to an external lifecycle tool or database. Planview Hub has pre-built connectors for over 300 versions of over 60 best-of-breed tools, including Jira and ServiceNow.

Planview Hub has over 60 no-code connectors to integrate every phase of the software development lifecycle and achieve end-to-end flow
Planview Hub has over 60 no-code connectors to integrate every phase of the software development lifecycle and achieve end-to-end flow

Once you select endpoints, enter your credentials and permissions for the Jira instance or ServiceNow instance you want to integrate. This step allows Planview Hub to communicate with your tools.

Step 2: Create a model and map fields

A model defines which fields you would like to synchronize for each work item type. Fields that you may want to synchronize include status, priority, description, and comments. Think of models as a device that translates tool-specific language into a lingua franca that Planview Hub can use to communicate with other tools.

For example, Jira has a priority scale of lowest to highest, while ServiceNow ranks priority from 1 to 3. Your models tell Planview Hub how to interpret and synchronize the priority field between heterogeneous tools. This is just one of the ways Planview Hub lets you configure integrations and resolve problems in a point-and-click interface.

Your models tell Planview Hub how to interpret and synchronize the priority field between Jira and ServiceNow

Models make software integration scalable because they only need to be set once for each work item type. They’re also reusable, meaning that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you connect a new tool.

For popular integration patterns, such as the ServiceNow and Jira service desk integration, Planview Hub has preset “smart models,” which speed up the process.

Step 3: Make your collections

A collection is a set of artifacts, such as work items or folders, that are eligible to flow through Planview Hub.

Jira RepositoryDefectUser StoryFeatureDefectProject 1Project 2Project 3DefectJira Defect CollectionChoose one repositorye.g. JiraPick an artifact typee.g. defectSelect projects whose artifacts you’d like to flowe.g. Project 1, Project 2, Project 3You’ve now defined your collectione.g. Jira defect collection
Making collections involves whittling down your repository into subsets of work items that you want to integrate

Creating collections entails narrowing your repository to specific subsets of work items for integration. You can have multiple collections within each repository, each representing a different category of work item. For each collection, select the model (see Step 2) that you want Planview Hub to use to interpret and integrate the data.

Parsing work items into collections gives you the flexibility to apply different rules to different work items, creating customized integration patterns that suit the particular needs of your business.

When you integrate Jira and ServiceNow, you will want to synchronize features, user stories, and defects, but you are not limited to these work items.

Step 4: Configure your Jira and ServiceNow Integration

Now that you’ve connected your repositories, built your models, and made your collections, Planview Hub has everything it needs to integrate your data with other applications. At this stage, you can choose which collections in Jira integrate with which collections in ServiceNow, or any other application.

An example of how to add an integration in Planview Hub
An example of how to add an integration in Planview Hub

Adding a new integration is as simple as clicking on “new integration,” selecting the two or more collections, and specifying which fields to flow. The point-and-click UI makes it easy to come back later and change your settings.

To see the Jira and ServiceNow integration in action, watch the demo

Why Use Planview Hub for Your Jira and ServiceNow Integration?

When you use Planview Hub to integrate ServiceNow and Jira, you enable teams to increase efficiency and streamline collaboration.

Integrate complex data quickly and easily

Like other integration solutions, Planview Hub synchronizes basic data between tools, such as work item creation, attributes, and status. What sets it apart is that it also synchronizes more complex data, including parent-child relationships, custom fields, comments, and file uploads.

Getting integrations up and running is quick, requiring no code or specialized knowledge. Most organizations require only one admin to manage Planview Hub.

Communicate better and resolve faster

Shifting between tasks drains cognitive resources and can increase buggy code committed, unavailability of team members, and missed tasks, which require additional effort from team members to repair the problems.

Planview Hub’s unique architecture enables near real-time synchronization without slowing down your applications, which means teams can collaborate effectively while remaining in their preferred tools. Less switching between tools equals greater focus and efficiency.

Additionally, Planview Hub’s instantaneous integration lets developers see what’s coming down the pipeline, which ensures that prioritization and planning align with the most current information.

Reduce rework and boost engagement

Planview Hub eliminates the need for manual duplicate data entry. This greatly reduces the risk of human error and miscommunication resulting in rework and delays. Moreover, when workers can focus on creative work rather than tedious copying, they’re more engaged and happier.

Where to learn more about Jira and ServiceNow integration

Ready to level-up your cross-team collaboration and unlock capacity? It’s time to integrate ServiceNow and Jira into your value stream and bridge the gap between ITSM and development.

Watch the demo