Contributing to company strategy as a designer: In pursuit of the "unit of work"

The Unit of Work was a "tiger team" project that brought together a small group of SMEs from across the business, tasked with bringing clarity to a concept that had been loosely forming organically within Atlassian. The concept being that Jira, as a product, should own the “unit of work” for teams – but what did this mean in practice and how do we start making it a reality? That’s what we set out to explore, model, contextualise in user-journeys and then package up as recommendations back to the business.



Primary role





I was actively engaged in building out the comprehensive pitch presented to the Founders, where my role was integral.

“Without the design thinking spearheaded by Daniel, we would have kept talking circles and people would have had a very hard time grasping what we were working on because of the abstract nature of the project”
– Group Product Manager

Collaborating closely with Taylor Pechacek, who was spearheading this initiative, we delved into the foundational concepts and crafted visual representations for the Unit of Work. My efforts were focused on exploring and visually depicting a range of strategic models that could be utilised effectively by our team – effectively, creating tangible visual aides to communicate with executives as well as software architects.

As part of this process, I had the opportunity to engage in discussions with teams from Invision and Dropbox, both of whom are strategic partners. These meetings were instrumental in understanding and shaping the optimal use of Jira, considering the unique perspectives and requirements of these partners. Through these collaborative efforts, we aimed to enhance the functionality and relevance of Jira in the context of our partners' needs.


Systems concepts were contextualised from a customer perspective, anchoring the strategy in the real-world experiences of our users and resulting in stories that we could engage a broader audience with. This was not a project where we were addressing gaps in our offerings, but rather exploring the unique benefits of a cloud suite of tools that can be seamlessy integrated.

The strategy directly influenced short term and long term projects within Atlassian.

Furthermore, the strategy influenced strategic partners' integration of Jira.

Other work