Do you know you can take advantage of more than 120 pre-built page templates in Confluence and greatly reduce your time and effort working on a collaborative task? In the new worldwide remote environment, efficiency has become the teams’ greatest desire. And in search of greater efficiency, we often miss the obvious improvements, like the usage of templates.
In my recent Atlassian Community article, How Confluence Templates Change the Way You Think, I’ve explained our journey from blank page to template adoption. Long story short, our team ran into a time-consuming issue: many poorly organized spaces, hard-to-find information, and too many questions and answers in Slack instead of Confluence.
We use a variety of templates, but three of them are always on the top of the list:
Working and writing about reporting apps, Old Street’s marketing team established the habit of better data visualization and tracking. This led us to further optimize our favorite templates with live reports and charts, which reduced the number of questions and time spent on Zoom.
Let’s head to the examples!
Sprint Planning Meeting
Never waste precious time figuring out your sprint meeting agenda. First, it’s already built for you. Second, you’re probably not going to invent something better. Here are the features of this template we love most:
- Sprint planning checklist: each meeting participant contributes to the checklist by highlighting key topics to be discussed and prioritized.
- Sprint team members: who participated in the meeting and who’s doomed to watch a Zoom recording
- Agenda: if you are part of a marketing team on steroids like I am, your checklist would be twice as long as needed. Prior to the meeting, we define our main focus for the month and add only relevant items to our meeting agenda.
- Action items and capacity planning: each team member is responsible for calculating their capacity and figuring out the type and count of tasks they can handle in the upcoming sprint.
It’s not uncommon for us to overload the upcoming sprint; that’s why we check key sprint metrics before and during our planning meeting. Most important being people’s availability, unfinished tasks, and a sprint report for the past three months.
Using Custom Jira Charts for Confluence, we pull data about our performance in the past 3 sprints. It’s a simple 2D bar chart showing the status of issues we added to each of the sprints. As you can see below, it’s the easiest way to spot if anything goes wrong with expectations vs reality, and it’s another quick shortcut to our Jira board (yes, each color block is an active link to all issues with the current status.)
Sometimes we estimate correctly, but not always. Hey, we’re human. It’s hard for us to perfectly estimate our capacity. That’s why we have the Team Capacity Live Report page, where we see live reports for each team member’s sprint progress.
Curious how we did that?
We first created a Jira Filter for each marketing team member: Jane, Claire, Christopher & Teodora. It’s a straightforward Project + Assignee filtering which we use as the ‘Source’ in Custom Charts.
Then we used the 2D grouped bar chart to chart by Sprint and group by Status. Hide all the unnecessary elements, and voila!
Quarterly Check In
Recently adopted, the Quarterly Check In template has already had a positive impact on our well-being. The template contains a step-by-step tutorial following the best practices for reflection and alignment on goals, which has allowed us to achieve better collaboration as a team and better understanding of each other as humans.
Internally called “Quarterly Alignments”, these meetings help us to continually realign our activities with our priorities and make sure we are happy and satisfied doing it.
Using my no-longer-secret quarterly alignment file, I can show you how we combined templating and reporting using Custom Jira Charts for Confluence to measure individual performance better.
Each page begins with a simple bar chart showing the assigned issue count per sprint in the last quarter. Having a sprint report per assignee helps us compare performance and workload. If someone is trying to overachieve by doubling their work, I’ll be there to stop them!
Keeping the basic template structure of Reflections → Goals and Priorities → Feedback, we ensure each team member is working on relevant and enjoyable work instead of being all over the place.
We expanded Step 2: Update goals and priorities based on our needs and performance metrics we want to track and observe.
Readers may say: “Having the issue count shows nothing; you can create a task for watering the plants, and it would still be a valid number of your sprint report!”
That’s why we transformed the same report into a detailed breakdown of activity types. Each marketing issue carries a corresponding Component that allows us to track the workload per initiative.
If your events team is overwhelmed with app tasks, there may be something wrong, right?
At Old Street, we are not fans of goal-setting as a term. But if we expect measurable results, we must define objectives and challenges we want to conquer during the year.
Keeping the basic template structure, we’ve customized titles and sections to our needs. We shaped our visions and plans for the year and set measurable goals and desired outcomes.
With this page being a hub for our content and marketing ideas, I decided to spice it up with a live yearly progress report. The tile chart on this page shows how our Jira marketing project is moving through 2022. Showing only zero counts on January 1st, I’m excited to see what the future will bring on December 31.
If you are hungry for data, you can pull reports on each goal and activity, as well as individual performance during the year.
These are only 3 examples of combining Confluence templates and reporting on your way to organizational success. Now imagine using the whole palette of more than 120 templates spiced up with fancy (and easy to make) reports.
Teodora Vasileva is a Confluence junkie, using it to manage both work and life. She loves hiking in the mountains of Bulgaria and dreams of waking up and finding a Welsh Corgi puppy on her bed seeking cuddles. She tumbled into software and the Atlassian ecosystem after getting recruited by Botron, an Atlassian Marketplace Vendor, eventually becoming a one-woman army for all of Botron’s marketing, events, and partnerships.