By Mehrnaz Karimi From ClearHub — Atlassian Contractor Providers
Confluence comes with a wide range of blueprints and out-of-the-box solutions to help users get started. In this post, we explore some of the features which we urge you to take advantage of now, whether you’re a new or experienced user.
The capabilities of Confluence are extensive, you’ll know this if you’re familiar with the wiki-tool that has built up a reputation for being highly flexible. Let’s explore some of these in more detail.
The good stuff
We could fill a book with all of the wonders of Confluence but we’ll leave that to Atlassian and give you what you came here for — TIPS!
1. Create collaborative product requirements
Ensuring everyone is on the same page across teams is vital, and writing requirements can help you achieve this. Atlassian recommends creating a collaborative product requirement to hash out the details of large and complex epics so that details can be kept in one place.
Having a single source of truth enables development and design teams to provide immediate feedback, accelerating iterations and allowing you to make a start on any required work immediately.
To get started, go to your product requirements blueprint and add in key details — outline your goals, business objectives and strategic fit. Then, you can drill down and create user stories, as well as drag-and-drop UX and design files.
2. Build a release planning page
Building a release planning page on Confluence will allow you to collect and organise projects and information for each release, improving communication efforts as a whole.
With a release planning page, you can direct colleagues to additional info in Jira (or other Atlassian applications) and identify business objectives, relevant stakeholders and ultimately, your roadmap.
3. Create pages for customer interviews
Document and share customer interviews, and gather feedback in a standardised and streamlined fashion. To do this, you’ll need to set up a page template which is a lot easier than having to collate customer interview data into a static document.
4. Create sprint retrospective and demo pages
Confluence comes with a retrospective blueprint for development teams. What’s more, using page templates, helps standardise demo pages for sprints.
5. Improve development decisions
Development teams have to make tough decisions every day, it’s a part of their job spec… I think? The good news is, Confluence comes with a decision blueprint to help dev teams use a repeatable process for making decisions.
In addition to this, decisions can be reviewed, helping you learn from mistakes as they are recorded.
6. Document and share release notes
Confluence streamlines the process of documenting software releases — an integral part of the dev team’s priority, which is to increase visibility and improve communication.
This process comes with a range of options including the Jira Reports blueprint, which allows you to create changelog reports and public-facing release notes in your own template.
7. Streamline processes
Confluence can be used to streamline a broad range of processes across both software teams and business departments.
8. Share progress
Keep everyone up to date by sharing your progress in Confluence via a blog post.
9. Create documentation for onboarding purposes
Onboarding new team members can be challenging for any department, particularly dev teams as their roles require them to keep up with customer demands and maintain the quality of code.
Fortunately, the onboarding process can be streamlined on Confluence as onboarding documents specific to the role can be created and uploaded, helping you save time on having to provide your new hire with resources to answer their questions.
10. Create a knowledge base
A company-wide knowledge base is what it says on the tin. It is a place to create and store technical documentation which can be referred to as and when needed. Centralising information is highly recommended and on Confluence, you can alter permissions so that only specific users can access it.
11. Confluence as an intranet
An intranet is an important asset to any organisation, allowing for an easy flow of information, but it needs to be simple enough for non-technical users.
With its out-of-the-box features, Confluence is a well sought after option, as it provides a navigational user interface to improve collaboration and information sharing across the board whilst ensuring sensitive data is kept under wraps.
12. Live project reporting
Confluence macros are one of the most common methods of sharing live information from within Jira.
For instance, the Jira Issues macro can post a subset of issues, a single issue or a total count of issues in Confluence. The Jira Chart macro can post a gadget from a Jira dashboard. These are both updated to show the latest information concerning issues.
Go Get started!
Confluence is a feature-rich tool, which can be used for a vast range of use cases. For dev teams, it provides the agility needed to maintain pace and creates transparency within the team and across the wider business.
As easy as Confluence is to use (once you get the hang of it), setting it up requires the assistance of an expert. If you don’t have the time or the in-house expertise to do this, we can help.
Tips from the Atlassian Community:
Document meetings! (Provides critical traceability of *how* a project ended up where it did!)
Never upload a document without incorporating it in a viewer on a page. Imagine if the BBC News site was a file store where the stories had to be downloaded to be read!
Pay for Gliphy!! (brilliantly simple and simply brilliant).
Contact us if you have any more tips!
Mehrnaz (Naz) Karimi is a published writer, experienced in creating copy for both digital and print outlets from magazines and newspapers to blogs, technical white papers, video scripts, podcasts, and more.