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Confluence – Six steps to get the most out of it

Confluence – Six steps to get the most out of it

Storing the company’s knowledge in a structured way can be a challenge, which a lot of companies try to achieve with Confluence. Roughly 125.000 companies worldwide use Confluence in different industries such as Technology, Financial Services, Government, Life Science or Non-Profit. Growing amounts of information need structure, and this is where the problem hits. Confluence is usually introduced as a tool, a platform, where a team can store relevant information. However, if it is not well structured from the very beginning, it will soon enough become quite challenging to manage the growing amounts of information, especially when it is used company-wide. Therefore, different actions should be taken in order to benefit from Confluence. What can that be? For example, an introduction of template spaces, cleaning up of existing content, user training, assessment of useful add-ons and many more. In this article, I want to share Six Best Practices to get the most out of Confluence:

  1. Develop an overall concept for the company’s confluence. This concept could be re-defining the spaces into categories such as team spaces, knowledge spaces and others. To achieve the best user experience, it makes sense to create templates for the spaces. Thus, the users benefit from the similar look and feel and win time when generating a new space, as they only need to copy the template.

  2. Clean-up the existing content and bring in a meaningful structure. This is especially important because the experience shows that there is usually a growing amount of information, which just can’t easily be accessed. Overview pages with certain navigation possibilities are a great way to do so.

  3. Get familiar with the built-in macros. The macros offer a lot of functionality to structure and design your content in pages and spaces. Include a page macro, for example, to show a decision log or a list of meeting notes, or automatically update content on several pages by using tags.

  4. Use and enhance the confluence templates to store information in a uniform way. The just mentioned decision log and meeting minutes are only two examples. Confluence users can be mentioned by typing {username} and will be notified automatically about the documents. The documents can be exported as PDF and shared with other people.

  5. Assess useful add-ons. There is a huge variety of add-ons. By using them you will make a whole new experience when using confluence. It will transform the platform from a simple wiki to something different, let’s say, to an intranet. Just by adding your corporate design, adding navigation to ensure better visibility of information, enabling text editing functionality, etc.

  6. Train the users. Training is maybe the most essential part. Just introducing a tool is never enough, if you aim to benefit from its deployment.

In conclusion, I'd like to highlight that just by leveraging the standard confluence functionality, it’s possible to introduce appealing spaces which can act as the home for the daily work of teams. The acceptance and use of confluence can be promoted by adding add-ons, as Confluence gets easy to use. This is an example of a project space used at DAHLBEER. The goal of creating these spaces was, on one hand, to make the onboarding of new joiners easier, on the other we offer a platform to supporting the teams daily work, by structuring the content and making it easily accessible.

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