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@Dzmitry Hryb _Deviniti_ is a Content Creator in the team which covers UX/UI product documentation and marketing agenda in the Atlassian Apps department of Deviniti. In this article, you'll learn more about how he and his team use Jira Software for task tracking, Confluence for knowledge management and project collaboration, and Hipchat for the rest of our online communication, like sharing memes :).
How do nontechnical teams at Deviniti use Atlassian products?
We have a separate project in Jira and a couple of pages in a Confluence space shared with our development and support teams, which we manage ourselves. In Jira, we've got a Kanban board set up with a custom workflow and a couple of quick filters, where all our tasks live. We use it mainly to track statuses and see the scope of work to be done, as the actual work lives in Confluence (with an exception of graphics and feature mockups, which we upload into the respective tasks in Jira). There we document an overall strategy, plan specific campaigns and draft all the content we create, from Marketplace listings [goo.gl] and promotional emails to articles [medium.com] and webinars [goo.gl] (or event workshops). Then it is reviewed by the team and gets published from right there because we can do all the formatting, add images/videos, etc. and then mostly copy/paste. Due to having such a workflow, we leave 90% of our comments in Confluence and not in Jira. In fact, many issues in our Jira even don't have descriptions, because we cross-link the tickets with Confluence pages, so we can easily go back and forth and check what's going on.
Our marketing schedule is basically a calendar in Confluence. We've created a couple of event types, like articles, webinars, live events, etc., and it serves well for planning. What I particularly love about it is that we can assign people to these events and set up reminders for each type - this is very handy, as we release frequently and have tight deadlines. Color codes are also a useful thing, as we can see what's next at a single glance.
We used to store our product documentation in Confluence, with each app having its own space. However, at some point, we decided on migrating it to our Support webpage [deviniti.com], which is built using Hugo. There are a couple of reasons to do so:
Our internal documents still remain in Confluence, though - they are design and editorial guidelines, configuration manuals, checklists and stuff. Also, there we store commonly used graphics (like apps' logos or presentations), all the useful links and even random notes and ideas (which are well structured within the page tree, though).
What are some of the challenges of onboarding nontechnical teams onto Confluence?
Before I came to Deviniti, I had only heard about Atlassian and Jira from my friends working in IT. And I had no problems with getting to know Confluence whatsoever! I think every decent PC or Mac user should get into it pretty quickly compared to Jira, which often appears as complicated even to seasoned technical people (no offense for Jira team, you're doing an amazing job as well). For beginners, there are page templates, which you can look at, deconstruct and learn. Personally, I start with a blank page 99% of the time - not only because of being used to Google Docs or other rich text editors but simply because I've got everything I need to produce content at hand. The only thing I can think about is probably the macros - their setup isn't as intuitive as the rest of the software.
What are some of the benefits of having nontechnical teams use Confluence?
As I mentioned, we've got a shared space in Confluence with the rest of our department. It increases transparency between different teams across the project: we have easy access to the apps' roadmaps, so we can plan the marketing better, and the support team can track the content we make and share it with our customers. We also have some pages that all the Apps people use at once, like the one with credentials for our Jira test instances, and of course the Team page.
What is the importance of the Team page?
Our Team page is multi-functional. While we do prefer talking face-to-face when we're in the same room as one another, we do have a page of short profiles with names and photos. This is useful for the newcomers, so they can remember teammates faster or have it as a cheat sheet.
The subpages include our regular meeting schedules (daylies, retros, and stuff) and the Team Newsletter where each month we share our latest releases, the apps' installation counts, or remind of people's birthdays and all the memorable moments that took place last month. We even have a special subpage for giving kudos to teammates!