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How Product Managers Can Use Idea Boards To Organize Feature Ideas and Product Vision

Important Announcement: Orderly Databases for Confluence was acquired by and is now part of Atlassian! Click to learn more.


Product managers have probably the toughest gig at any company. For starters, they have the “small” responsibility of defining the product vision by understanding user needs and ensuring the product remains ahead of the competition - no biggie, right?

The real challenge begins when PMs have to align all stakeholders on the product vision, roadmap, and feature prioritization while making sure the product still fulfills the customers' needs. A great way to tackle this challenge is to create product idea boards. These boards collect and record product information in a way that gets every stakeholder on the same page and makes ideas and concepts easy to discuss.


What Is an Idea Board?

An idea board is a consolidated information hub - digital or physical - where product managers and other stakeholders can collect their thoughts about bug fixes, product redesigns, feature requests, etc., and evaluate them.

Whether the product is in its infancy or a seasoned SaaS application with thousands of users, collecting ideas about product improvements, bugs, and additional functionalities and deliberating over them is a must. This ensures that your existing users are satisfied and reduces the churn rate while attracting new customers. PMs can use an idea board to ensure product development is well-aligned with the market needs.

How To Build an Idea Board

The crazy thing about creating an idea board: it can be as simple as an Excel sheet with information about the idea title, its completion status, and the person/team responsible.


That said, you want something more conducive to collaboration (and less boring) that also allows you to structure and organize the data per your requirements. Luckily, Confluence, combined with Orderly Databases, can do the trick!

Creating a Smart Idea Board in Confluence

Method #1: Use Confluence Tables

Confluence allows you to structure your content through spaces and pages. Create an idea board as a simple Confluence table and save it in the product space so everyone has access. The product idea board (table) contains the various fields you need to collect information from your team like:

  • Idea Title

  • Creation Date

  • Description

  • Status

  • Owner

  • Team

With these fields alone, you’ll already have a functional idea board on your hands.


Method #2: Use Confluence Page Properties

If your board doesn’t frequently change, a table like this might be sufficient. Confluence tables are static though, so they are prone to getting outdated if not updated frequently.

Using the Page Properties and Page Properties Report macro in Confluence can help create an idea board overview that doesn’t need to be manually updated. To do so, simply add the Page Property macro to each of your product idea pages. Then the Page Properties Report macro can be used to generate an idea board containing links to each idea page, along with the fields used in the summary information and any other data and labels.

Method #3: Use Orderly Databases for Confluence

The Page Properties macro is great in generating an overview of Confluence pages. But if you want to update any page property, you’ll have to visit each Confluence page. In addition, searching through the data or viewing only a slice of information with actions like sorting and filtering is impossible. This means as your idea board inevitably starts to grow, it might become difficult to comb through the data.

If you plan to create a more fluid idea board with multiple contributors and data that is subject to regular updates, you need a power-up for Confluence. This is where Orderly Databases for Confluence comes in and helps you create an idea board that is always up-to-date, easily searchable, and can display data in any way you want.

Replace Static Confluence Tables With Dynamic Databases

A simple table or Page Property-based idea board in Confluence is prone to getting outdated very quickly. Orderly can turn the table into a dynamic and centralized database for all your product ideas, creating a single source of truth.

You can add different data types ranging from text to tags, dates, images, user mentions, and even other Confluence pages. For example, you can add the links of the Confluence pages into the “Idea Title” field, which can contain more details about that particular idea. A short description field can be added to give a quick overview for someone searching for a specific idea. Tags like “Page Status” and “Team” can be added to help label and sort the data. Even user mentions can be added to state an idea’s ownership.

This information can be edited without even opening the Confluence editor, and any changes made on the idea board will be replicated in real time across all Confluence pages involved.

Display Important Data on Each Page

Any type of information in the idea board, from entire tables to individual data points, can be readily displayed on other Confluence pages using the Orderly entry macro. This allows you to quickly refer to the data on the idea board and contextualize all related Confluence pages.


Each linked idea in the board will be automatically displayed at the top of the corresponding Confluence page. This way, no entry on the idea board will get lost in the sea of Confluence pages, and neither would you have to waste time manually editing and keeping every linked Confluence page updated.

For example: Do you want to refer to the latest ideas in an upcoming refinement meeting? Easy! An Orderly macro can display just a portion of the database on your meeting page based on custom dates and idea statuses.

Search and Sort Your Ideas Efficiently

Using filters and sorting functionalities in Orderly Databases, you can group and search for any data in the idea board, thus helping you to find relevant information quicker than ever! For example, if you want to display ideas only with the page status "new,” you can use the filter option to do so and view only the latest product ideas.

View Your Info Any Way You Want

Multiple view types such as tables, cards, and Kanban boards, can be used to view information and extract actionable insights.

For example, a Kanban board view can be generated using “teams” as the key field to get an overview of how many ideas are assigned to each team. These ideas can then be easily reassigned to different teams through simple drag and drop.

Similarly, another Kanban board with “status” as the key field for grouping could help get an overview of the current status of all the ideas and easily update them. Creating these customizable workflows in Confluence allows you to improve accountability, transparency, and collaboration across teams.

Method #4: Create Idea Boards In Jira With Jira Product Discovery

Idea boards in Orderly Databases work like a Swiss army knife, offering a lightweight and versatile product management tool that doesn’t require you to move away from Confluence. But if you’re looking for something even more powerful and a one-stop solution for the entire product development life-cycle, Atlassian’s Jira Product Discovery is the perfect tool!

Jira Product Discovery allows you to create an idea board for adding product ideas and feedback from any tool and source and lets you directly generate Jira tickets using those ideas. Your team and users can easily give feedback in the form of comments. And all these inputs can be consolidated for better prioritization of product decisions, aided by tools like “Impact vs. Effort” charts and “Impact Assessment” dashboard.

 Jira Product Management.png

Keep Your Product Ideas Structured in Confluence Using Orderly Databases

An idea board is a great way to track product development, collect valuable feedback from your team members, and organize new ideas to create extraordinary products.

Better yet, the board doesn’t have to be limited to just product ideas. It can be extended to other teams and use cases such as customer feedback, bug reporting, brainstorming sessions, marketing and design ideas, and events planning - the sky is the limit!

You can either move to Jira Product Discovery for a comprehensive idea board in Jira or create a smart idea board with detailed documentation in Confluence using Orderly Databases. Learn more about Orderly here, or book a demo with us to discuss how you can make your information structured that would otherwise be lost somewhere in Confluence!




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