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(2 of 3) How Atlassians plan meetings they want to attend: The one with no place to collaborate

👋 Hello Community! I’m back with part two of our series around creating more effective meetings using Confluence and Trello.

It’s tempting to think the solution is to eliminate as many meetings as possible. But having fewer meetings is often an outcome, not a solution. Effective communication before, during, and after will result in better – and yes, hopefully fewer – meetings.

In the previous post, we learned how the Digital Campaign team tracked action items more effectively with a Trello board embedded in their Confluence meeting agendas. 

 



👥 Meet the team

The next team we’ll highlight is a division of the Strategy & Sales Ops (SSO) team, who manage internal readiness for New Product Introduction (NPI) and changes.

As you can imagine, there are many people, processes, and systems involved when introducing new products. As the team and its responsibilities grew, it was time for Charlie Zhu, NPI Program Manager, to run regular retrospectives for the team to reflect, provide feedback, and make changes to the way they work.

Read along to find out how they started using Confluence and Trello to:

✅ Run regular retrospectives

✅ Facilitate discussion of the most important items

✅ Capture key action items


🆘 What were the challenges?

  1. Meetings became status updates without much discussion or collaboration.

  2. There was no formalized way to gather feedback, propose process changes, or engage with existing suggestions.

  3. They lacked an easy way to organize follow-ups that the extended team could access.

  4. With a distributed workforce, it was tough to keep virtual meetings engaging and worthwhile.

     

🤔 How did this impact the team?

Charlie heard a lot of…

“I wish we had more of a head's up when deadlines changed.”
“Where's the best place to provide some feedback?”
“This page looks outdated - who's responsible for updating it?”

This kind of uncertainty became the norm. It was clear the team needed to re-align and implement regular retrospectives.


✅ What was the solution?

Charlie set up regular retrospectives to keep a pulse on how the team was doing. They created a Trello board to keep it interactive and accessible to all.

This created an open and encouraging environment that empowered each and every team member to vote and openly discuss the issues that matter most to them.

Performing regular retrospectives in Trello helped the team:

  • Remove roadblocks from their daily work

  • Celebrate what works well

  • Discuss and vote on needed improvements

  • Assign action items required to improve communication and collaboration

Retrospectives often flow best when participants capture their input beforehand – that way, the time spent meeting live is focused on discussion. This also helps people participate remotely if they can’t attend.

💭 Meeting tips from Atlassians: 

“I take turns delegating team members to be the meeting note taker. Retrospective discussions happen quickly and naturally  it’s hard to organize cards and action items in real time. They do so after the meeting and send out the Confluence page with the Trello board for recap and next steps. Everyone is on the same page, pun intended.” - Charlie Zhu, NPI Program Manager


This team shares a Confluence page with all participants beforehand. It includes
:

  • An overview of the meeting including expectations, agenda, and goals

  • A list of participants

  • The Trello board to be used for the meeting

  • Instructions for adding cards to the Trello board

  • A clear call to action (CTA) for participants to populate the board with their thoughts

charlie retro pre read page .png

💸 Bonus! Having a pre-read in Confluence allows you to see who’s viewed the content before the meeting (think: accountability).

 

👍 How did it help?

Using Confluence and Trello together, the SSO team is running regular retrospectives to continue optimizing internal processes.

  • ➡️ Before the meeting: A dedicated Confluence page gives participants an overview of the meeting, a chance to use Trello to share ideas, as well as preview and comment on each other’s contributions at their own pace.
  • ➡️ During the meeting: Everyone’s thoughts are more organized – which means more meaningful discussions and clear takeaways.
  • ➡️ After the meeting: A succinct readout in Confluence clearly summarizes what decisions were made and what actions are being taken.

Everyone is literally on the same page - before, during, and after the meeting. 🙌

 

🎁 Try it yourself!

Does any of this resonate with you? Lucky for you, our team made a Trello board template inspired by the SSO team retrospective. Try a free copy of the guided board template here.


Let us know in the comments how this helps your teams!


All the best,
Ariel



🎓 Want more?
Take our free 30-minute Atlassian University course to learn about the four principles of an effective meeting: preparation, facilitation, participation, and follow-up.

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