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🎥 7 Best Practices for Project Management in Confluence

Ah, project management. Not a science, not an art, and certainly not for the faint of heart!

At K15t, we’ve been managing projects of different sizes for over 10 years. Some have been on time and on budget, some involved more than we originally bargained for, and some sat there, stagnated, and were eventually quietly archived 🙂 🙃

No matter the project size or work involved, our projects have one thing in common: we’ve managed them in Confluence.

Some might say: “Confluence? What about Jira?! What about Trello?!” No worries, we love Jira and Trello for managing our project tasks, but there’s so much more to managing a project than that. So we wanted to share the parts of project management we use Confluence for and why.

Check out the video where you can see all these Confluence best practices in action 🎥
https://youtu.be/YZw5R0eItwM

If you're more of a reader than a watcher, we've got you covered!⬇

1. Describe the Purpose and Goal

Start with a project page. Here anyone can find the purpose of the project, the goal you’re trying to achieve, read regular status updates, etc. This should be the one project page to rule them all! Make sure anyone who’s interested in the project knows where this page is and has at least skimmed through it.

Describe the Purpose and Goal.gif

2. Assemble and Manage a Team

Bring everyone working on your project together using a team in Confluence. Anyone in the organization can use this page to see who’s on the team, what they’re working on, and how to reach out with questions. This is a great resource for those people more interested with who is working on a project than what the project involves.

Assemble and Manage a Team.png

3. Create and Initiate a Plan

Using the page tree and spaces, you can directly structure the pages you’re collaborating on in Confluence under the project plan. This way, you can have your project where anyone can find it in the page tree and then explore the child pages to learn more. It might not seem like a big deal, but being able to create a project structure like this ensures everyone know’s what’s being done, where it’s being done, and most importantly, why.

Create and Initiate a Plan.gif

4. Define Scope and Milestones

As mentioned, project tasks are likely managed in another tool, like Jira or Trello. You can use integrations and apps to bring those tasks directly into Confluence. So whether your tasks and milestones are laid out in Confluence or another tool, you can view and collaborate on them all on a single page.

Define Scope and Milestones.png

5. Communicate Status and Updates

Skip the one-off project emails by putting all your updates in Confluence. Insist that the team uses templates to keep weekly meetings organized and in one place. Also, put your project status updates right on your project page so everyone knows exactly where to look for the latest news.

Communicate Status and Updates.gif

6. Keep Stakeholders Up to Date

Don’t waste time sending separate emails, posts, messages, and faxes. Write a single project update in Confluence and share it with your stakeholders using integrations with Slack and Teams or with notifications to the Confluence Mobile App or in their inbox. These automations help you ensure everyone is working from a shared set of information and also save you valuable time not writing emails. Yay!

Keep Stakeholders Up to Date.png

7. Track Multiple Projects

Anybody in your organization can get updates on the projects they care about quickly in Confluence. Use the Page Properties macro on your project pages and then create project overview pages using the Page Properties Report macro. With these two helpful macros, your project overview pages will be easy to read and always have the latest project information.

We hope some of these best practices help your team manage your next project in Confluence.

Track Multiple Projects.png

✨8. What's Missing?

So these are the things we think are really important about project management in Confluence, but what did we forget? Jump in the comments and let's talk about:

  • Project collaboration successes or challenges
  • Project management techniques your team uses in Confluence
  • Fun project stories the community would enjoy hearing

4 comments

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Aug 30, 2022

As always, excellent recap to a well crafted video @Matt Reiner _K15t_. Thanks for contributing this to the community, 

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Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Aug 31, 2022

Thanks @Andy Gladstone we really love to contribute like this.

And of course, special shoutouts to all the amazing people at K15t who's wisdom is included:

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Lars Maehlmann Community Leader Sep 02, 2022

Hello Matt, thanks for the nice summary of project management setups in Confluence. I am wondering which timeline tool you use in "step 1 - Describe the Purpose and Goal".

In my mind, it is possible to use

- Roadmap from Jira (means there are already some issues)

- Roadmap macro from Confluence. In this case, do you also have pages linked to the different bars related to a lane? Or is it more like a brief overview of the project?

---

How do you collect the requirements of a customer in a project? I use Confluence always to start the discussion about goals and requirements on an abstract level sometimes just some loose ideas and a transcript. It helps very often to keep the focus on the ideas and not on a tool like Jira. Afterward, I start to organize the results into a vision, epic, or feature (still in Confluence). In the next step I plan with the customer what comes next (Backlog ....). For me, it is fascinating to see the journey from an idea in Confluence to Jira to a result. It shows the customer transparent how to get from the idea to a real result.

 I have the last thought on the notification of how to update Stakeholders or to communicate about the project in general. I often use the blog functionality to inform about updates. You didn't mention it. A blog could be spread through Slack, E-Mail, or RSS Feed ..... ;-) and for a status of a project, I use a Dashboard in Jira. Do you have any thoughts on it would be curious to hear your and please anyone's opinion on this?

Thank you again for this article I enjoyed it and looking forward to updates.
Cheers,
Lars

Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Sep 02, 2022

Hey @Lars Maehlmann

I guess you'd probably get a different answer depending on which PM you ask at K15t. Most of us (including myself) would prefer the Jira Roadmap macro because we handle all of task management in Jira. We're pretty big nerds when it comes to content updating dynamically, so having something on the page that's always up-to-date is a winner in my book.

I think the Roadmap macro can be helpful in cases where you're still working up the scope of the project and you want to share a rough timeline. I think it's a great way to visually lay out your thoughts on what might be involved.

 

Totally agree with your approach to requirements gathering, that's how we do it as well. Most of our projects spring out of a very ugly collection of notes that were thrown into a Confluence page based on a conversation in a meeting or by the coffee machine (sometimes good espresso brings out our best work). Then someone cleans it up a little bit and then shares it with stakeholders to get more rough thoughts and feedback. We often use tables for this, to give a tiny bit of structure to the feedback and ideas. We always have a column where people can share their thoughts by mentioning themselves. Something like:

 Idea Description  Thoughts 
 Idea #1 Heres a thought or idea we might want to accomplish in this project

@Matt Reiner: I think this is great, but we should be sure to... 

@Shannon Meehan _K15t_: I don't think this should be a primary focus...

 Idea #2 Here's another  @Nils Bier _K15t_ We should also be sure to look into...

Once we've got this feedback, then just like you said, we move toward a more formal task plan in Confluence (typically a table) and then we create Jira issues.

 

Your blog suggestion is totally on point! Someone mentioned this during our Project Collaboration live stream and I can't believe we forgot to mention this in the video/article! This is why the Confluence user community is so amazing!

I think this is such a great way to make sure stakeholders are paying attention to the important stuff by not overwhelming them with notifications. This way they know that once a week, they'll get a single update covering everything they need to know. Much like how Atlas does things.

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