Add-on evaluation with confluence templates

Atlassian market place contains number of Apps/Addons which improves the capability of out of the box Atlassian products. It is good to follow a plugin evaluation process before install add-ons. So that we would be able to verify the suitability of the add-on for our real requirement.

I evaluate add-ons when there is a new user requirement or when there is a new version of an already installed add-on available in the marketplace. I and my team mates uses a confluence template to guide us in every add-on evaluation and later to keep all the records in an organized page tree.

Parts of the Confluence template for add-on evaluation

  1. Evaluation test notes
  2. Selection criteria and nomination listing
  3. Functionality analysis
  4. Test scenarios and results
  5. Technical analysis
  6. Anomaly report and risk analysis

Did you noticed there are some tasks which you need a little help from your mates? For me as I am a quality Assurance engineer I need Support engineer help to do technical analysis. This template let me and my team mates collaborate too. Let’s see how I included each of above sections in add-on evaluation template I created in confluence.

Evaluation test notes

This section contains a summary of evaluation. Which contains initial user requirement that leads us to install an add-on, final results, test summary QA notes, support engineer notes, important dates of evaluation and a conclusion.

Evaluation test notes.png

Selection criteria and nomination listing

There are number of add-ons available in the market place that fulfills the same requirement. We usually consider below points when selecting an add-on for evaluation.

  • Atlassian recommendation
  • Atlassian market place reviews

Also we keep links to vendors issue trackers and market place page too. This section of the evaluation template gives us a quick overview out the plugins we have selected.

Selection criteria and nomination listing.png

Functionality analysis

This section tracks all the functionalities and sub functionalities of an add-on. It is easy to compare add-ons by functionality when there are more than one add-on is selected for evaluation.

Functionality analysis.png

Test scenario and results

We always install the plugins in a test environment and test each and every function and verifies the functionality and compatibility. It is like a mini test plan with all test cases and results.

Test scenario and results.png

Technical analysis

Under technical analysis we add remarks about Errors in log files, memory issues, CPU usage, thread usage and special comments and observation details.

Technical analysis.png

Anomaly report and risk analysis

Then we log anomalies found during functional and technical analysis. We use chart macro to give viewers a graphical view of anomalies identified; based on their severity. This method improves the quality of decisions we make in this add-on evaluation.

Finally considering technical, functional analysis and anomaly report we list down functional and technical risks we identified.

anomaly2.png

 

Gain

anomaly1.png

It seems like a lot of work before installing an add-on but still confluence template for add-on evaluation saves us a lot more time and effort.  By creating this template we were able to achieve below,

  • Standardize the add-on evaluation process. The best thing is when you identify area of improvement in this process it is supper easy to update the template and accept the improvement.
  • Easy to manage previous evaluations and keep records.
  • Instruction texts comes handy and speed up the form filling and reduces our think time
  • We have use status macro, charts and table of content macro to improve both authors and readers experience. For authors it is super easy documentation creation. For readers it is super-duper informatics view for decision making.

Hope this gives you some tips on how confluence templates can make your life easy.

22 comments

Great share, @Alana Fernando!

I really like how well adapted this is to evaluate any kind of plugins. On top of that, it makes a perfect template to actually compare factually two plugins that could potentially fulfill the same business need(s).

The fact that you take the time to write such well written articles is really appreciated :)

Cheers!

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 14, 2018

Thank you very much @Julien Nicolas de Verteuil. Glad you found this useful. Actually πŸ˜Š  @Bridget Sauer is the one who give me inspiration to write this article. 

Adaptable and very useful for companies evaluating any sort of software.

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 14, 2018

Thanks @Patrick Cartier [Candylio] πŸ˜Š 

Bridget Sauer Community Manager Aug 15, 2018

Fantastic job! @Alana Fernando you are a superstar :) 

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 15, 2018

Thank you @Bridget Sauer πŸ˜Š β€

Manon Soubies-Camy Community Champion Aug 16, 2018

This is impressive! Thanks for sharing @Alana Fernando!

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 16, 2018

Thanks @Manon Soubies-Camy πŸ˜Š 

@Alana Fernando - as someone on the Confluence marketing team here at Atlassian, I can't tell you how AWESOME THIS IS. I was so happy reading your article here on how you used a template to help you better collaborate with your team. You are really thoughtful and organized in your approach to testing different Marketplace apps. What a rockstar! 

Also I see that @Bridget Sauer motivated you to write this, I'm so glad she did!! Kudos, Bridget, my friend (she's a rockstar too)!

Thank you for sharing Alana, especially those screenshots! 

(PS - I see you're from Sri Lanka, I'm Sri Lankan too πŸ™ŒπŸ½) 

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 16, 2018

Wow thank you for your kind words @Kesha Thillainayagam πŸ˜Š β€ you made my day! (Yey Sri Lanka. I am super exited to meet you here :D ) 

@Alana Fernando - I live in San Francisco but hopefully I'll make it out there soon! πŸ€—

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 16, 2018

wow that is good news πŸ˜Š

Jonathan Smith Community Champion Aug 22, 2018

This is wonderful! 

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 22, 2018

Thanks @Jonathan Smith πŸ˜Š 

Jonathan Smith Community Champion Aug 24, 2018

@Alana Fernando Already applied some of these concepts to our project management template:

design.jpg

  • UI Expand + Charts + Panel macros

Hoping to wow management at our next PM meeting :)

Alana Fernando Community Champion Aug 26, 2018

Wow @Jonathan Smith looks awesome πŸ˜Š β€ No doubt management will love these improvements. 

This is awesome. I'm definitely adding these ideas to our app evaluation process.

As the service provider of Atlassian services, to our university, using the concepts outline here allows us to also be a service consumer.  As I tell the team, "We eat our own dog food".

This is going in to our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Thank you!

Great article, than you @Alana Fernando.

This is great. Could this be made available to download?

Fantastic to see and really motivating.

I agree with Chris Anderson - Could this be made available to download? :)

Alana Fernando Community Champion Sep 18, 2018

Thanks @Torin Emard@eric mumpton@Rudolf Arada@Chris Anderson and @Andrea Brien  😊 β€. I am very happy to hear this is useful to you. 

@Chris Anderson@Andrea Brien since this is a template that I have created in a local space , currently there are no options to make this available for download. but I'll check the possibility/alternative ways and if I found a way I'll surely share it with you all.

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