Confluence Content Management: Part 3

Making Content Decisions


Once your advisory board is formed, it’s time for the board to make some important decisions. The ideal time to discuss application structure is at the time of adoption, but I know, some of you didn’t have that opportunity or you inherited an established application. (Me too!) But don’t worry – it’s never too late to improve how content is organized!

Questions to Discuss

Here are some questions to help you make smart content and structure decisions. Gather the admins, application owners, and stakeholders to start a discussion. (And record the discussion on Confluence, of course!)

1. What content belongs in the application?

Determine what types of content Confluence will store and whether there’s content that should be stored somewhere else.


Tip: It might be better to store sensitive employee data in an application made specifically for that purpose. I don’t like storing sensitive information in an application everyone can access. The risk of forgetting to apply space or page restrictions is just too high.

2. How are global spaces organized?

What is the global space structure and hierarchy strategy? Some admins mirror the organization’s org chart, where each branch has a dedicated space. Others create one space per department or team.


Tip: When determining your structure consider where users naturally go for different types of information outside of Confluence. You may want to organize the application in a similar way.

3: When is a new global space warranted?

You need to define guidelines for creating additional global spaces. Usually this is determined by permission requirements. If most of the expected content requires restriction, it might make more sense to store it in a dedicated global space where access is limited

And of course, before creating a new space, always check that a suitable space doesn’t already exist. When there are too many global spaces, it’s hard for users to find what they’re looking for and hard for admins to manage.

4: How will you encourage consistency across multiple different global spaces?

Users always appreciate a predictable standard to rely on. You’ll need a way encourage users to follow similar patterns without stifling use or creativity. Luckily Confluence has features like blueprints, templates, labels, and macros that tie related content together.

Have the board create an example Confluence space to experiment and develop a standard. Design the page hierarchy, types, and formats. Then actually use the space for a real life scenario and make adjustments before sharing the pattern across the organization. Then encourage space admins to use the model.

Example Consistency Ideas

  • Agree to store all meeting notes under a parent page called “meeting notes” and to name child pages in a specific format.

  • Agree that every space should have an FAQ page that includes the “Table of contents” macro and a search macro for easy browsing.

  • Suggest that leader contact information is always displayed at the top right of the overview page.

Small steps like these make a real difference in long term usability. And of course, be ready to expand or change the model as the organization grows and changes.

Part 4: Space Scenario



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