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How I keep Confluence organised and relevant *** This might help you ***

Morning and happy new year everyone,

I thought I would create an article to share how I go about keeping the content published on our Confluence site organised and relevant. I appreciate this method might not work for everyone but I'm hoping it will help some of you who are just starting out using the application.

Since using this practice we have saved money buying 3rd party tools and archived over 8,000+ pages since 2019. We have also reduced a lot of frustration by making it easier for people to locate content.

We have 1,800+ users and host over 350+ spaces ranging from team to project spaces. This can be a nightmare to maintain if you're expected to manage the application all alone.

Space Owners

First things first, I make sure each space has an owner who is responsible for making sure permissions and the content published on their space is up to date. This takes huge pressure off straight away. I track all our space owners using Excel and review this once a year. I make the space owner select a 2nd person who can take over their responsibilities if they ever go off work sick.

Having a space owner and giving them tasks will make it far easier when people start requesting access to their space. They need to be the ones to authorise and grant the access. This will cover your back if information ever falls in the wrong hands.

Structure

When a person requests a new project or team space, they must all follow the same page tree structure. This makes it easier for the senior management team and customers to find information. Don't let the page tree turn into a mess as this will just anger people. We don't allow anyone to create a page outside the page tree group. We call those uncategorised pages and we ask the authors to relocate them to a more suitable area. We did some requirements gathering and found that the below page tree works for us (yours might look different):

 

Page Tree:

1, Meet the team
2, Objectives
3, Processes (high level diagrams)
4, Procedures (roles and responsibilities) 
5, User Guides (step by step instruction)
6, Templates
7, Training Matrix
8, Reporting
9, Team Documents (restricted area for team members only)
10, Shared Documents (shared with all departments)
11, Archive

Each author has somewhere to publish their page and can decide to create sub page groups to organise their content even further. 

This page tree is copied across from a template and can be moved across into a new team or project space in less then 5 minutes. 

Front Page

Each space front page must contain certain information to allow their customers to find what they need.

Team spaces must list out their services and links to key procedures. The front page also contains a search box that will only lookup content in their team space.

Project spaces must contain information about the project, summary, in scope, out scope, progress tracker and roadmap etc...

Archive

The final thing to help keep our environment clean, we make sure that each team and space owner regularly reviews their pages every few months. Pages which are no longer needed, are moved to section 11, Archive of their page tree.

Each month, I go through all the spaces to move out all the pages from their archive bin. This is moved across to the global archive space:

  • Archive 2019 (Space 1)
  • Archive 2020 (Space 2)
  • Archive 2021 (Space 3)

We have a global archive space for each year. After the 7th year we will export the first space to keep it on a secure file store.

Each page we archive is organised by team and grouped by the date we archive their unwanted pages. For example:

Archive 2020

  • Team A
    • Team A (Archive: 01/01/2020)
    • Team A (Archive: 01/12/2020)
  • Team B
    • Team B (Archive: 01/02/2020)
  • Team C
    • Team C (Archive: 01/01/2020)
    • Team C (Archive: 01/02/2020)
    • Team C (Archive: 01/04/2020)

We put a date of when we archive team pages and ask anyone to complete an electric form if they want the information back. 

**** As a rule, unfinished pages we delete, published pages which are no longer required archived ***

To Summaries

As I said before this method might not work for everyone but I hope it does help some of you who was as stuck and frustrated as I was about 3 years ago. Since implementing this method, I have seen a massive difference in activity.

To ensure space owners and page authors do what they are told, we typed up a procedure and got this signed off by the head of our department. We communicated this procedure to the wider business to ensure they are fully aware of their responsibility when using the site. We use this procedure as an excuse to escalate bad practices.

3 comments

This is really helpful.  I fell in on  pace, and I'm still trying to figure out where everything is.  Your structure is clean and intuitive. I might try to make some changes in our space.

Like Dave Liao likes this

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I am in a similar situation like yours, but on a smaller scale. We are new to Jira and your structure makes sense to us so we copied it to try it out.

Like Dave Liao likes this
Dave Liao Community Leader Apr 14, 2021

@mybucket2018 - 👍 Love this approach to governing a Confluence instance, especially since you enforce a particular content structure, not just recommend it.

👍 The team vs. shared docs does keep things tidy, partially because managing page restrictions is so unwieldy.

Thanks for sharing!

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