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Join Natalia Baryshnikova, Atlassian's product lead for Confluence Experience, for an AMA on Feb. 24

CLOSED: Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback! If I didn't get to your question today, I'll respond within the next week.

Hi everyone,

I’m Natalia, a product manager overseeing Confluence Experience. I run the team that works on features you use in Confluence on an everyday basis. I’m going to host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session right here in the Community on February 24 at 9 am PST, and I hereby request the pleasure of your company and questions!

Here's how it works:

  • Before the session, create or log into your account on Atlassian Community.

  • Add your questions (hot takes and spicy questions are welcomed) here any time before or during the Q&A session. You can also upvote other people's questions.

  • At 9 am PST on Wednesday, February 24, I’ll start answering your most popular questions. Watch the page and be ready to add follow-up questions and discuss further with fellow Community members.

  • We’ll end the event at 11 am PST, but don't fret if we run out of time: any remaining questions will be answered later that week.


Thanks! I look forward to the AMA and having a good conversation with y’all.

Natalia



This AMA is brought to you by Confluence’s Customer Love Month. All throughout the month of February, we’re celebrating YOU, our wonderful customers. Check out the customer-love-month Community tag and #CustomerLoveMonth on Twitter and LinkedIn for great content, activities, and tons of chances to win swag. ❤️

11 comments

Hi Natalia! Not sure if this is where comments for the AMA should be but: I have a question about how to best share the benefits of interconnectedness of Confluence/Jira specifically for technical documentation for a tableau heavy analytics team where queries/code are/will be housed in GitHub? Audience I'm relaying between are people who've only worked in GitHub and haven't been exposed to Confluence/Jira. I want to best prepare them to maximize Confluence/Jira when it comes to our part of the org.

Like Natalia Baryshnikova likes this
Sharon Helms Community Leader Feb 23, 2021

Confluence templates can be great (particularly custom-made ones), and I appreciate that Atlassian recently made a big effort to provide lots and lots of premade templates for teams to use.

It has, however, been a bit of extra work for those of us who *don't* want to provide Atlassian's dozens of templates to our users. Primarily because Atlassian by default turns new templates *on* for every user, therefore requiring them to be either: disabled by individual space admins across an instance, or turned off at a global level by the Confluence admin.

Is there any chance Atlassian could consider moving away from this on-by-default model? It would be much appreciated to give Confluence admins the option to make them available, and then Space admins the option to make them available in their space.

Many of our spaces have very specific purposes and requirements, and we like to keep things simple for our users. It can be frustrating to play whack-a-mole with new template offerings that randomly pop up. Please help reduce admin overhead!

Like Natalia Baryshnikova likes this

Thanks for hosting this session, Natalia!

I would love to learn from you and others on best practices to use confluence to track, monitor, and report project status more effectively.  

Our PMs and the EPMO love the combo of Status Summary Template & Project Status Dashboard. Each PM is only responsible for updating their own projects, while EMPO can view the updated status for all active projects in a centralized place. 

On the other hand, non PMs, find it very time consuming to create, maintain, and monitor individual status reports, and some of their projects are small enough (i.e. a few epics, stories in Jira, etc.) that there seems unnecessary to create a status summary report just to add to the project dashboard. The /Jira macro is helpful, and there seems to be some limitations to pull multiple tickets from different projects. In the meantime, there is a need for mid-level managers within the same department/team to view what all projects are, who has been working on them and what the latest status/blocks might be. 

Under this scenario, how would you advise to create a Project Status Dashboard without necessarily creating any individual project status summaries? 

Like Natalia Baryshnikova likes this

Hi @Sharon Helms - thank you for your thoughtful question. I very much agree with your thinking that power of templates is a double-edge sword: for orgs with robust template practices and adoption (like your org), having somewhat generic defaults is not useful, and for our customers who are still finding their way to work with templates, having those defaults coming in from Atlassian is actually helpful, because they don't have their own best practices yet. At this moment in time, the majority of our customers are at the latter bucket, and that said, as more and more people truly discover their template best practices, we will shift our template capabilities focus to prioritize the former bucket (pro template users).

There are specifically two areas that I want to call out that will be useful: template customization on a space / individual (!) level, and better discoverability of templates (recommendations, search ranking etc.) that prioritizes org's own templates ahead of default ones. We are also still early in the template library of Atlassian ourselves, and I will be honest, we are yet to see which templates are used the most. Observing the usage, we also may retire templates that are not helpful.

The last thought that I have on this is we are exploring more opportunities for customers to share their best templates with each other - no specific roadmap plans here yet, but I am convinced that the golden standard of templates will be driven by the Confluence pro users more so that Atlassian itself. If you or other Community members have any thoughts on this, please ping me. 

Like Sharon Helms likes this

Hi @Yu Zhang - thank you for this question, reporting on projects is definitely an area a lot of customers are looking for best practices! One interesting tactic that you may want to consider that I have seen working really well lately is this: create a project doc template for Confluence, where each field you want to report on is set in Confluence.

For example, a template will have a table with columns "project status" (key), "status value" (a label with a suggested list of values - on track, delayed, at risk) and a link to Jira. Also, each project page can have fields for Department, Org and everything else you want to filter or group reports by. When project leaders update those pages, they can look up Jira status and adjust the Confluence label if needed - which then normalizes the data when you pull it into group-level reports.

Today, those reports can be set using many of the add-ons in our Marketplace. That said, we are working on our own Data Visualization tooling to start rolling out in a couple of quarters. But whether you use a partner tool for data viz / slicing, or wait until Confluence's own, the main problem will be data cleaning and normalization. As such, there is a benefit in having data ranges (like project statuses) clearly defined so that users don't have to guess what to put in reports every time - and Confluence templates are an excellent tool for that. 

Like Yu Zhang likes this

Hi @Tyler Mulvenna - thanks for the question, love that you're bringing folks into using Confluence by thinking of what is of value to them first. A couple of thoughts: I think most technical documentation user would agree that you want to do a light write-up of your approach/code before suggesting the reader jumps into the code directly (and drowns there, haha).

This is where I think Confluence can help a lot, because for many technical write-ups there is usually a lot information that you want to share, but you also don't want to pour it onto the reader all at once. Confluence has a good toolkit for making information architecture of documentation easy to digest. For example, you can do a light overview, and then link a readme file from the GitHub repo in expand, if folks need it, they can simply open an expand, and then if they need more they can go into Github directly. 

Another interesting opportunity for projects in the work is showing pull requests links in Confluence. You can read my other answers about templates to think whether you'd want to make templates that outline when pull request links should be shown in documentation. I think there some reporting opportunities for PR statuses as well, see my other template answers. 

We have a few excellent marketplace partners specializing in making most out of Confluence-GitHub duo, check out our marketplace for things like syncing GitHub milestones into Confluence etc. 

TL;DR I think the best way to bring those users in is to provide them with a solution to having plow through disparate pieces of readmes/review too much code, and using Confluence as a hub (pun intended) for scattered GitHub wisdom/statuses. 

Adding an answer here for a Community member who pinged me with a question on Twitter: "Why doesn't Confluence have a desktop app? We've been asking for it for years...." 

TL;DR we are working on a desktop app - if you are interested in being an early tester of it, you are welcome to reach out to me. The timeline for testing program opening is around May-June right now. The reason we've been holding off for a while is frankly, an inconsistent signal as to how much people are really interested in it. We have had a handful of customers very vocal about, but upon doing further research, we did not see a wide enough interest. Last year, perhaps with folks getting tired of too many apps/tabs brought by distributed work, we have seen an interest in the desktop app spiked, so here we go. 

Like Yu Zhang likes this

One more shameless plug! We are working on preparing an external launch of Confluence's new product strategy for the next 2-3 years. I would love to engage our passionate Community members into early previews of this strategy for feedback, comments and reality check on how we are thinking about the future. If you are willing to spend about an hour with our team to discuss the strategy, please let me know - thank you!

Like # people like this
Sharon Helms Community Leader Feb 24, 2021

@Natalia Baryshnikova I'd be very interested in previewing and discussing the new Confluence product strategy! 

Like Natalia Baryshnikova likes this

@Natalia Baryshnikova Thank you so much for recommending a solution to sync up project status more effectively, and I would LOVE to support testing the Desktop version when it's ready. 

It also sounds very exciting that a new product strategy is on the horizon, and I would be thrilled to join the discussion if appropriate. Thank you for sharing this!! 

Like Natalia Baryshnikova likes this

Awesome, thanks @Sharon Helms @Yu Zhang - we will reach out to y'all!

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