Meg Holbrook's tips on easy onboarding with Confluence templates

@Meg Holbrook is an Atlassian Champion and Confluence Cloud Admin at her organization (Mortgage Bank). In dealing with ~1,400 total users of varying interaction and knowledge of Atlassian products, Meg knows a thing or two about onboarding. In this post, you will learn Meg's thoughts on the perils of using email as a crutch and about her preference for easy-to-onboard Confluence templates. 
Do you have Confluence Cloud or Server?
We utilize both. I am the Cloud Admin, but we also have a self-hosted instance of both Jira Service Desk and Confluence on-site that I am involved with.

Which of the templated forms your company created do you think is the most useful? How are the forms maintained?  
Our Risk Log and Parking Lot Submission templates are the ones we come back to time and again. They are an integral part of our project workflow and keep everyone in the loop when it comes time to have our weekly project meetings. With these kinds of standardized forms, users who are not so savvy with Confluence macros can easily go in, create a new page, fill out the template, and have a new log ready to go.
What some of the negative outcomes you’ve seen when teams use email as a crutch? How has Confluence changed that dynamic? 
The biggest blockers when it comes to using email have been:
  • Emails being ‘lost’ or deleted has been HUGE in our organization since we were founded. Fortunately for us, when decisions are made, risks identified, or meetings are held, Confluence is there to be our secretary and keep track of what matters.
  • Searching through old emails for the information you need is a circle of hell all in its own. We have found that content stored in Confluence is more well-organized and carries lower risks of lost information associated than emails where split conversations can be held, and users can be dropped off of a chain.
  • Security continues to be a concern in an email environment, email communications can be forwarded, redacted, or get hacked very easily. Our company has been the target of email spoofing and spamming recently (comes with the territory in a financial institution), but we’ve found that maintaining our private information within the Atlassian ecosystem has afforded us greater security than an ‘open’ email system.
What is your #1 tip for Confluence on onboarding?
I think the biggest help in implementing at my organization was for very simplified templates. Content creators typically do not want to go through the hassle of figuring out how to format their posts or figure out how to create rich content. I was reading the other day, (can't remember the source), that of all your wiki users, only 20% will create content, the other 80% are pure consumers. 
When you start figuring out what that 20% need to be successful, that's where you are going to find your biggest wins. What are those people doing repetitively that can be templated? Another benefit to simple templates it that readers come to know what to expect and don't have to wade through posts that all look different. They know that going to page A and page D will both be similarly constructed and they won't have to waste time finding what they need. 


Meg Holbrook
Rising Star
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May 30, 2018


Kesha Thill
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
June 14, 2018

@Meg Holbrook sorry it has taken me SO LONG to read this post! SO AWESOME.

I love that we get to see the templates you use - they look incredibly handy. What macros are involved in the creation of those templates?

I'd also love to know a bit more about how and when those templates are used during your project workflow if you don't mind sharing!

Your #1 onboarding tip is my fave ❤️ Thank you for sharing all of this great info!

Deleted user June 28, 2018

Hi @Meg Holbrook,

I completely, hands down, agree with you on emails. :) 


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