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Are your users also afraid to collaborate in Confluence? New way vs. old way of working.

Hey there ...


I am actually really interested how your users behave in Confluence.

We try to show them what features they can use to ease the daily business, but our users are still working the old way.

How is this going for you? 


Some facts about us:

  • about 100 people
  • IT business / software developer
  • 70 ppl on one site, the rest distributed on several other small sites
  • Confluence in use for many years, however nobody ever took care of it: install & go
  • Ppl obviously prefer to be in hundreds of meetings instead of using quick features in Confluence
  • Confluence + JIRA in use (I am focusing on Confluence)
  • No HipChat, only emails or Skype / Skype for Business


The old way (from my point of view)

  • Setting up a meeting for everythign
  • Long response time
  • Lots of emails (no notification emails, but actual content)

The new way

  • Using blog posts, e.g., each department has a blog that can be seen corporate-wide
  • Using share page feature, e.g., share to individuals or groups
  • Using mention feature
  • Using page comments & inline comments
  • Changing content from others if it is obviously wrong (what else for do we have revisions)


I'd be interested how is it in your business?

Do you maybe have some interesting stories to share?

Do you know good articles that deal exactly with that topic? I really have the feeling that people are afraid to comment and user other features at it may feel they are not in control anymore of this information (compared to their private email inboxes).




1 comment


I implemented Confluence 2 1/2 years ago in my company. We are round about 500 people in different locations and even different countries.


After a year we had a very good usage of confluence. There a several things in my mind that helped to succeed.


- Me and my colleague trained the most people of our company in groups of 5-8 people. We had a 3 hour programme. One of us talked and explained, the other one helped instantly when a problem occured. We mixed the groups so that there where different people with different jobs and even different daughter companies.

That helped to get the spirit of a "team" or a community, instead of a department-thinking.

And also we discussed many many different problems in the way each of the "students" do their daily work. So it was very interesting for everybody to listen and change perspective, share ideas etc.


We intensively mentioned, that they cant destroy anything, that there is no failure and made them comfy. The main reason for no acceptance of a new software is fear of technology. We tried our best to get rid of this problem.


If there were concrete ideas for a space, we planned a "workshop" with the student and one or two of his colleagues that also get a benefit of a space.


In this 2 our long workshop we discussed the problems and solutions. Gave examples and initiated an iterative developement of the space. 


First rule: We make the space they want...they should be able to work with it. If they need a pink button, they get a pink button. I designed hundreds of graphic navigation elements, just to make them feel "home" in their space - and unique ;)


And the last key to our success was the support. We were as friendly and helping as human possible and said that they could come to us with every small problem. We said that they dont need to have fear to ask. Maybe it was a little bit too kindergardy ;) 

Thanks Lars for your input ... it's always very interesting to learn from others and it seem you did a great job.

I hope more people are sharing how they went through this process - we can learn a lot from each other. I'll respond in more detail to some of your statements later.

I am also thinking about offering nice navigation elements like you did. Maybe you can share what you did there. I recently also raised this question to the community:

Kesha Thill
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Mar 05, 2018

@Lars Swart - wow! you've done an awesome job educating your team on how to use Confluence. Education sessions are always super successful for Confluence adoption! 

@Markus Raab - When we talk to customers we normally find that both education of how to use Confluence/benefits, as well as fear of putting their work out in the open are the biggest barriers to users adopting Confluence. You're definitely right - it is a "new" way of working. 

I love Lars' method. It can also be helpful for a group of you to just start doing your work in Confluence and sending it out to people when they ask for it, or commenting on your teammates work. It starts forcing people to open up and reference Confluence more. 

We also occasionally post different ways to use Confluence on the Atlassian blog, which may help spark more ideas of how to get your teams to use it more (especially on how to use it with Jira). 

Here are two that may be helpful:

  1. 3 ways Confluence makes project management easy - this one can be helpful any team that does projects
  2. 4 simple collaboration strategies for distributed teams - even if your team isn't distributed, it has some good nuggets on avoiding email and using Confluence instead to keep teams aligned.
  3. A product manager's guide to release planning - since your team is mostly in the Software/IT field, this highlights some more targeted ways to use Confluence.

Hi Markus,

I have here 3 examples of space dashboards.

1) A Project Space. 



2) A space of a whole company




3) A space of a webshop team




Mostly I have some vectorgraphics that I can reuse very quickly. 


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