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Documentation Library with Workflow Requests

I am brand new to Confluence and recently started a new position managing the Documentation Department. Currently, we have no formal Library or documentation processes. My goal is to establish the following:

1.) A Documentation Library that houses all current documentation by type of document (Marketing, Technical, Proposal), then have sub-folders in each for specific projects.

2.) Within this library, I want to setup a Documentation Request function. Meaning, a user other than me, can go into the appropriate folder and submit a request for a document (e.g., User Guide) and enter in a description, delivery parameters, a due date, etc. I then want a notification to go to a mailbox indicating that there is a new Documentation Project to work on.

2a.) It'd be great if those requests could then be distributed/assigned to a specific person.

3.) Once the document request has been received, the document would be created. When the document is near completion, I want to establish a formal peer review process. Ideally, I would like there to be some notification system or Peer Review Workflow that could be setup.

This is just a brief overview of my goals with the hope that someone has done this previously, or has a suggestion for a solution. Does anyone know if this can be accomplished using Confluence? My experience is with SharePoint and I have never used this tool. If anyone has suggestions or tips, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank You!

Anthony

2 comments

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 18, 2018

Hey Anthony, congratulations on the new position and welcome to the Community!

I'm going to start out by saying that the best way to learn Confluence is to get in there and start experimenting. Following that up with my tips for the issues you presented:

1. Develop your proposed hierarchy first on paper. I find that this, paired with a good team meeting, fleshes out any ideas that need to be refined as well as getting everyone on the same page. You will need to decide if you want one space for all of your documentation, or if you want everything housed in the same space. Set expectations early and clearly for how the info will be organized so you don't get 'rogues' plopping docs where they shouldn't be. 

2. I would suggest perhaps utilizing a blog or a page with some guidelines on how to request a new form and the needed information. This would be the place you linked to for anyone who wants to ask for new areas/docs. Alternatively there are other apps that would expand on existing functionality if you search 'survey' in the marketplace. 

2a. You will likely want to have responsible parties watch this suggestion or survey page or turn on notifications for comments on that page. 

3. My advice for review and editing is to have a staging space where documents are drafted and confirmed before being moved into their final resting place. This space could have issue access restrictions limited to an approving team. You are also able to invite other users to edit pages with you, which may be useful. 

Confluence is super configurable and applications vary by team. Here is a great guide for getting started:

https://confluence.atlassian.com/doc/get-started-777010817.html

Thank you, Meg, for your thoughtful response!  I really appreciate the feedback and your time in writing it! All very helpful :-)

-Anthony

Jonathan Smith Community Leader Apr 23, 2018

Anthony,

  I was a SharePoint admin now living in a lovely Confluence world. I am a very document centric person so I tried to bring those values into Confluence. As you learn, you will run into things you like and dislike because... well... the products are different with different goals.

Tip:

  • Do everything Meg said noted above!

Idea 1: Utilize articles instead of files

On your documentation space, your parent level pages can be your categories Marketing, Technical, Proposal if you are having a centralized "knowledge base". You can also break these out in different spaces depending on your permission requirements.

These top level pages can then have a 'Create from template' button which points to a template which you will create on the space level. The "marketing" template would have marketing as the tag (for tag reporting purposes).

Your page naming convention can be your "workflow". Everything can start out with Draft - and then @mention the user who needs to approve the article. This will ping their notification box and email.

Example: Each item below has a template which generates an article instead of a file.

software.jpg

Idea 2: Utilize file lists and develop the "folder" hierarchy as noted in Meg's post.

Caution: Moving content = downloading and re-uploading into another location.

Note: I found out you can utilize WebDAV for bulk file changes and uploads.

Paid workflow? When it comes to workflows and approvals, you might want to check out Comala Workflows on the Atlassian marketplace.

Regards!

Meg Holbrook Community Leader Apr 23, 2018

Agree 100% 

Having the create template button on our 'top' page has made all the difference. 

Thanks, Johnathan! I really appreciate you taking the time to write all this! Your suggestions coupled with Meg's suggestions have provided me with a solid base for achieving what I have set out to do.

Thanks again for everyone's help! 

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