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How did you manage your Confluence?

So, 

I am interested in hearing from others about their success in cleaning up, managing, restructuring their company confluence. What was your best success, what was your biggest issue? What came easy? 

How did you get from a wiki with no structure or governance to a useful and useable knowledge hub. 

3 comments

I added a proper page tree to help structure our content. To get people used to it I stopped linking people to individual articles and instead sent the link to the parent page which contains a table of the child pages. I also refer back to confluence often in team meetings and instead of searching for the article, I click on the page tree to navigate to the articles to get them used to thinking that way. 

Also, different spaces have different structures. For example, software documentation is going to have a different layout than team/departmental documentation. It's ok to break these into separate confluence Spaces. Make sure you're using internal page links to keep it all connected.

Using inline and page comments has been helpful. For example, when someone asks for my approval on a piece of documentation I add a comment to the page and tag the author or even the related Jira issues so it forever lives on the page.  

Using Page Attributes has been pretty good too. They're super helpful to grouping and organizing various pages. For example, we have an External Documents Tracker as well as a Change Requests Tracker pages where attributes are combined into a table to see relevant details for each on the parent page. 

Hope this helps!

Like # people like this

I need to learn about Page attributes. Thank you so much for this feedback. 

Could you clarify please " . For example, we have an External Documents Tracker as well as a Change Requests Tracker pages where attributes are combined into a table to see relevant details for each on the parent page. " Are these external tools ? IF so which ones? Or are they macros that were built? 

This would be very useful if I understand correctly... and could be better than the excerpt include macro? 

No these are simple Confluence pages with a table to organize the info. Here's an example of the external docs tracker with a description and link to the doc. 

external docs.png

Here's an example of the messages tracker. Basically, it's a table with all of the error messages we display for each software development use case.

msg tracker.png

In Confluence now when you create a new space you have some default pages such as Meetings and Decisions. I really like these because they use macros so that any decisions your record in your meetings also get added to the meetings tracker. That's where macros and page attributes become super helpful in linking pages together.

Like Colm Maguire likes this

We are doing something similar but not identical. Use of the content by label macro ( once people remember to use labels) is really good in grouping information on a directory page. It also highlights the information that has been repeated time and time again and can be amalgamated or deleted. 

Our Confluence is huge, it will take a lot of time to fix this. 

Like Patrick Haley likes this

Great topic Colm! At my company I started by doing a full audit of all pages in our organization's space. Easy wins were consolidating duplicate articles or removing ones that were clearly no longer relevant. It was perfect timing since we were connecting our space to our new Jira Service Management project for the IT team. People were much more invested in contributing to the clean-up knowing that articles could deflect tickets at the helpdesk. Like Patrick, I setup a page hierarchy with focus areas like self-help articles, architecture documentation, internal runbooks & contact/team information.

 

Struggles were finding a subject matter expert for articles created by someone who left the company. This process did bring up necessary discussions around service & domain ownership and making sure we didn’t have a single point of failure.

 

Some Confluence features I found helpful were using labels and encouraging others to mark things as “need updating” or “archive”. You can then create a landing page displaying articles with those labels that people can easily navigate to. For Confluence Server we created a “Archive” page and setup page restrictions to move labeled content into an area not visible outside of the cleanup team for better searching. This is something Confluence Cloud can do natively with the “Archive button on more actions section of a page.

 

After we completed the clean up we organized a cross-functional Knowledge management team that meets monthly to review outdated articles or any improvements that needs to be made for the space.

Like # people like this

Thank you so much for the feed back. I really appreciate the clarity

So the approach we are making is to have provided an audit tool.  We then approached management and requested that teams get some weekly time to run the audit tool on their spaces, mark pages for deletion, archive, or move them to a new page under a dedicated team space. 

We also made directories of smes, tools and services, howtos etc and created a new landing page for each department and for Confluence as a whole. It's ongoing work. Really good insights here. 

Nice approach, what audit tool did you use Colm? Our method was very manual.

Like Colm Maguire likes this

we built an audit tool. It returned a list of pages in a given space and then information around labelling, file attachments tables, and then the ability to insert a label on a page. The rest is manual. The new Analytics on Dataserver will help a lot. 

Like Kevin Abercrombie likes this

We also asked to have documentation included as part of wave planning. This is crucial. We provided new templates to use and requested that the blank template is no longer used. 

We have initiated the use of space champions. 

We made directories, of roles, tools and services, projects, products, onboarding etc; and rather than reorganise all that information, just put the directories over them, like a hubcap on a wheel. This is phase one. 

We also evangelise on a regular basis for use of labels and formatting. 

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