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What tactics have you used to spread Confluence throughout your organization?

ClaireMaynie Atlassian Team Jun 13, 2019

Hi Community folks!

Claire here from the Confluence Marketing team at Atlassian. I’m here to ask for a favor ;)  – our team is in the process of documenting best practices to help new (and existing) customers get their entire organization using Confluence successfully. To build this content, we’d love to hear how you’ve seen Confluence spread throughout your organization. Are there tactics you’ve found worked well for getting additional teams using and seeing the full potential of Confluence? If so, please share with us, and the rest of the community!

Below are some examples we’ve heard so far:

  • Sharing Confluence space examples – once a team has seen a really organized and well-designed space for a fellow team, they want their own!

  • Training – having formal training for employees is really important in getting them to use Confluence confidently.

  • Leadership buy-in – getting the leadership team to champion Confluence within the organization helps people understand the strategic benefits

What have you seen work well in getting more teams to adopt Confluence?

4 comments

Mirek Community Leader Jun 14, 2019

HI @ClaireMaynie 

It is veeery hard to get people working on the same page on Confluence .. They are using email so heavily that nobody wants to move ahead of others.. even they see a page that is super cool or giving them a detailed training.

In my opinion if there would not be few people that would promote Confluence all the time people for get about using it. Email wins all the time.. It is an ongoing battle

The good example should go from management and this group should be using Confluence first and promote it later to everyone. If there is no support from the management and normal employees work on Confluence but manager still replies and send files via email you would never get Confluence adopted heavily in the organization.. That is the main problem I see.

Not technical teams (like HR) even got a training they forgot what is a restriction and what is a permission after a month (if not using Confluence heavily). So if they do not heavily adopt Confluence they do not use it later and put files on other tool or send procedures and regulations in Word over email..

People that join companies they like to learn everything and adopt, so I think this is the best group of people that could start using the tool.. But again if the HR and management would not promote this from day 1 .. over time they also adopt to email .. again!

So this is a slow and ongoing process.. In young companies (startups) that is easier to sell but if someone was using email for 10 years and now they ask him to use Confluence .. it takes time to break the wall. In most of the cases there are also other tools that they use.. or working on different projects for customers that have different rules.. so again .. email wins because that is easier for everyone to handle if people are mixed up..

Maybe if you can add a confluence page directly from email that would be a got compromise in that battle :)

So my advice is to convince people that make decisions (management) and those that start onboarding process (like HR, IT departments) in the organizations and later it would be a lot easier to get all people using Confluence. HR is the maybe the first department that should start using it heavily since they connect to everyone and every team and if they would be using it and give a good example (with no email) .. then IT since they resolve many problems (so KB is a must), so if those two groups would start and have support from managements people would finally see the value of Confluence and adoption would be successful.

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ClaireMaynie Atlassian Team Jun 17, 2019

@Mirek thank you so much for your comments. I think you hit the nail on the head! Leaders need to be bought into Confluence for it to truly take-off. Also, I love the idea that HR should be the pioneers of Confluence because they control employee on-boarding and touch everyone in the company. 

An email integration would also be pretty cool ;) I will pass this on. Thanks again! 

Like Mirek likes this
Marianne_Miller Community Leader Jun 14, 2019

I'm now using confluence for an Agile Team repository and drive my team and others to the space.  We link our jira project and share several filters back and forth.  We are using Confluence for our final documentation as well as , research results, historical meetings, Sprint reports and retrospectives.  The included templates make this really easy.  I'm exploring with the other templates and macros to see what other features we can use.  When I need to share information, I send external users links to the areas of the space (so they may be introduced to it that way).

When I'm in meetings, I am in Confluence and display pages or information so others can see what Confluence is and what it can do.

I've seen other teams adopt some or part of this model, and new spaces are started to appear now(which is awesome!).

One ongoing challenge we have is this real-time collaboration.  Our team and others in the department are still leaning towards google docs so that they can work on the same docs at the same time and don't want to lose that functionality.  I've found a few add-ons that may make this easier, and will we evaluate this in our upcoming cloud migration.

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LarryBrock Community Leader Jun 17, 2019

Hi @Marianne_Miller  - just wanted to point out that collaborative editing is now a feature in Confluence.  Here's the page on collaborative editing from v6.15 though it's good to also note the feature arrived long ago (v6.3 or earlier): https://confluence.atlassian.com/doc/collaborative-editing-858771779.html

Hope this is helpful information for you!

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ClaireMaynie Atlassian Team Jun 17, 2019

Thanks, @Marianne_Miller

I love that you are using templates! Our cloud team is investing more in templates and the create template experience so look out for more. 

Hi,

usage & adoption of Confluence has a lot to do with the experience & knowledge users have. We started with Confluence some 5 years ago & implemented it as the new social intranet for the company. As the collaboration concept of Confluence is something fundamental new for users only knowing email before, we got help from consultants specialized in transformation & rollout concepts for this subject. I suggest this to anyone doing a rollout on more than a team level.

Some points I want to mention:

  • Create a help / best practice space containing guideline for what to use Confluence & for what not.
  • Have an interesting (non-static) activity based start page in Confluence. Think about using apps enabling different start pages for different user groups.
  • Have some "light tower" use cases where you reach a lot of consumers / readers, which create a real benefit for this user group.
  • Get some coworkers together, who "live" (& love) Confluence. Give them swag, invite them to community events. In large companies think about creating a company community group.
  • Be an advocate & evangelist for Confluence: Use it where you can, don't write email, create a page & share. If you get emails intended for a email ping-pong, create a page & share it with the participants. Answer emails by sending Confluence links... It's tough, but it works....
  • Get your coworkers to give comments & likes. Sell "Like" not like Facebook likes but with the intention: "Oh that was an interesting read, other might find it useful, too
  • Make sure there is an easy approach explaining the differences between: Sharing, Watching & Liking/Favorizing a page or space. Show, how to handle emails sent by Confluence.
  • Move ALL documentation in your company from Word files to Confluence & SHOW the advantage (Searchablilty, automatic versioning, no word license needed, etc). If needed, get an app supporting a word export in your companies CI. We have it, because we thought we need it: It's rarely used except when giving information outside the company
  • Create an easy to use space navigation & give guidelines on how to structure spaces. Give an example for a department space, a project space, a documentation space. Spread the word, that restructuring a navigation is a matter of minutes.
  • Keep in mind that a navigation hierarchy approach always shows how oneself or a team want content to be structured. Other teams and coworkers might find your approach strange...
  • Teach the usage of the Confluence search: That is one of the most important subject! Teach how to set a nice page title ("Summary" is not a good title, it always assumes the context of the space and page hierarchy.
  • Our users started using the blogging feature for their teams & departments without even asking. Push such adoptions to other departments.

I could go on for hours, but let's leave it like this for a starter...

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Elaine H. Atlassian Team Jun 17, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to share your insights with us, Jan-Peter. I'm a PM on Confluence Cloud team. Many of your points hit home with me.

I want to clarify one thing to make sure we fully understand this particular point:

"Have some "light tower" use cases where you reach a lot of consumers / readers" - How did you mean by "light tower use cases"? Could you give us a couple of examples?

Like ClaireMaynie likes this

HI Claire,

In general to get "people" to use a KMS, or any other productivity tool:

  • Have  a real need.
  • Manage to  actual productivity.
  • Be first among equals.
  • Increment, increment, increment; iterate, iterate, iterate.

Hacks to help that along:

  • Content begets content: the more you have in the tool, the more people go there to find things, and learn how to use it. (Similar for activity. The hack is *new authoritative* content shows up the place you want people to learn to look.)
  • Create pull / satisfy pull: lots of info-wrangling wrangles info somebody thinks is important, but nobody's clamoring to get. Better to satisfy pull by putting stuff people need to do their work in the place you want, and create pull by yourself only be satisfied with stuff that's from that place.
  • Drive out folklore (paradoxically by collecting folklore): if someone has to recite an answer twice, why are they reciting it the second time?
  • Solve an immediate need people already have: so much collab advocacy is providing stuff people don't think will help, addressing something they don't need.
  • Use the Tom Sawyer gambit: "That could be interesting. Can you write it down so well it'll stand on its own in a KMS? Not one boy in 1,000 can do that the way it's got to be done."
  • Iterate, iterate, iterate. Increment, increment, increment.

FWIW I have a collab tool orient briefing for non-nerds that's about beta right now.

Most of my posts hereabouts have been about adoption an d use. At the moment I'm flummoxed by how to embed links that'll go direct to comments, not the header article. So, try my comment under here, which points to some others. People also liked the stuff under this one.

... and now for whatever obscure reason it's no longer dropping me straight to the comment (vs. the header article) even when I go in via "recent..." in my profile. And the mini-menu for a posted comment has disappeared. (Firefox 60.6.3esr 64 bit on OpenSuSE Linux, LEAP 15.1 & KDE desktop.)

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