Cross-Referencing Assumptions

Hi Everyone,

We're new to the Atlassian family, but so far I've been very impressed by the quality of the core software, the add-ins, and the support: all world-class. Well done.

After much discussion I think we're going to start up primarily using Confluence. We are still debating between using an OnDemand Instance and using a hosting service like http://wush.net/wn/plans/atlassian or Contegix (though they're too expensive for us to use right off the bat), so I'd be interested to know if that makes any difference to my question.

Our culture is very focused on making our assumptions explict so that they can be challenged and either supported or invalidated. What we'd like is to keep a page with a running list of all assumptions, and this list is populated automatically from other pages when an assumption is marked-up.

For example, say we have two projects: Project A and B, and a page for each project. For each project, we might have a list of assumptions like the following:

Project A - Assumptions:

  • Assumption 1
  • Assumption 2
  • Assumption 3

Project B - Assumptions

  • Assumption 1
  • Assupmtion 2
  • Assumption 3

However, we'd then also like a separate page where all the assumptions across a given space are listed in a table; something like the following:

Assumption | Source | Category | Who | Status | Details | Last Updated

Asump1(Link) | Project A | Market | @John_test | Validated | [Link to details] | 2014-05-04

Asump2(Link) | Project A | Tech | @Bob_test | In Progress | [Link to details] | Date

Assump1(Lnk)| Project B | etc etc

In other words, on the project pages (or any pages), an assumption could be marked up (maybe something like /a This is an assumption /a) and it would automatcially append a row to the assumptions table, create a link back to that page, reference the source page, and allow users to modify the other columns (category, who, etc.) The [links to details] ideally would be a link that when clicked created a new page named Assumption: [Category] | [Assumption] and tagged with an 'Assumption' tag, but we could do that manually too.

Is this something that is possible using a creative solution using either the OnDemand or our own instance, or is this something that could be handled through the creation of our own macro?

If any one has any suggestions or would be interested in creating such a solution, we'd be very interested in talking to them.

Warm Regards and Happy Holidays,

Brendan

1 answer

You could put your assumptions into a table and wrap that table with a page properties macro. (The Page Properties macro enables you to embed data on a page and then display that data in tabular form on another page). You could then create a Page Properties Report to show all the assumptions across all pages labeled "project." To get a good sense for how the page properties report works, check out the Product Requirements Blueprint.

Another alternative is the multi-excerpt add-on but that's not available in OnDemand.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the quick response. I just tried playing around with properties macro. Two questions:

1. Perhaps this is the closest thing that Confluence can do, but it still requires a lot of steps for something we're likely to do all the time. Is there a way to further optimize the process and create a new markup tag - say, {a}, that automatically generates the properites macro with all the right settings? For example:

{a}This is my assumption{a}

Automatically generates a page properties macro, like this:

Page Properties | label = assumptions

Assumption | This is my assumption

Status | Untested

Who | Name

2. If the above can be done (and maybe even if it can't) this might work for us. However, a major issue is that - it appears to me at least - that I can only have one Page Properties macro (i.e. one assumption) per page. Is that the case?

Thanks very much for your assistance.

Warm Regards,

Brendan

As a random idea, if there's not a better way, could I treat assumptions as "tasks" (using the [] markup and create a user called 'A', such that I should say:

List of Assumptions
----------------------------

[] Assumption 1 @A

[] Assumption 2 @A

Is there then a way to create a page where we display all of user A's 'tasks'?

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