How should I collaborate on proposed changes to Confluence pages?

If I want to propose a change to a Confluence page, what is a good way to collaborate on the proposed change?

There are several things that I see people doing on our company's wiki site now, including:

  • (most common) pasting the Confluence page into a Word document, enabling track changes, and marking it up, then emailing it to others to add more feedback, and finally merging it back into the page
  • Adding {note} throughout the page with the person's name and the proposed change
  • Copying the page to another page with a similar name, e.g PageFoo to PageFoo-Dev, perhaps also employing something like {note} (above) to propose changes


Is there any better way to do this?

For source code, we propose changes by using Gerrit. This allows a proposed change to be reviewed before it goes in easily, but I don't think Confluence has anything like this (it would be pretty snazzy if Confluence was backed by git and the repository could be checked out).

Any thoughts on better methods to do this?

5 answers

For me it sounds like you want to have a little workflow for the pages. Maybe the Adhoc Workflow Plugin is a way.

https://plugins.atlassian.com/plugin/details/142?versionId=748085

First thing that springs to mind is page comments :) This is how we at Atlassian colloborate around pages.

I'm interested in this question too. Matt - we have potentially hundreds of viewers of the page. Is there a way to allow this without having to make them all users?

0 votes

The wiki-purist in me says you've misunderstood what a wiki is for. Most of the Confluence users I know simply dive in and make the changes they think they need. If someone else disagrees, that sparks a (non-Confluence) conversation about why it's wrong.

Oh, I know - the open approach can lead to wiki-tennis with pages being "corrected" backwards and forwards instead of people actually talking, but I've found trying to enforce an authorisation process on a wiki just tells me our collaberators, well, aren't collaberating.

I'd try to handle that with a light touch to begin with - ring-fence the pages/space you're worried about and tell the people who want to make changes to talk to each other. In this case, the pages really should follow your process or procedure and it's absolutely wrong for someone who is trying to change the business process to try to do it by editing the wiki. Get them to talk to the process owner - a restricted-edit page/space, combined with open comments are a good start on that, but also educating your users to get in touch if they think something is wrong is the core of collaberation.

Nic,

The cases that have happened recently are when someone wants to make a change to a process or procedure. This change may either be extensive, and they need input on their changes, or they dont have permission to edit the page and want to show what they are meaning to change.

That isn't really the standard intent of a wiki, but I don't think it is an inappropriate use.

For me it sounds like you want to have a little workflow for the pages. Maybe the Adhoc Workflow Plugin is a way.

https://plugins.atlassian.com/plugin/details/142?versionId=748085

I don't know exactly the nature of the documentation, but I have imagined something like this:

  • There is an editor for each page/space/Confluence (select appropriate level according to size of the company). The editor does most of the changes.
  • Changes are proposed using the comments, and text from the page can be quoted.
  • The editor can accept the comment, do the change, and delete the comment if it is considered finished matter. He can also leave it if refused and post a reply. So it doesn't have to come up over and over again.
  • Minor typos can be fixed by anyone. The page history leaves a trace of who did what, so it should be fairly safe.

I have really bad experience with track changes in Word, especially when you have to merge comments from several colleagues who have been working on their own. Using comments is nice, because the feedback is instantly available.

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