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How to properly Integrate all documents across organization with Confluence?

Confluence is being used in our organization. It's great because everyone can create a space and start creating documents. 

But it's also a problem because we still haven't agreed as a team how to use it properly. 

I'm new to Confluence so I'm not an expert on it's use just yet. 

Currently, I'm producing these kinds of documents:

1. Roadmaps - for both stakeholders and joe public

2. Technical documents - of every kind

3. Architecture documents

4. Release notes

5. R&D documents

6. Government initiatives

7. Jira tracking reports

8. Requirements documents

 

What I would love to see is a way to implement a single-source document system that lets me keep all of these documents in sync with each other. 

I understand that xml-based document systems work well because of the nature of their structure. Roughly speaking, in our organization I see the relationship between documents this way:

Roadmaps

> Requirements 

>> Technical documents

>> Architecture documents

>> Release notes

Can I create a structured system like this with Confluence? If not, what other tools do you recommend?

2 answers

1 vote

Yes, you can create pages for each type of page and then place the pages beneath them.  You'll be able to see it in the page tree automatically.

It's really easy to get something like

  • Requirements
    • Technical documents
      • Tech doc 1
      • Tech doc 2
    • Architecture documents
      • Architecture 1
      • Architecture 2
    • Release notes
      • Release 5
      • Release 6

I understand moving pages and creating a page hierarchy, but it doesn't prevent basic issues of accountability and documents going stale. For example, stopping someone from creating a release note marking a new feature, without first having a requirements document for that feature. Or ensuring that the architecture documents always reflect the most updated version of reality.

As the number of documents increases, it becomes a challenge to maintain them.

I do understand that Confluence is meant to be very flexible for a reason. 

Maybe the real question I need to answer is, what human systems do I need to build in order to produce a more robust document store.

Yes, that is a very good question.  I'm afraid the answer is that you need to build human systems that will make your humans curate the docs properly.  That's not something you can build into software, as it needs humans to make choices about what to keep, update or throw away.

Like Mayur likes this

Most certainly. Software can only do so much and it's pointless if the people don't follow

Hey @Mayur , 

I came across your question and thought I’d recommend a solution here if you’re trying to set up a single-source document system.

My company (K15t) has an app called Scroll Documents that helps you manage multiple Confluence pages as a single document and actually makes it really easy to modularize your document management.

A document can be a single page or a page tree, but it can also be a collection of pages from anywhere in your Confluence instance using page includes. Think of it like a container of Confluence pages. So if you’re trying to be more structured, you could set up separate pages for repetitive components of content and then just reference those pages in multiple documents when necessary. 

This way, you only have to update these components in one place and it also means you don’t have to move or copy pages unnecessarily and wonder which page is the most up-to-date version.

Of course, like Nic mentioned, you’ll need to also set up human systems to keep things curated, but this could help immensely if you need to make sure that your documents are always up-to-date and your users aren’t updating / editing / altering content that they shouldn’t be using. If you need more control here, Scroll Documents has a restrictions feature that enables you to bulk update restrictions across multiple pages at once so this could help.

We'd be happy to help or show you a demo of the app. Just get in touch with us: hello@k15t.com.

Cheers, Shannon

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