No, you don't. JIRA and Confluence are different tools. See JIRA Core as your tracking system, where you follow up tasks and projects. Confluence is a tool where you create content together. It is an online content platform, maybe best compared to a wiki.
Both tools work together seamlessly though. Suppose you have a project, it would make perfect sense to have your meeting notes, brainstorm sessions and documentation in Confluence while you track the actual project tasks, potentially time tracking and so on in JIRA Core. When you link your JIRA issues to Confluence pages and vice versa, you have everything in context.
So, to summarise: do you need Confluence to have users work and collaborate in JIRA core? No. Is it worth considering to make your process better / better integrated? Defnitely.
I have multiple projects that use variations of the same base workflow. The variations depend on the requirements of the project or issue type. The variations mostly come in the form of new statuses ...
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