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Confluence document management best practices (Cloud+DC)

Confluence document management best practices unlock value on Confluence Data Center and Confluence Cloud as well. Both deployment options are equipped to scale up as growing companies manage more and more content, but ensuring Confluence content quality will still be your team's responsibility.

No matter what deployment type you are on, Confluence content lifecycle management does not come automatically, at least not at scale.

Experience tells that it's almost exclusively large teams and enterprises that are bothered by content lifecycle management and Confluence cleanup. This is why it's important to have these features at scale and tailor them to typical enterprise use cases.

Enterprises need to think ahead and create a content lifecycle strategy early, and not wait until Confluence becomes a data dump. It needs preparation, best practices, and flexible tools that assist your teams with easy-to-follow rules and automated actions.

Here are 4 key suggestions for managing Confluence content at scale and finally a long-term solution for enterprise-size teams moving to Confluence Cloud.

Present with ease (5).png

Confluence document management best practices

1. Prepare for growth early

Quick adoption of Confluence happens organically but sometimes also unexpectedly. This can lead to difficulties in 2 areas: performance and content quality. Data Center and Cloud both solve the performance questions, but what happens with the content is a lower priority.

Teams tend to realize it late, that Confluence users don’t maintain the content they have created. Some of them act responsibly as content owners, others create pages and upload information to Confluence on an ad-hoc basis. This latter type of user won't maintain the content they once uploaded and won't respond to questions about their Confluence pages, either.

This is the behavior that creates a messy Confluence. Spaces will contain hundreds or thousands of outdated pages, overwhelming users. A well-configured content lifecycle management solution can act as a wiki gardener. It automatically sweeps out abandoned content, without putting an extra workload on any team member.

This is how Better Content Archiving for Confluence works. The Midori app is the #1 CLM solution for enterprises on Confluence Data Center and soon on Confluence Cloud. More on this later.

2. Plan the structure of your spaces in advance

Confluence spaces have best practices as well. One of those is if you create spaces, categories, and sitemaps in advance. It needs planning, but it will have a positive impact on content readability and discoverability.

Another Confluence space best practice is to use professional theming apps like Refined for Confluence or the Lively Theme. Those give Confluence a new layout and structure that fits your organization better.

Help team members understand Confluence space best practices. Write guidelines for your team members on how to create more useful Confluence pages, for example:

  • A guide to avoiding giant pages. Suggestions on when to start a new page (e.g. the page is too long or has too many macros, etc.)
  • Guidelines to help decide where you should put specific information
  • Help Confluence users decide when to use child pages and when not
  • Help discovery of features by listing installed apps and their features
  • Reminders on company content rules or formatting standards

3. Use content lifecycle rules

Information captured in Confluence pages often supports strategic business decisions. The accuracy of the information on Confluence is super important. You can't risk that decisions are made based on outdated or misleading information. Make sure content owners are following up with Confluence pages that they are responsible for. Build a content lifecycle workflow that guides and notifies them at every step of the process.

Wrong business decisions, as well as your team members’ time, cost money. Stop wasting time and money by searching for information in a bloated Confluence. With thorough content lifecycle management, the information in Confluence is checked against the custom rules for the particular space. Confluence users only have to browse through pages that have a good reason to be there.

The rule you see on the screenshot below will automatically archive content that hasn't been viewed or edited for more than a year. It also archives content manually marked for archiving.

20180313-confluence-page-archiving-configuration.png

  This configuration allows archiving Confluence pages both automatically and manually

 

4. Update or automatically archive outdated information

Finding outdated information about a product or service online is a bad user experience. When your Confluence is customer-facing it’s not just internal efficiency at stake but also your company’s branding.

To keep your pages up-to-date, there are a few things you can do:

  • Make sure that pages have ‘owners’ who take responsibility for their content.
  • Notify them automatically to remind them to check their contents regularly.
  • If there are pages that contain information that won’t be needed anymore, archive the pages.
  • Communicate Confluence content health statuses to users
  • Control permissions of who can adjust lifecycle actions and archiving settings

All of the above can be done with Better Content Archiving for Confluence at scale.

What's next? - Data Center and soon Cloud

If there is one conclusion you will take, take this: don't wait until it hurts. With a growing Confluence user base, you are bound to have content quality issues, so don't wait until the pain hits.

Better Content Archiving for Confluence has been helping the largest organizations (like LinkedIn with 120K+ pages) create flexible content lifecycle management systems.

The app has been the leading CLM solution for Confluence Data Center. Now we plan to deliver similar content lifecycle management features for enterprise-size teams on Confluence Cloud.

Want to know more? Email levente.szabo@midori-global.com to join the Better Content Archiving for Confluence Cloud Early Access Program today.

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