My organization has been using Jira for a bit but just started a confluence trial. What do you guys love and hate about confluence and what would you suggest is a good way to try it out for someone who has limited time to spend doing so?
One of the underappreciated things about Confluence is its ability to display content from JIRA.
Here’s an example.
We had a request from the head of the business division to send regular reports on what the developer team was doing. They wanted the head of the developer team to create a weekly report showing what was in progress and what was complete. It was a huge waste of his time and I had more important stuff for him to with on. So I created three filters in JIRA - tickets in progress, tickets staged for deployment, and tickets closed in the last eight days. Then I embedded those filters in a Confluence page. That created a report that automatically kept itself up to date, could be shared with anyone who had Confluence access, and didn’t have to be mailed out every week.
Spend time to setup a good taxonomy for how you want to organize your spaces. The search function is weak at best. So you’ll often want to browse. Probably my chief complaint.
Also look at what other SaaS tools you have which can easily integrate like lucid chart.
Tag every article if possible. The search index is garbage as said above. Confluence search weights heavily on page views and tags vs text search.
Confluence is great. I work at a SaaS and do most things in Jira but we use it all over our organization for a few different purposes - a few:
Product/BA documentation. We track all long-term projects, features, timelines, roadmaps, etc.
Development documentation. I don’t really look at this much, it’s exclusively the senior developers that publish here. I don’t think it’s very expansive but it’s in-depth and they add to it regularly.
Implementation documentation. We track all implementation and conversion efforts for every client as well. Our imps for new clients are fairly long, so the team manages it all there and it serves as a good reference for later.
Obviously, everything that needs to be broken down into more granular pieces is best in Jira, but Confluence is great for bringing everything together from the top down. As others have basically said - definitely plan out how you want to organize everything first. Hope this helps!
I have a love/hate relationship with Confluence, but here are two things I’ve learned about it:
- It is an amazing wiki. Truly amazing. But is still a wiki and therefore, by definition, awful.
- In many ways, Confluence is almost there. You’ll set out to do a thing, and find that it can almost do what you want, or it does it in a bizarre way. In this way, you should view Confluence as a foundation that you build upon with plugins, macros, external tools, etc., to make the doc tool you really want.
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