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Ask an Atlassian Expert: Advice for Documenting Vital Processes with Confluence

By Michael Brown

Atlassian’s Confluence is the only documentation tool designed to integrate seamlessly with Jira, providing an additional level of support to bolster Jira’s effectiveness. If your team is using Jira, you might be wondering how Confluence can level up your Jira implementation. 

For teams using Jira Software, Confluence hosts documentation and requirements traceability. These integral components of the software development process can be created in either platform and linked to projects in Jira for ease of access. For teams using Jira Service Management, Confluence can address tier-zero and tier-one level inquiries, meaning faster fixes and a reduced load on service agents. And at any organization, Confluence can provide a centralized repository of project and institutional knowledge. 

So how can you make Confluence work for your team? As an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner, Contegix specializes in helping organizations configure Confluence to meet their needs. Atlassian expert Mike Brown, Senior Vice President of Professional Services at Contegix, answers some common questions about how Confluence can serve as a resource for your organization below. 

Your Questions About Confluence, Answered

Q: How can a designated documentation tool like Confluence boost performance across teams at my organization? 

Confluence is a flexible tool that can facilitate documentation in a variety of contexts, from software development to product management to marketing. Good documentation processes capture even the minutiae of business-critical information, and better availability of information across an organization creates more efficient and autonomous workflows. 

That’s why Confluence functions as a single source of truth: Confluence pages and spaces can hold everything from rich text to external files, making it easier for users to find the documents they need. Teams can use Confluence templates to put together roadmaps, strategies, post-mortems, reports, and more. 

Confluence also houses knowledge bases, which service teams can use to provide an immediate response to Jira Service Management user questions. For instance, if an employee has forgotten their password for a self-service portal, they can search the Confluence knowledge base for an article with instructions on how to reset their password.

Q: How can Confluence enhance my existing Jira use? Will it also integrate with other legacy tools?  

Confluence is specifically built to integrate with Jira and other Atlassian products, as well as other work management platforms and external tools. Connecting Confluence to other Atlassian products provides teams with seamless availability of information across platforms. For instance, if a team is using both Jira and Confluence, any time that a user creates tasks, user stories, or epics in Jira, necessary documentation automatically assembles alongside it. Likewise, users can create an issue in Jira from within Confluence. 

Confluence interfaces with external tools, too. For example, users can embed, view, and edit Google Drive documents right in Confluence—no more scrambling to find the most up-to-date link. It can also integrate with tools such as Dropbox, Slack, or Microsoft Teams.  

An underused tip: Confluence can host external files directly in pages and sync them across users. You could use Confluence to provide version control for Microsoft Office documents, allowing users to download, edit, and re-upload documents. That way, everyone stays up-to-date, while still maintaining access to the history of document uploads.

Q: What common add-ons or plug-ins can help optimize my use of Confluence?

Some of my favorites: ScriptRunner for Confluence is a content management tool that enables no-code customizations and automations. Gliffy allows you to draw diagrams, workflows, processes and embed those drawings in a Confluence page. And Comala Document Management is a workflow management tool that helps teams oversee the review and publication process for Confluence pages, ensuring that information is accessible only to those who need it. 

Using plug-ins can provide the customized Confluence functionality your team needs. If you need support, an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner like Contegix can make plug-ins work for you. 

Q: I work at a large organization. How can I make Confluence effective for many users? 

Because it is built to scale across teams and projects, Confluence can be highly useful at a large organization. However, when you have many teams, not all users need access to every document. In fact, by having complete access to an enterprise's worth of information can be distracting, making it more difficult to find the answers users need on a daily basis. By regulating access, teams can use Confluence more productively. 

Set up clear processes around approving, publishing, and archiving pages, and use Confluence’s permissions tools to regulate user and group access. Being precise with access regulation doesn’t just protect organizational security—it allows admins to efficiently match information with the users that need it.

Q: How can a Platinum Solutions Partner like Contegix help me get the most out of Confluence? 

From education to implementation, Contegix can provide a comprehensive introduction to Confluence, as well as ongoing support. We’ll sit down with your team to understand your existing documentation processes and organizational needs, and introduce your team to Confluence’s unique terminology so you understand how Confluence works from the ground up. We can also help migrate existing documents, customize Confluence processes to fit your organizational needs, and train new users at the admin, user, and organization-wide level. In short, Contegix supports Confluence users at every step of the way.

From onboarding to archiving, Contegix can help any organization optimize their Confluence use. Learn more about how Contegix can support your team to get the most out of your Atlassian products.