Here’s what your development teams need to stay on track


2 October 2018 • 10 min read

    Building software is a complex process. Development teams rely on many different tools that help to formalize and clarify the development process, enabling greater collaboration and transparency. Organizations invest in such tools to make their development seems more productive and increase the quality of their work.

    When it comes to Atlassian’s suite of products, there is no denying that tools like Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, or Bitbucket offer a lot to teams responsible for building software.

    But what about Confluence? Atlassian’s enterprise wiki platform holds just as much potential for supporting the development process as these other tools.

    In this article, I focus on Confluence to show you how your development teams can take advantage of the tool to be productive and stay on track.

    1. Follow up meetings

    Confluence can help your team make the most of meetings, an integral part of every developer’s workday. If your team follows the agile methodology, you probably organize daily standups, regulars sprint planning meetings and retrospectives.

    The most important thing is ensuring that people know what they need to do after the meeting is over. It’s best to leave every meeting with action items that direct each team member to specific tasks. Otherwise, meetings lose their meaning and only distract the team.

    Using Confluence, you can create meeting notes where you add a list of attendees, your crucial discussion items divided by person, as well as action items where you can assign tasks using @mentions and select due dates to make sure that every meeting brings maximum value to your team.

    2. Page templates

    Take advantage of templates that help teams quickly create pages they need and implement best practices that boost their efficiency. The tool includes templates that encourage users to use task lists; an incredibly productive format for teams that handle a lot of responsibilities at the same time. All it takes is creating a new page using one of such templates, and you can be sure that your team stays on track thanks to this smart practice.

    3. Improvement through retrospectives

    If your team follows the agile methodology, Confluence will help you in organizing retrospectives as well. When agile teams finish sprints, they organize retrospectives that cover everything they have shipped, including information about what worked and what didn’t work during the sprint.

    The most important part of the retrospective is identifying how your team can improve its work and estimations for the future. You can use Confluence to add action items at the end of each retrospective meeting that direct the person in charge to ensure that they continuously improve the process. You can add due dates to these tasks as well.

    4. Notification box

    Set up a special notification box that will be displayed in the upper right-hand corner of that Confluence dashboard. This feature will help you notify everyone in the team about updates or changes that may affect the completion of tasks in the current sprint.

    5. Project planning

    Project management software offers many functionalities that allow planning projects, checking work, and completing projects within set deadlines and requirements. By connecting Jira with Confluence, that task will become even easier.

    For example, when you start a project you can create a landing page in Confluence where every team member can get a high-level overview of the project like its vital business goals. You can assign tasks right on the page to protect contributors. If some pieces of work require more detailed time tracking and workflow, you can just put it into Jira issues and include them in sprints to ensure that they pass through all the stages toward completion.

    6. Keep track of work

    A project usually brings together different issues, pages, and people. One way to get a global view of your project tasks is creating a task report with the help of a task report macro which is part of Confluence. By doing that, you will get a report of tasks from specific locations, status, people, spaces, and pages. A few clicks are enough to get a more detailed view into what is happening inside your project.

    7. Try network overview

    To keep tabs on what people in your team are working on in Confluence, you can create a network of users and be up-to-date with their activity. For example, you can follow your team members or supervisors to see what they’re working on at the moment. When a person is part of your network, you’ll able notified when they add or edit pages (or blog posts), comment on a page or post, edit existing comments and update their user profile.

    You can see now why I consider Confluence an essential tool for development teams. These functionalities simply make the life of project managers and developers so much easier.

    If you have any questions about using Confluence in development teams, get in touch with our consultants; we help organizations make the most of Atlassian products by configuring them to match their needs.

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