Confluence is affectionately one of Atlassian’s two flagship products with JIRA. Over 10,000 organizations use Confluence in more than 100 countries. Furthermore, Atlassian offers a range of pricing option based on the number of people. Open source and not-for-profit organizations receive free licenses, as do those who use the Confluence for classroom teaching. So what makes this variation from Atlassian so popular?
More than code
Software projects require much more than just issues and code. Consequently, a lot goes into shipping great software. It’s a brilliant combination of hours spent coming up with ideas, translating ideas into issues. Then writing lines of code to bring those ideas to life, testing, releasing. And further, continuing to improve on that release with bug fixes and enhancements. But even all of that is only half the story. So confluence is the home for all the information your development team needs to keep projects moving forward.
It’s where you assemble the plans, requirements, decisions, and documentation behind your software. It’s also the place that connects your development team to product managers, designers, marketers. Basically all colleagues who participate in the software development process. Confluence is your common ground. It’s the one place where anyone can access and actively contribute to what you’re working on. Confluence can be used for creating, organizing, and documenting the information your team needs to make awesome products. Also using customer feedback to create brilliant products and features your customers will love.
Why documentation is key nowadays
Generally, the purpose of technical documentation is to help people use a product or perform a procedure. It tells potential clients what the product can do for them, how to get started. And how to work magic with the product. It tells them why the procedure is necessary and how to perform it efficiently and correctly. People come to the product documentation when they have questions. Particularly after they have bought the product, they are more likely to come to the user’s guide. That’s before going to the product website. Even before making a purchase, they will check the documentation.
Conversely, documentation is the face of the company. It contributes to the reputation and perceived character of the product and of the organization. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the value of product documentation in this role. Especially in the software context, it can’t be taken lightly for professional software development. So technical documentation should be given good attention with tools like confluence.
Interaction and Engagement
Generally, people come to read the documentation, of course, as in any set of online manuals. But they also come to swap ideas and solutions. To find out if other people have encountered the same issue that they have. And simply to see what everyone else is saying about a new feature in the product or a new quirk in the procedures. They will keep coming back, to keep the conversation going. That’s how thriving tech communities are built nowadays.
The Tech Revolution
Generally, technology allows us to have more direct contact with our readers than ever before. Customers and community authors are willing and able to contribute to the documentation. The products that we document, especially software products, are more and more integrated with other products and services. Thus presenting interesting challenges for the documentation. We cope with ever faster development cycles, enabled by rapid technological growth and new processes such as agile methodologies. So many emerging roles arise such as content curators, content managers, content strategists, online content marketers, and more. Hence the use of Confluence grows.
When your requirement doc is created and the details are all in one place. This makes it a lot easier for Development and Design teams to provide immediate feedback and input. Thus you can iterate quickly and implement work right away. Generally, this is one the strengths of this Atlassian product. Confluence is perfect for collaborating on wireframes, mockups, and design prototypes. It uses the rich file viewer to preview PDFs, images, and PowerPoint presentations. You can pin comments directly on files to provide feedback in context. Your design, and dev team can spar on early mockups on the same page.
Generally, successful dev teams need to be able to move fast, without sacrificing code quality. Of course, you want to spend your time building awesome products and not writing docs. At the same time, you need good docs to help your team build awesome stuff. Confluence helps solve the paradox by making it easy to create and document your standard technical docs. Furthermore, so everyone can access and contribute to them. Thus you’ll be a lean, mean documentation machine.
Creating Sprints and Demo Pages
Generally, the true power of Confluence is that once you’re creating, sharing, and storing your information in it. Thus it becomes the only place you need to go for all your important documents. It’s the one place to find the meeting notes from the sprint planning meeting that happened last week. The design mockup for the feature coming out next month. In addition, the beauty is, you can use it across your entire development team, and with your extended team. Likewise, with product management, designers, QA, technical writers, marketing, ops, and support. It centralizes all the conversations and stakeholders that support your software projects.
In conclusion, Confluence can be used to create installation guides, administrator’s guide, user’s guide and various odds and ends. Remember software teams make countless tough decisions every day at work that take collaboration and careful deliberation. Most teams rely on a meeting to make a big decision. But it can be hard to actually make the decision in person at times. Thus, many times a follow-up meeting is required. Most people are much more comfortable making a decision asynchronously. Either way, all that said, there’s no place better than Confluence!