Everything that starts with the word knowledge in the workplace (be it knowledge management, sharing, culture) is both the aim and challenge for many businesses. On the one hand, those who can get it right are able to create a strong working environment where employees can easily access, manage and exchange knowledge. On the other hand, those who can’t manage to get it right often find themselves wondering why.
While knowledge management and sharing concepts appear straightforward in theory, putting them into practice is where the problems arise. And there are many reasons for this, including the absence of a knowledge sharing culture to the lack of effective knowledge management tools.
If you are reading this, chances are: you have a knowledge management challenge within your organization, and you happen to use Confluence (or at least you plan to use it in the future). Well, if my guess is right, then this blog is for you.
We are going to explore how you can facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing with Confluence.
Communicate the Importance and Benefits of Confluence
To optimize collaboration and knowledge sharing capabilities of Confluence, you need to get your teams to use it first, right? This is where communication is key in convincing your teams to adopt Confluence and ditch any bad habits and tools they are perhaps used to.
To achieve this, make sure to clearly communicate the benefits of Confluence and how it can help facilitate the day-to-day of your teams. Then, work on identifying your sponsors and champions. This group of enthusiastic users (who are team leaders ideally), will lead by example and act on your behalf to convince other users to join the party and adopt Confluence.
But this is not enough, knowing the benefits of Confluence is crucial to drive interest, but not enough to guarantee continuous adoption and engagement. This is where training comes into play. Use Atlassian’s rich documentation, courses and community to help your teams get started on the right foot.
Optimize Your Team Space
Structuring your Confluence site to align with your business actively helps your teams locate and share information. This means that each space might represent a team, project, knowledge hub, etc. To make space creation and structuring easier, Confluence comes equipped with a wide range of built-in templates. When creating a space for the marketing team, just select the team template and tailor it to your needs. The same applies for projects ,knowledge hubs and more: Choose a template and make it your own.
Structure and Organize Your Confluence Pages
Once spaces are created, the next step is to structure them in a way that actively facilitates information access and fosters a culture of knowledge sharing. This is where you will be using pages. Your confluence pages are the backbone of any space as they will hold much of the information.
To start, make sure to organize your content based on page trees and children pages. Both are always visible within the left navigation menu. For example, the marketing team space can hold three main pages including product marketing, social media and emailing. Each of these pages can in turn contain additional pages acting as children pages (the action plan, content calendar…). This way a product marketer knows where to find and share product marketing content and the same applies to the social media manager and others.
Make Confluence Pages Engaging and Visually Appealing
There is nothing worse than having to go through a boring Confluence page with only just text. It is not only about the content you create, but rather, how you present it. And lucky for you and your teams, Confluence has a diverse set of built-in and third party macros dedicated to help you create content-rich and engaging pages.
Let’s start with the basics. You can use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to organize your content into sections. The WYSIWYG editor is also rich in formatting options allowing you to personalize text, include tables, insert images and more.
If you are looking to highlight important information and further contextualize content, then use macros such as panels, calendar, notifications and footnotes. Obviously, the possibilities are endless when it comes to formatting options. Want to know more? make sure to visit this blog.
Tag and Label Content for Better Collaboration and Easier Access
Confluence is all about constant communication and collaboration. More often than not, multiple teams can collaborate on the same Confluence page. This is why it is crucial to use the content status and progress bar macros to keep everyone on the same page and avoid any confusion. For example, when you create the Confluence page, it is automatically tagged with the “Draft” status. Then the status will change according to a specific process to move, for example, from Draft > In progress > Review > Published.
Additionally, users working on a page or have access to it can visit the history page. This is where all versions are kept along with the specific users who made the changes.
Leverage Advanced Search to Quickly Access Information
With your content properly organized, tagged and labeled, finding it becomes easy. But you can always rely on Confluence advanced search and filtering options to quickly access what you are looking for. You can simply type the space or page names for quick access. Filtering options are your go-to macro when you lack a name or have a vague idea of what you seek. The latter helps you find content by space, type/category, publish date, contributor, label, and more.
Measure Success and Make Improvements
After grasping how to leverage Confluence for knowledge management, the next step is to assess your progress. With content being shared across your Confluence pages, you should always be on the look for various trends and patterns. Use the built-in Confluence Analytics feature to identify which content is most popular, active readers, most frequent contributors and more.
Confluence makes it easy for organizations to manage, organize, and share knowledge and information, helping teams work more efficiently and effectively.
So, if you are looking to create a repository for your employees or your customers – Confluence is the key to creating a centralized knowledge base that is accessible, up-to-date, and customizable to your organizational needs.