13. June 2023 Samuel Titka

Why Confluence is the right tool for remote team collaboration

Confluence offers many useful features such as collaborative editing, document sharing, or tracking and recording tasks in one place.

In recent years, working remotely has become quite common, so effective communication and teamwork can be a challenge.

Confluence is the prefect tool (not only) for remote team collaboration. It offers a number of useful features such as collaborative editing, document sharing or tracking and recording tasks in one place.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a closer look at why Confluence is the right tool for remote working.

Effective knowledge sharing

One of the basic pillars of team collaboration is quick access to information for every team member. All relevant information should be easily searchable, consistently organized, and easy to update.

Confluence, an Atlassian tool that serves as a central repository for documentation, can provide all of this. Individual documents (called Confluence pages) can be logically grouped, hierarchically arranged, searched, annotated, shared, hidden or compared with their previous versions.

You can even upload files of different types as attachments to Confluence. In this way, Confluence can also partially replace a DMS (document management system).

Naturally, flexible management of permissions and access to information is also possible.

Efficient collaboration

The highest level of productive collaboration is real-time editing of one and the same document. Thus, multiple team members can contribute to the content of requirements, meeting minutes, decision records, retrospectives and other types of documents at the same time. The user sees the cursor and the changes made by his colleagues instantly.

Users can edit the same document. As consecutive changes are versioned, Confluence provides the ability to compare versions of the page and thus easily view any changes.

Efficient communication

The alpha and omega of teamwork is communication.

Many times it is not enough to discuss a problem, it is equally important to record the discussion for possible additional analysis or re-evaluation of decisions. If the communication is in the form of emails, it often happens that the email chain breaks, something gets lost or not all relevant employees are included in the communication.

With Confluence it is very easy to keep communication transparent and traceable. In fact, it allows you to add comments under individual pages and even provides a system for keeping track of so-called inline comments, which are linked to highlighted parts of the text in the document. This makes annotations a mere game.

Individual comments can be further commented on, and later, when everything has been discussed, the comment can be archived by resolving it.

The communication method of comments contributes to a productive and transparent remote collaboration of teams of people working together on tasks or creating different shared documents.

Effective alerts and notifications

Of course, email notifications for various events that are relevant to the user are also available. Examples of this could be reactions to his comments or posts, but also news from different spaces that the user is following or edits to the site by other users.

The user can decide which information is relevant to him/her and follow different pages or whole spaces (note: this is a grouping of pages) based on that. No important information from colleagues or other teams escapes him.

In addition to email notifications, Confluence also offers “In-App” notifications directly in the user interface. In principle, the user does not have to leave the Confluence interface at all and does not miss anything important.

Efficient personalised news feed, home screen

The Confluence home screen simplifies users’ daily work. It provides quick access to recently worked on or viewed pages and spaces.

It also displays the activities of other users, team members, so it’s easy to stay informed about what’s going on around you.

Efficient coordination

Coordinating a larger team is no trivial task. This is doubly true if team members (or entire teams) are “spread out” across cities or countries and can’t see each other.

So-called team calendars in Confluence can be the solution.

Team calendars allow teams to view scheduled events from different calendars in one place. The events can be of different nature, they can be private events, different joint company events, important deadlines and so on.

Confluence provides a useful overview – which team member is scheduled for vacation, when a new product release is due, on which day an identified job needs to be delivered, or when a company party or training session is.

Other key features:

  • can sync with Outlook, Google and Apple calendars
  • can import ICS or subscribe via URL
  • custom event types can be created
  • each user can choose which calendars to view and be notified from
  • can be integrated with Jira – show tasks in Jira calendar that have a Due Date set for that day (or other date fields)
  • includes a macro for inserting relevant calendars on the Confluence page

Efficient task registration and tracking

Working on a project, whether it is a piece of software, a marketing product, the deployment of a new production process, etc., requires breaking the work into smaller chunks – identifying individual tasks.

In order for the project team to collaborate effectively, it’s ideal to have a central place where these tasks are logged, assigned, and tracked.

Confluence is a good place where those tasks are initially identified and recorded. Often in the form of bullet points or a spreadsheet.

Since Confluence can natively integrate with Atlassian’s Jira tool, Jira tasks can be created directly from the annotations.

For simpler minor actions, Confluence allows you to record them directly on the pages in the form of “Action Items”, which can be easily assigned to users by mentioning them and also set a deadline for resolution by entering a date. An Action Item takes the form of a checkbox, when the user completes the task, they simply tick it.

Each user can find an overview of such tasks created or assigned to them in their profile.

In this way, Confluence makes it possible to clearly identify the necessary tasks, register the persons responsible for them and monitor the performance of these tasks.

For team leaders and project managers, this eliminates the time-consuming and frustrating work of checking the status of tasks by individual team members or the problem of finding out what is currently being worked on and what needs to be urgently addressed. With remote project management, these activities become critical.

Final words

Confluence is not just about efficiency. Its friendly user interface makes writing documentation or creating specifications and marking up notes a game.

The flexibility of Confluence and the expandability of its features through the Atlassian Marketplace platform makes it a universal tool usable across the whole business. It is truly a central repository of information.

Samuel Titka
Atlassian konzultant

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