Atlassian Confluence is an intuitive Documentation and Collaboration tool. It is trusted by thousands of organisations worldwide. Many technically-competent Software Development Teams use it as the cornerstone for their documentation and collaboration needs. Large Corporate Organisations also choose it, possibly used in conjunction with a Document Management product, such as Microsoft SharePoint.
As an IT Consultant, I’ve seen both SharePoint and Confluence implemented in Corporate organisations. Sometimes used by thousands of people. I’ve seen these products being used by Technical Software delivery teams in Agile environments. I’ve also see them used in broader Corporate organisations, by non-technical office workers. When comparing one set of technical users, with another non-technical set, we might expect to see a difference in the quality of the information management. Surprisingly, in my own personal experience, the answer is ‘no’. Generally, when looking at top-level data, both sets of users can perform the same. Sometimes ‘the technical guys’ can even be worse.
We might expect a better use of these tools by people who are more technically competent, but my own personal experience tells me this is not the case. When we look at the quality of Information Management at the very top-level, where Companies need to operate strategically, having a higher technical level of competency does not guarantee a higher standard of Data Management.
Learning to Ride a Bicycle
When we know how to ride a bicycle, it becomes an almost subconscious action. We ride our bike, largely without thinking too much. Riding alone, or in a group becomes easy. We might pay a little more attention in a pack, but we generally have no issues. Riding a bicycle, is on balance, pretty easy. Compare this viewpoint, to the experience of many children, perhaps yourself – if you can remember -when they learn to ride for the very first time. Initially, it can be a rather daunting task. There are lots of wobbles, and often an extra pair of training wheels attached to the back. But we get there. When we eventually learn how to ride, balance, turn and push up a hill, it becomes second nature. It becomes a habit. It’s also one of those habits that everybody does in the same way. There is only one way to ride a bicycle. Yes, you could ride it sitting backwards, but not many do. This is what you should aim for when approaching Confluence Training.
Confluence Training, when done well, should not be about the Product alone. It should be about meeting the required Customer outcome, in relation to the Product.
Confluence Best Practices – Habits are what we are.
Nothing in life is perfect. All too often, this includes the way we use our Documentation and Collaboration platforms. There is a simple reason for this, regardless of platform. It gets down to one common-denominator. If you guess this common-denominator is ‘people’, or rather ‘people’s habits’, then you guessed right. Regardless of the platform chosen, it’s going to be used by groups of people. Groups of people tend to operate in the same, predictable ways. We are creatures of habit after all. Our habits begin the moment we wake up in the morning. Habits form our daily morning routine, our commute, the type of coffee we pick up. Our habits do not stop when we get to work. Habits are what we are, and they affect our work, both individually and in groups. Collectively, in groups, teams, and organisations, we also build habits. “We don’t do things that way.” — this is merely a habit, spread across an organisation.
Habits can be good. Habits can be bad. This is simply the way things are. So, when we look at Information Management, it’s worthwhile to look at the habits that drive us to do the things we do, and the way we do them. If we mirror ‘habits’ in our Information Management choices, and bring these into platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint, or Atlassian Confluence, then we’re not going to get the best out of the tool, or the data.
Our Confluence Training not only teaches how Confluence works. We teach best practices, and good habits, right from the start.
Confluence Training – Course Sample