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Concept to Launch: The Ultimate Confluence Guide for Software Teams

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Building a shared understanding is the key to success of any software team. From concept to launch, I'll share the ways to maximize efforts and build tribal knowledge throughout the entire software development process for every type of project.

Learn from the teams who use Confluence and Jira Software every day to ideate, discover, strategize, define problems and requirements, communicate to stakeholders, and more!

Published in: Software
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Concept to Launch: The Ultimate Confluence Guide for Software Teams

  1. 1. SHERIF MANSOUR | PRODUCT GUY | @SHERIFMANSOUR Concept to Launch: The Ultimate Guide to Confluence for Software Teams
  2. 2. Confluence used for a lot of things Community Knowledge
 base Social
 intranet Project planning Documentation FINANCE HR EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT IT LEGAL SOFTWARE …
  3. 3. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams Cloud and Server Out-of-the-box features Customized features Software best practices applied in Confluence
  4. 4. Inception Capture ideas Capture ideas form anywhere: Blogs, Confluence Questions, “Shared Links” template. Plan surveys Collaborate on survey questions and share outcomes. Share interviews Turn customer research into action. Capture personas Build a shared understanding of your users.
  5. 5. Inception / Customer interviews WHY? CUSTOMER
 INTERVIEWS Interviews Taking lots of notes Central repository:
 Build on shared knowledge Organize & find Identify trends and opportunities Turn insights 
 into action
  6. 6. Inception / Customer interviews Effective interview communication • Communicate observations: 
 Absolute minimum: Communicate what you’ve seen. 
 • Interpret problems: 
 Group behaviors in overarching problem statements.
 • Connect opportunities: 
 What opportunities exist which may solve this problem? INTERVIEW PYRAMID
 FRAMEWORK The customer interview pyramid Connect
 opportunities Interpret problems Communicate observations
  7. 7. Live Search Filtered for all content in the customer interviews space
  8. 8. Create from template We’ve already created our own “customer interview” template for this space. The “create from template” macro makes it easy for users to create more interviews.
  9. 9. Labels List Lists all labels alphabetically. If you’re labelling customer interview pages with related topics, this makes it easy to find all interviews for a particular topic.
  10. 10. Content by label Browse recent interviews with the `cusotmer-interview` label
  11. 11. Inception / Interviews • Background and company info
 Provide context for your team. For each problem you’ve observed: • Problem
 Start with a problem statement. • Observations
 Describe the observations which lead you to conclude that problem.
 • Opportunities 
 Where might we go from here? • #protips • @mention team members • Link to related Jira issues for traceability • Label interview with related topics Customer Interview Page Template Customer Interview Space Template • Live search macro
 Make it easy to find interviews,
 • Create from template macro
 Add a button to easily create more interviews and follow the framework.
 • Labels list macro
 Makes finding all interviews by topic easy.
  12. 12. Inception / Customer interviews • Customer interview pyramid 
 Encourage your team to focus on problems and opportunities.
 • Space template
 Quickly find recent interviews, by topic, date or search. Launchpad to create new interviews.
 • Page template 
 Easy way to encourage problem-thinking instead of simply documenting observations. TURN INSIGHTS INTO ACTION
  13. 13. Inception / Personas WHY? CUSTOMER
 INTERVIEWS Interviews Taking lots of notes Central repository:
 Build on shared knowledge Organize & find Identify trends and opportunities Turn insights 
 into action
  14. 14. Inception / Personas • Trends 
 Research leads to identifying trends for the kinds of users (archetypes) which use your software.
 • Personas
 Articulating archetypes is done by creating personas.
  15. 15. Inception / Personas WHY? 
 • Shared understanding of your users
 Develop a vocabulary for who you’re building for what how they think.
 • Focus problem, solution and roadmap
 Make better decisions by providing clarity around target customer. • Improve marketing
 Communicating value is much easier if we’re clear about who we’re building for.
  16. 16. Inception / Personas
  17. 17. Research / Personas Persona Page Template • Photo & memorable quote
 Quotes and pictures are memorable. 
 • “Attitude sliders”
 E.g. “Appetite for… Patience for…” • About
 Goals, motivations, what does “good/bad day” look like for this persona?
 • Behaviors 
 Activities which describe their attributes. E.g “ringleader”. • Questions
 For your team to think about when designing a solution for this persona. • Recent interviews
 Use the “content by label” macro to identify recent interviews for this persona. Persona Space Template • Introduce personas
 What are they? Where can I learn more? Who can I speak to?
 • Snapshot of each persona
 Memorable quote, high-level overview of the persona. Link to detailed persona page. 
 • Recent interviews
 Use the “content by label” macro to display recent interviews about any of these personas.
  18. 18. Inception / Personas • Personas 
 A valuable tool to help your team build a shared understanding of your customers. 
 • Space template
 Get an overview of your personas and find recent interviews. Onboard new team members quickly.
 • Page template 
 Understand how your persona behaves. what your persona thinks, feels and does.
 
 💡Coming up: Reference your persona when planning requirements. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS
  19. 19. Inception Capture ideas Capture ideas form anywhere: Blogs, Confluence Questions, “Shared Links” template. Plan surveys Collaborate on survey questions and share outcomes. Share interviews Turn customer research into action. Capture personas Build a shared understanding of your users.
  20. 20. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams
  21. 21. Planning workshops and offsites Brainstorm on goals, agenda & communicate outcomes for group work. Planning Communicating strategy Articulate and gather feedback on strategy. High-level roadmapping Paint a plan for your team. Team scheduling Plan the availability of your team, projects, rosters and other events. Aligning on requirements Break down that big problem into small pieces.
  22. 22. Planning / High-level roadmapping WHY? 
 • Align stakeholders 
 High-level plants help communicate top down as well as to adjacent or dependent teams that might be planning based off your work. • Confidence in direction 
 Teams see where you’re going and roughly when. • Connect for details 
 Keep it high-level. Give yourself agility. Link to details as needed.
  23. 23. bit.ly/buildingroadmaps “The art of building a roadmap” TALK
  24. 24. Planning / Roadmap Communication Roadmap Macro • Lanes
 Help communicate a theme of work
 • Bars
 Great for an actual work item. Could be a project, epic or set of tasks you need to get done. Link bars to other pages, Jira issues to Trello cards for detail. 
 • Markers
 Great for milestones. Could be an event, a release date or a target date. • #protips • Less about accuracy, more about high-level comms • You can use them anywhere e.g. team homepages, project landing pages, large project plans etc…
  25. 25. Planning / High-level roadmapping ALIGN YOUR TEAM 
 • Watch: The art of building a roadmap 
 Roadmaps come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t get fixated on one method, watch bit.ly/buildingroadmaps.
 • Roadmap macro 
 Visualise your direction, link to details as needed.
 • Embed in strategy or planning pages 
 Use standalone or embed in high-level planning pages for your project.
  26. 26. Planning / Team scheduling WHY? 
 • Release planning != roadmap planning
 Communicating high-level roadmaps is different to understanding what’s shipping and when. • Understand where your team is at
 Teams see where you’re going and roughly when. • Bring in other contexts
 Your team doesn’t work in insolation. Take into consideration all the other events happening in your team or organisation.
  27. 27. Planning / Team scheduling WHY? Team Calendars
  28. 28. Leave or travel Communicate team availability with leave or travel plans
  29. 29. Align on projects Augment your team calendar with Jira releases, sprints or issue dates. Drag-and-drop to re-schedule from Confluence.
  30. 30. Capture any other event Create custom events for anything else - training, outages, celebrations or team social events.
  31. 31. Planning / Team scheduling ALIGN YOUR TEAM 
 • Confluence Team Calendars
 Checkout the app in the Marketplace, for Cloud and Server. • Plan teams and projects
 Integrate with Jira releases, sprints or issue dates. Overlay your teams leave and travel plans. • Add custom events 
 Create custom events for anything else your team does, link to pages for more detail.
  32. 32. Planning / Requirements WHY? 
 • Align stakeholders 
 High-level plants help communicate top down as well as to adjacent or dependent teams that might be planning based off your work. • Confidence in direction 
 Teams see where you’re going and roughly when. • Connect for details 
 Keep it high-level. Give yourself agility. Link to details as needed.
  33. 33. bit.ly/DontAlwaysWriteRequirements ⚠ Try to avoid writing requirements! TALK
  34. 34. Page Properties Macro Key information about this document. Used for reporting.
  35. 35. Page Properties Macro Key information about this document. Used for reporting. Link for context To your personas or customer interviews.
  36. 36. marketplace.atlassian.com Atlassian Marketplace CHECKOUT Lots of apps to help your team get aligned: Diagraming, charting, mockups…
  37. 37. Automatic traceability Linking goes both ways.
  38. 38. Planning / Requirements GET ON THE SAME PAGE 
 • Requirements template 
 Modify it to fit your needs • Embed rich content, link to context 
 Work with design and other teams to embed rich content to provide more context. Link to related personas, interviews for background.
 • Move from requirements to backlog
 With automatic Jira issue creation • #protips • Collaborate on images and files • You can link from Jira issues back to Confluence • Tailor the template to meet your needs.
  39. 39. Planning Planning workshops and offsites Brainstorm on goals, agenda & communicate outcomes for group work. Communicating strategy Articulate and gather feedback on strategy. High-level roadmapping Paint a plan for your team. Team scheduling Plan the availability of your team, projects, rosters and other events. Aligning on requirements Break down that big problem into small pieces.
  40. 40. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams
  41. 41. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams
  42. 42. Meetings Ad-hoc, regular , retrospectives, project status… Build Decision making Move work forward by thinking collaborating on tough decisions. Progress reporting Confluence can be your window into Jira.
  43. 43. Build / Decisions WHY? 
 • Confidence in decisions 
 Create, discuss, explore different options for decisions related to your project or team. • Build in shared knowledge
 Help new members understand how a decision came to be with context on each decision. • Align stakeholders 
 Provide clarity on the big decisions which need to be made and who is responsible for each one.
  44. 44. Build / Decisions Leafdecisions
 Fast,trivial-to-reverse decisions.Optimiseforspeed. Branch Somewhereinthemiddle Trunk Hard-to-reversedecisions. Optimisefordeepthinking.
  45. 45. DACI Framework Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed Out-of-the-box, modify it for your needs.
  46. 46. Build / Decisions MAKE BETTER DECISIONS 
 • Confluence Decisions Template
 Out-of-the-box, modeled on the DACI framework. Focus on on the bigger, hard-to-reverse decisions. • Work together to explore options 
 Collaborate, comment, edit with teams to ensure you’ve explored effective ways to make the decision. • Customize to fit your needs
 Modify the decisions template at a space or site-level to fit your team or company process.
  47. 47. Build / Progress Reporting WHY? 
 • Updates with context
 Reporting on your projects form Jira in Confluence allows you to provide commentary alongside your update. • Collaborate
 Reporting for Jira in Confluence allows your teams to have a discussion around the updates and get on the same page. • Reach all teams
 Not all your teams might be using Jira. Communicate progress to other departments in Confluence.
  48. 48. Build / Progress Reporting HOW? Jira Report Templates Jira Macro
  49. 49. Build / Progress Reporting TEMPLATES TO GET YOU STARTED Jira Report Templates 
 • Change log
 Keep a log of your teams progress or communicate deliverables. Generate a static or dynamic list of JIRA issues from a saved search, JIRA URL or JQL query. • Status Report
 Visually communicate the overall progress of your project with your stakeholders. Generate charts from a saved search, JIRA URL or JQL query.
  50. 50. Build / Progress Reporting HOW? Jira Report Templates Jira Macro
  51. 51. Build / Progress Reporting JIRA REPORTING ❤ CONFLUENCE Jira Report Templates 
 • Change log and status reports 
 Bootstrap snapshot or dynamic charting from the Jira • Jira issues macro 
 Insert single issues, a count of issues, table of issues, customize your columns and charts!
 • #protips
 You can copy-paste a Jira issue filter, issue or search result to automatically display in Confluence!
  52. 52. Build Meetings Ad-hoc, regular , retrospectives, project status… Decision making Move work forward by thinking collaborating on tough decisions. Progress reporting Confluence can be your window into Jira.
  53. 53. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams
  54. 54. Tailor / Confluence to fit your software team Modify 
 out-of-the-box E.g. Requirements, Decisions… Create 
 new E.g. Personas, Interviews… NEW
  55. 55. Tailor / Your building blocks 1. Page template Your own, or modify an existing one. Space Settings > Content Tools 2. Page properties macro Add page metadata you want to capture
 and report on. Can be anything! (Macros, links, mentions…) 3. Add label(s) As part of your page template to allow you to report on pages for your label. CREATE/MODIFY YOUR TEMPLATE @ STATUS @
  56. 56. Tailor / Your building blocks 1. Create page Your own, or modify an existing one. 
 E.g. Decision log, Customer interview home… 2. Page properties report macro Use the report macro to decide what rows you want to report on.
 Select the label name you’ve picked for your page. 3. “Create from template” macro If you want to add a button that “adds another” of your template, Checkout the create from template macro. CREATE/MODIFY YOUR REPORT PAGE CREATE ANOTHER… STATUS STATUS STATUS STATUS STATUS @ @ @ @ @
  57. 57. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams
  58. 58. Inception Planning Build Tailor Confluence for software teams Decision making Jira reporting Roadmapping Team scheduling Requirements Customer 
 interviews Personas Templates + page properties + “Create from 
 template”
 = ❤ THANK YOU@sherifmansour | sherif@atlassian.com
  59. 59. Thank you! SHERIF MANSOUR | SHERIF@ATLASSIAN.COM | @SHERIFMANSOUR

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