This is the first of a two-part blog series about creating team and project spaces in Confluence. You can find the second part here.
Confluence is powerful team collaboration software because it’s so flexible. At Atlassian, it’s our company intranet and helps every single team get their work done. Confluence is our heart and soul – where teams work together on projects, blog about important company updates or announcements, and even automate all of our financial reports.
For us, the answer to the title of this blog post, is ‘both’. We primarily dedicate spaces to a team – we have spaces for our marketing team, development team, and HR team. But some projects are HUGE and require their own space, too, so we have a number of spaces dedicated to bigger projects – like a website redesign, competition information, or the design team’s playbook (all of which I’ll get to in the second part of this blog series).
In this blog post I’m going to share examples of how Atlassians have structured our team spaces on our intranet.
Creating a space for a (marketing) team
I’m on the collaboration product marketing team and we have our own space where we create, share, and discuss all of our work and projects. When we first set up our space, we had two main goals:
1. It should be easy for team to work in this space.
That means that it should be easy for the team to browse through the pages in our space and find the work or information that’s important to them. There are two ways we bring important work to the forefront of our space – the space homepage and the space shortcuts in the space sidebar.
The space homepage is the first page anyone, but especially my team, sees when they visit the Collaboration Product Marketing space. I decided that the most important information that I wanted to make accessible was who our team is, what we’re working on this sprint (inside of JIRA), what our schedule is (using Team Calendars), and what we’re working on this quarter (our roadmap).
Ultimately, the space homepage is our team dashboard. I can quickly see what any of my teammates are currently working on and also get an understanding of important upcoming deliverables and when the team is going to be in and out of the office. Our space does a really good job of keeping the team on the same page, pun intended.
2. It should be easy for anyone else to learn what our team is up to.
Our team doesn’t work in a silo and it’s important to make it easy for anyone to find work that our team has done, or see what we’re currently working on.
Often one of our product managers or a member of the management team might ask me for a status update. It’s easy for me to respond by directing them to our space. We pride ourselves on being transparent and Confluence makes it easy to give other teams a window into our world.
The space shortcuts are critical to navigation for my team and anyone else interested. It’s easy to find our team’s roadmap, quarterly goals, meeting notes, important files, and decisions, as well as the work that’s not in Confluence like our tasks that we track on our JIRA Agile Planning Board. The home page gives a snapshot, and the shortcut links make it easy to dive deeper into those pages.
It’s also important to note that our space is constantly evolving. As much as we’d like to take a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, we want to continue to drive our space to work for us. We’ve tuned our space a couple different times in the last few years.
Other team space examples from the Atlassian intranet
I regularly spend time in the Confluence development team’s space, keeping up on upcoming releases, product requirements, and product decisions. The Confluence development team has done an awesome job organizing their space so it’s easy for me to keep up on the latest through their space shortcuts and their Team Calendar.
Our talent (HR) team built their space primarily for other Atlassians, creating a portal for important information about hiring, training, people management, benefits, policies and procedures, or any other human resource materials. It’s incredibly easy for any Atlassian to visit the Talent space and find what they’re looking for. This majorly cuts down the amount of HR-related email requests the team receives.
Any self-respecting design team should have the best looking space on the intranet. With some custom HTML and the help of the Live Search add-on (free, on the Atlassian marketplace), I think ours succeeded. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for or who the various Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are on the team.
Start building better team spaces today
We hope this blog post gets you thinking about how you can organize your team spaces and get the most out of Confluence. Stay tuned for part two, in which we’ll cover how you can create a space for a project.
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