We’ve been told that our organization is getting Atlassian Confluence and we should use it as a knowledge base. What things should we include in our intranet?
A knowledge base in Atlassian Confluence can serve several purposes to help benefit your organization.
Any kind of information that is useful for employees to know in order to do their jobs can be stored in a knowledge base - minutes of meetings, workflows and processes, onboarding information, product documentation, customer communication, research and development documentation, software project details - anything where the knowledge of one can help their colleagues do their jobs and collaborate effectively.
Here are a few other tips to help improve your company’s overall use of Confluence.
Knowledge base articles
Confluence page blueprints make creating pages in your knowledge base simpler.
How to article blueprint - This blueprint (also is also known as a template) provides you with a framework to structure articles in your knowledge base. It shows users how to write and structure the Confluence page. This type of article is typically what a knowledge base would mostly consist of. Having a knowledge base full of how to articles helps users in your organization help themselves (user self-service), and is especially useful for onboarding new employees.
Troubleshooting article blueprint - This blueprint provides a framework for an article that describes and explains how to resolve a technical issue. This is another staple of a self-service knowledge base. For example, let’s say your organization deals with IT requests submitted by internal users. New software was deployed and an issue occurred which could be resolved by the users. Having a troubleshooting article about it in the knowledge base can help those users to resolve the issues by themselves rather than tying down important IT resources. This is where integrations with Jira Service Desk and a Confluence knowledge base shine!
Blog post blueprint - You can also include blog posts in your knowledge base. Blogs are good for important and timely information such as major product, release, and company announcements, for events, or any other information you want your teams to be made aware of.
These are from my experience the most commonly used blueprints that make it easier and faster to set up Confluence as a knowledge base. This Atlassian Confluence Knowledge Base article has more information about these blueprints.
Linchpin Intranet Suite - //SEIBERT/MEDIA provides a solution to make your Confluence feel more like a personalized intranet for your organization. This includes chat integration with Skype for Business, personalized navigation, and corporate theming. Here are the details for Linchpin Intranet.
License Purchasing - If your organization is ready to purchase a Confluence license, there are several benefits to purchasing Confluence and Linchpin through //SEIBERT/MEDIA, a trusted Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner.
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What I still don’t understand is, what kind of information can be input into Confluence? Word, Excel, PowerPoint files? Can you attach pictures? Can I work on those file after uploading them? Those blueprints seem to be helpful but what if I don’t want to use those?
How is it structured? In segments or how do I put my knowledge base in order?
Yes, all those files types that you mentioned can be attached to pages in Confluence.
With newer versions of Confluence, you can edit Microsoft documents via their native application with those changes saved to Confluence.
You can also include pictures, videos, YouTube videos, and URLs directly in a Confluence page. You can make inline comments on pictures and on the Confluence page text.
Confluence is structured by what would be described as spaces acting as containers. You can create an empty space and mold it to what you need it to be. Within that space, which should have an overarching theme, you would then place pages that match the theme of the space. Pages are created to store your troubleshooting articles, blog posts, and any other documentation. Atlassian has provided a great overview about organizing your work in spaces within Confluence.
While the blueprints are useful, they don’t always fit what you need in your spaces. You can create and save your own custom blueprints to be used throughout your Confluence instance. This way you don’t have to reinvent a page’s structure each time, but create a custom blueprint following the format that works for you.