Achieving governance in Confluence

Rolling out Confluence in your organisation? Want to learn more about implementing a governance process? Read this blog post.

Governance in Confluence

What is governance in Atlassian tools?

In a nutshell, governance is about reducing risk and can be thought of as a framework that ensures Atlassian tools provide the value that your organisation needs. Governance in Atlassian tools can also be thought of as a set of policies and procedures, usually set at the board or executive level.

Best practices for maintaining governance in Confluence

Consistency is key. Confluence didn’t start with a consistent governance process and it can be challenging to say the least switching from one governance process to another or trying to merge several governance processes later on. Use these tips to help you get it right from the start!

Set guidelines for usage

There are a few ways to go about this, one such is forming a group of people (essentially those making the most out of Confluence) and getting them to decide on the guidelines of use before implementing any governance process. Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure that your governance process, whatever you choose, is intuitive to your users.

Use Jira to help

You can record requests in Jira for change so that the chosen group of people can decide on whether the changes are right. They can also handle support calls and new space creations if you’re limiting that to Admins only, and so on.

Tips on macros, page trees and labels

Use a single page as the source via the ‘include macro’ in spaces where the content is required. This will eliminate multiple copies.

Avoid creating complex and deep page trees within your Confluence spaces. This can make it difficult to navigate and impact search reliability. Limit spaces to a handful of top-level pages and use labels to categorise pages and knowledge content.

Regarding labels, assign someone willing to curate the content. Create a page for them so that they can go in and change labels that don’t fit or are single-use. If it makes more sense for them to have the author of a page, add as many labels as they can think of with one assigned gardener or housekeeper to tidy up after. Gardening refers to the general housekeeping of applications. We cover the importance of housekeeping in a section of our Top 5 dos and don’ts: Atlassian Server to Cloud migrations blog post.

Using Confluence to document governance

You can use Confluence to document governance for other applications, e.g. Jira. For example, if Jira should not be used to store documentation as attachments, ensure that you write that down.

Look towards standardisation as a means to manage scale. That might mean agreed-upon rules for new spaces, space structures, labelling guidelines, and content review processes.  This should also include things like integrated apps. For example, you should explain when an integration or new app should be considered and include the evaluation process.

Consider making use of global Confluence templates and limiting the creation of spaces to just Administrators. Decide if users can have personal spaces and how they can be used.

The main thing to keep in mind when developing governance is to gain an understanding of what teams need and want out of their applications. Think through the best way to move forward as a whole. Standardise where it’s important and allow for flexibility where possible.

To learn more about governance in Jira, watch our recording on Governance in Jira with Total Support.

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