How do these terms relate to Collaborate Teammate?

Avoid these 7 pitfalls if you want to improve collaboration with Confluence

Many companies and organizations keep making the same mistakes when they want to use Atlassian Confluence as software for good collaboration, knowledge management and documentation.

While this list applies to Confluence - Atlassian's enterprise wiki and collaboration platform - it applies to other platforms and content management systems as well. The same pitfalls keep popping up - so let's figure out how to solve them.

1. Excessive Access Restrictions

After setting up a platform for collaboration, some admins also restrict user rights. Restricted access authorizations can be useful if different user groups use the platform heavily. But once you start building a corporate wiki like Atlassian Confluence, encourage your users to use the system and contribute content. This creates a rich intranet that provides everyone's knowledge and documents for everyone.

Excessive restrictions on access can inadvertently cause problems. For example, that some users do not have access to content that their colleagues can see. Part of the team can feel left out and frustrated as a result, and you can achieve the opposite of what you wanted.

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In the wiki approach of collaboration platforms, openness is the key to success:

  • Give your users as much freedom as possible
  • Everyone should be able to see and edit as much as possible
  • Limit access only where it is absolutely necessary (confidential content).

Even if curiosity is great at the beginning, you will soon notice a change in user behavior. Users will only turn to content that is relevant to them and ignore content that is of no interest to them.

2. Several users share one account

Some Confluence admins assign occasional users a generic user account such as "support staff". Several users or even entire groups work with it. From the admins' point of view, this saves' valuable 'Atlassian Confluence licenses. They also believe that administration is easier when fewer people use it.

However, this strategy creates new risks, for example through the disclosure of passwords. In addition, this approach prevents collaboration - and thus exactly what you want to achieve with an enterprise wiki. The aim is to encourage all Confluence users to regularly and actively contribute knowledge and information - not just to take a look occasionally.

Authors should also get the personal and deserved appreciation for making good contributions. But generic user accounts make users practically anonymous. Before long, readers will say to themselves, "Oh, another post from some support person. I don't know, don't care."

We can almost guarantee that generic user accounts prevent collaboration. It is impossible to keep track of who made which changes or who created a new page. The transparency as one of the special features of Atlassian Confluence is destroyed with generic user accounts.

Additionally, Confluence's social properties - which include Likes, Favorite Pages, and Space - become virtually useless if users can't express personal preferences and interests.

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Do not assign generic user accounts. If you want to save time on administration, create groups instead. This also prevents misuse, as each entry notes the corresponding author.

3. Switch off the comment function

Cooperation means exchange of information. And enterprise wikis like Atlassian Confluence were developed to make this exchange easier. Written text is the easiest way to quickly and effectively exchange thoughts.

By default, Confluence allows its users to leave comments on all pages and blog posts. In this way, authors and editors receive constant feedback. If a discussion develops under a Confluence page, this signals an increased interest in the topic and a need for discussion. In addition, critical comments can encourage the editor to further improve the content.

If you turn the feature off, you destroy the most important social component of your collaboration platform.

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Allow Don't just let your users leave comments, but encourage and encourage You to dialogue.

This shows your appreciation for new findings, discussions and suggestions. Sometimes it can even be helpful if anonymous users comment on publicly accessible Confluence pages. This is how you encourage your readers or your customers to give feedback.

4. Neglecting Confluence updates

Users want and deserve a system that is always available, secure and up-to-date. Your platform needs a fast and flexible interface that is fun to work with. Watching a page load is not fun for anyone. If everything goes smoothly, the system is quickly accepted and before you know it, you have a number of motivated Confluence supporters who are actively using the platform.

New systems should always be lean, easy to use and faster than the previous system. Confluence definitely fulfills the first two criteria. How fast the system runs in the end, however, depends on the administrator, who is responsible for performance and security.

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Even if several thousand users use Confluence, keep your system up-to-date and quickly in use:

  • Always use the latest version of Confluence.
  • Prioritize fast and secure server performance, even with hundreds of users and thousands of pages.
  • Plan your capacity for a "worst-case scenario" - which is actually the ideal case, namely when everyone is actively working together and making full use of the system.

5. Put everything on one side

Your users should always have an overview of all information. But that doesn't mean that they should write all of their documentation on a single page, possibly with thousands of lines.

Some enterprise wikis such as Confluence offer functions as standard with which you can summarize content and organize it within different spaces. You can then create as many pages and subpages as you like within a space.

This allows a page author to create content and knowledge in such a way that it can be used and understood intuitively - in tree structures (or pyramids), similar to chapters in a book.

Without navigation, pages can grow to incredible lengths that readers have to scroll down forever. You can run out of breath and desire to do so. Too much content on a page also makes it harder for readers to post comments. On the one hand, because you don't want to comment on something that feels 10,000 pixels away. On the other hand, scrolling makes quoting passages more unwieldy. And cooperation suffers again.

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  • Keep content simple and understandable. Check these regularly and divide long pages into sub-pages. Rule of thumb: From three or more heading levels, distribute the text on sub-pages. With the Confluence Include-Macro or better the Includeplus-Macro from Scroll Versions