January 19, 2023

Confluence for Project Management: Why It Works and How to Use It

Diagrams for Businesses
Project Management

As a project manager, you’re always balancing countless tasks and expectations, and more than likely you’re always seeking out a more effective way to organize it all.

But with an ever-growing variety of tools to choose from, it can feel all but impossible to land on the perfect blend that empowers your team to do excellent work without hindered productivity from switching between too many tools.

Although Confluence isn’t the only project management tool out there, it offers a unique perspective to project management that can help your team plan, work, and learn more effectively.

In this blog, we’ll go over not only what makes Confluence a powerful resource for your projects, but also how you can maximize your use of it throughout the project lifecycle. There are three factors to this:

Skip ahead to the section you’re eager to learn more about, or continue reading to dive into the uses and advantages of Confluence for project managers.

Why Use Confluence for Project Management? 

Context 

If you think of project management as a series of checking items off a list, then Confluence may not be the right tool for you. However, if you think of project management as the total sum of all the complex work, knowledge, and strategy that moves projects forward, Confluence is an invaluable resource that provides an additional layer of depth as you build out your project. 

From the project manager all the way to informed stakeholders, every individual involved in a project will work in better harmony with accessible context. Using Confluence as a source of truth for project-related information and updates allows you to focus on the work you need to get done rather than tracking down answers to your questions or answering others.

Laying out the strategy behind your decisions and process in a space like Confluence also helps all project members have a deeper understanding of goals and will enable everyone to contribute more effectively.  

Confluence Tip: Visualize Your Work

Whether you’re sharing ideas with project stakeholders or working through them yourself or with others, visuals are a valuable resource for clearly organizing your thoughts. They can be a method of communication as well as a method of recording your thoughts and ideas as they come. 

A good visual also makes your teammates more likely to read and engage with the content you create on Confluence — which is why creating visuals is one of our top tips for creating more engaging Confluence pages

Regardless of what you’re creating — a process, the results of a brainstorming session, a preliminary wireframe or mockup — Gliffy allows you to build it directly in Confluence, making your working process more efficient and convenient by eliminating the need to incorporate external tools to visualize your work. Plus, it’s free to give it a try today

Integrations 

Confluence may not be the right tool for checking boxes off a list — but lists are still important, and Confluence integrates perfectly with other tools that do have that purpose, such as Jira and Trello.

With the meaningful context of Confluence combined with the task-oriented approach of Jira and Trello, your team will be well-equipped to tackle any project. This provides a space to make sure the work gets done as well as a space for the more long-form, detailed thinking that goes into each task and decision.

Integrating your context and your to-do list also helps eliminate information silos between team members or between different teams in cross-functional projects. When everyone has access to all the information related to different steps of a project, no one has to spend time tracking down answers or asking for the details that inform their own work. 

Confluence Tip: Maximizing Meetings 

No one likes an unproductive meeting — but when you’re using Confluence integrated with Jira or Trello, you can make your meetings drive productivity rather than hinder it. 

Create a section of your Confluence space for meeting notes, and make sure to record the topics of discussion, insights, and action items. Then, assign those items out to your team members after the meeting to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. 

With access to both the status of tasks and the context behind them, your team will also be better equipped going into meetings with the information they need, so you can spend your time diving into the issues you met to address.

Retrospectives 

When you have access to the context that Confluence provides, learning from past projects is a far easier task. While evaluating the work you’ve done, it’s wise to focus not only on results, but also on how those results were achieved. 

What was the thought process behind key decisions made in the project planning process, and was that thought flawed in hindsight? If any issues arose throughout the course of the project, can those be traced to their origin? How can you take these processes and apply them to future projects?

Along with documenting the process behind project tasks, clearly recording your goals and expectations for a project is also important, because you’ll have clear measures to compare against your actual results. 

When you can critically examine the gap — or lack thereof — between expected and actual outcomes, you’ll be better prepared to capitalize on what was successful and re-evaluate what wasn’t. Your future initiatives will benefit from this insight.

Confluence Tip: Try a Built-In Template

Atlassian has a wide variety of built-in templates for every step of your project, including a retrospective template that can guide your team’s reflection and turn ideas into actionable steps. 

While you’re at it, try exploring all the templates Atlassian has to offer for all your project management needs, including Gliffy’s event planning template that will keep your team aligned throughout the process. Whatever your needs, odds are there’s a Confluence template that can help you meet them.

Getting Started: Resources for Project Managers 

Ready to kick off and manage your next project in Confluence? Don’t forget to add Gliffy to help you create meaningful visuals that bring your ideas to life. 

TRY GLIFFY FOR CONFLUENCE

Here are some other resources from the Gliffy team to help project managers build effective documentation: 

💡 How to Create More Engaging Confluence Pages
🤝 How to Make a RACI Chart
📆 How to Make a PERT Chart