What is Confluence Used For?

Confluence was first launched in 2004 as an easy-to-use Wiki solution for teams, but has since grown to support a much wider audience. Read on to learn more about each use case, or click on one of the links below to jump to that section of the guide. At a high level, Confluence is used for: 

Knowledge Management & Wiki Creation

A wiki is a text-based publication maintained by a group of users, so they’re commonly used as a solution for organizations to document and share knowledge. Used as a wiki or internal knowledge base, Confluence is a great way to make information visible across teams and prevent silo mentality from forming. 

But, users don’t want to read through hundreds of words or blocks of text. One of the best ways to make your knowledge base content more engaging, useful, and approachable is by adding images and diagrams. Whether you’re documenting processes or helping new team members get up to speed, diagrams can help.

Process modeling is a valuable addition to your wiki or knowledge base. Creating clear documentation for existing processes is a great way to spot room for improvement or clarify responsibilities across teams. While trying to implement a new process, visual documentation will help teams more quickly grasp the new way to work. 

Learn more about the benefits of process mapping and modeling in our blog, What is Process Modeling? >>

Example graphic of a business process model

Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are a type of documentation that’s perfect for processes that need to be repeated or executed correctly every time to ensure consistency or safety. SOPs are commonly used in manufacturing, but they’re also great for workplace safety practices and HR- or corporate-level actions like provisioning account access for new employees. 

Learn more about best practices and how to create helpful SOPs in our blog, What is a Standard Operating Procedure? >>

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Sometimes one of the biggest challenges with collaboration across teams is not knowing who to work with on a particular problem. Making organizational charts is a great way to help members of your organization identify who to talk to when they have a specific idea or problem outside their business unit. 

Learn more about org charts and how to add them to Confluence using a diagram tool in our blog, How to Create an Org Chart >>

Image Blog Create Org Chart

Asynchronous & Remote Collaboration

With more teams shifting between in-office and remote work, adding new hires across continents, and relying less and less on face-to-face interaction, collaboration can be a challenge. As teams adapt to these new ways to work, Confluence is a great way to keep projects moving and share ideas, regardless of timezone or location.

Features like real-time editing and collaboration make it easy for team members to jointly work on content. Then, commenting and tagging allows users to ask questions about content and make refinements to keep the work in action. You can even add tasks for teammates to follow up, add information, or approve content. 

The use cases for collaborating in Confluence are endless, but Gliffy’s Atlassian Apps make visual collaboration in Confluence even easier. 

Collaboration is particularly important to certain business and operational activities because of the wide variety of stakeholders and experts within an organization. Whether you’re doing a simple competitive analysis with a SWOT chart or diving into the strategic planning process, Confluence can easily capture valuable inputs from leaders and team members across your organization. 

Learn more about how Gliffy supports long-term goal setting and planning in our blog, What is Strategic Planning? >>

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While Confluence makes it easy to capture written and text-based information out-of-the-box, it can be difficult to bridge gaps between business, product, and design teams when discussing ideas. To help teams collaborate on things like web page designs or storyboards, Gliffy comes pre-loaded with wireframe templates and shapes. This way, cross-functional teams can get buy-in on content structures or UX choices without jumping into more complex design tools.

Learn more about wireframing in Confluence in our blog, How to Create a Wireframe >> 

Image Blog How to Create a Wireframe

One of the hard-to-replicate experiences of remote and asynchronous work is brainstorming. Confluence alone makes it easy to produce documentation or written concepts, but additional integrations or apps can help your team master new ways to brainstorm. Gliffy gives your team the ability to digitally mind map, concept map, or use other brainstorming techniques without ever leaving Confluence.

Learn more about how Gliffy supports ideation with our resource about the most popular Brainstorming Techniques >> 

Woman on a computer that has an idea while brainstorming with a group.

Technical Documentation

Whether you’re creating a single source of truth for your team or reliable documentation for your customers, Confluence makes it easy to keep information clearly structured and updated. Store everything from how-to articles to design component documentation in your internal- or external-facing Confluence pages. 

This use case is particularly potent if your product, support, or business teams are also using Jira for project or service management because you can sync progress on specific issues or tickets within Confluence.

Diagram tools like Gliffy support implementing documentation best practices by allowing teams to visually document the code, data, or IT infrastructure that supports their work. These visuals are especially helpful when it comes to communicating with non-technical teams or onboarding new employees.

The Unified Modeling Language is a set of rules that allows software developers to draw diagrams that represent their code structures or systems. By visually documenting how they plan to work or visually describing the structure of existing work, developers can collaborate more effectively.

Learn more about this use case with our resource about all the UML Basics >> 

Image Blog What is UML?

An entity relationship diagram is a great way to visually describe how items within a system relate to one another. They’re a common type of database diagram that can help teams quickly understand what information is available to them. You’ll find these diagrams helpful for software development, business analysis and other analytics work, and research projects.

Learn more about visualizing your data structures in Confluence in our blog, How to Draw an Entity Relationship Diagram >> 

Image Blog Draw Entity Relationship Diagrams

Help nontechnical stakeholders understand the infrastructure that supports their day-to-day work by visually documenting your enterprise cloud services. Adding cloud architecture diagrams for your AWS, GCP, or Azure services will help you plan for future changes or troubleshoot issues.
Learn more about creating these diagrams in our complete guide to Cloud Architecture Diagrams >> 

Cloud Architecture Diagrams

Manage Work & Projects

Confluence is an excellent tool for work management because of the ability to share detailed information, work within templates, and organize work into pages, spaces, and teams. While teams may integrate with a more specific project management tool like Trello or Jira, Confluence is where they’ll store all the know-how and notes that support the project.

There are several flowcharts that can help you explain how you expect work to be completed. Alongside your project kick-off notes or documentation, including a flowchart will clarify key milestones and dependencies so that your team can work efficiently and stay on track. 

Learn more about visualizing your project’s milestones with our blog on the most common types of flowcharts >> 

Image Blog Guide to the Most Common Types of Flowcharts

Swimlane diagrams are a flowchart with a twist — they introduce clear columns or rows that indicate which business unit or role is responsible for a task. By describing a workflow or project with a swimlane diagram, you can show cross-functional teams which parts of the work can be completed at the same time and reduce confusion over which team is responsible for which tasks.

Learn more about adding swimlane diagrams to Confluence in our blog, How to Make a Swimlane Diagram >> 

Image Blog How to Create a Swimlane Diagram

Making a stakeholder map will help project or product owners create a communications plan that appropriately keeps their organization informed of progress and setbacks. Using this framework is a great best practice because, while Confluence makes information extremely accessible, you don’t want to bog your organization down with unnecessary updates. 

Learn more about identifying your project’s stakeholders in our blog, What is a Stakeholder Map? >>

Example of a concept map used for stakeholder mapping

Support Your Team with the Leading Confluence App

Whether your team plans to use Confluence as a collaborative workspace or as a knowledge repository, you’ll find tons of features that make it stand out. Be sure to implement a few Confluence best practices or follow our Confluence guide and your team will be creating, sharing, and updating meaningful content in no time. 

Regardless of your primary use case, adding images and diagrams is a great way to increase engagement within Confluence. Gliffy Diagrams for Confluence is the top-selling diagramming solution for Confluence, allowing you to create, share, and edit diagrams without leaving Confluence or logging into a separate tool. Start a free trial and see why over 18 million users love diagramming with Gliffy in Confluence.