Using Jira Software and Confluence together

Written by Laura Campbell

Your scrum board is ready, filled with the Epics, User Stories, Tasks and Bugs that need to be worked on in the sprint. Or maybe a Kanban board. But in any case, there’s no question in your mind: Jira Software is helping your engineering team. But documenting decisions, sharing wireframes or mock-ups, or simply summarizing progress for colleagues who aren’t in Jira everyday isn’t easy to accomplish with Jira alone.

By using Confluence alongside Jira Software throughout the entire software development process, you can build an internal knowledge base that sets your team up for success. Get inspired by the following suggestions on how to use Jira Software and Confluence together to achieve a shared understanding, and support the successful release of your software.

Using Jira and Confluence for agile software development

Jira Software is built to keep track of distinct tasks individuals need to work on for your next release, but creating a shared history and knowledge base is not where Jira shines. That’s the job of Confluence: share and organize all of the ideas, content, and files you collaborate on for your project. If you currently have project resources scattered across Word files, Drive files, Sharepoint, or any other solution, your team is losing time navigating to everything they need.

4 ways to build tribal knowledge for agile software teams

Here are 4 ways to build tribal knowledge for agile software teams:

  • organize a hierarchy of pages for each team or project, and link the Confluence space to your Jira project to access the pages directly from Jira
  • create a project update page to share issue statuses with the Jira macros to help decision makers who aren’t using Jira stay informed of progress
  • use the Sprint planning meeting template to document what needs to get done, and then the Sprint retro template once the sprint is finished
  • link documentation pages to a Jira issue

If you are on Cloud, using Jira and Confluence together couldn’t be easier. As explained in our article on how to integrate Jira and Confluence, the app link is automatic on Cloud. All that’s left to do is to link your project in Jira with your space in Confluence. You’ll be able to see and even create or modify Confluence pages related to your software project directly from Jira.

Couple things to keep in mind:

  • For the pages to be visible in Jira, they must be listed under Pages in Confluence
  • From Jira you can see Pages but not Blogs

By keeping all the documents or content related to your project in Confluence, you streamline your knowledge building processes. Future team members and non-Jira using colleagues will thank you, we promise.

Jira Software and Confluence for Product Management

Adding Confluence to Jira Software brings a number of possibilities to Product Managers and contributes to successful software releases.

Jira and Confluence for requirements management

Create, share, get feedback, update, rinse and repeat: Jira and Confluence are the agile solution to requirements management throughout the life of your product development.

Confluence ships with a blueprint, or template, for requirements management, so you can get started right out of the gate. You can then solicit feedback and comments from multiple stakeholders, who can either comment the text directly, comment the page, or update it themselves (you can always check the page history to see the changes).

Requirements management Confluence template

As the requirements are detailed, you can start creating User Stories for them in Jira directly from Confluence by highlighting the text.

If you need to include wireframes, mockups, or prototypes on a Confluence page, there are multiple apps that allow you to do that so everyone can keep all your work together. Team members can even comment mock ups just like text or other images.

Confluence automatically creates a page summarizing the main details from all your requirements management pages if you use the blueprint, so you can see at a glance the progress of all your different projects.

Discuss, debate build consensus with DACI

Ever come across a decision made 6 months ago by people no longer involved in a project and scratch your head why they came to that conclusion? There’s a better way to document decisions made: the DACI framework.

The DACI (driver, approver, contributors, informed) template in Confluence is ideal to collect everything necessary to discuss and and debate decisions to be taken. The template helps by

  • documenting all the inputs for the question to be answered
  • listing the pros and cons
  • impact of each solution

You will build consensus for the final solution that’s chosen, and you ensure that the knowledge is available in the future. For example, if there are several ways to tackle building a new feature or fixing a bug, create a new page and insert the details from the Jira issue with an Elements Publish to Confluence recipe, and start fleshing out the details of each option.

Check out the Atlassian play for tips on how to use the DACI framework with your colleagues. Once you’ve come to a decision, don’t forget to update the status so that anyone looking at the decision log with the list of DACI pages will know at a glance if a decision has been taken.

A slight alternative is the RACI, or Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

  • Responsible is those who will complete the work.
  • Accountable is the final approver of the work.
  • Consulted and Informed are the same.

Tracking release notes from Jira Software in Confluence

Jira Software includes the possibility to organize projects with versions. Once you start using versions, you open the possibility of automatically generating release notes with all issues within a version in a single list, separated by the issue types.

There are two ways to publish to release note: from Jira or from Confluence.

From Jira Software, select releases on the left-hand panel, as explained in this Atlassian documentation to learn how to generate a release note.

Creating release notes in Jira Software

You can then copy all the changes associated with your release and paste them into a document you’re creating in Confluence.

From Confluence, click on create and then from the Templates in the side navigation menu select “Jira report”. When you click “Use” select “Change log”.

Jira report template change log

Then you’ll need to select the project and version. Confluence will automatically fetch all the issues and create your release note.

Tracking release notes from Jira Software in Confluence

⚠️  The release note will be created under the parent page you have open when you start creating your new page. To avoid having to move the page after creating it, make sure you open the right parent page before creating a new page and using the Jira Report template.

Incident management: post-mortems with Jira and Confluence

So you pushed a change into production and things didn’t go as planned. To improve your change management process, you first need to get everyone around a (metaphorical) table to analyze what happened. Atlassian provides a number of create templates in Confluence to bring together all the information you need for your continuous improvement process and even a guide on how to run the meeting.

We’ll admit though: creating the post-mortem document in Confluence can be tedious because most of the information about the bug has to be copied from Jira Software to Confluence.

To streamline the process, the app Elements Publish to Confluence grabs information from your Jira Software issue and publishes it on a new the post-mortem page.

Incident management post-mortems with Jira and Confluence

With everything prebuilt, your dev team can focus on the root cause analysis, not copying and pasting.

Achieve success with your software team

By using Jira Software and Confluence together throughout the entire software development process, you can build the tribal knowledge necessary for success. Whether you are looking to improve your sprint retros, managing product requirements, or incident management, adding Confluence to Jira Software will help document your decisions and help decision makers who aren’t using Jira stay informed. To get started using Jira and Confluence together, check out 8 ways to integrate the tools, or try the app Elements Publish to Confluence.

Start creating Confluence pages from Jira with Elements Publish