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IT Teams: How to use Confluence and Jira together in Knowledge Management?

Leveraging Jira and Confluence for knowledge management: A guide for IT teams

Atlassian’s Jira and Confluence are two tools that, when used together, can significantly enhance a team’s knowledge management capabilities. This article delves into strategies for integrating Jira and Confluence to build a robust knowledge management system that serves your team’s needs effectively.

Understanding Jira and Confluence tools

Jira, primarily a project management tool, excels in tracking issues, tasks, and projects. It provides teams with the agility to adapt to changes, manage workflows, and ensure that every task is accounted for and progresses as planned. On the other hand, Confluence operates as a content collaboration tool where teams can create, manage, and share documentation, project plans, and increase team collaboration.

The synergy between Jira and Confluence lies in their ability to offer a unified system where project tracking and documentation complement each other seamlessly. Here’s how you can leverage this synergy for effective knowledge management:

1. Documenting projects in Confluence

Start by creating a space in Confluence for your project documentation. This space should serve as the central repository for all project-related knowledge, including project plans, requirements, meeting notes, and retrospectives. For each project tracked in Jira, link directly to these Confluence pages to ensure that team members can easily navigate between task tracking and relevant documentation.

2. Embedding Jira issues in Confluence pages

Confluence allows you to embed Jira issues directly into your pages. This feature is incredibly useful for creating dynamic reports, sprint plans, or project summaries that automatically update as the status of Jira tickets change. Use this to keep documentation current without manual updates, ensuring that team members always have access to the latest information.

Nevertheless, while Jira and Confluence are powerful tools for project management and collaboration respectively, they have some native limitations. Jira can sometimes be too rigid for teams needing flexibility in their workflows and issue tracking, making it less adaptable to more dynamic project methodologies. Confluence, while excellent for documentation, can become complicated to deal with information as the amount of content grows, leading to navigation and retrieval difficulties. These native constraints may require additional customization or integration with other tools to fully meet user needs.

Discover how Elements Publish can enhance your Jira and Confluence integration—try it now to optimize your knowledge management

3. Utilize Confluence for meeting notes and decisions

Meetings are often where decisions are made, directions are chosen, and ideas are brainstormed. Use Confluence to document these meetings, and link relevant Jira issues to these notes. This provides a historical account of how decisions were reached and ensures that actionable items are tracked in Jira, closing the loop between decision-making and task execution.

4. Creating a knowledge base in Confluence

Beyond project-specific documentation Confluence can be an effective tool for ITSM. In ITSM, Confluence can be used to manage service catalogs, detailed documentation on incident management protocols, problem management guidelines, and change management procedures. Furthermore, Confluence also serves as a knowledge base for your team or organization, facilitating information sharing and collaboration. This can include coding standards, design guidelines, onboarding materials for new hires, and FAQs. Linking to Jira issues or projects from these pages can help illustrate guidelines with real-world examples or provide quick access to ongoing projects relevant to the knowledge base topic.

5. Encouraging collaboration and feedback

Leverage Confluence’s collaborative features to encourage team members to contribute to documentation, share feedback, and ask questions. This improves the quality of your knowledge management efforts and fosters a culture of openness and collaboration. Integrating with Jira, team members can discuss issues, update ticket statuses, and link back to Confluence pages for in-depth explanations or discussions.

Discover how Elements Publish can help your IT team streamline their knowledge management

6. Automated workflows and notifications

Both Jira and Confluence offer automation and notification features. Therefore, utilize these to alert team members about updates, new articles, or feedback requests. This ensures that knowledge management is proactive and engages the entire team in maintaining and enhancing your documentation.

The integration of Jira and Confluence offers a powerful combination for knowledge management. By effectively using these tools together, teams can ensure that project documentation is comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible. This not only streamlines project execution but also builds a culture of knowledge sharing and continuous improvement. Start by mapping out your team’s knowledge management needs and configure Jira and Confluence to work together to meet these needs, laying the foundation for sustained success and growth.

In the bustling world of project management, the harmony between tools can often be the most important element for success. Atlassian’s Confluence and Jira stand out not just for their individual capabilities but for their synergistic potential when used together. This article explores how integrating Jira and Confluence can streamline workflows, foster collaboration, and ultimately, drive project success.

Seamless integration, streamlined workflow

Jira, renowned for its agile project management capabilities, excels in tracking issues, tasks, and deadlines. Confluence, on the other hand, serves as a robust content collaboration tool that helps teams to create, share, and manage all forms of content. When Confluence and Jira are used in tandem, they create a seamless workflow that bridges the gap between task management and information sharing.

This integration allows for the automatic linking of Jira tasks within Confluence documents. Teams can thus easily reference detailed project plans, requirements, or reports housed in Confluence directly from their Jira dashboard. This direct linkage not only saves time but also ensures that relevant information is readily accessible, reducing the need for constant back-and-forth communication.

Are you ready to revolutionize your approach to project management? Explore Elements Publish, the app designed to simplify your process and supercharge your team’s productivity.

Enhanced collaboration for successful project

The Jira-Confluence integration enriches this collaboration by providing teams with a shared context. Confluence’s strength in content management becomes even more powerful when combined with Jira’s task tracking. Teams can collaboratively work on documents in Confluence while keeping track of their progress in Jira and also convert a Jira issue into a Confluence page. This ensures that every team member is on the same page, literally and figuratively.

For example, during project planning, Confluence requirements can directly become Jira tasks, ensuring all are accounted for and easing the transition to execution.

Empowered decision-making with data-driven insights

Decision-making is important at every stage of a project. The combination of Jira’s analytics and reporting capabilities with Confluence’s content management provides teams with a comprehensive overview of project health. Teams can create dynamic reports in Confluence that fetch real-time data from Jira, offering insights into project progress, resource allocation, and potential bottlenecks.

This integration empowers project managers and stakeholders to make informed decisions based on up-to-date project data. Whether it’s reallocating resources to address bottlenecks or adjusting timelines to meet deadlines, the combined insights from Jira and Confluence enable a proactive approach to project management.

Streamlining knowledge sharing and documentation

One of the challenges in project management is ensuring that knowledge is effectively shared and documented. Confluence’s capabilities as a knowledge base complement Jira’s operational efficiency by providing a centralized repository for all project-related documentation. From technical specifications to meeting notes and best practices, Confluence serves as the single source of truth for project teams.

Integrating Jira and Confluence not only facilitates access to this information but also encourages a culture of documentation. As tasks are completed in Jira, related documents in Confluence can be updated simultaneously, ensuring that project documentation remains current and relevant.

Integrate and synchronize your Jira issue into a Confluence page Now and transform your project management with Elements Publish.

The synergy between Jira and Confluence offers more than just convenience; it embodies a strategic approach to project management. By bridging the gap between task management and content collaboration, this integration streamlines workflows, enhances collaboration, empowers decision-making, and streamlines knowledge sharing. In the dynamic world of project management, using Jira and Confluence together can significantly boost team efficiency and success.

At Elements, we’re proud to announce our official SOC2 Type II compliance, a significant milestone that underscores our commitment to data security and operational excellence. This journey, initiated in December 2022, reflects our proactive approach to meeting the stringent requirements of the SOC2 framework.

Why pursue SOC2 compliance?

SOC2 is a rigorous certification process designed for service organizations, focusing on the secure management of customer data. It demands adherence to strict criteria in several key areas: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Our decision to comply with SOC2 framework was driven by several key factors:

  • Reassuring Our Customers: Achieving SOC2 compliance demonstrates our dedication to safeguarding customer data, reinforcing trust in our services.
  • Internal Confidence and Security Enhancement: With a strong foundation in security practices, pursuing SOC2 compliance allowed us to further solidify our processes, enhancing overall stability and security.

The Journey to Compliance

Our path to SOC2 compliance involved the entire company, with Caroline, Scrum Master, leading the project and significant contributions from teams across the organization. Collaborative efforts, particularly in policy development and IT security enhancements, were crucial. We engaged with external partners like Drata and Prescient Assurance to streamline the process and ensure rigorous evaluation.

  • Drata: This tool played a pivotal role in managing and facilitating SOC2-related actions, ensuring continuous monitoring and compliance.
  • Prescient Assurance: As our auditor, Prescient ensured that our policies and practices aligned with SOC2 standards.

Key Steps and Actions

  • Starting Point: The journey began in December 2022, with the formal decision to pursue SOC2 compliance.
  • Drata Adoption and Assessment: Starting February 2023, we adopted Drata to conduct thorough assessments and monitor our systems.
  • Policy Development: From March to September, we focused on defining and approving comprehensive internal policies, a critical component of the SOC2 framework.
  • Gap Analysis and Implementations: From March to September, we evaluated our procedures to identify any deficiencies and subsequently focused on implementing new practices and tools.
  • Risk Assessment: We conducted an in-depth analysis to identify existing potential risks across various domains, including technology, HR, finance, and sales. Each identified risk lead to a remediation plan.
  • Evidence Gathering: Before audit, we worked on centralizing all our evidence of compliance in our Drata tool.

Milestones Achieved

  • SOC2 Type 1: Achieved in November 2023, this phase involved auditing our policies and controls to ensure they met SOC2 standards at a single point in time.
  • SOC2 Type 2: From October 2023 to January 2024, this stage required us to demonstrate the practical implementation of our policies and efficiency of our controls, culminating in our SOC2 Type 2 compliance in February 2024.

Benefits for Our Customers

Achieving SOC2 compliance brings tangible benefits to our customers:

  • Enhanced Stability and Availability: Our processes have been refined to ensure higher reliability and uptime.
  • Improved Data Protection: With strengthened security measures, customer data is more secure than ever.
  • Faster Incident Response and Recovery: Our enhanced Incident Response Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan mean we can address issues more swiftly and effectively.

Conclusion

Our journey to SOC2 compliance was a comprehensive effort that involved the entire Elements team and external partners. This achievement reflects our dedication to going beyond the basic requirements for data security and privacy. It assures our customers that they are working with a company deeply committed to providing top-notch service while upholding the utmost standards in data protection and reliability.

We look forward to continuing our journey in excellence and security, providing our customers with the best possible service and peace of mind.

When navigating the complexities of incident management, leveraging the integrated capabilities of Jira Service Management (JSM), Jira, and Confluence can transform challenges into opportunities for improvement and efficiency. These tools, when used in harmony, create a robust framework for managing incidents that reflect the reality of today’s fast-paced project environments. Here’s how to tailor best practices to make the most of JSM, Jira and Confluence.

1. Leverage JSM for Proactive Incident Prevention

Before incidents arise, use JSM to set up a preventive maintenance schedule and automate regular checks. Its advanced monitoring capabilities can alert you to potential issues, allowing for preemptive action. Incorporating a knowledge base with Confluence can also help in educating your team and users on avoiding common pitfalls.

2. Streamline Identification with JSM Alerts

Utilize JSM’s alerting system to ensure swift incident identification. Configure it to send notifications through various channels, ensuring that critical information reaches the right people without delay. The goal is to create a seamless flow of information that aids in quick response times.

3. Efficient Logging Practices in Jira

When logging an incident in Jira, ensure that all relevant information is captured succinctly. Use custom fields and issue types to categorize incidents accurately, making it easier for teams to understand the scope and scale at a glance. This streamlined approach to logging helps in initiating a swift response.

4. Prioritize and Categorize with Precision

Employ Jira’s capabilities to categorize and prioritize incidents based on predefined criteria such as impact and urgency. This enables your team to address the most critical issues first, optimizing resource allocation and ensuring that efforts are focused where they are needed most.

5. Conduct Thorough Diagnosis with Confluence Integration

For comprehensive incident analysis, integrate Jira with Confluence to document and share findings across teams. This collaboration can lead to a deeper understanding of the incident’s root cause, fostering a culture of shared knowledge and collective problem-solving.

If you want take your incident management to the next level, learn more about Elements Publish

6. Implement Solutions and Monitor Recovery in Jira

Use Jira to track the resolution process, assigning tasks and monitoring progress towards recovery. This centralized tracking ensures that all team members are aligned and informed, facilitating a coordinated response to incidents.

7. Ensure Closure with Feedback Loops through JSM

Incorporate feedback mechanisms within JSM to gauge the effectiveness of the incident resolution. This can involve surveys or direct feedback from affected parties, ensuring that the incident is fully resolved to their satisfaction and gathering insights for future improvements.

8. Foster Continuous Improvement with Jira and Confluence Reports

Finally, use Jira’s reporting features in conjunction with Confluence’s collaborative documentation to review and refine your incident management process. Analyze trends, identify areas for improvement, and document best practices and lessons learned to continuously evolve your incident management strategy.

By tailoring these best practices to the specific capabilities of JSM, Jira, and Confluence, project managers and Jira admins can create a more resilient, efficient, and effective incident management process. This approach not only addresses the immediate challenges of incident resolution but also builds a foundation for ongoing improvement, reflecting the Elements commitment to innovation and excellence in project management.

To get more information about Elements Publish, schedule an appointment with our Head of Product, Julien Peyrade :

Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or new to the field, this guide aims to empower you with the knowledge and strategies needed to harness Confluence’s capabilities for successful project outcomes: ensuring they are completed on time, within scope, and with the desired quality. By integrating Confluence into your project management workflows, you can enhance collaboration, streamline communication, and centralize essential project information.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll address fundamental questions about project management and Confluence’s role within it. We’ll discuss the benefits of utilizing Confluence for project management and provide step-by-step guidance on how to set up, customize, and make the most of Confluence’s features for your projects.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the systematic application of processes, methods, and tools to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close projects. It involves the coordination of various resources, including time, budget, people, and materials, to achieve specific goals and objectives within defined constraints.

At its core, project management revolves around:

  • Defining Objectives: Clearly outline the goals and outcomes the project aims to achieve.
  • Planning: Creating a roadmap that outlines tasks, timelines, resources, and potential risks.
  • Execution: Implementing the planned tasks and activities to bring the project to life.
  • Monitoring and Control: Keeping track of project progress, identifying deviations, and making necessary adjustments.
  • Closure: Finalizing all project activities, evaluating their success, and documenting lessons learned.

Effective project management is essential for ensuring projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders. By implementing structured project management practices, teams can minimize risks, optimize resource allocation, and enhance collaboration among team members.

Is Confluence a Project Management Tool?

Confluence, developed by Atlassian, is primarily known as a collaboration and documentation platform. While it may not be a traditional project management tool in the same vein as dedicated project management software, Confluence plays a vital role in supporting project management workflows.


We use Confluence for managing for most of our projects, because it makes all project information accessible and findable in one place.

Stefan Kleineikenscheidt, K15T CEO


Confluence offers features that are highly beneficial for project management, such as:

  • Document Collaboration: Confluence provides a centralized space where team members can collaboratively create, edit, and review project-related documents, requirements, and specifications.
  • Knowledge Sharing: With Confluence’s wiki-like structure, teams can share knowledge, best practices, and project-related information in an easily accessible format.
  • Task Tracking: While Confluence doesn’t offer robust project scheduling capabilities, it does enable task tracking through its integration with tools like Jira, allowing teams to monitor and manage project tasks.
  • Communication: Confluence’s commenting and @mention features facilitate seamless communication among team members, ensuring everyone stays informed and engaged.
  • Customizable Workspaces: Teams can create customized spaces for each project, tailoring them to suit the specific needs and requirements of that project.
  • Templates: Confluence offers various templates for meeting notes, project plans, and more, providing a consistent structure for project-related documentation.

While Confluence might not replace comprehensive project management tools, its collaborative and documentation-oriented features make it a valuable asset in the project management toolkit. Integrating Confluence with specialized project management tools can lead to a holistic approach that combines efficient collaboration and effective project execution.

Benefits

Utilizing Confluence for project management offers a range of benefits that contribute to more organized, collaborative, and successful project outcomes. Here are some key advantages:

  • Centralized Information: Confluence serves as a central repository for all project-related documentation, reducing the chances of information silos and ensuring that team members have access to the latest updates.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: With Confluence, team members can collaboratively work on documents, share insights, and provide feedback in real-time, fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. Also, Confluence’s cloud-based nature facilitates remote collaboration, enabling team members to work together regardless of their physical location.
  • Improved Communication: Confluence’s commenting, @mention, and notification features facilitate efficient communication, ensuring that team members are aware of updates, discussions, and decisions.
  • Knowledge Retention: As projects evolve and team members change, Confluence preserves institutional knowledge by documenting decisions, rationale, and processes, making onboarding smoother.
  • Customizable Templates & Workflows: Confluence offers a variety of templates tailored for project management, allowing teams to start with a structured framework and adapt it to their specific project needs.
  • Task Tracking Integration: Through integration with task and project management tools like Jira, Confluence allows teams to link project documentation with tasks, keeping project context and documentation closely connected.
  • Transparency: Confluence provides transparency into project progress, allowing stakeholders to access project documentation and updates, which aids in accountability and decision-making.
  • Scalability: Whether it’s a small project or a large-scale initiative, Confluence’s flexibility accommodates projects of varying complexities.

By harnessing Confluence’s capabilities, project managers and teams can streamline their processes, enhance communication, and create a well-documented project history that contributes to future successes.

How to Use Confluence for Project Management

Using Confluence for project management involves a series of steps that empower teams to collaborate, track progress, and maintain organized project documentation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you leverage Confluence effectively:

  1. Structure your spaces & documents
    1. Set Up Project Spaces: When new team members join, direct them to the project space in Confluence. This allows them to quickly understand the project’s context, goals, and documentation. Create dedicated spaces within Confluence for each project. These spaces serve as the hub for project-related documents, discussions, and updates. Customize the space to reflect the project’s identity and objectives.
    2. Define Document Structures: Lay out the structure of your project documentation. Create pages for project plans, requirements, meeting notes, and more. Utilize Confluence’s templates to maintain consistency across different types of documentation.
  2. Integrate with your task-tracking tools Integrate Confluence with task-tracking tools like Jira. Link project documentation with tasks, user stories, and issues. This integration ensures that project documentation is directly connected to the tasks being worked on.
  3. Foster collaboration Encourage team members to contribute to project documentation. Collaboratively create and edit documents, capturing insights, decisions, and progress updates. Leverage Confluence’s real-time collaboration features.
  4. Communicate regularly (updates, decisions, etc)
    1. Visualize with Charts and Diagrams: Use Confluence to create charts, diagrams, and visuals that communicate project timelines, dependencies, and progress. Visual representations help stakeholders grasp complex information quickly.
    2. Regular Updates and Communication: Encourage regular updates within Confluence. Document project status, achievements, and challenges. Use @mentions and comments to facilitate discussions and keep everyone informed.
  5. Document Decisions and Rationale: Capture key decisions made during the project lifecycle. Document the rationale behind decisions, as this knowledge becomes invaluable for future reference and learning. Use Confluence’s review and approval workflows for critical documents. Ensure that project documentation undergoes proper review before being finalized.

By following these steps, you can harness Confluence’s capabilities to optimize your project management workflows, enhance collaboration, and create a repository of valuable project knowledge.

Case Studies

In this section, we’ll delve into fictional examples of organizations that can effectively use Confluence for project management. These case studies highlight how Confluence’s features and functionalities can be applied to diverse projects, leading to improved collaboration, streamlined processes, and successful project outcomes.

Case Study 1: Tech Innovators Inc.

Tech Innovators Inc., a software development company, use Confluence to manage their product development projects. By creating dedicated project spaces for each product, they centralize requirements, design documents, and user stories. Through integration with Jira, they link project documentation with development tasks, ensuring alignment between documentation and execution. This approach leads to reduced communication gaps, faster decision-making, and a more efficient development cycle.

Case Study 2: Markven Agency

Marketing Maven Agency, a marketing firm, employ Confluence to coordinate their client campaigns. They use Confluence’s customizable templates to create campaign briefs, content calendars, and performance reports. Team members collaborate in real-time on these documents, ensuring everyone has the latest information. By using Confluence’s @mention feature, they facilitate quick feedback and approvals. This strategy results in improved client communication, better campaign tracking, and enhanced client satisfaction.

Case Study 3: Infrastructure Innovations Ltd.

Infrastructure Innovations Ltd., a construction company, leverages Confluence to manage its construction projects. They establish project spaces for each construction site, housing blueprints, progress photos, and safety protocols. With Confluence’s version control, they track changes to blueprints over time, ensuring that all stakeholders are working with the latest information. This approach improves collaboration among architects, engineers, and construction crews, leading to smoother project execution and reduced rework.

Case Study 4: Healthcare Hart Group

Healthcare Hart Group, a healthcare provider, uses Confluence for its process improvement initiatives. They document current processes, identify bottlenecks, and collaborate on solutions within Confluence. Through the use of diagrams and flowcharts, they visualize process changes and track their implementation. By integrating Confluence with their project management software, they align process improvements with project timelines. This approach results in enhanced patient care, optimized workflows, and increased operational efficiency.

These case study examples demonstrate the versatility of Confluence in different industries and project contexts. By adapting Confluence’s features to their specific needs, these fictional organizations are able to enhance collaboration, communication, and project outcomes.

Have you ever been faced to common customer support tickets that have already been solved but not documented? Or a piece of information missing to solve this incident, as the person possessing it is currently out of the office? Or even worse, a customer failing to find the answer he’s looking for while despite exploring the documentation?

Then you maybe be experiencing “IT knowledge management processes”-penia!

Worry no more, we have the right medicine for you.

By learning and implementing ITIL best practices for managing knowledge, you can quickly surface the information your customers or employees need to resolve their issues, fast, as well as empower IT teams to deliver great service experiences.

What is ITIL knowledge management process?

Simply gathering knowledge is not enough. ITIL knowledge management definition states that it should be used to build value, and provide the right information to the right people at the right time. ITIL 4 focuses on processes by saying WHAT should be done rather than HOW to do it. The goal is to create value and increase the efficiency of operations.

The ITIL Knowledge Management process is described in three main points:

Creating and maintaining a knowledge-sharing culture

It is necessary to create conditions in which all the employees understand what knowledge is for the organization and to give them the tools to create, use and transfer it.

In that sense, the ITIL Knowledge Management process includes:

  • changing outdated patterns of knowledge use
  • enabling the use and transfer of valuable knowledge
  • strengthening the learning culture in the organization
  • improving knowledge management practice
  • identifying knowledge assets in the organization

On-demand information search

One main objective of this ITIL process is to find and provide new information in response to unusual queries, when using the available information systems and patterns it is not possible to obtain a meaningful answer.

Here are examples of scenarios where this process is used to reach that goal:

  • Custom business analysis to verify the hypothesis
  • Evaluation of a new technology or business model
  • Management of complex and rare queries which have not been standardized or automated yet

Knowledge resource management

The process focuses on managing knowledge as a resource (knowledge assets) throughout its lifecycle and on its effective integration within the entire knowledge management environment in the organization. Knowledge assets can be collective and individual, structured and unstructured, implicit and explicit.

Examples of knowledge assets include records of incidents, documented issues and bugs, application source code, reports, design, and technical documentation, etc.

Read more about knowledge management in this ultimate guide: Knowledge Management – Best Practices Guide

Benefits of ITIL Knowledge Management

Why should organizations manage knowledge? For the same reason as humans. Organizations need to make better use of their most important resource – people’s knowledge – to turn it into a competitive advantage. Implementing an ITIL Knowledge Management process in your organization will bring several benefits:

Document answers to frequently asked questions to save agents’ time

Support agents usually have to deal with frequently asked questions. Losing time answering the same questions over and over again can be avoided by documenting typical answers and making them easily accessible. If you notice that a certain question comes up more than twice, it’s a sign that you should document the answer instead of letting your team waste time and resources dealing with it.

Empower customers to help themselves by searching for resolutions in the help center

By analyzing customer requests and tickets, you can find out what the more typical questions asked are, and in which words they are formulated. By properly including these keywords in your knowledge base articles, you’ll help the customer get access to articles perfectly matching their request and allow them to quickly find out the answer.

Gather customer feedback to develop more relevant documentation pages

Remember that knowledge also lies outside the organization. Customers using your products can show you a new perspective, find a previously undiscovered error, or even suggest a change. Stay aware of customer feedback to include it in your official documentation.

See how knowledge management can support your IT service practices.

Best practices when implementing an ITIL Knowledge Management process

Here are the seven best practices worth relying on when building an ITIL knowledge management process.

1. Focus on value

When creating articles in the knowledge base, you should focus primarily on the value they provide. The information should be precise and lead the user to solve their problem as soon as possible.

2. Start where you are

An organization is a living organism that is constantly changing. Therefore, any moment to start building a knowledge base is a good one. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of undocumented tribal knowledge that only exists in the minds of the longest-serving employees. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will happen along the way.

3. Progress iteratively with feedback

Documentation of larger processes should be divided into stages. Sometimes other people’s help can provide a fresh look at the documentation. Then the work should be done iteratively, i.e.: preparing a piece of documentation, submitting it for review, receiving feedback, and  making corrections. The process is repeated until the document is finished.

4. Collaborate and promote visibility

The power of a knowledge base is the ability of many people to work on it at the same time. However, it is necessary to build awareness that the knowledge base exists, that it has a real value, and that by supplementing it we make our (and others’) work easier. We will then no longer have to solve problems previously solved by someone else.

5. Think and work holistically

Developing a knowledge-sharing culture is essential when implementing this process. Increase transparency with open and shared information instead of keeping documents siloed in emails and folders, or locked behind permissions settings. Invest in technology that connects and unifies knowledge, like Confluence. Knowledge should be easy to search, find, and create, for your entire organization.

6. Keep it simple and practical

The information contained in a knowledge base should be as simple and practical as possible to directly guide the user (customer, support employee) to solve the problem.

7. Optimize and automate

Automation can help you streamline requests without a support agent needing to be called upon every time a new ticket or question comes up. Providing self-serve resources from your knowledge base, as well as keeping track of common requests and resolution processes automatically, can save you and your team time.

How to implement ITIL Knowledge Management with Atlassian tools

Keeping ITIL knowledge management best practices in mind, let’s see how you can implement them and build an up-to-date knowledge base to ease the work of support agents and help customers as well.

If you work with the Atlassian stack on a daily basis, the natural choice will be to use Confluence. In combination with Jira Service Management (JSM), you’ll get an easy-to-use and functional tool for creating and managing a knowledge base.

Building a knowledge base with JSM and Confluence

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to build a knowledge base with JSM and Confluence from scratch:

1/ If you don’t already have a JSM Project for your support portal, you can create a new one by going into Projects > Create Project > and choosing Service Management type.

2/ Creating a linked Confluence space

After the JSM project creation, the relevant Confluence Space should be automatically created and linked to the project. If you want to create another space go to Confluence, choose Spaces > Create a space > Knowledge base.

3/ Verifying the linking and permissions

Go to Project Properties Knowledge Base. If the space is already linked with the project, you will see the list of articles there. If it’s not the case, or if you wish to link other spaces, click on “knowledge base settings”.

There you can link the space by clicking on the “Link Space “button.

At this point, you can also verify permissions for the Space. If the Knowledge Base is intended to be used by customers, you should allow All logged-in users to view it.

4/ Adding the article from the issue view

Now you can add an article from the issue view. Click on “Knowledge base” on the right side of the issue and on “Create article”.

5/ Adding the article from the project view

Go back to Project Properties Knowledge Base (cf. point 3) and create a new article. Once created, you will also get the link to share it with a customer.

6/ Letting customers access knowledge base articles

Customers can find knowledge base articles as well by typing his/her request in the Customer Portal. Suggested articles matching his query will appear below.

What if knowledge-building could happen automatically?

Let’s imagine a support agent closes the incident reported by a customer, and just a moment later a new document is automatically published in Confluence gathering information on the request about how it has been resolved. This is where Elements Publish comes into play. This app for Jira Cloud lets you automate manual tasks and make knowledge base building fast, fun, and effective.

Building a knowledge base automatically with Elements Publish

Let’s take the use case of an Incident that has been solved and closed on the support portal.

In a well-defined ITIL Knowledge management process, a knowledge base page should be created, usually in Confluence, to store information on the incident and how it has been resolved, to consolidate knowledge and make it accessible to all. This task may be time-consuming, and it can be automated using an app like Elements Publish for Jira Cloud.

Several conditions must be fulfilled:

  • make it possible to create an article in the knowledge base based on a solved task
  • the document should be created only for Incident tasks that are resolved with the Done status
  • the document should be created in the Knowledge Base space and a link to it should appear in the task
  • the document should include the date of closing the task and its labels
  • the attachments should be copied to the newly created page
  • a document can only be created by the person assigned to the task

All these conditions can be implemented with Element Publish by creating a unique recipe, that, when triggered, will automatically create a page in Confluence, gathering all key data on the incident.

Interested in learning how to create Confluence pages automatically from JSM tickets? Take a look at our use case below:

Learn how to create knowledge base articles from Jira Service Management tickets with Elements Publish.

You probably know the age-old axiom: knowledge is power.

This might be true, however, it comes with a few conditions.

First, you need to have a way to access knowledge. Easily and quickly if possible. Also, this knowledge must be accurate, and it must be used the right way. Unfortunately, in the workplace — these 3 conditions can hardly be met. And it can be incredibly costly to a business.

That’s why managing knowledge the right way is key to a company’s success, and we’ll help you here by providing knowledge management best practices and tips to choose the best knowledge management system for your company’s needs.

What is knowledge management?

First, what is knowledge?

Let’s begin with the Cambridge Dictionary definition: knowledge is the “understanding of or information about a subject that you get by experience or study, either known by one person or by people generally”.

Two important notions here: first, the fact that knowledge can be acquired not only by study but also by experience, and that it can be known not only by one person but by people in general. In that sense, the experience and skills gained by a collaborator across the years are aimed to be shared across an organization. A typical example would be the onboarding of a new employee, a time when it is essential to transfer the company’s knowledge and practices.

What is knowledge management and why it’s important?

As defined by Atlassian, “knowledge management is the process of creating, curating, sharing, using, and managing knowledge across an organization”.

Knowledge is one of the greatest assets of an organization. When an employee leaves the company and the knowledge acquired by this person has not been stored or passed along to others, it constitutes a high risk of information loss for the company.

Knowledge management’s goal is to maintain all the company’s learnings and history and make it easily accessible to all.

This is even more crucial nowadays, with teams working from everywhere with different schedules and across different time zones. Going to the desk or office next door, and tapping the shoulder of your colleague for information might not be possible anymore. All team members must be able to asynchronously share their knowledge and learnings and get access to it whenever and wherever they are.

What are the benefits of knowledge management?

Half of all respondents in a recent survey conducted by Deloitte identified knowledge sharing as a key driver to team success. From offering a single source of truth to improving collaboration and productivity, managing knowledge efficiently can be highly beneficial for companies and teams.

Better collaboration & team communication

Effective knowledge management is the path to successful knowledge transfer. Sharing learnings across teams and team members prevents company silos and enhances communication throughout your organization. It fosters collaboration as people are more aligned, have clearer goals, and have more transparency in their work.

Single source of truth & high-quality data

Having multiple tools to store information usually leads to time loss, looking for what you need, duplicated data, or outdated information. To have a single, reliable source of truth where everyone can find the information they need, is one of the main goals of knowledge management. It gives efficient access to knowledge as well as improved quality of information.

Improved productivity

According to a McKinsey study, employees spend nearly 20% of their time searching for the information they need to do their jobs. With an effective system to share knowledge and information, productivity could be improved by 30 to 35%.

Faster decision-making

To give the right information to the right people at the right time. That’s the key to making more informed and data-driven decisions. When information is shared transparently across the entire organization, everyone has the tools to work toward the same goals.

What are the main types of knowledge management?

Explicit knowledge

Explicit knowledge is the most apparent form of knowledge: it includes any formalized documentation, written processes, or reports. Everything that is easy to write down and pass along.

Explicit knowledge is usually the first and the easiest type of information you can store and make accessible to your team. The challenge here will be to keep it accurate and up-to-date.

Examples of explicit knowledge: reports, formalized processes, product documentation, and technical user guides.

‍Implicit knowledge

Implicit knowledge is the practical application of explicit knowledge to a specific situation.

For example, if explicit knowledge is the user guide of your new camera, implicit knowledge will be gained when you apply that information in order to take beautiful portrait pictures.

It can be hard to capture and document, as it’s, essentially, learned skills or know-hows.

Examples of implicit knowledge: best practices and how-tos

Tacit knowledge

Tacit knowledge is the knowledge that is gained from personal experience.

Think of your grandmother’s famous recipes. It is usually never written down. She just knows how to cook them from the thousand times she already did it. Which quantity of flour to add, the right way to mix the ingredients together, the exact time in the oven… You will have a hard time learning how to make those, as this knowledge is based on experience and intuition.

As tacit knowledge is intangible information, it becomes really difficult to write it down and explain it in a straightforward way.

Examples of tacit knowledge: how to speak another language, cultural traditions, and customs, missions like sales or leadership where complex social skills are involved

Your organization’s ability to capture and retain all types of knowledge is at the same time essential and challenging. But once mastered, it can represent a huge competitive advantage.

Knowledge management best practices

Knowledge is one of your organization’s most valuable assets. But only if managed efficiently. Here are 5 best practices we recommend to get better knowledge management.

1. Aggregate your team’s knowledge in a single system

To democratize knowledge, companies first need to centralize it in a digital information hub, usually called Knowledge Management System (KMS). The goal is to avoid having information scattered across different tools, or in your colleagues’ minds. Choosing the right system is important, so we prepare a list of questions to ask yourself when choosing a knowledge management system, available at the end of this article.

2. Increase transparency with open and shared information

Preventing company silos has become more and more of a challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic’s scattering of staff among homes and work sites, and even across different countries and time zones. Increase transparency in your company by providing open and easy access to knowledge, and encouraging team members to collaborate and share information.

3. Make information fun & easy-to-consume

Prioritize brief articles and FAQs to long articles and procedures (you don’t want the acronym “TLDR” to be used to describe your content). Share your information in a user-friendly way to that readers will be eager to read it. As you know “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so don’t hesitate to use images and graphs to convey your message. For instance, at Elements, we create sprint posters for each development sprint to illustrate its main objectives. Atlassian also suggests creating a project poster for every major initiative, to share your goals and progress with the rest of the team and stakeholders.

4. Foster a knowledge-sharing culture

Faris Behme and Sandy Becker of Deloitte explain that “in the context of generating, sharing, and managing knowledge, organizations cannot underestimate the human factor.” If team members don’t have the will or the motivation to share knowledge and information, even the best platforms and tools will be useless. Enable employees on knowledge management best practices, and foster a knowledge-sharing mindset so that they recognize the value for themselves and for the company.

5. Measure and improve continuously

Don’t let your KMS gather dust. Adopt a “kiwi gardener” attitude to keep it clean and up-to-date so that it continues to be a relevant and valuable resource for employees. Measure user engagement and participation in knowledge transfer, and run regular audits to check if the platform and knowledge management processes are still aligned with user needs.

Choosing a Knowledge management system

It is no coincidence that we listed “Aggregate your team’s knowledge in a single system” as the first position in our knowledge management best practices. As Nate Martins from Notion says, “without a system, knowledge isn’t tangible. It lives in employees’ heads.”

But before jumping into selecting the software for your knowledge management system (KMS), you must consider several elements, from administration capabilities to usability and user experience.

Here are the key questions to ask yourself to make the right choice for your KMS:

Download this checklist here, to help you choose your KMS.

Atlassian tools for knowledge management

Several software can be used for knowledge management. From more generic ones like Notion or Monday, to specific ones like Document 360, Confluence, or Tettra, the offer is wide.

If you are already using some tools from the Atlassian suite (like ourselves), such as Jira Software or Jira Service Management, getting Confluence can be a great addition to manage knowledge and link your tools together.

With easy content creation, organization, and a powerful search engine, Confluence provides an accessible platform for knowledge management. Also, combined with Jira Service Management when used for customer support, for instance, it can offer a self-serve knowledge base so that customers find themselves the answers to common questions, without having to create a new ticket.

To go further and learn how to implement knowledge management best practices with Atlassian tools, check out our article on how to create a knowledge base article in Confluence directly from a Jira ticket.

Remember when you were a small kid, this moment when you graduated from four-piece puzzles to bigger canvases?

Elements evolves. We’ve redesigned our apps logos to reflect the maturity of our offerings, while keeping our iconic visual system based on primary shapes that evokes the idea of elements you assemble together.

We get a similar feeling of excitement with this new refreshed look! It reflects how Elements has grown and matured over the past four years, tackling challenges such as going Cloud-first, elevating our performance and security standards, bringing new exciting features to our customers…

We designed the new logos with the goals that they convey meaning about what each app does, and can be easily differentiated from one another.

Connect’s functions like a magnet.

Copy & Sync’s evokes the concepts of reflection and synchronisation.

Spreadsheet’s represents a sheet and cells

Publish’s conveys the idea of document publication.

We look forward to the years to come, and remain passionate about bringing the missing pieces to your Atlassian puzzle so your teams are more efficient and delighted.

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