Wiki Solutions Pros: Confluence team collaboration software

Using a Wiki solution to document and manage business requirements and procedures has numerous advantages: It helps to store documentation in a consistent manner and to make it available to all users and stakeholders. It improves the way users access information (everything in just one place), trace changes and give updates to management.

There are many free open source solutions and also licensed tools that are worth their price. But the main thing to take into account, is that the tool suits and satisfies your needs, and for that, it’s important to understand the reason to implement a wiki in an organization.

MediaWiki, PmWiki and TWiki are interesting options released under GPL license. They are easy to customize, navigate and configure. In our project we use a licensed instance of Confluence, a team collaboration software (Confluence is not technically a wiki anymore because it lacks markup) written in Java and developed by Atlassian, the same business group that owns JIRA.

This is one of Confluence’s main strengths: Its integration with one of the most widely used ticket tracking systems such as JIRA. This is not something to overlook if you are involved in the process of doing business analysis for a project:

  • Document Product Requirements using the template provided by Confluence. Tickets can be created directly in JIRA linked to the requirement document. That way you are able to trace up and down from the highest level Business Use Case to the bottom level bug and user story for a feature.

  • Run reports from JIRA and document the results.

  • Automatically link an article from Confluence (even from a text string) to a ticket in JIRA with a mouseover.

Within all its features, the Product Requirement template is one of the most useful. When this template is used, one could possibly:

  1. Define properties. Establish the target release for the requirement, link an EPIC from JIRA and assign users in the system as Owners, Designers, Developers, QAs.

  2. Add tickets in Jira as actual requirements directly from the same Product Requirement page. Use The template structure to create stories directly in JIRA.

  3. Track progress. Reports can be customised and the tickets in JIRA can be followed up from the same page.

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Bare in mind that Confluence is particularly useful when documenting everything (or at least almost everything) as a document page inside the same tool. However, being a file server is not one of it’s strongest features and its On Demand instance can be hard to integrate with other systems. If you use too much Office documents or diagrams from other tools, you might want to reconsider using it or adjusting its use so it can be helpful for you and the stakeholders involved in the process.

Alejandro Ocampo is a solution-oriented Business Analyst with more than five years of experience in the IT industry. Ale easily interacts with customers and all stakeholders of a project, that is why he is able to collect information and gather requirements from both the Product Owner and specialists in each area. Ale likes managing workflow systems’ performance, preparing and monitoring checklists and understanding business objectives both, at macro and micro level.

 

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