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3 ways Confluence makes project tracking easy

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When your team isn’t coordinated and aligned on project goals, timelines, and deliverables, it causes communication breakdowns. These breakdowns can lead to larger issues. In fact, according to Grammarly, 96% of organizational leaders agree that business results are directly tied to effective communication.

Set your project teams up for success so they can be more accountable and complete projects efficiently. Confluence is a great place for storing, organizing, and visualizing mass amounts of information with its built-in features and integrations.

Reporting has built-in data organization

Trying to organize information manually into spreadsheets, task lists, or project reports is overwhelming and prone to errors. You need a tool that any of your team members can use, regardless of their connection to the information. They need to be able to communicate insights to each other and to stakeholders. 

Confluence will keep track of project plans, updates, and team communication, and streamline your organization data. With Confluence and its reporting capabilities, users can create tables and charts that cut through the noise and help them wrap their minds around large sets of data.

Tables organize data-heavy content

Maybe you’re a part of a product team and need to break down your product roadmap due dates. Or maybe you’re on the marketing team and need to track campaign milestones and end dates. Regardless of your need or department, tables help you organize large amounts of data. And if you want your table to add value to your Confluence page, you need to optimize it for effectiveness.

First, add a table from your Confluence page, either from the menu bar, by using the keyboard shortcut (shift+option/alt+T), or by typing “/table”. From there, go into your table’s options and configure the column and row headers as needed.

A few things to keep in mind when creating tables in Confluence:

  • Context: People want to be able to skim the content to find what they’re looking for quickly—make sure your headings communicate the appropriate information. Use colors in text and cell formatting to highlight key information and distinguish between data sets and categories.
  • Details: The more information you provide, the longer it will take users to find what they’re seeking, so the fewer columns and rows you have, the better your table’s readability—especially for those using smaller device screens. Also, look for straightforward information (e.g., “yes” and “no” entries) that could potentially be replaced by an emoji (e.g., “✅” and “❌”).
  • Content: It can be easy to include every piece of information that seems necessary, but sometimes you’re duplicating your efforts. Look for information that can be inferred from other details. For example, it’s likely not necessary to include both a user’s birthday and their age. You just need to decide which entry illustrates the point you’re trying to make more effectively.
  • Formatting: Most people are more comfortable with vertical table alignment, but you should align your table based on the most important element within the data.

Once you lock down the information you want to include within your table, charts will help you tell a story with your data.

Charts communicate data stories

Using the information from your tables, Confluence charts can help you create dashboards, track project progress and deliverables, organize project budgets, and more. You can also add multiple charts to a single Confluence page so your teammates can easily get a top-level view of the project scope and quickly discover insights.

Take a look at what the different types of Confluence charts can do:

  • Pie chart: Valuable for illustrating percentages and values that make up a whole data set. Pie chart values (slices) should be colored distinctly to clearly differentiate between each entry.
  • Bar chart: Great for comparing several different values. Bar charts start with upright columns, but you may want to rotate them if the labels in your legend are long. And although there’s likely no overarching metric that relates the values, you should use colors that indicate an order of some kind (e.g., usage of product by membership level).
  • Line chart: A good choice for illustrating relationships between categories and trends over time. Use colors with increasing saturation or a highlight color to demonstrate the data story you’re trying to tell.

Confluence also gives users the option to create both grouped charts and aggregated charts:

  • Grouped charts: A side-by-side comparison of bar charts. You should limit the number of values you’re comparing to four values or less for easy understanding. Design your charts using multiple shades of the same color if values are related (e.g., ages), ordered from lightest to darkest or vice versa.
  • Aggregated charts: Group values by certain criteria (e.g., multiple transactions over time simplified to the total amount of product sales). You can use one color across the board or use individual colors to represent your column metrics.

Your goal with tables is to organize raw data into logical categories. And your goal with charts is to give your table data some functionality by uncovering and illustrating actionable insights.

Integrations add more details to project progress

Project planning can get complicated quickly if you don’t have the right project tracking software and project management tools in place. Confluence integrates with thousands of apps, and can help you visualize your actual progress and take your project tracking to the next level.

For agile teams and projects, Jira and Confluence work together to help you improve automation and create a more seamless and collaborative workflow. Adding Jira to Confluence boosts project performance by helping your team:

  • Create and manage agile projects.
  • Improve time tracking and deliver value faster.
  • Plan and coordinate projects and get notifications in either interface.
  • Improve task management and resource management by keeping track of software bugs and feature requests.
  • Document project timelines and project status.
  • Get real-time updates (e.g., product documentation).
  • Kickstart projects with page templates.
  • View audit logs to track product updates.

Along with Jira, there are other integrations that will help your team track project tasks and identify areas for improvement.

  • Advanced Tables for Confluence: Enhances Confluence tables with column totaling, averaging, sorting, numbering, filtering, and CSS styling. You can also use it to create a table of your attachments based on specific criteria (i.e., page, space, or label).
  • Reporting for Confluence: Helps any user visualize and understand status reports and data through dynamic custom dashboards.
  • Table Filter and Charts for Confluence: Manage tables and reuse Confluence data from a variety of pages and outside sources, such as Jira.

Give your data more details and discover new insights with Confluence and its integrations.

On top of that, we develop new templates all the time, so check back often to see what’s just been released. For example, in December 2021 we’re adding the templates shown above and three dozen more! Keep in mind that we partner with some amazing companies – from Figma to MURAL – to pass along their best practices in co-created templates that can amp up productivity and problem-solving. For example, if you want to learn how to create a single source of truth about your product trials, check out Optimizely’s experiment plan and results. Need to fill an open position? Tap into Indeed’s process via its job description and hiring process templates.

If you don’t find a template that meets your precise specifications, no problem. It’s easy to create your own templates to use again and again to streamline processes from project collaboration and brainstorming to stakeholder management and all aspects of project progress tracking. And, if another team has a page you love, you can simply duplicate it to make it a template. Just go to that page, click on the actions menu (•••) in the top right, and hit “copy.” It’s that easy. 

Here are some of our favorite templates to help you get all kinds of projects on track:

Page history makes viewing revisions simple

Dealing with a project schedule makes transparency and visibility into overall project initiatives, updates, and iterations a must. Confluence gives users the power of a project tracker by showing each page’s and project lifecycle’s history of changes. Each time a page is modified, Confluence creates a new version of the page. This makes it easy to simply roll back to a previous version of the page if necessary.

If you navigate to More options ••• > Page History within your Confluence page, you can select a specific version number of the page to view. If you’re looking at a previous version of the page, you’ll see a “warning” message at the top explaining that you’re viewing an old version.

Using Confluence’s page history and comparison options, you can also:

  • Delete a particular version.
  • View any changes made to a page.
  • See any unpublished changes. 
  • Compare two selected versions of a page.

If you choose to use the comparison view within Confluence’s page options, you can only view page changes between versions that are adjacent to your current page.

You also can drill down on specific aspects of project planning and collaboration. Capacity planning helps you get real about each team member’s bandwidth so you can manage workloads efficiently, while goals, signals, measures spurs on project collaboration by reminding everyone of joint objectives.

Simplify project tracking with Confluence

Although Confluence isn’t necessarily considered project management software, it still makes online project tracking user-friendly for even the most technologically challenged members of your team. Trade in your days of unnecessary bottlenecks and manually tracking projects in a Microsoft Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, and instead opt for a straightforward tool that can streamline your project updates across platforms.

Discover how Confluence can help you reduce complicated workflows, tell a more informative story with your project data, and ultimately find project success.

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