UX & Design

How to use Confluence for requirements gathering

Atlassian has produced a great tool with Confluence. This blog post shows how it is useful during the analysis phase of our (and your) web development project.

Dieter Beheydt
Dieter Beheydt

At Wunderkraut we are die-hard users of Atlassian Jira and Confluence.

For Jira, it’s a no-brainer to use it to manage and track our agile scrum development process. There are multiple tactics in feeding Jira with user stories. In past, we gathered requirements with the client and stored them in multiple environments: MS Excel files, Google sheets, offline MS files or clickable wireframes with some functional breakdown documents stored in a shared project folder.

However, for our projects at Wunderkraut we have now gradually moved over to Atlassian Confluence : we work together with the client in an online tool, editing together, commenting, annotating to come up to a full requirements definition which then can be translated to Jira.


Let me show you how this tool is awesome and how it can be tuned to fit your workflows.

Out of the box analysis docs concepts and templates

Confluence works with the concept of Spaces. We usually set up a space per project. Confluence comes out of the box with templates for types of spaces (https://confluence.atlassian.com/confcloud/create-a-space-from-a-template-827106195.html)

We use the Software Project Space as it links closely together with Jira. It offers predefined page types like:

  • Product requirements

  • File lists (with versioning of files, so no more VisualDesign_final_latest_version2.0.psd )

  • Meeting notes (No meeting-note = meeting does not exist)

  • Track decisions ()

  • ...

Both our analysts and people from the client side create content in this space, defining and refining the scope through detailed product requirements.

Co-creating through comments and co -authoring pages using predefined structures and updating structures as needed for specific projects efficiently facilitates progress and communication.

Useful features when writing analysis docs

  • Task assignment and mentioning

    • The analysis-phase is highly stuffed with questions and answers, playing pingpong between an analyst and client / end-user. As we now work together on the same platform, in the same pages, we mention each others’ names, creating tasks for each other. No more e-mails with questions

  • In page Macros

    • Creating a long page? Add a Table of Contents - macro on top. Want to highlight out standing tasks, per user on the project homepage? Add a Macro. Want to see a list of all product requirements already written out? Add a macro which automatically links every requirement indicating the status of this requirement.

    • Best of all: only add/use those macros in your project and on your page when and where you need them. Every project is different, so easily extend the proposed blueprint template pages with the macros you want.

    • more Macro fun: https://confluence.atlassian.com/confcloud/macros-724765157.html

  • Commenting and notes on Files without need of offline tools

    • When working on early design sketches etc., it's handy to be able to pinpoint a certain item in the design and comment on it. Confluence allows you to do so, with all the whistles and bells of regular commenting: mentioning other users in you comment, threading, …

  • Convert content in Confluence into Jira User Stories

    • When you feel like you have gathered enough information to create a development User Story, highlight the text in Confluence which names the User Story and have it create a User Story entry in Jira. In Jira, a developer will always find the link back to the page in Confluence where this User Story was initiated and will find other relevant info (history, related docs, .. ) . Wanna see a list of all user stories or epics ? Add a macro in your project homepage. Did I mention we love the - easy to use - macros ?  

  • Requirements turn in Release Documentation

    • Confluence is often referenced as a documentation tool. Why would you write documentation afterwards? Our aim is to update requirements during development and convert them into release documentation continuously in our agile process.

 

Want to know more on how we use Confluence? Want to learn how Confluence can help you in your processes ?

Contact us and have a peek on our Atlassian expert partner page.

Screenshot of product requirements in Confluence