Confluence Questions: The Glue that Binds Global Offices

Posted by Bill Cushard on May 21, 2014

confluence questions servicerocketby Bill Cushard (@BillCush)

When we installed Confluence Questions at the end of 2013, we knew there would be obvious benefits from people at ServiceRocket asking questions that anyone else in the company could answer, especially because we have people who work in five global offices that need to work and communicate with each other around client work and internal projects. And benefit we have. Confluence Questions from Atlassian has been called the glue that holds our dispersed teams together.

I thought it would be use to share how we use Confluence Questions to give you an idea of why we called it the glue.

Here are main ways we use Confluence Questions.

For Client Work

One powerful way we use Confluence Questions is for client work. Imagine you are working on a project for a client, you might even be working in your client's office, and you get stuck. You do not always want to ask the client. You want to ask people in your company. But what if you do not know specifically who to ask? You ask people you know, who might know people who do. We all know how successful that strategy is. Using Confluence Questions, you can simply pose your question and everyone in your company can see it.

This was the perfect strategy for me, as I worked on a client project writing a certification exam for an open source technology. I could only write about a third of the exam myself before I need more technical help. I needed code snippets that were correct and snippets that were "good wrong answers" in order to create a quality exam. I posed several specific questions to Confluence Questions and developers in our Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, and Santiago offices came out of nowhere to help me write these questions. Not only did people provide the code snippets I needed, but developers improved on each others questions with good wrong answers that made the exam even more difficult. People I had never met and would not have thought to ask, answered my questions. It was awesome.

I could not have completed this client project without Confluence Questions.

Crowdsourcing Company Help

Sometimes, we just get stuck on a project at work and need some help. It could be anything. You might need to find the company standard presentation template or help remembering where to find an HR form. Here are some examples of real questions that have been posed on our Confluence Questions.

batch.css taking a very long time - any ideas?
I need help with a Base64 decoding and JSON parsing script that reads emails
What do you look for in an interview?

Each of these questions has multiple answers and most importantly, the person who asked the question got their question answered. Imagine now for a moment that in six month when someone has the same question, how they can get the answer. Perhaps a quick search in Confluence Questions could provide the answer.

To Improve Our Products and Services

C-Level executives, product managers, and marketing professionals should pay attention here. Who knows more about what customers complain about than your sales, support, and customer success teams? Business leaders are constantly looking for ways to learn how they can improve products and services. Why not just ask those questions on Confluence Questions. That's what we do. One of our product managers asked this question recently on one of our popular products:

How can we improve our Connector for Salesforce and Confluence/JIRA?

Just think about the potential of hearing from the people in your company who know more about what your customers want than anyone else. In fact, you might say your front-line knows more about what your customers want than customers themselves.

For Fun and Culture

Finally, Confluence Questions can be used to have a little fun. And there is nothing wrong with that because fun brings people together. If you are trying to build a strong company culture in an organization with multiple offices around the world, collaborating on work AND fun could be the glue that keeps everything and everyone together around a unifying culture. What do I mean by fun? Here are some examples of fun questions posed in Confluence Questions at ServiceRocket.

Have you ever been chased by an animal?
What languages do you speak?
What are the generally accepted rules for Pajaggle at ServiceRocket?'

You get the idea. These questions are not all fun. In fact, it might be useful to know who speaks certainly languages, especially when working globally. And just to satisfy your curiosity, my ServiceRocket colleagues have been chased by brown snakes (Australia, of course), monkeys, bees, turtles, dogs, a black bear, a cow, a goose, and someone was even chased by their own shadow. See what I mean by fun?

enterprise collaboration confluence questionsThe Glue That Binds Global Offices

Atlassian describes Confluence Questions as a tool that enables people to "Ask once, educate forever with internal Q&A." But it is much more than that. It is a tool that can bring people together around work, culture, and fun.

If you are interested in how Confluence Questions can help bring your distributed organization together contact us. We would love to help.

Atlassian Consulting Services

Topics: Confluence Tips, Ideas, Confluence

Subscribe To
Our Newsletter

Interested in writing for the Software Adoption Blog?

We love connecting with software leaders and writers who can help us fulfill our mission to create entertaining AND educational resources that people can put to use.

Find Out How ➝

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all