“Confluence has provided the simplicity and ease of use our staff were crying out for. It’s helped unify our team of 100+ people spread across the nation and given us the necessary systematic hydromatic backbone, so we can set our sights on expanding AIME to 10,000 Indigenous kids a year by 2018.”
Jack Manning Bancroft, CEO, AIME
AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) needed a cloud-based solution to store, update and easily view all of their policies, procedures, business documentation, tasks, and roles for each unit in one easy-to-navigate location.
The Atlassian Foundation worked with Atlassian volunteers to scope, implement, and launch the AIME Manual. “Confluence provided us with a simple solution for housing all the information that every staff member at AIME needs to know.”
Atlassian Foundation and AIME Partnership
As part of Atlassian’s 1% Foundation Model, Atlassian staff get five days of paid leave each year to volunteer with their charity of choice. This past year the Foundation worked with AIME via a partnership with Social Ventures Australia (SVA). In August 2013, AIME pitched five projects they wanted the Atlassian Foundation to help with:
- Developing a cloud-based ‘AIME Manual’
- Sourcing a ‘super’ calendar to manage 70 training programs across 14 universities
- Expert advice and support for their Salesforce instance
- Extending the online yearbook we built AIME the previous year
- e-Learning research
AIME Manual and the Atlassian Foundation
AIME wanted to develop the AIME Manual – a cloud-based solution to store, update, and easily view all their policies, procedures, business documentation, and tasks and roles for each unit in one easy-to-navigate location.
AIME worked with Kristin Sinclair – a business analyst made available to AIME through the Atlassian Foundation / SVA partnership – to scope and develop their projects and source and manage suitable Atlassian volunteers. A number of Atlassians put their hand up to work on the AIME Manual with product manager Sherif Mansour and technical writer Rachel Robins taking on the lion’s share of the work.
Sherif assisted Kristin in developing a project scope, liaising with AIME and setting up a Confluence instance, while Rachel developed the AIME style, user guides, gave numerous demos to the AIME team including a full-team introduction on launch, and answered the technical or system questions AIME had along the way. Their support and assistance has proved to be invaluable.
Working with the Atlassian volunteers has been “totally amazing,” said AIME’s Deborah Kirby-Parsons. The “Atlassian staff have been incredibly generous with their time, not just in demonstrating how Confluence works, but in supporting with the roll out, providing suggestions for use and also trying to find solutions for some functions we weren’t sure about how to tackle. The Atlassian crew are smart, patient and accessible – the perfect combo.” Our main AIME contact, Deb, was incredibly generous with praise and thanks throughout the project, ensuring the team always knew their work was appreciated.
“I am so grateful…we all are…for your wonderful support and for taking time out of your day to come in to do the all staff demo for us. We went live for the whole team today and things have been buzzing. I am so excited to have the chance to work with you two…Confluence is going to boost our internal comms and help us do stuff so much better than we have been. It’s going to be huge at AIME. Thank you again Darlings – I absolutely could not have done any of this with you both.”
The benefits went both ways with the Atlassian team gaining a lot of satisfaction from working with AIME.
“Working with AIME to get the AIME manual up and running in Confluence was a fantastic experience. The AIME team were really driven to find the right solution. Something that would allow them to spend more time on mentoring programs and less on managing documents, sending emails and other admin. As a Confluence team member, the experience was just as rewarding for me – working with such passionate, talented people and seeing Confluence and Confluence Questions grow at AIME so rapidly and successfully first hand. It was a blast!” said Atlassian volunteer, Rachel Robins.
Prior to choosing Confluence, AIME initially set up the Manual using a blog tool which contained general information, then linked back to Google Drive for more complex information, documentation, and forms. When that didn’t work, the AIME team looked into using a Google Site like an intranet and also considered building a staff portal on the AIME website. In the meantime, AIME continued to use Google Drive for data storage.
With a staff located across Australia, the chosen tool needed to provide essential collaboration functionality (like Confluence’s comments, share and questions) as well as flexibility to grow as confidence with the tool improved.
“We saw a demo on how Atlassian used it and we were sold,” said Deb. “Confluence provided us with a simple solution for housing all the information that every staff member at AIME needs to know.”
The success of Confluence was evident within days of launch. “The whole team has been accessing Confluence for seven working days and around 3.5 hours, but I can confidently say that we have never seen such a quick uptake of any new system at AIME – staff have completely embraced it!” shared Deb just one and half weeks after the Atlassian Foundation launched the AIME Manual on Confluence Cloud.
“Answering questions has become THE thing to do and competition is fierce. I have always known I work with a competitive bunch of people, but the questions function has taken this to a new level – it’s crazy! We are absolutely loving it and are so pleased to have this opportunity. Your generosity through providing access to Confluence and the outstanding guidance and advice we have received from Kristin [Sinclair] and Rachel [Robins] and others on the Atlassian team, has helped to transform the way we do things on a day-to-day basis at AIME…and I say this after only one week! The increased internal communications and the time we save on sharing information and sending emails will give us more time to focus on our core activities. Gotta love that.”
AIME’s team has quickly adopted Confluence and Confluence Questions: “The adoption of this new way of working has been a wonderful experience for everyone on the team. Ease of access has increased efficiency in looking for the information that team members need. Time spent training staff on using the platform has been minimal compared to implementation of other systems. Confluence is incredibly simple and intuitive for end users – we love that.”
All staff are now able to do what they need to do – everyone participates in meetings and they all update meeting notes, mark tasks when completed, comment on blog posts, watch different spaces. Initially AIME set the critical success measure ‘75% of staff are using it within three months of implementation’. Today, less than two months since implementation and launch, AIME has exceeded expectations on this – the only staff who have not yet logged on are those employed on a very casual / irregular basis. All other staff have been actively engaged with Confluence.
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