erik.jpgThis is the first of two guest posts by Erik Eccles from TaskDock, a Confluence plugin that lets you assign, track, and complete actions within Confluence and email.

Our goal with these posts is to help you reignite the content, projects, and people within your Confluence instance or at a minimum learn how we approached starting a business on a great platform such as Atlassian.

It started with a question

Our company started with a question to Atlassian customers: What challenges are there in growing Confluence within your business?

Stale content was the first answer. Content was still being produced, but not ending up in the right place. Where was it going? The second challenge was stepping up the involvement of an organization beyond the core constituents. That issue was more common with non-technical adopters such as finance, HR, sales, and marketing.

Fast-forward to today and we’ve tackled it head on. To fight stale content we dove deeper into the tools people used outside of Confluence to create and manage content. Predominantly, it was email. If not email it was task systems running outside of Confluence, instant messaging, shared drives, the dreaded spreadsheet or simply lots of coordination meetings.

Combining Tasks with Content

wiki-project-management.pngAt the heart of our approach are tasks and content together; tasks to keep the content up-to-date, add new content or delete stale content. This meant our application had to be available to a user at the moment content required an action. This means I don’t have to leave Confluence to ask someone to review a document, edit the page with the latest meeting notes, or update the diagram to reflect the changes they just discussed. Suddenly, communication around content tasks is flowing through, versus around, Confluence. Our customers often express their confidence that content and tasks co-exists, together in the system. This drives accountability, and means that to-dos don’t get lost in email, external tasks systems or even worse, PostIt notes. (One crucial point to add for developers considering Atlassian is that there established and open platform was the differentiator in taking this solution to market quicker and more successfully versus other platforms.)

Managing Projects

Another important topic is projects. Our initial project management features include configurable widgets to report on tasks using criteria such as labels, assignees, pages, and spaces. ATA Architects in Canada is using TaskDock to manage 75 ongoing projects using our configurable macros to track progress on an individual, team and office level. wiki-project-management2.png Moving forward, we are working to structure tasks with explicit projects in Confluence beyond the existing page, label, or space approach. That will translate into three additional benefits for the Jira/Confluence customers. First it will provide a way to extend the Jira project data and structure into Confluence. Second, it will sync the content-based TaskDock tasks back to the appropriate projects in Jira creating one simple queue. Finally it will enable you to search across Jira tasks and Confluence (content tasks) using JQL.

See for yourself

To see this for yourself, check out TaskDock in this short three-minute video, explore the product at taskdock.com, or see it live in the Atlassian Sandbox.

Additionally, if you are already using the Tasklist Macro, we’ve built a simple importer that is a great way to get immediate utility by transferring Tasklist tasks into TaskDock.

Overview Video:

Importing Tasklist Video

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