Coyote Creek’s Atlassian Confluence consulting enables you to provide one centralized place where team members, other departments in the company, partners, and customers can share information, documents and knowledge.

Of course, there’s more to implementing a successful wikis program than simply deploying Confluence and then telling everyone to use it. Ensuring your wikis initiative is a success takes planning and follow-through.

To improve your Confluence environment and adoption we recommend you focus on four important (and often overlapping) areas: design, governance, taxonomy and administration.

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  • Confluence Consulting and Design – Understand that User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are different but both matter. Create an environment that engages your users. At the risk of radically oversimplifying, User Experience design concerns the logical flow of interacting with your wikis, while the User Interface concerns the look and feel of your wikis. In combination, both are crucial to the experience of working with Confluence and should be designed to facilitate productivity and innovation.
  • Confluence Governance – For Confluence to actually improve efficiency, all users need to “be on the same page,” following the same rules and guidelines regarding how everything is organized. You should:
    • Maintain a single source for each item – If you want to be able to reference a document or file from multiple spaces in the wiki, do not put copies of that document in each Confluence space. Instead, maintain a single source for the item, and set up links from the other locations. This way everyone always has access to the latest/best version, and multiple departments won’t need to be notified every time an update to the document is made.
    • Put data retirement rules in place – Put a process in place to ensure that everything in Confluence is up-to-date, and that outdated information is “retired” and moved to an off-wiki archive. This will ensure that all documents residing on Confluence are still relevant, accurate and good to be used by anyone who has access to them.
  • Confluence Taxonomy – To gain user adoption, your system must be designed and maintained in a way that ensures all users can quickly and easily find the document, information or piece of knowledge they need at any possible time. To do this:
    • Limit page structure to a maximum of 3 or 4 levels – Any more than three or four levels and people will find it so difficult to locate things that they’ll give up. For example, say the Marketing Assistant uploads the “Product X Data Sheet” to Confluence so that everyone in the company can access it. Where should this document be filed? Without a clear policy regarding folders and sub-folders or pages and sub-pages, the Assistant might file it under Marketing / Dental Products Division / Product X / Winter Trade Show / Revised Materials / Product X Data Sheet. Thus ensuring that no one will ever see the Product X Data Sheet again!
    • Enable search through standardized titles and tags – For your wiki’s search function to work properly, you must be very strict about how things are titled and tagged. First, have a titling convention that everyone follows. Second, standardize how each page or file is tagged, and ensure that users are required to tag their documents.The best way to manage standardization of tags within Confluence is to create a “tags database” and a process that prevents users from choosing a tag without first checking that database. If the desired tag is not in the database, the user can follow a process for adding one. Taking this approach brings consistency to your wiki’s search function.
  • Confluence Administration – These items deal with how you will keep things going over time.
    • Assign Local Administrators – When you first launch Confluence, the company wiki administrator can probably handle all of the questions and support issues that arise. But if you want to be able to scale up to more than 20 or 25 wiki spaces, you need to have each team designate a local wiki administrator for their space.
  • Link Confluence to Google Analytics or Mixpanel – By tracking your analytics you’ll be able to define and track your return on investment, and see what’s going on. What are the most successful spaces in your wiki? Who are the most successful users or contributors? How many pages are watched each month? Is the file structure system working, or are people giving up before they find the information they need?

Need Confluence consulting to make all this happen? Give us a call, and put our wiki and Confluence expertise to work for you. As Atlassian Platinum Experts, Coyote Creek has extensive experience with the entire Atlassian product suite.