Confluence Questions : advanced analysis


Posted by
Cyrille MARTIN

February 4, 2015

A Q&A platform in Confluence sounds interesting, doesn’t it? You might have heard of Confluence Questions but do you know enough about its configuration and integration with Confluence to decide whether it will fit your needs or not? This article should bring you some useful answers to make up your mind on this Atlassian add-on.

Why Confluence Questions?

Confluence Questions allows to create a FAQ inside Confluence. Like many other Confluence add-ons, its goal is to centralise information in a unique tool. Today, Confluence is recognised as a reference solution for knowledge management. However, it remained uncomplete because it didn’t include a FAQ solution. Confluence Questions is the answer to this functional lack. We gave you an overview of the key functionalities of this add-on in a previous article, here is a short sum-up. For more details, you can read (or read again!) our presentation of Confluence Questions.

Implementing a FAQ knowledge base

Confluence Questions is a FAQ within Confluence ; users vote to validate answers, which brings points to the author of the answer. A system of tags is used to identify the categories/themes associated to the questions. This solution offers two main advantages: on the one hand Confluence Questions’ integration with Confluence makes it easy  for users to contribute, on the other hand each questions/answers are tagged and sorted into categories: users can easily find what they are looking for.

Identifying experts

Distributing points helps identify experts in each field. Confluence includes a ranking of the best contributors (displayed either globally or by topic) and enables to track expertise easily within the organisation.

JIRA questions

Configuration

Permissions

The Confluence admin decides who is allowed to access Confluence Questions. There is no half-measure: either you can access it or you cannot. If you are allowed to access Confluence Questions, you can both ask questions and bring answers.

The admin can assign permissions for Confluence groups but also anonymous users.

Confluence Questions - Permissions

However, certain actions can require a minimum of points to be performed by users, such as change question topic, accept an answer or delete a comment.

Actions
Number of points required
Vote down an answer 15 points
Change question topic 100 points
Delete a comment 500 points
Edit a topic 500 points
Edit another user’s question or answer 500 points
Accept an answer on someone else’s question 1500 points
Convert an answer to comment or comment to answer 1500 points

I do not recommend to activate this last option straight at the beginning of the implementation ; restricting content management in the first place might discourage users from adopting the tool.

Point system

Talking about points, here is how they are dispatched ; this cannot be changed.

Actions
Number of points distributed
Answer approved 15 points
Answer or question approved (+1) 10 points
Answer or question disapproved (-1) -2 points

In short, the more involved you are, the more points you will be likely to get.

Integration with Confluence

Before adopting Confluence Questions, you probably wonder about its integration with Confluence. How is this new content managed compared to the traditional spaces and pages ? Here are a few answers for you…

A new content independant from the spaces

Questions asked by users are not part of a space, they belong to a space run independently from Confluence spaces.

Questions available in the search bar

Confluence Questions is not only available in the dedicated menu, but its content can also be found in the search bar (on the top right) and in the advanced search.

Available from the Confluence additional themes

Confluence theme editors have integrated this new type of content in the interface so they can offer an access to “Questions”. Consequently you can install Confluence Questions without any fear if you have a RefinedWikiZen Foundation or Brikit theme.

To conclude

Confluence Questions makes of Confluence both your knowledge base and your Q&A platform, centralising formal and informal knowledge in your company. Feel free to try it !