Confluence for Onboarding in Tech Companies

October 25, 2022
#Confluence#Learning Management
14 min

Here is your workplace, and here is a list of tasks for a trial period. Seems that these words are familiar to everyone.

As a rule, most people associate the first working day with stress and uncertainty. You need to delve into new programs, get acquainted with a bunch of people (and forget their names at once). And of course, you don’t want to seem ill-prepared and narrow-minded and ask too many questions.

A lot has changed over the past few years.

The pandemic forced drove us to the transition to distributed teams that work not only from home but from different countries and cities. We have an office in Estonia and employees who work from Poland, Georgia and Turkey. In these circumstances, it is no longer possible to provide the new staff member with just an office tour with a couple of phrases about our company.

Smooth remote onboarding and orientation become essential if you want to help newcomers adapt to their new workplace.

As a tech company, we want to share how our team benefits from using Confluence for onboarding and introduction of new people to the organization, its work processes, culture, and principles.

When your team is growing fast

For more than seven years, we have remained a small team that mostly consisted of developers. New people came to the team once or twice a year, and at this point it was enough for us to just talk with newbies about their tasks for a probationary period, show what and where was in the office, create an account in Confluence and Jira, and grant them access to the necessary pages.

As our business grows, the products evolve requiring new skills from the teams. In less than 5 years, we have tripled in size and realized that onboarding is a vital part of new employee’s adaptation. Especially, when it comes to onboarding from a distance.

Welcome on board at Stiltsoft

Everyone at Stiltsoft has a probationary period of two months and gets a list of tasks for this time. We will describe how onboarding goes for our new senior Java developer Alex.

During the first working day Alex communicates with four people:

  • HR manager provides him with all the required information about the people he needs to contact. She describes our processes on a company level during a Zoom call.
  • Our office manager sends him a laptop, monitor, keyboard, and all the required equipment. He also receives a welcome pack with the branded swag.
  • Our DevOps creates accounts in Crowd, grants Alex access, and creates him @stiltsoft.com email address.
  • And, finally, Alex’s team lead shares the link to the Onboarding space. There he can find a lot of information about how his team works and a list of introductory tasks.

How we use Confluence for onboarding

Earlier, our team leads spend a lot of time to tell new employees about how we work and what they need to do. They explained the same things to newbies. They could forget about something or add more details.

Today, we combine several onboarding practices. We have a separate space for newbies, use onboarding task checklists, and take advantage of training courses to help new employees learn the required information.

Studying general info about the company

We use Confluence to document all workflows and we think that a separate space for onboarding is a good idea. Alex finds his title on the home page of the space and clicks it to check everything related to the duties of senior Java developer.

confluence space for onboarding

Our company has five different teams that develop apps. The processes within our teams differ a bit and this also applies to onboarding. Since Alex is a part of the Awesome Graphs team he opens the list of tasks his team lead assigned to him. It has an intro that outlines task statutes their team uses and some general information.

working with tasks in Confluence

The Stiltsoft Beginner’s Training is among the first links he finds in the task list. It’s a course that consists of seven modules and helps newbies find answers to any questions they may have at the beginning of their work at Stiltsoft. We maintain the relevance of this course and update it when newcomers share their feedback with us.

With the help of this course, Alex learns how to take a three-day vacation, what to do if he needs an IntelliJ IDEA license, or how to buy a book on Amazon. Of course, he reads about a variety of Slack channels we have, starting with important tech related ones ending with the ones where we share our pictures from around the world (we also included a bonus section with the description of our custom emojis).

onboarding training course

Alex can open module by module to study the information. In this introductory course, he won’t find any tricky questions in the end, it simply collects the most useful content about different spheres of our work.

meeting new team

When Alex clicks the Complete button at the bottom of every page, he opens the next training module. He can take the course at his own pace with breaks and resume from where he left.

virtual library at work

We have many spaces in Confluence with tons of useful information about our apps, marketing, software, training and education, R&D. It’s too challenging for new staff to navigate between all these spaces. Moreover, newbies usually get limited Confluence access on their probationary period. The training course that incorporates essential info from different Confluence pages can be a great start for a newbie. You can reuse existing Confluence pages as training modules or create new ones.

Our HR manager is a course administrator and can check Alex’s progress on this course. This way she can see if some of the modules take too much time to study and can split the information into smaller chunks.

checking course results in Confluence

This course is created with the help of the izi – LMS for Confluence app.

Diving into team processes

Alex needs to study how the Awesome Graphs team works. His team lead created a list with the links to Confluence pages with the information about code review, releases, Jira workflows.

team work process

For example, he reads the guidelines for a new developer. At every stage of studying he can reach out to his team lead and ask any questions. He also has a buddy. It’s a colleague who is not connected with his tasks, but can simply support, listen, and advise something. In general, this practice helps adapt to a new reality in a friendly way.

onboarding for software engineers

He also studies the agreements of the Awesome Graphs team in relation to the general principles of coding and their work with tasks.

onboarding for software engineers

He finds the information on how the team assigns statuses to Jira tasks, uses filters and dashboards, creates pull requests.

Finally, Alex is ready for practical tasks for the two months of his probationary period.

When a probation period comes to an end

Everyone understands that feedback is important here. Of course, we live in a modern world and use a lot of different apps and services, however, a person still needs communication, approval, and exchange of opinions.

We don’t want newcomers to have bad experience when there was no feedback from their team lead and when they have no chance to tell us about their probationary experience. We check on the progress of our newcomer at the end of the first and second month of their probationary period. Usually, our co-CEOs, HR manager, and the team lead join this call with the newbie.

So Alex’s team lead collects feedback about his work from his colleagues after the first probation month and before the final performance review. Meanwhile, our HR-manager asks Alex to share his feedback about the two months of his trial period.

Key takeaways

We remember the times when hiring of two people simultaneously was super stressful for the company.

Today, our clear and transparent onboarding process allows us to hire as many people as we need at the moment. For example, now five people from two countries are on probationary period at Stiltsoft. The onboarding space in Confluence in combination with check lists and training courses saves us and new employees time and effort.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind to organize employee onboarding in Confluence.

Make sure that new hires can find everything in one place

  1. Create an onboarding space with useful information
  2. Create child pages with the names of job titles you have in your company and add information/checklists relevant to different positions
  3. Add links with the names of job titles to the home page of this space
  4. Review the content in this space quarterly to make sure it’s up-to-date

Take advantage of training courses with the help of izi – LMS for Confluence

  1. Install izi – LMS for Confluence
  2. Create courses for your employees right in Confluence to introduce them to your processes
  3. Reuse existing content and include it in your courses
  4. Create courses for a particular job title
  5. Check new hires’ knowledge with the help of quizzes

Remember about the feedback

  1. Communicate with new employees throughout the trial period. Help them resolve issues and connect with colleagues.
  2. Collect feedback from the team and the team lead. The more, the better.

Cybersecurity for Confluence Users: A Complete Guide

September 6, 2022
#How To#Learning Management
10 min

We all have progressed from the days when we could leave our technological devices unlocked. Leaving our devices unprotected because we trust other people won’t cut it anymore. This is because as the world develops, cyber crimes increase. So, there is a need to be cybersecurity-conscious.

We have put this blog post together to help your organization and team stay ahead of bad actors in cyberspace. The blog post will examine cybersecurity, the basic principles, threats, and how to protect your data from cyber attacks. Likewise, it will provide examples of cybersecurity tools, how to handle cyber attacks, and outline a few cyber incidents that some companies have previously encountered.

The Basic Principles of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity rides on and functions based on specific needs. These principles are put in an acronym – CIA. Let’s take a look at them.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality means keeping data secure from unauthorized access. It also extends to the non-disclosure of information to outsiders. For example, you should not share data like names, passwords, addresses, and other crucial information on a database with restricted parties.

To maintain confidentiality, ensure to follow some cybersecurity steps. Only share data with trusted sources, use passwords, encrypt data, etc.

Integrity

Integrity in cybersecurity means that your organization does not make changes to data without authorization. Therefore, you must maintain data accuracy. Likewise, data integrity requires you to monitor all modifications made by authorized users.

Availability

Availability is making data available to authorized individuals when needed. This means authorized users must have the passwords, decryption keys, etc., that will give them access to data.

How to Secure your Organization from Cyber Attacks

Here, we shall discuss some ways you can protect your data from cyber attacks.

Invest in Staff Training

According to the Security Online Magazine, humans are the weakest link when creating a cyber-safe environment. So, to strengthen this link, you must train your staff on what cybersecurity is. That is, they must be cybersecurity-aware.

As you plan to train them with the newest technological tools and build their capacities on the job, do not forget cybersecurity awareness training in your company calendar.

Show them the right way to create passwords, how to identify fake websites, how to identify phishing links, etc. This step is crucial when thinking about how to protect your devices from cyber attacks.


Quick Tip 

Did you know that you can use Confluence for your cybersecurity training?

With izi LMS for Confluence, you can create a cybersecurity awareness course right in Confluence. And your employees will be able to go through training at their own pace without leaving their workspace – Confluence.


Maintain a Strict Password Policy

Sticking to a password policy you and your employees cannot compromise is suitable for your business. Ensure that everyone in your organization creates a minimum of eight characters and complicated passwords.

They must not create passwords from personal information that hackers can guess. The list includes a pet, favorite dish, hometown, etc. Likewise, use a password manager from a trusted company.

Update Software

Always remember to update all software you use in your organization. Check for updates manually if your software won’t update automatically. This helps to fix vulnerabilities and bugs in the software. On top of that, you get to access new features and enjoy enhanced performances.

Restrict Access

Not everyone in your company should have access to premium information. Limit the number of people you share sensitive information with. Likewise, do not hand over the encryption key or password to every employee. Just a few authorized persons are okay.

Use an Antivirus

An antivirus wards off malware infection from your systems. It detects and deletes malicious codes from your devices. This way, you wouldn’t have to worry about a malware attack, Ransomware attack, or other attack types.

10 Common Types of Cybersecurity Threats

types of cybersecurity threats

Cybercriminals have an arsenal from which they fire diverse attacks. These common cybersecurity attacks can disrupt workflows, lead to financial loss, cause reputation damage, etc. However, as many as these attacks are, we shall stick to only 10 of them in this blog post.

  1. Phishing
  2. Malware
  3. Ransomware
  4. Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)
  5. Denial-of-Service (DoS)
  6. Brute Force Attack
  7. Cryptojacking
  8. Zero-day Exploit
  9. SQL Injection
  10. Session Hijacking

Phishing

Cybercriminals launch phishing attacks by sending fraudulent emails. They send those emails from fake addresses that appear as real ones. For example, the sender could be Yah00.com instead of Yahoo.com.

This way, the receivers will think the email is from a trusted source. Such emails often contain links or files that redirect the receivers to illegitimate sites where they will have their data stolen.

Phishers do not only target people through emails. They do so through texts, social media links, etc. Types of phishing attacks are vishing, spear phishing, pharming, and whaling.

Malware

This is malicious software designed to steal sensitive data from or damage a system. They are often delivered or shared over a network or system in a clickable or downloadable form.

Malicious software will install when users click or download the content (link or email attachment). Then, the software will begin to retrieve data from the computer’s hard drive. It can also destroy the system and deny a company’s network access.

Common types of malware cyber criminals use to infiltrate a system are; viruses, spyware, worms, adware, Trojan horses, and rootkits.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware, attackers launch by sending files that users believe to be safe and from trusted sources. The difference is that when users download and open these malicious attachments, the attackers can overpower a company’s network.

The bad actors achieve that by encrypting the data gathered. In some cases, they threaten to leak some of the information gathered. Following this, they demand ransoms. Then, they use the ransom payment as the basis for decrypting data or desisting from leaking them.

Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)

Attackers launch man-in-the-middle attacks by positioning themselves between two communicating ends. This could be between user – application, email service provider – user, Wi-Fi – user, etc.

While in the middle, these attackers eavesdrop on personal information shared over a network. This personal information includes but is not limited to names, usernames, passwords, credit card details, and banking information. MITM attackers can also impersonate the entity a user interacts with, making it seem like everything is normal.

MITM attacks include Wi-Fi eavesdropping, email hijacking, IP (Internet Protocol) spoofing, and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) spoofing.

Denial-of-Service (DoS)

A DoS attack crashes a system or network. When launched, it makes a network or system inaccessible to the users. Attackers use a single system to attack another single system.

When this happens, the victim organization’s administrators, members, and employees are locked out. Most times, DoS attacks do not cause financial or sensitive information loss. However, they often disrupt the victim’s activities and time & money to fix.

Brute Force Attack

We can call this attack the ‘guess it till you get it’ approach to knowing a password, an encryption key, or finding hidden pages on a website. Hackers who launch this attack use a lot of combinations to guess a password or key till they find the right one.

However, the length and complexity of the guessed password will determine how long it will take to guess the password. For instance, a four-digit password will be easy to crack and may take a few hours. On the contrary, a combination of 54 characters will take several hours to years to find out.

Cryptojacking

Now that cryptocurrency has become popular, we need to watch out for cryptojacking. Cryptojacking is accessing a user’s device illegally to mine digital currencies. Cryptojackers often launch this attack to dodge the risks associated with mining cryptocurrencies on their own.

Zero-day Exploit

A zero-day attack often follows an existing attack. Cybercriminals initiate this attack after learning about a previous attack on a software/application company or operating systems.

After that, they will begin to attack the users of those software/applications and operating systems. For instance, if iOS has been attacked, cybercriminals will take that advantage to attack iPhone users.

SQL Injection

In SQL injection attacks, cybercriminals make a SQL server vulnerable. By so doing, they can view any piece of data they cannot retrieve. Likewise, they can alter data or delete them from a database.

Cookie Hijacking

Websites drop cookies in your browser or hard disk to remember you when else you visit. Besides, they use it to store personal information about you and store your previous web activities. Knowing this, bad actors manipulate or forge cookies to steal users’ personal information.

Cybersecurity Tools that are Must-haves for your Organization

If you are ready to adopt all of the security measures listed above, you’ll need the required tools. In this section, we shall show you basic cybersecurity tools to use.

Password Management Tools

These tools will help your organization to store its numerous passwords. This way, your employees do not have to worry about forgetting their different login details. They only need to remember a single key to the password manager.

These tools are Kaspersky Password Manager, Zoho Vault, and LastPass Password Manager.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software poses as the security guard always on the watch to secure your systems from all malware. It is one of the common cybersecurity tools most organizations use. Examples are Avast, Norton, and BitDefender.

Penetration Testing Tools

You have to think and act like one to prevent a hacker from penetrating your systems. These tools allow you to attack your company’s systems with the mindset of looking for vulnerabilities and fixing them. Use tools like Kali Linux, Wireshark, and Metasploit to test your systems for vulnerabilities.

Network Intrusion Detection Tools

The function of a network Intrusion detection software is to spot all forms of odd activities in your network. Software that helps you do this includes Samhain, OSSEC (Open Source HIDS (host-based intrusion detection system) Security), and AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment).

Encryption Tools

In cybersecurity, encryption means storing data in an encoded form. That is, you can store sensitive information so that you can only view it but can’t read it. To read it, you’ll need an encryption key to decrypt the data. To do this, use tools like VeraCrypt, AxCrypt, and DiskCrypto.

Practical Ways to Respond to Cyber Incidents

incident response

Even after investing numerous resources into your company’s digital security, there is the likelihood of an attack. However, an attack should not be the end. Therefore, we shall outline how you can handle a cyber attack.

Containment

How to respond to a cyber incident first is to try to put everything under control. You do not have to panic or watch things go down completely. Check your servers to ascertain which one(s) was (were) attacked. Then, to curb the spread to other servers, disconnect them. Other things to do in this critical state are disconnecting from the internet and creating new passwords.

Assessment

At this stage, you need to find the cause of the attack to prevent future ones. For example, you want to know if a laptop was left unlocked, if it was an intrusion into your network, or if an employee shared an encryption key with an unauthorized person.

In short, you must assess which server was attacked, the angle of attack, the active network connection when the attack launched, and who else was attacked. Getting answers to these requires deliberate efforts from you.

A few ways to get answers is to reach out to providers of certain software/services you use. In addition, your data log or IDS (Intrusion Detection System) can also provide you with some answers. Finally, hire a cyber investigator to find out all related information to the breach if you do not have one.

Informing

It is time to communicate with every stakeholder in your company about the attack. Talk to the board, employees, and customers about it. Tell them how long ago the compromise happened, what you’re doing to fix it, and when your systems will be running again.

Real-life Examples of Cybersecurity Attacks

Cyber attacks are real. Research shows that about 66% of companies have been attacked this past year. So, here we shall discuss three of the biggest cybersecurity attacks in 2022.

Red Cross

Some hackers in January 2022 attacked a company that stores Red Cross’ data. The attack led to the data theft of 515,000 members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

com

This cryptocurrency company experienced a breach on January 17, 2022. The hackers targeted 500 crypto wallets. Also, they stole $18 million of Bitcoin and $15 million of Ethereum. Additionally, they weakened the company’s blockchain technology by bypassing its 2FA (Two-factor Authentication).

 

CashApp

An ex-employee of this digital payment platform breached its servers in April 2022. The employee was said to cause the breach for selfish gains. The hacker stole a minimal volume of personally identifiable information (PII), except for account details.

Conclusion

With the rate at which cyber criminals attack companies these days, cybersecurity is now a necessity. Your company must do all it takes to remain safe in cyberspace. It should invest in tools and hire personnel that can help it recover in cases of possible breaches.

Employee training is another important step that needs to be taken. Try izi LMS to organize your cybersecurity training inside your Confluence.

Confluence Best Practices for Marketing Teams

September 15, 2021
#How To#Confluence#Learning Management
11 min

Atlassian Confluence helps people get work done faster and more efficiently. Teams of all sizes in various fields successfully rely on Confluence because it is flexible, scalable, and accessible anywhere:

  • Technical teams can easily create and store all their documentation in one place.
  • HR departments can effortlessly share their feedback about job candidates using Confluence as a knowledge-sharing tool.
  • Technical writers can regularly contribute to each other’s pages or blog posts with comments.
  • Project management groups can smoothly track project deadlines, key project stages, and people involved in multiple tasks.
  • Marketing teams can take advantage of Confluence templates creating meeting notes, marketing plans, and more from scratch.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at how marketing teams can use Confluence to match their business processes keeping team members aligned on strategy, purpose, and objectives. You will get answers to the following questions:

  1. How to level up knowledge sharing in marketing teams using Confluence
  2. How to use custom Confluence templates to streamline work process and improve workflow
  3. How to encourage marketing people to use Confluence capabilities for their work with the help of training courses

So whether you’re getting ready to introduce your product to the market for the first time, or you are a marketing pro in a well-known corporation, we’ve prepared some tips you can use to stay on the cutting edge and prove impact using Confluence.

Keep the team on the same (Confluence) page (smile)

The marketing industry moves fast. It is important to make sure that your team is working in a strategic way, using all available resources and tackling problems effectively to avoid burnout and wasted time. All members of your marketing department must have a clear understanding of your company’s overall vision and goals.

Whether you’re selling products, services, or information, your team needs a shared perception of your marketing strategy, marketing plan, positioning on the market, messaging, target audience. Moreover, marketing teams need easy-to-use tools to organize their work more efficiently.

And here comes Confluence!

1. Encourage knowledge sharing at work

It is important to create a shared understanding of what your team is building because if your strategy is not explicit enough, every team member will understand your marketing their own way. When experience people gain from their mistakes and some useful insights remain at the level of individual knowledge, colleagues don’t have an immense opportunity to learn from each other’s experience.

All this information can be easily organized and structured in a shared Confluence space of any marketing team. You can create multiple pages with useful information such as positioning, messaging, marketing plan, competitive analysis, editorial calendar, how-tos, and more.

The best thing is that your team can swiftly add their suggestions to the content or comment the entire page to share and discuss their ideas making live and real-time collaboration possible.

All members of the team get timely notifications about the changes made to the existing content or any new information in the space related to marketing. This way Confluence allows users to easily develop and update content keeping the team in sync.

If you only begin your Confluence journey and need some tips about how to wisely use this knowledge-sharing platform for marketing, check out the Marketing Guide created by Atlassian.

templates in Confluence for marketing teams

2. Take advantage of custom Confluence templates

Confluence templates can help you simplify formal workflows you deal with on a daily basis, so you can get your common tasks done faster. Editing a template takes far less time than creating something from scratch. All you need to do is to follow the directions on a Confluence page and, of course, add the information that is important for your team.

Confluence template

Templates help you maintain document consistency and make sure that you and your colleagues are less likely to leave out key information. When you open the marketing plan your teammate created with the help of templates, you know where you can find the information you are searching for because all marketing plans will have the same structure thanks to the blueprints. Whether you’re a marketing department of many or a team of two, you can design your custom blueprints that will better fit your specific needs.

You can also explore Atlassian blueprints for Confluence Cloud to use in your work or just get inspired and create your own templates together with your colleagues.

3. Create courses from scratch

It is not enough to equip your team with the right tools and encourage knowledge sharing, it is important to ensure that people know how to work under new conditions and have no problems using Confluence. In this case, it can be useful to create a course for the marketing department. You can populate it with the most informative pages from the Marketing space we created earlier.

create courses in Confluence

Moreover, you can incorporate your learning content with a quiz to track the progress of course participants and check what they have learned and retained.

quizzes in Confluence

This way new hires can take this course to learn the basics during onboarding and experienced marketing managers can always use this course to refresh and structure their knowledge or learn new information about their sphere.

At the same time, marketing assets are also valuable for other teams. Sales and engineering teams need to know the key aspects of your marketing strategy, strategic plans, positioning, messaging, buyer persona descriptions, your customer’s jobs-to-be-done, the latest market researches, your target audience. This knowledge will help you have a team that not only has a shared vision, but also is focused on making that vision a reality.

You can create another marketing course for these teams and start it with a quiz that will help course participants identify their strong points and detect their knowledge gaps to focus on them. Or you can create a fun marketing quiz to engage your colleagues and heighten their interest to the topics you will highlight in the course.

check knowledge in Confluence

This way you can motivate your team to attentively read the content of the course delving into the subject of each module.

Confluence for marketing teams: Things to keep in mind

  1. Set the stage for open communication in your team and encourage knowledge sharing in Confluence
    1. Create a separate space for all the information about marketing
    2. Grant your team permissions to add pages, blogs, and comments
  2. Try out ready-made templates to help your team collaborate more quickly
    1. Check Confluence marketing templates and see what works for you best
    2. Create your own templates to save your team’s time
  3. Make sure your team is on the same page
    1. Create courses and quizzes in Confluence to help your team learn new information and refresh knowledge
    2. Use courses for onboarding of new hires

We hope that our tips will help marketing teams unleash the potential of Confluence. Feel free to share your ideas of how you connect all members of the team to create buzz-worthy marketing materials.

How to Create Education Courses Right in Confluence

June 14, 2021
#How To#Confluence#Learning Management
7 min

In this blog post, you will discover how to create training courses in a jiffy using the izi – LMS for Confluence app, extending your favorite team collaboration platform to create training courses in Confluence.

Employee training helps you provide your new hires with a clear path to the goals you want them to achieve, improve the skill level and competency of your employees, and support them in advancing their careers. Regardless of the industry, effective onboarding and training processes are vital to remain successful in today’s market.

Moreover, learners can take courses in Confluence at their own pace from the comfort of their own desk using the UI they are familiar with. Just think of the time and effort course administrators and participants would spend to understand the basics of how to handle a third-party Learning Management System (LMS).

Build training courses with rich content

Today people have higher expectations of employee training programs. That is why they want learning materials that are easily accessible, up-to-date, and engaging.

If you are already using Confluence, you know that this powerful wiki software helps you create easy-to-access rich content pages. And with the help of izi – LMS for Confluence this team collaboration tool becomes a platform where you can create and store any content to train or educate your team members or participants who are not Confluence users.

create courses in Atlassian Confluence

To get the best results from your employee training, you need to engage your employees and make them want to learn more. Having LMS in Confluence, you can enrich your courses with YouTube videos, images, PDF files, and more to keep it interesting and hold everybody’s attention.

engaging content in Atlassian Confluence

Let employees learn at their own pace

Unlike traditional learning with a teacher or instructor, with the izi – LMS for Confluence app your employees can learn at their own pace taking their time to thoroughly study all the materials before they jump to the next module.

You can break the program of your course down into smaller pieces with no need to produce huge modules. And this way, your staff will have a chance to recall the required information.

training material in Atlassian Confluence

The best thing is that you can use the existing Confluence pages and quizzes to create training modules for your courses. This app makes creating new courses and making use of old training material a simple and smooth process.

reuse Confluence pages and quizzes for employee training

The izi LMS app allows you to customize your training content based on learner needs.

Your employees see an education course as a series of modules with training materials and quizzes. A course administrator can check participants’ progress to see the completed modules and find the ones where employees got stuck.

training modules from employee training

Try it for free

The more skills your employees have, the more efficient the workforce becomes, getting more things done for your business. So to say, a win-win situation for both the company and the employees.

Improve your employee training with the help of izi – LMS for Confluence. Try this app for free and check how it can work for your training courses, and more!

This app is available for Confluence Cloud, Data Center, and Server.

Read more about how your team can benefit from using LMS for Confluence:

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post.

Employee Performance Assessment and Training in Jira and Confluence

April 13, 2021
#How To#Learning Management#Reporting
12 min

The year 2020 has brought many new challenges that humankind did not expect. It has reshaped our vision and approaches towards life, communication, and, of course, work. We encountered problems that were unnoticeable when we were able to communicate with each other directly.

More and more companies have proceeded to robust digitalization of their businesses. Unfortunately, all these transformations were performed so fast that not all people could quickly get used to these abrupt changes. After a while, teams noticed that their internal communication and team collaboration were not so efficient as before. The management teams got another problem with making the companies work when there is no peer-to-peer communication, and all the processes must run remotely.

Companies have understood that they need to invest more into performance analytics, employee education, and training programs. Only these things can help them adjust their businesses to the changed circumstances and succeed in the new reality.

Shaping the problem is half the solution

Identifying the problem is a key to its solving. In most cases, we collect feedback about the work of our employees every quarter, which makes it almost impossible to track all the occurred issues and positive achievements. It is hard to recall all the good and bad moments that happened over a quarter. Some of our memories are polished, some are completely forgotten, some are replaced with our own hallucinations. As the result, we get some averaged assessments (or points of view) that may be far from reality.

How can we make the gathering of feedback on individual performance an ongoing process? So all the time we can track the actual information with minimal bias.

Realtime feedback collection in Jira Cloud

What is the most convenient moment to collect feedback about the completed task? Of course, once the task was checked and closed by a person who requested its execution. Here you can take advantage of the Employee Performance Ratings app.

For example, we have a development team that has started working remotely, and something has gone off course (smile) They cannot deliver within the expected timelines, and the quality of the implemented solution is not so good.  As a project manager, you need to identify the problems that do not allow your team to perform better. You can do this by identifying the metrics that can explicitly indicate whether your team performs well or has some issues to address.

Identifying the metrics that indicate team performance

Once this step is complete, all you need to do is create these metrics and enable their tracking for the project. Let’s say we want to track delivery speed, code quality, architecture and algorithms, code security, process adherence, and team collaboration. We save them as a metrics set and assign them to the project which our development team works with.

Tracking delivery speed, code quality, architecture and algorithms, code security

That’s done. Now you as a project manager or a team lead can proceed to the assessment of tasks in Jira. The performance evaluation process is pretty simple. You just need to put the score from 0 to 10 for each metric. While assessing a task, you need to pay attention to different factors, such as the difference between estimations and spent time, code smells, found security vulnerabilities, comments within pull requests, communication with teammates, and so on.

Assessment of tasks in Jira

Having assessed multiple tasks for the same person, you can check the individual progress over time and the overall trend. This way, you can quickly and easily elaborate a metric-specific development program for each teammate to increase the overall team performance and effectiveness.

If your team is working on multiple projects or products, you can track the individual performance in each project, in particular, to better see what tasks inspire your teammates.

Track the individual employee performance in each project

Once you have collected sufficient performance analytics, you can see what things you need to improve within your team processes and how every teammate can contribute. In addition, you can compare the metric changes over time for individual teammates and continuously improve them if noticing any problems.

In the next section, we will tell you how you can educate your development team and train employees with the learning management system (LMS) in Confluence Cloud.

My team has some problems. What should I do next?

Once you have found that your team does not perform as you expected, it’s time to help them by providing them with resources for self-education.

Since many of us are working from home, it’s almost impossible to organize an onsite training. At the same time, sharing related books or articles is not the case either as you can’t track understanding of the material.

Having a comprehensive e-learning solution can come in handy. Managers all over the world use different learning management systems for internal training. LMS not only helps managers stimulate their team’s self-development but also saves their time as well as automates the process of training.

In this blog post, we’re describing solutions for Atlassian products, and we’d like to tell you how to turn your Confluence into an LMS.

Team training right in Confluence

izi – LMS for Confluence is a tool the can simplify employee training and improve your team’s performance in the short term. With this app, you can create courses, quizzes, and tests right in Confluence. Moreover, your team continues working with the tool they are familiar with, and you don’t need to configure anything to start since it works out of the box.

create courses, quizzes, and tests right in Confluence

Start from the Learning portal – a place where you can administer your courses and quizzes. Here you can also create training that will cover your team’s knowledge gaps. A familiar interface will help you build it from scratch like a shot.

Enrich course pages with eye-catching pictures and educational videos to make content easier for understanding. You can also add PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents.

Engaging content in Confluence courses

Reuse existing Confluence pages for your training to save your team time and effort. It can be worthwhile if you already have some useful content in your Confluence.

When done with the course part, add a quiz for your teammates to test their knowledge. Adjust the quiz to your needs with plenty of settings, and don’t forget to include a few tricky questions (because life is a rollercoaster 🙂).

 add a quiz for your teammates to test their knowledge

That’s it; your training is ready. It’s time to assign it to your team and wait for the results. Each course or quiz has a report where you can track your team’s progress. Analyzing the results, you can decide if they need another training session.

 track your team's progress in courses and quizzes

Your teammates can track their performance themselves. On the Learning portal, they can find the list of all courses and quizzes they need to take and see their progress and results.

Having an LMS in Confluence, you don’t need to learn how to use another software, integrate anything or spend time for complex configurations. The app gives you a perfect balance between a familiar interface and powerful features that can cover many use cases as onboarding, internal and external training, pre-employment testing, or employee certification.

Track and improve your team’s efficiency

Nurturing high-performing teams is always a challenge, especially when we see each other only during video meetings. Basing on the experience of the hundreds of teams, we believe that only constant analysis of your team’s performance and improvement of their skillset leads to successful product delivery.

We hope that a combination of Employee Performance Ratings and izi – LMS for Confluence will help you deliver top-quality products and build a team with a strong knowledge of what they’re doing.

If You Use Confluence, Your New LMS Could Be Hiding in Plain Sight

March 25, 2021
#Confluence#Learning Management
13 min

A learning management system (LMS) can be a roadblock or a fast track to staff training, knowledge transfer and compliance, depending on the way it is used.

There are plenty of forks in the road even before you select a system from the 800-plus options available, and that number continues to grow. You might choose a generic LMS or one niched for particular industries, channels, prospect use cases, budgets, and more. Then, you’ll need to assign your team and roles to project manage data migration from your legacy system (if that’s possible) and integrate the new LMS with how your company works. It could take a year to get to the implementation stage if you’re hosting the system on your premises or less for a hosted or cloud-based system.

Are you getting a sense of one of the critical issues of adopting a new LMS?

Time is the real cost of an LMS

When your new LMS is live, think of the time wasted to get staff up to speed with the new interface before they’ve even started the real training. Some of your workers may even dig in their heels, saying they haven’t had a chance to get around it.

That could be because they’ve actually run out of time, and they may not be lying.

More than 1,100 times a day, the average employee switches between 35 job-critical applications, a Pegasystems Inc report has found. It surveyed 35 global companies across 11 industries. Staff using more than 30 applications each shift made 28% more errors than their peers who used fewer apps. The report says expanding this over the years sees days of lost time and much highly error-prone activity. In other words, if your staff switch systems less, they’ll make fewer errors and will be more productive.

work in Confluence without switching

It adds up.

Over a year, employees’ idle time costs companies more than $100 billion a year just in the US, according to Harvard University researchers. Too much idle time means staff aren’t being productive and are at risk of becoming disengaged and demoralized with their work.

Of course, the other costs of adopting an LMS include support, maintenance, creating content, and managing learning. Most vendors offer a per-user, per-month pricing model, and the price goes up if you opt for extra features.

LMS for Confluence that comes to where your staff operate

If you’re already using enterprise collaboration software such as Atlassian Confluence, your staff are no doubt comfortable whether they’re working face-to-face or remotely.

So, why not bring your new LMS to Confluence, so they don’t have to learn a new system? After all, if they’re learning new content within Confluence, chances are they’ll already be switched on to collaborate.

LMS for Confluence

Studies show if you interact with others, ask questions and use what you’ve learned, you’ll remember 69% of the content in two days. That compares with just 28% if you learned solo.

Nesting your learning portal within Confluence helps make your staff more efficient. An Association for Intelligent Information Management study found more than eight in 10 businesses said they wasted too much time searching for and recreating knowledge. In fact, US businesses waste three-quarters of a trillion dollars searching for content that already exists.

Having your LMS sitting within Confluence means staff won’t have to switch to a separate system for learning, and you’ll save time on system integration. You’ll be able to keep tabs on certifications for your organization for legal compliance, too.

Confluence as your LMS makes sense.

There is an app that’s a Confluence learning management system, set up and ready to go for:

  • Pre-recruitment testing
  • Employee onboarding
  • E-learning
  • Creating quizzes from scratch
  • Developing courses
  • Checking product knowledge
  • Training and
  • Testing as well as certifications.

It’s a Confluence app called izi – LMS for Confluence – it lets staff easily move from working on tasks to training and back without leaving Confluence. It’s just had a name change from Courses and Quizzes – LMS for Confluence, by the way.

izi - LMS for Confluence

The back story

Since going live in October 2015, this Confluence LMS has been harnessed by teams across the globe for staff training and more within Confluence. It’s particularly popular in the US, Germany, the UK, India, and the Russian Federation, according to Crunchbase. Most users are tech companies, but it’s also gaining traction in pharmaceutical, automotive, banking, insurance, and medical spheres.

The multi-award-winning company behind izi – LMS for Confluence is Stiltsoft, which started operating in 2010. It offers 20-plus apps for Atlassian tools, including the popular Table Filter and Charts, also available from the Atlassian Marketplace. Stiltsoft has more than 7,000 customers in 80-plus countries. They include Netflix, Allianz, Symantec, Logitech, Tesla, Samsung, Dell, Mercedes-Benz, AT@T, and Walmart.

Stiltsoft customers

Stiltsoft has won Codegeist awards for best apps and, in 2021, was named an Atlassian Platinum Marketplace Partner. It’s also active in the Marketplace Bug Bounty Program.

How this Confluence LMS works for enterprises

Here’s what’s on offer with this Atlassian Confluence app.

For Confluence users, the interface of this LMS is already familiar. Simply enroll using Confluence users and groups that are already set up in Confluence. That means there’s no need to handle user management in this LMS.

Once the app is on your Confluence dashboard, get started by choosing either the introduction to:

Each section steps you through with lots of screenshots to help visualize the process. Add text, images, rich text, presentations, links, or videos to bring your content to life. You’ll have professionally designed blank templates as your canvass to begin creating.

For example, when you build a course, you can create, add and organize modules, and enroll users or groups, even anonymous users, too. Once they begin, participants can use the My courses tab to see the learning portal to check which courses they’re enrolled in and track their progress.

Learning portal in Atlassian Confluence

As a creator, you’ll access a dashboard to create new courses and quizzes, as well as find those you’ve set up before. Creators can also be participants in courses others have built or even you’ve built yourself. Importantly, you’ll be able to check on who’s completed which course and who may need a nudge to keep learning.

tracking course progress in Confluence

One feature of izi – LMS for Confluence is the ability to create a quiz from anywhere in Confluence – just using the plus sign in the sidebar and selecting the Quiz blueprint. If you can’t find a feature you’d like, you can request it as well as share your feedback via a survey or an interview.

So, whichever way you look at it through the kaleidoscope of time, choosing an LMS is a major move for any business. You could be just a few clicks away from moving e-learning to the next level for your staff.

Try LMS for Confluence free

You’ll find izi – LMS for Confluence in the Atlassian marketplace. izi is easy to download and try for free for 30 days, plus you can book a 30-minute demo to help you on your way to more seamless e-learning Confluence-style in your business.