Task management with Confluence and JIRA Core

Task management in JIRA Core and task management in Confluence. How are they related? Both products enable and encourage teams to collaborate but which one should be used when? 

Getting from here to goal

Teams rally around goals. For those goals to be actionable, they need to be broken down into sets of tasks that bridge the gap from where we are to where we want to be. The size of the team and the size of the goal have significant impact on how we approach organizing our plan. Let’s take a look at two different approaches for task management:

JIRA Core and Confluence: which one is for me?

Use Confluence tasks when:

  • you want to track tasks alongside your work such as meeting action items, event to-dos, and small team projects
  • your project doesn’t require you to manage attributes like scope or milestones
  • reporting is not a key requirement

Use JIRA Core when:

  • you need powerful insight into task and project management such as workflow, custom attributes, task history, and reporting
  • a task has multiple assignees
  • you manage several streams of work at the same time
  • your projects require collaboration between different teams or many people

When to use both

JIRA Core and Confluence are two products that work even better together. Teams can use the strengths of Confluence for knowledge management and the strengths of JIRA Core for work management. You can define work in Confluence and easily import into JIRA Core for execution and delivery. For example, many teams will do their kickoff planning in Confluence. Teams can organize around roadmaps and drill into requirements all within one conversation using shared Confluence pages. It’s easy to migrate requirements over to JIRA Core for execution and delivery. Each requirement can be broken down into tasks and flexibly assigned across the team for delivery. Managers can get a detailed, real-time status of projects with the powerful search and reporting features in JIRA Core.

Collecting adhoc team action items

At Atlassian, we’re focused on helping all teams collaborate more efficiently. When goals become shared, the team must collaborate to move forward. Effective collaboration requires sharing of knowledge, work, and assets. As teams learn more about their goals and plans, that knowledge needs to be shared across the team. As teams work together, they create assets that will need to be shared amongst each other. A marketing team, for example, will have customer research, go to market plans, and common logos to share. Confluence helps teams work together by working as a common platform to share all of these resources.

These teams benefit from having task management close to knowledge management. During meetings, the meeting organizer can simply create tasks inline using the keyboard shortcut “[ ]". These tasks live close to the content. For example, meeting action items live in the same document as the agenda for the meeting. Additionally, a team offsite page has the plan (date, venue, attendee list, etc.) and action items all in one place. Let’s take a look at an example:

The tasks live right alongside your meeting agenda.

Confluence enriches the core task management set by allowing users to see the tasks they have across the instance as either the creator or the assignee. You can now see the status of tasks you have as well as those you’ve assigned to other people on the team. Users can now tag tasks with due dates to help keep everyone on the team aware of key team deliverables.

Scaling task management in large projects

As goals and teams get larger, scale dictates a new approach. Larger goals with more people require flexible planning and visibility throughout execution. JIRA Core's deep support for distributed task management becomes the platform of choice.

Track progress during execution: workflow

JIRA Core provides deep visibility into the workflow of individual tasks. Let’s look at a typical workflow that can be used by a marketing team to run a company blog.

The team can easily see the status of each task in the workflow. Workflow makes it easy to see the flow of work in the organization as well as what work remains. Confluence tasks only support a binary workflow: open or closed. JIRA Core allows much more insight throughout a task’s life cycle.

Classify different kinds of work

Projects often have multiple types of work. JIRA Core allows flexible issue configuration to closely mirror a team’s process. For example, a marketing team may have campaigns, case studies, and events. JIRA Core allows you to closely model and track the different types of work your organization accomplishes.

Add custom attributes

JIRA Core has deep support for custom fields beyond what’s included inside of Confluence tasks: assignee, reporter, subject, completed, and due date. JIRA Core, by default, includes several key fields, like priority, to help teams more efficiently order their work and projects. Teams can also add additional custom fields that support their business process.

Easily scale as your project grows

JIRA Core is used by teams across many different types of organizations. Some customers have hundreds of thousands of issues inside of their JIRA Core instances supporting tens of thousands of users. Whatever the challenge, JIRA Core can scale to the solution. 

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Written by Dan Radigan, Technical Account Manager 

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