In this post we're going to focus on the traditional wiki usage: documentation and knowledge management, and specifically some do's and don'ts when moving existing documentation and knowledge assets into Confluence. Some of the points below are specific to Confluence, some are best practise whenever you're moving knowledge from one place to another, but they're all born of experience and hopefully they'll help you avoid some of the pitfalls.
The most important points first:
- If you're a technical person, get a content person in before you move anything. They'll spot issues you won't.
- If you're a content person, get a technical person in before you move anything. They'll spot issues you won't.
Which brings me neatly on to:
- Automate as much as you can.
Before you start importing things:
- Plan your space structure before you move things in.
- If multiple people are bringing stuff in, agree on common naming conventions, page structure, and labels.
- On the subject of labels, use them to say where a Confluence page came from, e.g. wiki name, shared drive, SharePoint, or wherever.
And while we're talking about it:
- Keep your old repositories for at least 6 months, just in case.
Despite the fact that you're keeping your old repositories for a while:
- Bring as much metadata over as possible, especially who last edited [whatever you're importing] and when.
Having said that:
- Consider adding smaller documents as attachments rather than extracting the contents.
Finally, a couple of "human" issues:
- Manually porting things over can be boring and a lot of people won't do it right because of this. Only get people who really enjoy doing this kind of repetitive, finicky work, otherwise you'll spend huge amounts of time correcting the work of people who got bored 10 minutes after they started.
- As soon as you can turn off the old systems, do it. Or at least restrict access to them. People are creatures of habit and lots of them will keep using the old systems until it's literally not possible,
- It's going to take longer than you thought. Take a deep breath, settle in for the long haul and don't get downhearted. You can and will do this, and it can and will be a success.