Fragmentation of Task Functionality in Confluence
I am trying to work out the best strategy for my clients to use for doing lightweight task management in Confluence. I thought that since we have the new Task features and Workbox in 4.3 that this would be a no-brainer. We would not need Ad hoc Workflows, we can just use the new functionality.
Confluence has released what looks like a great new feature in Confluence 4.3 – the ability to have Tasks on the page, and a centralised notification box called the Workbox.
With a number of new Confluence features lately, I feel that the release of this new feature is a bit half-baked and it doesn’t actually do all the things you need it to do. (I think it’s because I love the product, I hold it up to such high standards, and expect things to work really well first up).
So, I’m now trying to work out which method of managing Tasks in Confluence is best.
- Tasks in Workbox (Conf 4.3)
- Tasklist Macro (I don’t think this will stand up to comparison).
- Ad hoc Workflow Add-on
- Will I also need the Reporting Plugin (addional cost).
- Or can the Ad hoc Canvas add-on do enough for reporting (as it has other cool features too).
So I have created a spreadsheet comparing all the features and I would love your help in adding to it. This spreadsheet is on google docs and editable by you too. Please help me compare all the features of these Task Lists.
Right now, I’m not convinced about the Workbox, as it has the ability for people to make notes on tasks that other people can not see. For me, this breaks Confluence. The whole point of Confluence is that it is about sharing and openness, and ensuring the conversation is had amongst all members of the team.
I’m also not convinced about tasks on Ad hoc Workflow as there are still a few issues with that product that I have reported. The Comaltech guys have said that they will be merging the functionality of Tasks with the Workbox, or dropping stand alone tasks altogether. I hope they do the merging bit, because the features they have currently outweigh the Confluence Tasks functionality. I know it costs extra for Ad hoc Workflows, but it is worth it if you are going to need to do workflow on pages. Update: This is now done in Version 4 of Ad hoc Workflows.
So right now, I don’t know which direction to steer my clients in. There is issues with both, and if you have both enabled it may be very confusing for the end users (“why are only some notifications appearing in my Workbox?”). I think it will have to be Ad hoc Workflows however, because the activity feature way outstrips Confluence’s lack of features on notes and tracking.
Of course, we are talking about lightweight task management and workflows here, and if you want more advanced functionality, such as due dates, complete history, and attachments, then go with JIRA.
The latest version of the comparison spreadsheet as published is below.