This is the second in a series of four of articles on the Port of Antwerp, and how it uses Confluence and Comalatech apps to manage its documents and processes. 

In the previous article we explored how Port of Antwerp uses Confluence, Comala Document Management and Comala Publishing to manage a knowledge base of several hundred pages for their team of over 1600 employees. But, that’s not the only problem Confluence and Comala Document Management have helped them solve. The software also supports a training program for users who are new to Confluence. 

As a hub of international shipping, the port employs a diverse team. With so many users from varied backgrounds, Port of Antwerp needed a way to train those team members who would be working with Confluence. Using Comala Document Management, they were able to create a training program within the platform itself.

Patrick Vanhoof, the Port’s Digital Workplace Expert explains, “We wanted to extend the use of Confluence, so we organized some internal courses for every software user. These were both beginner courses and some more advanced courses. After each beginner’s course we asked users to start their own Confluence page and complete the beginner training module. Of course, users could also explore the module without taking the internal course, for those who wanted to learn by themselves.”

The training module takes place in a separate space in Confluence, purpose-built for the program. Each employee who goes through the training gets their own page with their name on it. The page uses a custom template created by Port of Antwerp. There are multiple training workflows built into this template using Comala Document Management. Each tutorial begins by pressing a button on the page, which starts the workflow that guides the user through the lesson.

For example, the first lesson starts when the user presses the “BEGINNER” button. The button automatically generates a child page from a template, with a workflow already assigned to it. In this module the user has to read the content of the Beginner Page and perform a few simple actions like adding their name, mentioning another user, adding a comment at the bottom of the page, and adding an inline comment. Once they’ve performed the tasks, they can change the state of the workflow, and the managers of the training program automatically receive a notification and check that the tasks have been completed. The workflow then automatically adds a bronze medal graphic to the user’s page, showing that they’ve finished the module.

As a nautical company, the port uses a theme of swimming certificates (25 meters, 50 meters etc.) for the different lessons. Patrick describes this sense of progression as a key part of the program’s success, “Users like the training modules, as they get rewarded for doing them. I think by now most users have started the program, and did at least the starter modules.” When users are ready to start the next lesson, they click on the button and another workflow begins, guiding them through more advanced tasks like editing page layout, using tables, adding images and some basic macros.

Port of Antwerp’s Confluence training system is a great example of how creative thinking can drive innovative solutions when paired with robust tools. In the next article we’ll dive into how Port of Antwerp uses Comala Document Management workflows to manage approvals for safety and security regulations.