Organize Shortcut around your Teams

Organize Shortcut around your Teams

Joey Shampain
Senior Product Manager
March 24, 2021

Teams are the heart of every product development organization. Great products are not built by individuals; they are built by Teams. In simple terms, a Team is a group of people responsible for getting work done. Teams plan, build, and release this work together. They are often cross-functional, mostly autonomous, and definitely collaborative. Teams come in all shapes and sizes, but collectively, they are the engine that pushes a product and business forward.

Until today, customers struggled to represent these Teams in Shortcut. One of the most common questions we hear from customers is "How do I organize my Teams in Shortcut?". The fact that we heard this question so often highlighted a problem we've committed to solving.


Our new "Teams" feature makes teams a first-class citizen of Shortcut, just like they are within your organization.

Teams have people, they own work and they have a process to complete that work. As such, Teams in Shortcut contains Users, own Stories and Epics, and can run Iterations. By providing this thread between people, their work, and their process, Teams provides a foundation to organize around within Shortcut.

Our first release unlocks the following functionality:

  • Users can be added to Teams
  • Stories, Epics, and Iterations can be assigned to Teams
  • Team updates can be sent into Slack and email
  • All pages and views can be filtered by Team
  • Filter and selection options are prioritized by Team membership

This will immediately help you:

  • Bring more order into your Shortcut
  • Zoom-in on work relevant to your Team
  • Increase visibility and collaboration across Teams
  • Provide Teams the space to operate more effectively
  • Stay informed of a Team's progress
  • Measure Team performance

Learn more by watching this video and/or reading the blog post that follows it:

From "Groups" to "Teams" to beyond

Technically, our "Teams" feature is a rename and expansion of our previous "Groups" feature. All existing Groups are now renamed to "Teams" and have expanded functionality.

However, this is more than a name change with a couple of nice new features; Teams are a foundational element of Shortcut's future, and Teams will grow more powerful over time. We're currently exploring enhancements, such as a Team+Workflow relationship and more advance filtering, that will move "Teams" further towards the core of your Shortcut experience.

But before we get too excited about the future, let's learn how Teams work today...

Creating your Teams

At its simplest, Teams enables you to put people into their working groups (aka their teams), providing a primary, relatable dimension to begin organizing your Shortcut.

You create a team, add people to it. Add some personality by adding an @-mention name, description, and profile icon.

And voila, you're pretty much ready to go! You can have multiple Teams within and organization, and users can belong to multiple Teams.

Assigning work to Teams

What good is a Team that doesn't have any work in Shortcut? (though we'll admit, that does sound stress-free)

Stories and Epics now have a Team field that can be used to denote Team ownership.

Here it is on a Story. When you assign a Story to a Team, the Epic, Iteration, and Owner fields are prioritized based on selected Team. No more searching for the right Epic.

Similar functionality exists on Epics and Iterations. Collectively, these associations provide the full picture of what a Team is working on.


Viewing, Filtering, and Reporting-on work by Team

The power of Teams is unlocked by using the "Team" views throughout Shortcut.

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<div fs-richtext-component="testimonial-component" class="post_body_testimonial"><div class="post_body_testimonial-content"><div class="text-size-medium">
"Shortcut Teams have been really helpful when a team has different sources or classes of work; you can use them to filter things easily throughout the UI, without having to remember every single responsibility a given team has."
</div><div class="post_body_testimonial-name"><div class="semi-para-title">
Evan Stoner
</div><div class="semi-para-title">
Engineering Manager, Platform, Splice
<img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="post_body_testimonial-image"></div>

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From the Stories, you can quickly view in-flight work for a given Team.

From the Status page, you can quickly see what each Team member is working on.

The Teams page provides a list view of all Stories assigned to a Team, across all Workflows.

On the Epic, Milestone, and Roadmap pages, you can zoom-out and view the big picture across multiple Teams.

On the Reports page, you can measure team output and efficiency.

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<div fs-richtext-component="testimonial-component" class="post_body_testimonial"><div class="post_body_testimonial-content"><div class="text-size-medium">
"With Teams we are better able to split up our work effectively and keep people notified as we complete stories. Teams makes it easy to see our metrics, our planned work and more."
</div><div class="post_body_testimonial-name"><div class="semi-para-title">
Leo Bowen
</div><div class="semi-para-title">
Product Manager, Makespace
<img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="post_body_testimonial-image"></div>

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Stay informed of a Team's progress

Collaboration is key for any software team. To ensure the lines of communication are always open, you can broadcast a Team's activity (such as Story and Epic updates) to a Slack channel. Team activity will also appear in the Activity Feed of the Team's members

Transitioning to Teams

All the above is nice if you're starting from scratch, but what if you have existing Stories and Epics that belong to teams? And what if you're using another feature to represent these Teams in Shortcut today?

We recommending exploring our FAQ for more detail on transitioning to Teams. Some quick highlights:

  • You can bulk edit Stories to quickly backfill a Team (e.g. "select all" Stories within a given Project and assign to a Team)
  • The functionality of Projects has not changed. If you were using Projects for Teams, we recommend using Projects to represent key "horizontal" dimensions in your business such as functional areas, technical components, or product features
  • You do not need to transition to Teams immediately, though as the Teams feature grows more powerful, it will be an increasingly more logical home for your Teams in CH.

What's next?

As has been implied above, we have a larger vision for Teams as Shortcut continues to evolve and improve. It's a foundational element to our future.

As an example, Teams will eventually connect to Workflows. They may be able to apply WIP Limits. They may influence more aspects of the UI. They may have mascots that cheer you on when you complete a Story. The possibilities are truly endless.

Vision aside, we're excited for you to explore our new Teams feature and truly hope you find it useful. We're looking forward to your continued feedback along this journey.

Take a look at our Help Center to learn more, and reach out if you have any questions. We're here to help. And also to continually improve Shortcut. But mostly to help.

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"Technical projects often cross team boundaries. With the Teams feature, we can clarify ownership of stories and epics. It ensures that people planning and grooming see the information most relevant to them"
Julien Vanier
Sr. Director of Engineering, Particle
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