Teams Workshop and Q&A

Teams Workshop and Q&A

Richard Huffaker
Director of Creative Marketing
May 21, 2021

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

But... how? And why? If Shortcut is already working well for you and you have a ton of people or data that you don't really want to think about moving around, what's the best way to go about bringing Teams into the mix?

Learn all about this by watching our Teams workshop below and/or reading the summary of the workshop found below that.

Watch the full recording our workshop

We like to think of Teams as an organized and effective way to align Shortcut to the way you and your team like to work IRL. Teams empower you to:

  • Zoom in for a close look at specific Team’s ongoing work
  • Use this increased visibility to make collaboration easier
  • While also giving Teams the space they need to operate within their own space
  • And measure their own performance

Basics of Getting Started

To get started, you simply need to create a Team and then Create (or Edit) a Story to add to that Team. This is so easy it can be done in this 12 second gif:

When Stories or Epics are labeled in this way, you can then measure progress in a variety of ways:

On the Epics page:

  • You have the ability to group by Team
  • And the ability to have multiple Teams collaborate on the same Epic

On the Stories page you can create a Space and filter by Team to zoom in.

On the Roadmap you can view by Team

And under Reports you can view progress by team.

See our Teams launch blog post to learn more about getting started.

But why and how should you be using it?

Workshop Q&A

Below are some of the key discussions we had during the workshop. This doesn’t include all questions. If you want to get the full detail, watch the video above.

Why should I transition to Teams?

We designed "Teams" to be the default and most powerful way to organize work by Team in Shortcut. This is only the beginning for Teams and it will be a foundational element that Shortcut will be built around as we continue to grow. As it grows it will take on functionality that is currently scattered around a few different other features (like Projects).

What should I make my Teams?

Shortcut Teams should be modeled around however your company organizes people+work (aka, how you organize your teams). Much like in your org, your Team is a group of people who collaborate on work towards a common objective.

Teams are flexible to fit various structures and sizes:

  • Teams can be cross-functional “squads”
  • Or modeled around departments who collaborate with dev Teams in Shortcut (Marketing, Operations, Analytics, etc.)
  • Smaller Orgs might just have one “Team” to start out or potentially organize Teams around functional lines

How should I transition to Teams?

Start just by setting them up. They can just be there existing without you necessarily needing to immediately add or migrate work.

Then determine if you want to migrate old Stories and how far back you’d like to go. Our Bulk Edit options should make most of this work fairly quick.

Of course, before you do anything be sure to inform your entire organization. Best if everybody is onboard before you begin organizing new work around Teams.

What if I’m currently using Projects to model Teams?

We’re building the ability to remove Projects and this option is not too far over the horizon. In the meantime, here’s what we suggest:

  • Explore using Projects to represent a “horizontal” dimension such as technical area, feature area, or function
  • Move into a single Project within each Workflow
  • Continue to use Projects as duplicates of Teams until the time comes that Workflows have been added to Shortcut Teams and you can simply turn Projects off

How should I set up my Workflows across Teams?

In the short terms, that completely depends on how you want your Teams to work:

  • Customers often use a single development workflow across all development Teams, though some Teams may prefer to adjust their process and you’d currently need to ensure their work was in the right Projects for that.
  • Teams from other departments/functions may use a different process and would need to be properly sorted into Projects for now.

The Team-to-Workflow relationship is coming soon, though, as noted in the last answer. So this won’t require quite so much thought in the near future.

Do I have to transition right away?

No, but we recommend you hop-on for the journey. We know functionality may be missing for an immediate transition. Specifically:

  • The current lack of a Team+Workflow relationship
  • The Ability to remove Projects

But we’ll deal with both these pieces soon enough, and we’ll continue exploring more migration support and documentation.

Can multiple teams collaborate on an Epic?

As of now, the way the Epic and Story associations work in Shortcut is that a single Team can be assigned to an Epic or a Story. That means the Team field in an Epic can only contain a single Team, but within Team A's Epic, you can include Stories from both Team A and Team B that are working towards the completion of that Epic. The Stories themselves have to go to a single Team, but within an Epic, you can have both A and B Stories within Team A's Epic.

How does Shortcut use Teams?

We actually have five or six different cross-functional squads here at Shortcut, and those are our Teams. I would say four to five of them are product-focused and have embedded product managers and designers on the Teams. Those are the primary Teams that we have in Shortcut. We also have our Projects as Frontend or Backend. That allows us to see all of the Frontend work across all the Teams, all the Backend work across all the Teams.

We also do have a few other Teams created, for the Success Team, for the Support Team, for the Marketing Team, to track some of their work. Oftentimes, they are collaborating with these squads. Whether it's the Growth Squad or-- We have what we call a Key Workflow Squad here. They could be collaborating with the Marketing Team on certain initiatives.

A very small thing that’s been a big game-changer for us, is you can also @ mention Teams in comments and descriptions. It's been really powerful in terms of cross-functional visibility when Product is asking another team for feedback, or to validate something, or Engineering's letting us CX know a bug fix has been deployed… to be able to @ mention our entire Team in just one fell swoop and everyone gets that information has been very valuable.

How should we convert from Workspaces to Teams?

We don't have a great solution for this in place (yet). There are two unpopular answers that I'll walk through:

The first one is to use our API. You can always, if you have the engineering support, go in and remap your Stories and Projects from one Workspace to another one, and then find use the bulk edit option to move Stories to the appropriate Teams.

The other way is to just find a cutoff point to create a Team in the new Workspace that you want to transition to, and start doing your work there, then use the old one as historical reference. There'll probably be a few high-priority, very in-progress Stories that you'll have to manually recreate, but if you're okay with just the context switching with time, you'll naturally migrate to the new Workspace and need to refer to the old stuff less and less.

The good news is that this use case is completely on our radar. We're building this feature, we're aware of it, and it's something that we hope to have a better solution for in the future.

To see all the questions from this workshop, watch the video at the top of this post. And to learn more about Teams, see the blog post about our launch.

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