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How we use Organizations & Workspaces for the product management of Shortcut

Heather Purdy

Note: This is the first post in a series of for on how we use Shortcut for the Product Management of Shortcut. For other posts in the series check out the links at the end of this one!

Back in 2017, our CEO Kurt wrote a blog post about how we build Shortcut with Shortcut. Since then, we’ve grown significantly as an organization and our product has become more robust. This growth created a need for us to revisit how we use Shortcut to build Shortcut, here at Shortcut. Shortcut.

One of the first things I did when joining as Product Lead was to review and refine the way we use our product. Since our customers are always interested in hearing how other companies use Shortcut, we figured it was high time to share how we’re using it today.

Note: we’ve always designed and built Shortcut to be flexible enough for teams to use it the way they see fit, so this post definitely isn't intended to describe the “one and only” way to use it. This series details what works right now, for us, given our current structure and the projects that we're working on. Think of it as some handy inspiration or food for thought.

Before we dive in with this series, here’s a handy reminder of how Shortcut is structured:

Starting from the top:

How Shortcut uses Organizations

At Shortcut, we only really have one Organization which everyone uses day-to-day, simply called “Shortcut.” We have plenty of other dummy organizations that we use for testing and demoing the product, but for the purposes of actually building it, we use the one organization. This is true of most companies that use Shortcut, i.e. one organization per company.

How Shortcut uses Workspaces

Workspaces are a relatively new feature for Shortcut, launching in July 2018, but we do use them for varying purposes across the company. We have a primary “Shortcut” workspace that sits within the parent Organization, which everyone in the company is a member of. This is where we keep all work (Stories) related to our product. Then, other workspaces depend on the department or even the individual.

Marketing, for example, has a separate Workspace for collaborating on projects with a specific third-party vendor, an agency, that doesn’t need (or shouldn’t have) access to the firehose of work related to building our product. This is useful because it keeps stories unrelated to the Shortcut product out of the main workspace, and protects the confidentiality of our product work, while still allowing the marketing folks to work in the same flow.

Another example is the Finance team. Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of its work, the Finance department has a separate workspace for its tasks.

As we grow as a company to have discrete product lines, we would probably consider creating a workspace for each product line, as long as the work was truly differentiated and our one workspace was becoming too noisy.

Next up, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how we use Teams & Projects!

How do you use Organizations & Workspaces at your company? We’d love to hear about it on Twitter.

How we use Shortcut for the product management of Shortcut series:

  1. Intro and how we use Organizations & Workspaces (this post)
  2. How we use Story Workflows & Projects
  3. How we use Milestones & Epics
  4. How we use Labels and how it all fits together