How do organizations work?

An Organization in HacknPlan is an entity that represents a company that has subscribed to the Studio plan. This entity acts as a container for projects and users, and only when they are included in the organization they will enjoy the premium features. The organization is owned by the user who subscribed to the Studio plan, that will also have maximum permissions over the organization and all the projects inside.

When you are part of an organization, the application navigation changes slightly to allow you switch between the organization and your personal projects. The first thing you will notice is you have a new panel called “Organizations” on the front page of the application, where the organizations you belong to are displayed. Note that you can be part of several organizations (for instance, if you are a contractor), but you can only own one of them. Clicking on an organization on that list will take you to the organization dashboard. You will also notice you have a new drop-down on the top header, which allows you to switch between organizations and your personal projects easily from anywhere in the application.

The Organization dashboard

The dashboard is the entry point to the organization. The page contains a left panel which shows some basic information, like name, owner, available and total seats, and an informative text. It also displays a header picture you can use to personalize the dashboard with the logo of your studio. The administrators will also see a button to edit the basic information of the organization, like name, logo and general info. This last field allows you to add some formatted text that will be displayed on the left panel, very useful to add guidelines or links that are important to your organization members.

The right side of the page can have two panels:

  • Projects: A panel listing the organization projects the logged user has access to. An organization may contain many members, who don’t necessarily have access to all the projects in the organization. This panel allows the users to quickly access to the projects by clicking on the elements of the list.
  • Team: A member of an organization can also belong to a team, although is not mandatory. Creating teams is a good practice when the organization has many users working on different things, as a way of simplifying the management. When the user us part of a team, it’s displayed on a panel on the dashboard, including the rest of the users in the team.

Managing projects

The administrators have an additional tab for managing the projects in the organization. Clicking on the “Projects” tab of the organization, a new page is open containing a left panel with the existing projects and a right one that displays some metrics and details about the selected one.

When you subscribe to the Studio plan and the organization is created, the first step is importing your existing projects into the organization, so you can start enjoying the premium features you paid for. The owner or any of the administrators can import their personal projects into the organization by clicking on the “Import” button located at the top of the left panel of the Projects tab. Then, a list of your personal projects will be displayed that you can click to import them.

Note: When a project is imported into the organization, all the users in the project are automatically added to the organization too. All the users enjoying the premium features included in HacknPlan Studio need to be part of the organization and occupy a paid seat. If you are trying to import a project that contains more new users to add than available seats, it will throw an error.

You can also create a new project by clicking on the “+” button or pressing “P” on your keyboard. The main difference between the creation of a personal Project and a Studio one is the fact that you can use another existing project as a template. You can select a template from the “Template project” dropdown on the project creation dialog; this will show a list of switches where you can choose which elements you want to be copied to the new project:

  • Master data: This option is mandatory. It copies the base configuration of the project, including categories and subcategories, stages, design element types, platforms, and roles.
  • Users: Adds to the new project the same users the template one has.
  • Milestones: Copies the open milestones in the template project, including dates and descriptions.
  • Game design model: Replicates the game design model structure in the new project.
  • Tasks: Copies all the tasks in the template project into the new one. If the milestones, users or game design model haven’t been selected for templating, the related values on the copied tasks will be set to a default value. Also, the copied tasks do not keep the same state they had on the template project; they are reset to a planned stage and things like comments and activity are not copied.

Users and teams

The Users tab allows you to manage the users that are part of your organization and get some global metrics. The left panel displays a list of the organization members, while the rest of the page displays some information panels about the selected user:

  • Basic profile info: Profile picture, full name, username, if its owner or admin and the date when joined the organization.
  • Current tasks: The list of pending tasks currently assigned to the user from all the organization projects.
  • Project metrics: A list of figures from each one of the projects the user is part of, including task counts, estimation / logged cost, and progress. Those metrics are related to the tasks the user is assigned to.

You can add a new user to the organization by clicking on the “+” button on the left panel. This will open up a dialog similar to the one available to add users to Personal projects, but there are a few differences:

  • Team: If you’ve created teams in your organization, you can directly add the user to one of them. We will go deeper into teams in a while.
  • Projects: You can select which projects the new user will be added automatically to (with default read-only permissions).

As your team grows, managing more and more users can become a challenge. There are more likely to be working on different projects and not everyone is involved in the same work. For this reason, you can create Teams in the organization to better organize users.  We strongly recommend relatively small teams, as it’s common in Scrum methodology (+- 7 members), and divide bigger projects into some smaller projects that can be logically isolated. This would make working with different teams much more efficient.

You can create a new team by clicking on the button “Create team” on the left panel. You can also drag and drop users to move them from one team to another. You can also update the name of a team or even delete it using the buttons located on the right side of the team header. If you delete a team that has members, they are reassigned to the “No team” section. You also have an “Inactive” section that displays the users that were part of the organization but were pushed out.

Note: You can add full teams to projects by clicking on the “Add team” button from the project Team section. All users in the team will be added to the project, but once they are added they can be modified individually. Adding new users to a team doesn’t automatically add them to the projects the team was added to, it’s just a convenience to add several users at a time, but no directly link is created between team and project.
Chris Estevez

HacknPlan Founder

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