Team Management like a Boss

Posted by Vadim Todorov on May 1, 2013 12:16:00 PM

If you want to save time on a distributed team, this post is for you.

The best way to manage external teams and resources is the Subprojects Tool. The Subprojects Tool is available for all Assembla Portfolios. Subprojects provide your team the ability to:

  • Share code with limited access
  • Share partial ticket lists
  • Share a prioritized backlog
  • Share only a subset of tools

How does it work?

You would starts by setting up a a master space, then you add child spaces to this master space. 

The Master Space is the container for the Child Spaces. Child Spaces are filtered spaces of the Master Space.

Say, you have an IT-outsourcing company "MasterSoft inc".

You provide services to customers and you work with outsourced service providers. Let's take two of them: "SimpleJava" a service provide and "" a customer.

Of course, you would like to keep teams in these companies informed. You would like also to make sure members in one company have access only to their relevant content.

To achieve these goals you will use Subprojects. All MasterSoft Inc. team members (PMs, Developers, Ops, etc) will become members of the "MasetSoft" Master space.

You will then create two child spaces for the team memebers in the two companies "SimpleJava" and "".

To add child spaces to the master space you will need The Subprojects Tool.

It can be installed from Admin->Tools:


In our use case "MasterSoft", the master space, will need a Ticket Tool to post tasks for all stakeholders.

The service provide company will have its own repository in its child space, so the master space will not require a repo tool.

Ticket Tool

At this point you will need to have two ticket tag in the master space's Tickets tool for each child space. Ticket tags can be managed in the Ticket Tool Settings, under the "Tags" section.

Ticket Tags Settings

Tags are also used to mark and filter tickets in the Simple Planner and Cardwall. 

Note that in the filtered child space the option to filter by tag will be disabled, since it has already been applied.

To create a child space you will need to switch to the Subprojects tab in the master space.



Now, setup the new child space:

Child Space Settings

As shown in the form, Tickets will be shared with SimpleJava space, but will be filtered by the tag "SimpleJava".

This means that only tickets with this tag will be displayed in the child space. Also, all tickets created in the "SimpleJava" child space will be tagged with a "SimpleJava" tag automatically. Nice, isn't it?

Now the only thing required, is to invite SimpleJava team members to the child space, and set up their role (member, watcher or owner).

Note, that all the roles from the Master Space will be delegated to the Child Space. So, all the master space members will be able to access all the child spaces with the same role, they have in the master space.

Members in the master space can access the child spaces from the Subprojects tab.

The Workflow

It's time to talk about how the whole stuff works and what is the basic workflow for the MasterSoft Inc. use case.

Let's say Bob is a QA specialist working "MasterSoft Inc.", who found a typo in the application that was just deployed to the Google Play Market by "SimpleJava".

So Bob creates a new ticket in the master space, and tag it with "SimpleJava" tag.

Quite simple.

Now all the developers who work with "SimpleJava" will be able to see the new ticket in their filtered child space, as well as, all "MasterSoft Inc." team members will be able to track the ticket progress.

So what are the results?

  • Tech leads and developers are more focused on their work in child spaces
  • PM's can still see the list of tickets for all feature and teams filtered by some condition (say fix-today tasks) in the master space, alongside with filtered Backlog in the child space.
  • Your customers can track the prioritized filtered Backlog in the child space
  • A customer is prevented from accessing other customer's content
  • You can add any usual tool (Wiki, Messages, Repositories, e.t.c.) to the child space
  • You can tag a ticket for more than one team, say "SimpleJava" and "". This introduces even more flexibility into your process.

To find out more about scaling teams and resources, you may want to read Beyond the Scrum Roadmap article.

If you haven't  try Subprojects for your projects yet, you definitely should

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About the author

Vadim Todorov

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