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How to best model a large program of work in Atlas
How to best model a large program of work in Atlas

Running larger programs or initiatives? Here is a guide on how to best model this work in Atlas.

Sherif Mansour avatar
Written by Sherif Mansour
Updated over a week ago

Today, Atlas is largely focused on the units of work closest to the team. For larger bodies of work, we've got a lot more we'd like to do in this area, but there are plenty of ways to use what's already in-place to help improve connection and communication between teams and stakeholders for larger work items. This guide will walk through some options and best practices to help you make a decision on how to get started with program-level reporting.

It's important to note that today, there are two levels of granularity of reporting in Atlas:

  1. Projects - communicated on via a weekly cadence

  2. Goals - communicated on via a monthly cadence

All of these these can be linked together and to teams and people working on this work. We may improve the flexibility and granularity of this objects as the product evolves.

You have two options to model a program in Atlas:

1. Model as a project

In this scenario, you create an Atlas project to represent a program. You can then link to related projects and mark them as dependent, or group them together with a common #tag. Stakeholders who want the summary can follow just one project, and those that want all the details of each stream of work can follow the #tag. You can also link multiple teams together working on the same program to the project.

This model is useful if:

  • You want to provide frequent updates (as frequent as weekly).

  • You want to show all the teams working on the program.

Things to be aware of:

  • The cascading update problem - you'll need your sub-stream owners to share their updates before your update so that you have all the information at hand to craft the program-level update.

2. Model as a goal
Another model that works is to make the Atlas goal represent a program. In this case you can link to related projects under the goal. Goals can also be grouped together or with projects with the use of #tags. Goals have a single owner. Goals can be nested with sub-goals.

Use this model if:

  • You want to provide less frequent updates (as frequent as monthly).

  • You'd like to model sub-programs - you can use sub-goals to reflect this.

Things to be aware of:

  • At time of writing, goals can only have a single owner. We would like to also allow Teams to own goals - that will come soon.

Visualising how it fall fits together

We're always evolving Atlas to make it easier to connect and communicate with other teams, and we'll evolve this document as we go. If you have any suggestions for improvements please reach out to us!

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