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Categorize and curate projects and goals with topics
Categorize and curate projects and goals with topics

What you can do with topics and how to tag projects and goals to curate them

Daniella Latham avatar
Written by Daniella Latham
Updated over a week ago

Topics (curated by tagging objects), are a simple, powerful way to get more value from Atlas, especially as you scale. In this article, we'll cover:

What is a Topic

Topics are collections of projects, goals, people, teams, help, and knowledge based on tags. The purpose of Topics is to aggregate a group of objects and represent something more meaningful to a reader. In Atlas' case, we’ve seen common use cases of tagging be programs, departments, products, areas of expertise, etc.

What you can do with topics

1️⃣ Get a tailored feed of updates based on a topic

Just like projects, goals, and teams, you can also follow topics in Atlas. Click on a topic in the right sidebar of a project or goal and you'll be taken to your Home where you'll be given the option to follow the topic.

When you follow a topic you will:

  • Get a dedicated feed of updates from projects, goals, and questions tagged with that topic

  • See updates from projects and goals on that topic in your digest via email, Slack or Microsoft Teams

2️⃣ Find and export all projects or goals tagged with topics

From both the projects and goals directories, you'll be able to filter results based on topics. You can combine filters with AND/OR statements like, Tag is marketing or engineering. Embed results in Jira or Confluence Cloud or export to CSV.

💡 Share a dynamic report of your search results in Jira and Confluence Cloud

3️⃣ Create dynamic reports of projects from a topic

Great for program/initiative/team reporting, when you paste a link to a topic from Atlas and select Display embed, you get a live view list of all current and upcoming projects tagged with that topic. Expanding a project will show its latest update.

💡 Here's how to get the link to paste into Jira or Confluence Cloud

How to tag a project or goal

In the bottom right corner of a project's or a goal's page in Atlas, you'll see a section called Tags where you create and add new tags, add existing ones, or view tags that have already been added to represent a topic.

How to discover topics to follow

From the navigation menu, you'll see Topics.

From here you can:

  • Search for and discover topics to follow

  • View all the topics you're currently following

  • Sort all topics by name, usage, or followers

Tips for curating projects and goals with topics

As you ramp up your use of Atlas across teams to align on and communicate the status of projects and goals, we recommend adopting some tagging standards. This will help keep your projects and goals categorized and aid the creation of roll-up reports that can be embedded in Jira or Confluence Cloud, or exported to CSV.

Using tags to curate topics is incredibly flexible, so it's really up to you how you use them. Below are a few examples of how we use topics at Atlassian, which will hopefully inspire your own tagging system.

Use topics to reflect a department

Tag a project to reflect the department within which it is being run. Examples include:

  • dept--product

  • dept--marketing

  • dept--partnerships

  • dept--legal

  • dept--finance

Use topics to reflect a sub-department

Similar to department above but one click down. For example:

  • dept--product--mobile

  • dept--marketing-pmm

  • dept--partnerships--channel

Tag to reflect a phase or stage

Use this to indicate which phase or stage a unit of work is in based on whatever framework your company or teams use. For example:

  • kickoff

  • wonder

  • explore

  • make

  • impact

Tag to reflect the size of work

Since projects in Atlas can be used to communicate the context and progress against units of work of all shapes and sizes, tag work to reflect the size of a "project" in Atlas. For example:

  • size-project

    • Length: 1 - 4 Months in duration. It needs to make sense as something to communicate about

    • Size: Across 1 - 3 Teams. An absolute minimum of 2 people

    • Should be a high enough order piece of work to benefit from consistent communication

  • size-initiative

    • Length: 3 → 18 Months in duration

    • Size: Think Big Rock items on a roadmap. Generally across 2+ departments or MANY teams

    • Should consist of at least 3+ concurrent projects, usually more often 5-10 or more

  • size-program

    • Length: Greater than 1 year in length

    • Size: Always cross-department and more often cross-org/company

    • Across 3+ concurrent initiatives and more often 5-10

    • Probably only a small number of these across the company

💡 Running larger programs or initiatives? Here's a guide on modelling them in Atlas

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