The relationship between projects & goals

Learn the differences between projects and goals in Atlas, and how they fit together.

Rachel Lin avatar
Written by Rachel Lin
Updated over a week ago

What is a project in Atlas?

Projects are the specific streams of work that you're going to complete and can define success criteria around. Typically, a project has two or more people working to produce something for at least two weeks.

For example, "Main Street office Solar Power" - success criteria here are easily definable: the Main Street building is getting solar power.

At an even lower level (tracked in Jira, Trello, or wherever), teams might work through individual items like installing panels on the roof or buying power certificates from an energy provider.

What they'll update in Atlas is how close they are to achieving success: running the office from solar power.

A project has one owner, you can add any number of contributors or teams to a project, and add Learnings to them. Projects are updated on a weekly basis by the owner or contributors.

Here's how an example project looks in Atlas.

How is a project in Atlas different from a Jira Software project?

  • Jira Software provides a way to plan and manage tasks and issues within specific teams - typically engineering teams. Other teams might use a different tool to track and manage their work - for example, Jira Work Management.

  • Projects, powered by Atlas, are a way to bring work across all these tools into one place and provide updates on the latest progress of work.

What is a goal in Atlas?

Think of a goal as an outcome one or many project teams are trying to achieve. These are higher-level items that might take multiple streams of work to complete. Atlas is flexible to fit any company's goal framework - from OKRs, KPIs, and more.

For example, "Go Carbon-Neutral" - company-wide, this will take a lot of projects to achieve!

For simple setups, one project could map to one goal - but as a company grows, there can be team, department, and company-wide goals.

Goals can also have sub-goals. Functionally these are the same as Goals - they just stack when you're looking at the Goals page.

A goal has one owner, and teams are linked to goals based on the projects that contribute to them. Goals are updated on a monthly basis by the owner.

Here's how an example goal looks in Atlas.

Looking for more guidance and best practices? Check out our ultimate guide for getting started in Atlas.

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