Within Teamwork Projects, you can create external companies on your site, to represent different departments.

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This guide is structured into four parts:

  • Overview
  • How to setup companies as departments
  • How does this affect users
  • Advanced


When you signup for Teamwork Projects the "Owner Company" is automatically created with you as part of it, and this is typically used for your own company or lead department (see Figure 1 below – you’ll notice the “Owner” label next to the owner company).

Any other company added to the system is then referred to as a regular "Company", also shown in Figure 1 below.

At a high level, using Companies enables you to group people -- including users and contacts, associate projects to that Company for organisation purposes, and also set privacy in bulk against those groups.

The Companies feature can be leveraged in two ways:

  1. Inviting people from outside your company such as consultants, vendors, freelancers, etc. into your site to view and/or participate on projects. In this instance you could create a new Company for each person(s) you are inviting (i.e. if you were working with two people from an external design agency, you would add one Company for the Agency – and then add both users to that Company).
  2. Your own internal departments could also be set up in the system by leveraging the “Companies” feature.
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Using Companies enables you to:

  • Group users according to their company.
  • Associate projects to companies.
  • Assign default permissions to all companies (done by an owner company administrator from Settings > Templates).
  • Bulk set privacy on an item based on company: for example, you may have multiple departments working on the same project but need to keep a certain task list private to only the marketing department. You could apply privacy on that task list to the marketing department and it will include all users in that department in one go -- see here: Image

How to set up companies as departments

Setting up companies as departments
  1. Any person with permission to add people and companies, will go to the top level People section > Companies.
  2. Add a Company for each Department
  3. Select the company / department, and from there invite the users to that Company.

Tips for adding companies and users
  • Inviting individual users to the system: you can learn about that here.
  • You can bulk import users via CSV into the People > People area, and this can also include the Company they are added to. You can learn about this here.
  • When adding users into the system, and later adding them to projects they will always assume the default permissions for the company that have been applied in Settings > Templates. Note: in Settings > Templates, there are two sets of default permissions: (i) is for Owner Company default permissions, which are applied to all users in the Owner Company, and (ii) default permissions applied to all users in all other Companies.

How does this affect users?

At a high level there are two types of users:
  1. Owner Company Administrators (this include the Site Owner, and all Owner Company Admins): these users have access to everything – all projects, all areas, all private items, everything.
  2. Everybody else: anybody that is not an Owner Company Admin will only ever see the projects they are assigned to, and are also bound by different permissions applied to their account.
With this in mind, when you create a new Company you will need to give each user their their own permission sets, so some points to consider include:
  • Perhaps your team leads / managers / etc. may need permission to add new people/companies to the site.
  • Certain users may need permission to add new projects, and others may not.
  • Do users need access to all future projects, or should they be added manually?

Limitations with using companies as departments:
Users in a Company cannot access the following:
  • The top level Statuses area
  • The People area (except for anyone who has been given the “manage people and companies” specific permission)
  • Users in a Company (including administrators) also cannot access the top level Settings area to the upper right of the screen).


Some things to note when creating projects and inviting users

When you first set up your site and assign all the relevant permissions to your users, the next thing you’ll need to consider is who can add other users to their project.

By default a user in a company (with permission to add projects) will only be able to add users from their own company to that project. Please see Figure 2, where a person from the marketing department is attempting to add users to their project – they can only select from the marketing department, “Dept 1: Marketing”.

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Figure 2: User in marketing department adding users to a project.

Note: when a user creates a project they automatically become a project administrator on that project.

There are however times when different departments may need to work together and invite people from another department to their project. To do this, all you need to do is ensure the users in each department share access to at least one other project.

In the following example, the marketing person adding the project shares access to an IT project already, and because of this they can add people from the IT team to their projects going forward.

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Figure 3: User in marketing department adding users to a project, after they share access to a common project with other users.

Points to note
  • If you’d like to give someone complete access to add people from any department to any project, simply give them the manage people and companies permission.
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Figure 4: Individual top level user permissions

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Figure 5: Once the user has permission to manage people and companies applied, they can add users from any company to that project.

Best practices

  • We typically recommend giving at least one person in each department the permissions to both add new projects, and also to manage people and companies.
For more information, see: Working with the companies view