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

Go to the People area of your site and select the Companies subsection.

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When you sign up for Teamwork, the owner company is automatically created with you as a member. The owner company is typically used for your own company or lead department and will have an Owner tag beside it in your companies list.

Any other company added to your site is referred to as an external company.

At a high level, using companies enables you to group people (including users and contacts), associate projects to those companies for organization 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 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.

How to set up companies as departments

Setting up companies as departments

  1. Any person with permission to manage people and companies can go to the Companies subsection of the site-level People area.
  2. Add a company for each department.
  3. Select the company / department, and from there invite the relevant users to that company.

Tips for adding companies and users

How does this affect users?

At a high level there are two types of users:

  1. Owner company site administrators (this include the site owner and any owner company user with the administrator permission) have access to everything on the site – all projects, all areas, all private items.
  2. Everybody else: anybody that is not an owner company site 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 an external company cannot access the following:

  • The top level statuses area.
  • The People area (unless granted the permission to manage people and companies).
  • Users in external companies (including administrators) also cannot access the site-level settings area.


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 will 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.

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

However, there are times when different departments may need to work together and invite people from another department to their project. To do this, you will need to 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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Points to note

If you would 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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Once the user has permission to manage people and companies applied, they can add users from any company to that project.

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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