User management in Teamwork Projects: Companies, user types, and permissions

Posted by: Katriona O'Mahony /

This post covers everything you need to know about managing your users in Teamwork Projects — and how you can optimize your setup for success.


We know that teams, departments, and organizations are complex. No two are the same. And every company has different requirements when it comes to managing people and their access to information.

Our goal with Teamwork Projects is always to enable our customers to have full control over the way you manage work and help you to customize it to your own needs. This includes how you manage users.

That’s why we designed Teamwork Projects to have a user hierarchy — that is, a few different layers underpinning how users work — to help you ensure that everyone on your team can have the level of involvement and input that’s right for them.

Here’s what that user hierarchy looks like:

user management matrix

In this post, we’ll take you through each element of this diagram, what it means, and how to use it.

Companies

Let’s start at the very beginning. There are two types of company in Teamwork Projects: the owner company and external companies. The owner company is created when you initially set up your Teamwork site. Think of this as your team’s “home”.

External companies are created in addition to the owner company, and can be added at any time. Creating an external company enables you to group users according to their company; associate projects to companies; assign default permissions to all companies; and bulk set the privacy on an item based on company.

Site administrators in the owner company are — at least within the realm of Teamwork Projects — omniscient. That is, they have access to everything: all projects, all areas, all private items, everything. They’re designed to be used selectively.

Administrators in external companies, on the other hand, will only have access to the projects they’ve been added to by the owner company site admins.

Standard users in both the owner company and external companies will only ever see the projects to which they’re assigned, and will be further limited by any project-level permissions applied to their individual account by the site administrators.

Learn more about companies here, or see how to add or edit a company by reading this help doc.

User types

Within Teamwork Projects, there are two user license types: standard users and collaborators.

Standard users can be given full permissions right up to administrator level. Each standard user is counted in your recurring bill.

Collaborators have limited permissions and visibility but can perform basic actions. This user type is completely free and enables you to easily bring clients into your projects without incurring extra costs.

For a more detailed comparison of the different permissions and access abilities for standard users and collaborators, check out this help doc.

In your site, you can easily tell who is a user and who is a collaborator from the color of the icon next to their name (green for standard users and purple for collaborators). You can also hover over this icon to see the user type.

User management in Teamwork Projects 2

How should I use different user types?

For your own team members and any other people who will need to use Teamwork Projects every day to create and manage their work — for example, by creating or updating tasks and task lists — you should add them as standard users. Some examples of people we would recommend adding as standard users:

  • Your immediate team or department
  • People from other departments in the company that may be stakeholders on your project
  • Managers or executives with significant interest in the project reports

If you need to give someone visibility of the project or work, but not necessarily take any action on it, you can add them as a collaborator.

For example, a lot of our customers will set up clients as collaborators so they can immediately interact with their project plan without getting access to what’s going on behind the scenes. You can also assign tasks for collaborators to complete, which is useful when you need a client to approve or review a piece of work.

Here are some examples of the kind of people you might want to add as collaborators:

  • Clients
  • External vendors
  • Contractors or freelancers

If, down the line, you realize that a collaborator needs more permissions than they currently have, you can easily upgrade them to a standard user.

How do I manage who can access what?

Customizing the permissions for users in Teamwork Projects is simple, whether you’re working with standard users or collaborators.

You can set these permissions when you’re adding a user in the first place, or you can edit them at a later date from the People section of your site by selecting the pencil icon on the far right of a user’s name.

User management in Teamwork Projects 4

You can also customize user permissions at the project level, depending on which features of the project or information you want them to be able to access.

User management in Teamwork Projects 5

While collaborators will have restricted options to choose from, you can still adjust the permissions they do have; just be aware that certain options will be unavailable, and these will appear as crossed out.

In the second part of this post, we’ll do a deep dive to collaborators and how they’re a fundamental part of working with Teamwork Projects.

In the meantime, leave any questions in the comments below or talk to your Customer Success Manager for more information.

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Katriona O’Mahony
Product marketing manager

6 Comments

Guido Speelziek

Hi, I think a link is missing for the detailed comparison in this section:

“For a more detailed comparison of the different permissions and access abilities for standard users and collaborators, check out this help doc.”

Reply
Michial Trayler

Hi,

I have two Users, now inactive, in a separate Company that I want to convert to Contacts without losing anything from the past. They will just have no access, or rights, but I want to keep the history.

I read through the help screens, but cannot find out how to do that.

Note: your WordPress system will not let me post, instead calling my post SPAM.

“ERROR: Your comment appears to be spam.

Please go back and check all parts of your comment submission (including name, email, website, and comment content).”

I am going to use my old company email address instead of my TW user email address and see if that gets past your filters.

I was on this page:

Hi,

I have two Users, now inactive, in a separate Company that I want to convert to Contacts without losing anything from the past. They will just have no access, or rights, but I want to keep the history.

I read through the help screens, but cannot find out how to do that.

Note: your WordPress system will not let me post, instead calling my post SPAM.

Reply
bb

You guys need a role below superadmin, just for keeping track of time. In some cases you want to have a set of prople who can see other people and their time but you do not want to have those users among project people.
Currently only way to do this is to add those people to the projects, manually (because you might not want them to access other projects) and change their permissions manually to include view others time.

Reply
Julie

Thanks for sharing that scenario for us to consider, since project membership is the main way to control access to data like time logs then it’s unlikely you would be able to share that with someone without adding them to the project. However, if you’d like to highlight that they aren’t actively participating in the project you could consider using the Observer functionality.

Reply

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