Get Started with the Basics

This article defines the core features of Shortcut and how they fit together to create a project management tool that helps software teams plan, collaborate, build, and measure success.

How it fits together

It's important to understand the big picture. Use this diagram as a guide to visualize how each feature outlined below fits together to create a powerful tool that increases efficiency and keeps you organized.


The Shortcut basics

Now that we see the big picture lets zoom in on the details. Expand each section for an overview of the feature. Once you have reviewed the features head over to Shortcut and give them a try. Not sure where to start? First, create a Story. Next, think about what the corresponding Epics and Objective should be and create those too. You get the idea!

A Story represents an individual piece of work to be completed in a Workflow, which can be broken down with subtasks.

Stories are the foundation of your work in Shortcut. Create Stories for each Feature, Bug, and Chore. You can even use and create your own templates to create Stories even easier. Stories are displayed kanban-style and are organized by Workflow State. Customize your view on the left hand side of the Stories page.

Learn more: Contents of a Story, Details of a Story

An Epic is a collection of Stories representing a larger body of work or feature.

Epics contain Stories from different Teams and Workflows and are a great way for cross-functional teams to collaborate. For example: a new feature might involve people from product, design, engineering, and marketing all coordinating and collaborating together. Each user creates their own Stories (individual pieces of work) that roll up into one Epic (larger body of work). From the Epic page, filter and adjust your view so that you see the Epics most relevant to you.

Learn more: Working with an Epic

Objectives help track tactical, release-oriented work using Epics or goals and strategic outcomes using Key Results on Strategic Objectives.


Learn more: Objectives in Shortcut

A Team represents a cross-functional squad, or any other group of users who collectively own Stories, Epics, and Iterations. The Teams feature provides the customizable structure needed to organize users.

Learn more: Teams in Shortcut, Teams <> Workflows

A Workflow is a set of States customized by your organization as the process through which Stories and Epics move from creation to completion.

Workflow States allow you to track progress toward work completion with the help of kanban boards. A Workflow can be customized specifically to fit each Team’s process. There is a many-to-many relationship between Teams and Workflows, so a Team can belong to several Workflows and vice-versa.

Learn more: Managing Your Workflow States

An Iteration is a time-boxed period of development for a collection of Stories that can span multiple Epics and Workflows, and can be used to track sprint cycles.

Learn more: The Iteration detail page

A Roadmap is a timeline with adjustable dates to help visualize and track the progress of Objectives and Epics.

A Roadmap is an easy way to communicate with your team and leadership on what work has been planned and what work is in progress. This zoomed-out view makes it easier to provide and share updates when things change, identify bottlenecks, and celebrate successes.

Learn more: Roadmap


Want to see Shortcut in action? Watch this brief video!


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