How our product managers use ClickUp

From the inception of ClickUp, our team committed to releasing new features and fixes every week. Within two years, this pace allowed us to reach feature parity with some of the largest project management software companies on the market, and we did it all using ClickUp.

Use our Sprint Dashboard view template to automatically set up a view for sprint planning and management. 

Use ClickUp for Sprints

A sprint is a time-boxed scope of work that your team commits to. To keep up with our weekly releases and maintain effective feedback loops with stakeholders, our team works in one-week sprints. By using ClickUp Sprints, our team can estimate what will be released each week.

We believe Sprints in ClickUp work best when you have the Sprints ClickApp enabled alongside the Tasks in Multiple Lists ClickApp.

Use the Sprints ClickApp

When using Sprints, we suggest:

  • Use Tasks in Multiple Lists to add tasks to Sprint Lists while keeping them in their original location as well.
  • Use custom task statuses to quickly understand what your team is working on and how far along they are.
  • On the Business Plan and above, you can use Sprint Automations to have ClickUp create Sprints and handle spillover tasks for you. This is how our team manages unfinished tasks at the end of a sprint.
  • On the Business Plan and above, you can track sprint progress using Sprint Dashboard cards.

Use sprints without the ClickApp

You can still manage sprints effectively in ClickUp without using the ClickApp. We still recommend using Tasks In Multiple Lists when using sprints without the Sprints ClickApp.

Below is a glimpse of what your ClickUp Hierarchy might look like.

Screenshot of a ClickUp Hierarchy using Sprints without the Sprints ClickApp.

In addition to a Features Folder, we recommend creating individual Folders for each product manager to keep track of their tasks. The Tasks in Multiple Lists ClickApp allows you to add tasks from your Feature Lists to Sprint Lists.

We suggest creating a task to represent each release and add Relationships to any related design and engineering tasks. You could also make the release task dependent on other required tasks. Our team uses release tasks to store the product brief, which includes all the release's requirements and designs. This task is the central place to find all information about the release.

At ClickUp, developers manage bugs. Our Bug Lists live in a Development Space inside our QA Folder. Developers add tasks to these Lists when we they do bug sprints and weekly hotfixes.

Agile ceremonies and processes in ClickUp

Communication is key when releasing every week, so our Product team has daily sprint ceremonies. We use recurring tasks in Calendar view to keep track of these meetings.

Screenshot of a Calendar view showing reurring meetings.

Workspaces on paid plans can show future recurring tasks in Calendar view.

Use Dashboards for daily stand-ups

We use daily stand-ups to address urgent bugs before going into standard updates. We use a Dashboard and a prioritized List view of tasks to help guide discussion in our stand-ups. Each product manager reviews the Dashboard and List before the meeting to get an understanding of which tasks need follow-up. After each developer has given a basic status update and brought up any blockers, we have time for the Product team to ask questions or for smaller teams to have short breakout sessions.

This is what our daily stand-up Dashboard looks like:

Screenshot of a daily standup Dashboard.

Custom Fields

We've created several Custom Fields that are essential to our weekly release plan and Dashboard:

  • Target release group: This field indicates when we expect a feature to be released. This target date is treated as a commitment the Product team is making. The date can get pushed back if the target is missed, but we retain a record of it in the task activity.
  • Backend target release: This field indicates when the backend needs to be complete in order hit our intended release date.
  • Risk: This field indicates our confidence in an on-time release. You could use values such as very likely, likely, at risk, and high risk.

Our Dashboard is also used for our afternoon sync with the Quality Assurance team. We continuously update the Risk Dropdown Custom Field so everyone is aligned. Once we know something is at risk, we inform all stakeholders so they can pivot if necessary.

Collaborate with engineers using comments

Use task comments to follow up on conversations and keep track of decisions. You can move important information from comments to your task description by clicking the ellipsis ... in the upper-right corner of the comment and selecting Add to description. This is how our Engineering team stays aligned.

When our Quality Assurance team starts testing, they leave assigned comments with banners to help distinguish critical blocking issues from less substantial issues.

Incomplete assigned comments appear in the To Do section of your task.

Our Quality Assurance team puts assigned comments into a Text Block cards so that they're visible to everyone on the Dashboard.

Our team uses threaded comments to have multiple in-depth conversations inside single tasks. Once a decision is made, we either add it to the task description or assign a comment as an action item for someone to finish.

Plan sprints and manage releases

In addition to the Custom Fields and tags we use to plan sprints and manage releases, we maintain an extensive backlog List of simple usability improvements. During weeks that we aren't releasing a large feature, we try to release several usability improvements instead.

Collaborate with the Product team

We have a daily Product team meeting to cover the following topics:

  • Product brief review
  • Design review
  • Demos
  • Process improvement discussions
  • Prioritizing feedback from clients
  • Addressing blockers and general questions

Action items are covered live during the meeting, and then we create follow-up tasks in ClickUp so we don't lose track of what is discussed. We host these meetings daily to create a quick, positive feedback loop with clients and stakeholders.

As our Product team has grown, we've implemented some additional processes to standardize our release approach and save time:

  • Clips: Clips record complex feedback to avoid misunderstandings that often come with written feedback. Clips also facilitate remote work, allowing teammates to revisit meetings if they weren't able to attend live.
  • Product brief template: Using the product brief template ensures all product managers are being thoughtful about the tasks they create and are providing the Design, Development, and Quality Assurance teams with clear acceptance criteria. This template includes a checklist to help product managers stick to the established process.
  • Asynchronous peer review: To reduce time spent in meetings, we started doing peer reviews to leverage the comments feature on tasks for feedback. After one basic round of peer review, our tasks enter into an in-depth product review with the broader team, including Zeb, ClickUp's co-founder and CEO.

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