Now that you’ve got the basics of user management down, let’s turn the spotlight on Collaborators: what they can and can’t do in Teamwork Projects and the best way to use them.

As you may remember from part 1, Collaborators are one of two license types in Teamwork Projects. However, collaborators do not take up a user seat within your Teamwork Projects subscription — that is, they are a free user. The Collaborator license type was designed for clients, partners and other people outside of your organization who require visibility into the project or are responsible for a limited scope of work. We introduced the Collaborator license type because we know the nature of working on projects requires different stakeholders to have access to, and visibility over, the project at different times. While you may need them to take certain actions to move the work forward, you may not necessarily need them to be a full-time user, because a) they are not a member of your team, or b) their input is only required sporadically. In this way, Collaborators allows you to give immediate visibility to stakeholders without revealing the inner workings of the project. This cuts down a huge amount of manual reporting to clients (a task that was taking Strencom over 34 hours a week). What’s more, the added level of transparency also fosters better working relationships with stakeholders.

For all the reasons we’ve just outlined above, collaborators have restricted permissions. It’s easier to remember what they can do in Teamwork Projects rather than what they can’t do. As with everything in Teamwork Projects, we’ve made it completely customizable, so you can still edit any individual collaborator’s permissions. You can also set default permissions for collaborators in your site’s general settings. It’s important to note, however, that this only applies to permissions at the project level. Collaborators can perform basic actions such as:

  • Be made a site or project administrator

  • Add new projects

  • Manage task templates

  • Manage people and companies

  • View or manage Portfolio

  • Be an observer on projects

At site level, they can only view the Home and Projects tabs, so a collaborator cannot perform any of the actions below:

  • Create new tasks, task lists, milestones, or links

  • Update milestones, task lists, tasks, notebooks, links

  • Log time

  • View the calendar

  • Set statuses

  • Access Billing

Collaborators cannot:

  • Completing tasks and milestones assigned to them

  • Viewing files

  • Editing files they upload

  • Adding and replying to messages

  • Adding comments

  • Setting privacy on project items

Regular user licenses are great for people within your organization or team, while Collaborator licenses are normally best for people outside of your organization.   If the person does any of the below then it’s best to make them a regular user:

  • Is the owner of a project

  • Creates or assigns work (i.e. will need to create tasks)

  • Adds context to work (i.e. needs to edit task descriptions)

  • Needs to log time

  • Runs reports or needs to view granular information

Collaborator licenses are better suited for:

  • Multiple contractors or freelancers working on different projects at different times

  • Users who don’t need to create work, but are working with you

  • Someone who only needs to approve work or leave feedback occasionally

  • Someone who just needs to read instructional information (i.e viewing a file or message)

Let us know how your team users Collaborators in the comments below. Any questions? Get in touch or contact your Customer Success Manager.