Linking multiple boards

I’ve been stuck with monday.com for a couple of hours now. I apologize for re-stating a question that probably came up a couple of times. I read most of the threads that touched on the subject, but I’m still confused. I hope I can get closure on the topic this way.

The Usecase

My company uses objectives for goal setting and alignment.

My teams and employees need a place to track their work. We are a small company with lots of 1-2 person “teams” so a lot of tracking is happening on personal boards.

Some of that work relates to specific company goals. I need a place where done work aggregates to goal completion.

This seems like the most basic thing, yet I’m entirely stuck. During my research I come across Dashboards (not good) and complex custom integrations from users. I must be missing something.

Example:

I setup a top Level board, with items refering to quartely goals:

Board: Top Level
Group: Q1 - Do the thing!
Item 1: Launch Gizmo | Status

Then I have my personal board which I need to get through the day, plan out my week and communicate to others what I’m currently working on:

Board: Chris
Group: My Backlog
Item 1: Do the dishes | Status
Item 2: Schedule call with Pete | Status
Item 3: Draft Gizmo release post | Status

Item 3 relates to the company goal “Launch Gizmo”. When I change the status to DONE, I need that to be reflected on top level board.

It’s easy to implement this. Just link the top level board to the Chris Board, add a mirrored status column and select the item(s) that relate to the goal. Pretty simple.

My issue

I’ve got more than one employee. There are many more people who want to utilize a board like mine. It seems like I have to add 2 columns per board from which I need to pull information, leaving my top level board in a giant mess. Please tell me I’m missing something here.

1 Like

@ChrisSchenk

Welcome to the Monday community!

Are you currently utilizing Subitems on your Top Level Board? If not, could you utilize automatic creation of Subitems, 1 per person who is associated with a particular Item on your Top Level Board?

Then the links and mirrors statuses would be localized to each Items Subitems. Not sure if this would work for you, or if I’m interpreting your issue correctly, but using your example:

Top Board: Top Level
Group: Q1 - Do the thing!
Item 1: Launch Gizmo | Status

|
V

Personal Board 1: Chris
Group: My Backlog
Item 1: Do the dishes | Status
Item 2: Schedule call with Pete | Status
Item 3: Draft Gizmo release post | Status

&

Personal Board 2: John
Group: My Backlog
Item 1: Do the dishes | Status
Item 2: Schedule call with Pete | Status
Item 3: Gizmo 3D Rendering| Status

So if set up correctly, both your Item 3 status and any other personal boards who have Gizmo related items, can link up the Top Level boards Subitems.

Hope this makes sense, and helps!

1 Like

@andrewalmand

Thanks for the reply. This seems like a workable solution. Could you give me a pointer on how to implement it?

@ChrisSchenk

Certainly! A couple of questions first:

  1. Are the people and/or roles assigned for your items on the Top Level board static? Or is it different per item? If so, how different?
  2. How automated does this need to be?
    Fully = May require some integration
    Mostly = Can probably stay within native Monday features but might require checking out the Monday App marketplace.
    Minimal = Only native Monday features, will require the most in regards to manual work from you and your employees.

I’ll try to answer that as good as I can:

1: “Launch Gizmo” should have an assigned person to reflect overall project accountability. If the question is “Are there more projects on the top level below Q1 with different assignees” my answer would be…probably? Maybe? Honestly, I’m not sure yet. It depends on the scope that top level board ends up having.

2: Whatever we are trying to do here (I have not quite grasped yet what it is) it needs to be reasonably easy. As in a couple of clicks. Linking the individual items from the top level to their constituents needs a couple of clicks as well. That is fine.

If I understand you correctly: You can have an item live on a personal board that is also a sub-task on a different board with a synced status. Correct?

Chris,

My apologies, as I was testing this myself, I realized a big limitation. You can add multiple items to one Connected Board column, but you can’t have multiple links in 1 column. This goes back to the issue you mentioned of your board being a mess, essentially needing a Mirror + Connected Boards per user. Even though in this layout, it would be contained in your subitems so “cleaner” but still messy.

2 Workaround Ideas:

  1. Have everyone work in the same “personal” board and separate yourselves by Groups. You can also utilize Views, naming a view per person and they only see the group(s) they want/need to.
  2. Only have the item go the Top Level sub-items once it’s marked complete. Sending items from multiple personal boards and have them become SubItems of a particular item is doable, but not necessarily what you were looking for. This option has no live status feature either.

Sorry if I got your hopes up on this. You may want to look at VLOOKUP in the App marketplace, they may be able to accomplish this. @Nir-Jetpack

@ChrisSchenk I’m not completely sure but maybe Bas de Bruin’s @basdebruin “RMB” - Rollup Multiple Boards is an app for your application. Ask him about it. He won’t try to sell you something that will not work for you. Unlike Vlookup $34/month RMB is a one time payment.

Andrew, Jon,

thanks for your input. I really appreciate the help.

I understand that complex solutions might require additional apps / custom integrations. But I’m not willing to go that far for such a basic feature.

We’ve got different people and teams working towards shared goals. That is not an outlandish setup.

I realize we could represent this organisation by changing up on how we represent and aggregate data. You could have project boards for example. But then my individual work items are scattered all over the place and the “my week” feature is not a good solution for this.

Also, when the app is forcing me into one specific way of setting up a representation, I might as well roll with one of the many other work and project managent tools out there, which are either cheaper or far more sophisticated.

As a side tangent, we looked at the current GitLab integration. It’s kind of a joke. It extracts like 5 fields (with ‘ASIGNEE’ being omitted) which makes it entirey unworkable.

That aside, the whole draw of monday.com was that it’s a toolbox that can represent your way of doing things and adapt to anything. I really like where they are going, but at this early stage it’s not for me or my company.

@ChrisSchenk Hi Chris. If there is a problem with Monday it’s the same as many apps out there. You need to spend time to get to know what they can do and how to apply it to your situation. Monday is also a BIG work in progress, far from perfect but I feel the devs are working hard to improve the useability. That being said, another part of our company have been struggling for more than a year with the implementation of Navision for purchasing, stock control and sales. I personally think that our department (Production) is going to get a much better and flexible tool, at a far lesser cost and something that is user friendly, but of course we are going to need to put some time and work into it. As the Monday community gets bigger and others users are willing to put their boards up for review and sharing, this is going to really leverage the possibilities. If I was you I’d keep my Monday options open and maybe start slowly if you want to do it all by yourself. On the other hand, hiring someone in for several days a month is probably a much better option to get you on the right track fast.

This is actually a big limitation, and why our company using a different app for OKR tracking. Our team work around in Monday is:

Top board - OKRs:
Group: OKRs Q1 2020
Columns:
OKR, Owner, Contributors, Link+Status column for each contributor (team member).

The link column links to individual board (e.g. Yehudit) where I have my personal items to do. I can chose to link as many as I want to the top board. The top level status would be sum of statuses of my linked item. Every group member does that linking to top board, for items on their personal board.
The limitation - you can’t link in the same column to multiple boards, so every team member has a link column and a status column. That works fine for up to 4-5 people in a team. Larger than that you end up with way too many columns (people don’t like scrolling sideways!).
Another limitation is that you can’t visualize at the top level what are all the items linked to that OKR - regardless of board. It would be extremely helpful if you could make a top down tree of all the things connected to a particular item, through multiple boards. Because of these limitations, at the company level for OKRs they use a different app (15five). We as a team are small enough and like Monday for daily work, so we juggle the two.

I was attempting to follow this help item in Monday regarding the linking of low-level board items to high-level board items. Looking at this screenshot, it appears you can have one Link column for multiple projects. I don’t think that works per your comment @yehudithasin. So essentially, it sounds like you swapped the rows (ie Project 1 and Project 2) with the columns as a work-around is that correct? The support email I got also said that I could “invert the way your mirros are set up, so it mirrors from the high to the low-level board”. Not sure what she means. Thoughts? Thanks! Julie

@PedroM Pedro Malaga has created an interesting combination of Monday boards which you can download from his website:
https://yourvirtualprojectmanager.com/the-master-board/

2 Likes

Hi Julie
No I did not swap rows and columns - I just extended that template to every member of the team. We have 5 link columns, and 5 mirror columns - one per each member. Each member is responsible to update their link column with the items from their personal board. Mirror column is for status. So here you can see that YH has two items relating to the project, and one is complete and one is not. Projects are rows, people are columns.


Ideally what we would like is to be able to click and have a map/tree of all items related to the project, through multiple boards/levels.
A bit like a mind map view:

If there was something like that, we would have a company level board, then department level board, then personal level boards - and would not need 15five. Our CEO could then ideally go to top level board, and drill down in one click what are the goals being set through the levels. Think of project as the middle, then branch into dept/individual…

Thank you! I’ll check them out!
-Julie

That is great! I was thinking/hoping that I could have one board with each project as a line item (similar to the mind map you’ve outlined). I see now that the columns aren’t going to relate directly across to specific rows. Already spent a ton of time trying to figure out how to do that. Appreciate your example!
-Julie

Glad to help. We basically figured out that you can organize board linking either by person, or by project - and our team works by person - no one wants to go to multiple board to keep updating their progress. So I designed it around this concept. Mindmap is unfortunately something Monday does NOT have. It is something I wish they made (sigh) :smiley:
Yehudit

hi @JFrazier , @yehudithasin
From what I understand from your uses case it looks like the Rollup Multiple Boards app is a perfect fit. From a level N board you create any number of level N-1 boards (e.g. project) from monday templates and the level N board will basically show you the column summaries of all level N-1 boards in a single item. It “Rolls Up” multiple boards, one-to-many. Each item represents one level N-1 board OR another board (call it master board) that has level N-2 boards underneath. Moere info to be found here 20|Rollup Multiple Boards | Excellent Team

With the extension Filter Multiple Boards you can apply filters so the information shown in the level N board only aggregates data that matches the criteria in the level N-1 boards.

Hi Bas
Thanks for suggestion. What we need is not just a way to create multiple boards hierarchically connected (I could do that, the template I suggest is more or less infinitely extendable). We need an app that would make the visual map presentation of the connected boards. Does Rollup do that?
Best
Yehudit

Do you know about the MindMap view? Maybe you can do something with that.

@JPinBe
Is there a mindmap view in Monday? Mindmap is a different app, which I used here as example of what I would like to be able to do. But it is not in any way connected to Monday (I wish it was a view…). :slight_smile: