Feedback on Learning About Structures
I'm a product manager and have a technical background, but pretty much had to figure out how structures work using trial and error. I gave up the first few times I tried to build one because I just didn't get what was going on.
It wasn't until I had a need to look at data across teams in a specific way, that without a structure, would have resulted in a ton of duplicated effort in Excel, that I forced myself to figure out how they work. At that point, I also discovered the formula columns and found that documentation to be very helpful, but the general documentation on creating/setting up structures did not help me get started easily.
A few things I still don't understand and just have to resolve through trial and error are: how does the order of automations impact other automations, why does it seem like sometimes I can move certain things ahead of each other but not others, and what does "consider other groups do". I spent a huge amount of time figuring out the right way to get rid of duplicates and in the end realized we needed two structures to make this work.
At this point I consider myself definitely beyond basic usage: I have a structure that spans multiple teams, has multiple levels of groupings, it uses many custom formulas, and it creates a hierarchy that aggregates all the work our engineering teams are doing up to a top-level business plan. But, there are still a lot of things I kind of just have to guess on because it's not really clear what they will do.
Thank for the request!
Todd Levinson commented
I found the documentation which answers my questions about grouping, but I've been thinking a bit about why I never found the help or tried to look for it and just kept progressing through trial and error.
At the same time, once I discovered you could create column formulas, I read the documentation and familiarized myself a bit before I started working on it and the experience was better and smoother.
I think, because the automations are a GUI, I had a higher expectation of usability/transparency into how they work. My expectation was that I could figure out how to use them without needing to go to the documentation. Maybe this is an error on my part.
Still, I think the UI for creating automations doesn't provide enough feedback and transparency into how each automation effects the output or previous or subsequent automations.
To be clear, I really like structures, and now that I understand how to use them, they have saved me tons of time and duplicated effort. It just seems like it should have been easier to get up to speed.
AdminJulia (Product Owner, ALM Works) commented
Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it! We are working on onboarding features right now, but please note that we have an incredible support team, who will be happy to help! Do not hesitate to ask them: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALM Works team.