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Best Practices for Planning Work

Learn how to effectively plan work in Shortcut

  1. Create a PRD
  2. Scaffold the work

Step 1 - Create a PRD

Learn best practices for creating a Product Requirement Doc (PRD).


This is part of a series on planning in Shortcut. The PRD or definition stage of planning is the stage when the team knows what they want to build and it’s time to document the work and pull in the right people.

A well-executed Product Requirement Doc (PRD) is key to a successful planning process. Using Docs in Shortcut for your PRD ensures your work and documentation are all in one place. Because your work and Docs are linked it’s much harder for the PRD to become stale, solving of common complaint of how time-consuming it can be to maintain PRDs. Now you can see the status of the Epic and Stories and they are automatically updated.

There is a PRD template in Shortcut (see below) which makes it really easy to get started. Simply click on the template and start editing. A lot of the tips below are built into the template so it can be a great jumping-off point as you evolve how you do PRDs in Shortcut.

Tips for creating effective PRDs

Add or Link Notes

Before you complete the PRD there is often an initial discussion with the stakeholders to talk about the problem, what we think the solution will look like, and to get alignment. The notes from this meeting or meetings can be taken directly on the PRD itself or in a separate Doc that is linked in the PRD, either way, it ensures the context to what you will be working on lives in one place. If you take notes directly on the PRD just put it at the bottom of the Doc below a horizontal line. 

Create an overview

Use a table to create an overview. This makes it easy for anyone reading the Doc to know who the key stakeholders are and what Epics and Milestones the work is a part of. Mention the names of your stakeholders using @ and use the / to search and add in work such as Epics and Milestones.

Create and link your work from the Doc

Create and link existing Stories, Epics, Milestones, and Iterations in the Doc. This makes it really easy to hover to see the status and click in to view additional details. Use the / search and link work. Highlight any text and then Create to create a Story, Epic, or more. This allows you to view at a glance, hover for more details, and even open the Story to make adjustments or gain content without ever leaving the Doc.

Collaborate on the Doc

Docs are designed for collaboration. The Doc will automatically be shared with your org making it easy to bring the right people in. @mention and the user will get a notification so they know what needs their attention. Of course, you can simultaneously edit the Doc so that during a meeting or async you can all be adding notes and comments. Comments are also a great way to collaborate on the Doc. 

Pull in Figma files

The Figma integration makes it easy to link and view your designs. Just paste in a Figma link, no setup required!

Add an alignment check

The alignment check is an easy way to make it clear the status of the PRD- Pending, Blocked, Aligned. You can also highlight to make the status more obvious with a color.

Doc Relationship Pane 

To stay on top of all related work and Doc open the Doc Relationships, where you can easily, view, add, and open related work.

Share using the Observer Role

For sharing Docs with teammates outside of the Shortcut users you can use the Observer role (paid plans only). Which is a free seat that allows the user to view Shortcut, including Docs, but not edit. This can be great for sharing with Product Marketing, Enablement, or other people that don’t need to work in Shortcut but do need to view the PRD or other Docs.

How to keep your PRDs Organized

There are a few key ways to keep track of your PRDs. The first and most effective is to link them to the related Epics. If you are looking at an Epic and the work happening on a feature, this ensures the Doc is where you want it when you want it.

Next is to use Collections. You can add Docs to Collections and keep all your PRDs in one place or can create collections for large projects or features. For your own personal organization, you can Favorite the Doc so it shows up on your shortlist of favorites, and you are notified of any comments. Pinning the PRD can also be helpful when you are in the process of completing it or you are at a stage in planning where you are referencing it regularly. 

Now that the PRD is completed, keep reading to learn about how to scaffold the work.