Discussion threads

Overview

Assignable and resolvable discussion threads are one of Constructor's unique features. They let your team collaborate more effectively by keeping important discussions where they belong – alongside the work. Discussion threads are prominently displayed on a ticket's page, so they can't be missed; assignable, so balls don't get dropped; and resolvable, so your tickets don't get cluttered.

Key concepts

In Constructor, discussion threads aren't streams of comments like a group chat. They're first-class objects with a built-in lightweight life cycle, enabling better collaboration in several ways:
  • Multiple independent conversations can occur on the ticket in parallel without them being confusingly interleaved as they would be in a group chat.
  • A thread can be assigned to a particular team member, so it's clear to them (and everyone else on the team) who is accountable for following up. Assigned threads are shown prominently on the board in the ticket's card, as well as in the assignee's "My work" view.
  • A thread can be resolved, which hides it from view by default to keep the ticket uncluttered while maintaining a permanent record of the conclusion.

Use cases

Discussion threads are designed to be lightweight and flexible and can model all sorts of day-to-day activities on your team. Below are a few examples.
These are just a few examples of how your team could use discussion threads. It's OK to experiment, find the practices that align with how your team likes to work, and evolve your practices over time.

Requests for help or clarification

Imagine a developer is working on a ticket and notices an ambiguity in the spec. They open a discussion thread on the ticket posing their question and assigning it to the PM. Once they sort out the answer, they can resolve the thread.

Sign-off processes

Imagine a team where a PM needs to approve new feature releases but not bug fixes, tech investments, or other changes. The team doesn't want to add a "PM Approval" stage to their board because many tickets wouldn't use it. Instead, the team adopts a norm where, just before release, they assign a thread to the PM requesting approval.

Follow-up reminders

Imagine a team has a meeting about a ticket and identifies a follow-up item. The person responsible for following up decides to open a thread on the ticket and assign it to themselves. That way, they won't forget about it, and the team can discuss it further if need be.

Step-by-step

Creating and replying to a thread

To create a thread, visit the ticket's page and click New comment toward the upper right corner, then type your initial comment and submit. To reply to an existing thread, click on the thread to open the reply box.
The comment editor is the same rich text editor used for ticket descriptions. It supports Markdown-style shortcuts, emoji, ticket references, and more.
Type @username in a comment to mention a teammate. They'll be notified that you mentioned them, but think of a mention as just an FYI. To track that they're accountable for following up, check the box to make them the thread assignee.

Assigning a thread

To assign a thread to teammate, click on the thread and check the Assign to checkbox, then pick the assignee's name from the dropdown and submit. The assignee will be notified that they're accountable for following up, and the thread will appear in their "My work" view.
If you want to assign a thread and don't see the teammate in the assignee dropdown, be sure to @mention them first. Only people who've previously participated in the discussion or have been @mentioned can be assigned.
A thread can have only one assignee at a time. That ensures it's unambiguous who is accountable for following up.

Viewing open threads

Open threads are displayed prominently on the ticket's page in the discussion panel on the right side.
In addition, when a ticket has one or more open threads that are assigned to a team member, a summary is depicted on the board on the ticket's card, making it easy to see when a ticket has a discussion that's awaiting follow-up.

Viewing resolved threads

To view resolved threads for a ticket, visit the ticket's page and toggle the Show resolved button in the discussion panel on the right.
The Show resolved button will only appear if there's at least one resolved thread.

Reopening a thread

To reopen a thread after it's been resolved, visit the ticket's page and toggle the Show resolved button. Posting a new comment on any resolved thread will reopen it. Alternatively, to reopen a thread without posting a comment, click Reopen.