Circles & Projects Tools

4 min. readlast update: 04.17.2024


A 'circle' in our context is essentially a sub-team within your organization. Depending on your company's structure, this could be referred to as a department, group, division, task force, or simply a team. If your overarching team represents the entire company, then the circles would be your various departments, like marketing, product development, finance, etc. Conversely, if your main team is a specific department like marketing, the circles could be more focused groups like social media, PR, and internal communications. In the teamdecoder framework, any group where people collaborate is considered a circle. It's perfectly normal for circles to vary in perceived importance or scope; they all play their unique roles in the organization.


Projects are akin to 'sub-sub-teams' within the framework of teamdecoder. Consider your team as the overarching entity you see on the teamdecoder dashboard. Within this team are various groups, referred to as 'circles'. Within these circles, there can be smaller, more focused groups, which are identified as projects. For example, within the 'Strategy Circle', you might find a project labeled 'Strategy Development 2030'. Similarly, the 'Tech Circle' could encompass sub-circles such as 'Programming', 'Support', and 'Learning', each functioning as distinct projects.

The tools for both circles and projects are identical, here we chose to show an example for a circle. In the framework the only difference is, that a project can be assigned to ONE circle only, wheras a circle can have many projects assigned.


This is the circles tool, that you see when you click on any circle or add a new circle at the end of the circles list:



  • At the top left we start with the name. Click on it to edit. Our example circle is called "Regional Strategy".


  • Below is the purpose: WHY does this circle exist? The purpose of this circle is to drive sales across all regions.


  • And in order to achieve this, the team has given this circle a few precise tasks. 
  • These tasks lists usually start very short and the get longer after every campfire team meeting.


  • What are KPIs or OKRs or similar, measurable goals?
  • Rate them with the 5 stars system and update the rating regularly (e.g. in 1-on-1s between role owner and team leader)


  • The next block is "meetings". Here the circle can plan how often they should meet. This is important for the team members' individual time planning. Sometimes people find themselves in up to 10 circles and need to know, which circle meets every day and which one only once a year. This example circle has 2 meetings planned so far. One weekly and one for longterm thinking every 3 months. 
  • You create meetings by giving it a name, a purpose, a recurrance and a duration. Click on "+" to save. 
  • You can always edit meetings by clicking on the pen icon


  • On the top right you can pick the circle LEAD. 
  • Lead can be a person, a single owner skill or a single owner role.


  • The circle lead can have a stand-in to jump in when the lead is absent for sick leave or vacation or on a business trip.

Lead To-Dos

  • And the the circle can decide (together ideally) what they expect their lead to do. 
  • Some companies use circles to build departments where the lead would be the superior for its members. 
  • Others use lateral leadership methods.


  • Everything else that needs to be done so that this circle can fulfill its purpose, can be defined in the ADMIN section. 
  • Here you can enter free text for any task, and the pick a circle member to agree who is repsonsible to do this. 


  • Tags are free text that can be used as filter in the lists view.


You save all data by clicking on the green tick at the bottom right, You can also close the tool and save all changes by clicking anywhere outside the tool or by clicjing on the previous/next arrows on the top right.

If you wish NOT to save your changed, you have to click on the red X on the bottom right. The tool will close and your changes will NOT be saved!

Screenshot design: V4, early 2024



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