Anton Iokov
Anton Iokov
🤹‍, Fibery
Product Updates

Group permissions that blend into collaboration software

Lately, larger and larger companies started to adopt Fibery, so managing access in batches has become a pressing issue. A nice problem to have, indeed.

Check out Fibery 101 in 8 minutes by our founder.

Naturally, our first idea was to implement permission groups for the 1024th time in the history of software. Then we remembered that Fibery has an unfair advantage over most of the SaaS software — its flexible data model. So instead of introducing standalone “permission groups” we hijacked an existing functionality — just like we did with integrations.

Traditional approach

Access management is not the sexiest feature in any collaborative tool. Product managers and designers don’t fight for the right to design it — but somebody has to do it. So this poor person simply adds a new screen in the outskirts of the product, not worrying how it fits in the grand schema of things.

Permission groups in Jira
Permission groups in Jira

To be fair, it’s usually not much integration that can be done between permissions and the rest of the app in traditional tools.

Notion vs. Fibery comparison by a totally unbiased Fibery team.

However, even in modern no-code tools like Notion users and groups are not first-class-citizen databases — but rather a standalone functionality.

Permissions groups in Notion
Permissions groups in Notion

We took a different approach and here is why.

Modeling an organization

Unusually long and nerdy explanation of why you should have hierarchies, not a hierarchy.

Every comprehensive work management tool serves as a model of an organization. Most of the collaboration software focus on modeling work hierarchies: tasks sliced by projects or features organized in epics. Unlike others, Fibery also cares about people (ha-ha, no full stop here) organization: employees grouped by teams and roles.

Fibery model of a product company, created with no code.
Fibery model of a product company, created with no code.

Having users, teams, and roles as first-class citizens in our data model, unlocks a powerful scenario:

Distribute features across teams and build CFD/Burndown charts.
Distribute features across teams and build CFD/Burndown charts.

Or two:

On the marketing task board, limit swimlanes to relevant people only.
On the marketing task board, limit swimlanes to relevant people only.

Or three:

Organize employees by departments and roles in the company directory.
Organize employees by departments and roles in the company directory.

To be honest, there are plenty of scenarios — most invented by our customers, not ourselves. Now we are adding another one — managing access.

Hijacking existing groups

Tribes, teams, squads, roles, and all other kinds of people groups are already represented in Fibery workspaces. So instead of adding standalone “permission groups”, we give existing groups the power to manage access.

Any Type (~database in Fibery) having a collection of users can be used as a permission group:

Group permissions implemented with a single toggle.
Group permissions implemented with a single toggle.

Each user can be a part of multiple teams and serve multiple roles in the company:

Teams and Roles serve as permission groups.
Teams and Roles serve as permission groups.

Each Fibery App (~company area) like Product Management or CRM is shared either with specific people or entire groups (or both):

Teams, roles, and users have access to Product Management App.
Teams, roles, and users have access to Product Management App.

Note that you are free to mix teams and roles, tribes and squads here. This will come extra-handy once we have granular access to specific projects and tasks, not just entire Apps.

If you own a Fibery workspace with 20+ people, configure the groups and let us know how it goes.

More power to the groups

While traditional permission groups continue to be single-purpose, we expect Fibery Groups to gain even more power:

These are the things that our mediocre team has come up with. Our amazing customers will certainly come up with crazier and more inventive group superpowers. Can’t wait!

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