Company operations

How Mattermost, Inc. operates as a company, and how we communicate externally and internally. Some of this information may be company confidential and may not be viewable.

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How Mattermost uses Mattermost


Think of Channels like rooms in a building. Public channels are open rooms that people can enter and leave freely. Private channels are like private rooms that are invitation-only. Direct Messages are like popping your head into someone's private office to have a conversation. Group Direct Messages are like popping your head in to a shared office to have a discussion.

All channels can be used to communicated, some are better at specific use cases than others:

Public channels

Find public channels from + > Browse Channels and join and leave based on your topics of interest. Use public channels for "open door" discussions of information relevant to everyone in the channel, for example News and Buzz is a channel to share updates on Mattermost being mentioned on social media and in press.

Private channels

Use private channels to collaborate on work that would benefit from privacy, and not appropriate for an "open door" discussion. For example, planning manager training, organizing our next MatterCon conference, procurement processes where financial data could be shared, launch planning activities (which can be fast changing and confusing if shared ahead of launch).

Direct messages

Use direct messages (or "DMs") to send quick notes to someone to get their attention, like "Running late" or "Can you comment on this ticket? [Link]". Avoid using DMs for collaborative work, as it's difficult to share context from a DM discussion with others--use Boards or group channels instead.

Group direct messages

Use group direct messages (or "GDMs") very sparingly, and ideally to send only ephemeral notes to a group like "Running late" or "Please get your forecasts in by end-of-day. [Link]". Once a GDM is sent, it can be difficult for some users to find the channel again, so it's best if it's not a store of data.


Think of Boards like a project board on a giant wall, with "Tickets" that can contain all sorts of rich information. You can use Boards to managing any project--goals, tasks, interview candidates, SWAG projects--and organize things based on custom properties, like categories, status, dates, numbers and people. Here's some examples:

  • FY23 Goals - For MLT and MLX, we use Boards to run our FY23 Goals process in Boards to align the company and operations around our vision for the year.


Think of "Playbooks" as a set of binder on a shelf with plans and procedures for different incidents and processes. Based on the type of incident or process, the context (e.g. time of day) Playbooks will include steps to follow, people to notify and automation to kick-off to rapidly flow through, resolve, and learn from different "Runs" of a Playbook. Examples include:


Think of email like a physical piece of mail you'd want to send to individuals and groups, who might forward the message to others, or reply to the original group. Examples include:

  • Cascading Content - If you're making an announcement across management layers and you want to give each layer and opportunity to add context to the message or choose the people to whom it's forwarded and decide on timing, then email is the best choice. For example, if you're announcing a "company day off" you want to give different managers an opportunity to customize the message as it flows through to their teams, some managers who have on-call staff might have to make accomodations (on-call people need to work, but they can choose a different day off) while another manager who's team has been working on a massive project might want to give an extra day off for their teams, etc.

  • Approvals - Written approvals that need to be circulated and archived are an excellent fit for email. Offer letter approvals are a good example, which need to flow through different HR and manager approval chains and ultimately archived in our HR systems.

  • One new topic - If you have a new topic to discuss in a small group and there's not a good public or private channel, email is an ideal way to start. Choose email over DMs and GDMs if it's an on-going conversation - but choose DMs and GDMs for urgent and ephemeral topics, e.g., "Can you approve this thing?" / "The meeting invite link is broken!", etc.


Documentation is like the policy manual for a company. As much as possible, document things publicly.

  • Product Documentation - - Make product documentation as public as possible.

  • Operating Documentation - - Document our internal processes and operations.

  • - - Document our customer-facing information.

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