Glossary: understanding Crystal's terms

Crystal is a tool dedicated to distributed and transparent teams who want to work better together. We use some specific terms in the app, therefore we wrote a little glossary to make sure they’re all very clear to you!

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A team on Crystal is regularly called an organization. It can represent a whole company / organization of a specific team part of a bigger one. According to the choices you make you can either have a single map for your organization or navigate between smaller teams.


Important activity for the organization conducted by one or several team members. The granularity of the Ownerships can vary according to you team needs, as you could choose to map very detailed Ownerships within a bigger one to make sure it’s well distributed (ex. “Newsletter”, “Social networks”, “Information Seminars” being 3 Ownerships contributing to a parent Ownership “Internal Communication”).


The map is the representation of your organization. Crystal allows you to visualise it in different ways. 


The Owner is the person responsible for driving forward the Ownership. As such, he is the one who defines the vision of the Ownership (mission, scope), the priorities (roadmap) and he helps Contributors to work efficiently on the ownership. As Owner of the ownership, he is held responsible for updating the documentation and vision. There can only be one Owner per Ownership as there is only “1 driver in a car”!


A Contributor is someone who supports the Ownership by taking some responsibilities to move it forward under the Owner responsibility. 


A member is someone belonging to your team. According to your organization and his skills, he can lead Ownerships or simply be a Contributor. 


All the files, documents, tools, information highly relevant to understand and work on an ownership. They must be accessible via an URL and explicitly named to make it very easy to find them.


Every Ownership should be clearly defined in order to make it crystal clear for everyone what it's about, what is part of the scope, etc. You can model your definition to fit to your needs and culture but we recommend you define at least the vision (the Why) and the scope of the ownership. 


In Crystal, an event is an action realised by any member and can have an interest for the whole team. For instance: adding a new resource to your ownership, identifying a new owner, etc. 


Crystal checkup is a feature that helps you know if your Ownership is well organized. The analysis is based on 6 criteria :

  • An Owner must be identified 
  • Contributors must be identified
  • No more than 8 Contributors (#pizza teams) otherwise the coordination cost is too high
  • The Ownership description must be filled in 
  • At least 1 resource is documented
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