April 5, 2024

Sift Feature Update: Dotted Line Relationships

Just last week, we announced that Sift earned the Best Usability and Highest User Adoption badges in the 2024 G2 Spring Grid® Reports. Fresh off that exciting news, we are pleased to announce an update to show dotted line relationships on Sift’s Org Chart.

With this update, you can view indirect dotted-line reports on the org chart and see other relationships beyond direct reports. This feature is available to users of all Sift plans. If you are a Sift customer, you will need your administrator for Sift to enable this feature. Instructions on how to enable it can be found in the ‘Dotted Line Relationship Setting’ section of this help article.

What are dotted line relationships?

Dotted line relationships are working relationships within an organization that fall outside one's normal reporting structure. For example, if collaborating on a special project, the person overseeing that project who is outside your immediate team would represent a dotted line relationship.

Different types of dotted line relationships in Sift

At Sift we understand that professional relationships extend beyond traditional hierarchies and team structures. To accommodate the multifaceted nature of modern workflows, we've implemented a flexible dotted line relationship system with three distinct categories:

  • Dotted Line Managers - a dotted line relationship where you report to someone who isn't your direct manager.
  • Dotted Line Reports - a dotted line relationship where you manage someone who isn't your direct report.
  • Dotted Line Teammates - a dotted line relationship where you work cross-functionally with someone outside of your normal team.

How are dotted line relationships indicated on the Sift Org Chart?

Dotted line relationships are represented several ways on the org chart. The dotted line area in the bottom of the org chart card indicates what type of dotted line reports a team member has.

In this case with Ashley Weatherburn, you will notice an Up, Down and Sideways Arrow with numbers next to each.

  • Up arrow = Ashley’s dotted line manager, and we can see she only has one dotted line manager as indicated by the number one.
  • Down arrow = Dotted line team members that report into Ashley, which she has two.
  • Sideways arrow = Teammates Ashley has that she works with outside of her main team, which she has three.
Org chart card shows the type & number of dotted line reports

Exploring Dotted Line Relationships with Different Views

List View

The List View gives a quick glance at all of the different dotted line relationships someone has.

Diagram View

The Diagram View is a more visual view to see the different relationship structures of an individual team member. The dotted line reporting manager branches above the primary team member, while any dotted line reports are depicted below. Dotted line teammates are positioned to the right. You have the ability to hover over each individual to reveal a tooltip displaying their name, along with the option to click through to their profile for more information.

Creating dotted line relationships in Sift

You can create a dotted line relationship in a couple of ways, either from the Org Chart or a Sift Profile.

Adding from the Org Chart is as easy as clicking on the “Add/Edit” button inside the Org Chart Toolbar or clicking on the dotted line area in the bottom of a person's card.

How to add a Dotted Line Teammate from the Sift Org Chart [Video]

You may also add these relationships from the Sift Profile by clicking on the “Edit” pencil icon next to the type of relationship you want to add.

How to add a Dotted Line Teammate from a Sift Profile [Video]

We hope you explore this new feature from Sift and that it brings better organizational transparency and collaboration. Be on the lookout for other product updates in the future and stay up-to-date by subscribing to The Forge Newsletter.