Wrike Makes Marketing Project Management 3 Times Faster
Non-profit marine training
Organization. UKSA is a registered charity that is committed to changing the lives of everyone it works with through its maritime training and experiences.
Challenge. Organize marketing project management and save time on management's daily routine work.
Solution. Used Wrike to speed up collective work in the team of 12 and manage marketing projects more effectively.
Result. The manager has control and a clear perspective of multiple projects for three months ahead. The whole team saves time and collaborates harmoniously.
Interview with Ciaran Rogers, marketing manager at UKSA
Ciaran, we'd love to know about UKSA and your role there. Why did you need project management software?
In UKSA, we aim at advancing the education and the physical, mental and social development of young people under the age of 25 by providing facilities for training in sailing and seamanship. We also help those who, because of poverty or social and economic circumstances, cannot pursue their sailing passion. In other words, we try to make young people happier by providing them with an opportunity to learn how to sail.
I'm the marketing manager for UKSA. I also oversee our IT strategy. In addition, we have our own in-house design studio with 2 full-time designers, who I also manage. This area is hard to supervise and coordinate without help from various applications. I realized the need for project management software when our projects began to grow bigger and 2 or more tasks popped up each day. I just couldn't manage them with simple to-do lists.
How did you come to Wrike?
I'm a big cloud computing fan and have been using Salesforce.com for years. We have a split of Macs and PCs in the organization, so cloud computing gives us a cross-platform solution without any hassle. We moved the whole organization from an Outlook Exchange server to Google Apps last autumn. The key part of the decision was moving to a better collaborative environment and calendar management system, which Google Apps definitely provides, but when it came to managing projects, I found it fell short. I just have too many strands to my job and my team's tasks to be able to use Google Apps as project management software.
I have tried using MS Project, but I have just found it too complex. It's kind of a sledge hammer to crack a nut. I wanted something robust enough to manage my projects, but simple enough for me not to have to spend a week training my team on how to use it. Several useful blogs on various project management tools and a post on the popular ToMuse blog lead me to Wrike. I looked at just about all of the 10 tools listed in the post and drew up a short list, which included Liquid Planner, Basecamp and Wrike.
We played with each of these. Basecamp, which seems to have a huge online following and lots of positive reviews, just didn't stack up. It wasn't very visual, and its components didn't seem to work with each other. It's just not integrated enough for my taste, and you end up with lots of different lists, but no central spine. Liquid Planner, we quite liked... but Wrike won us over. It had more features and a fantastic visual Gantt chart element, which makes life so much easier when you want a 1,0000-foot view of what you are working on.
How does Wrike help you in your everyday management activities?
Easy question! Wrike enables me to break projects down into component parts, allocate these project parts to the 12 members of my team and link work together in a linear workflow. I can see the full picture of workflow across multiple projects and move or reprioritize projects around as deadline pressures and senior management priorities require. It's a bit like giving me a conductor for my orchestra. We play a much better tune now that we have Wrike.
Could you please give us a little insight into the process of adopting Wrike in your company?
Prior to Wrike, we had been using Remember The Milk. I was used to assigning multiple to-dos into a list, largely based on what was on my mind at the time. When we first started adopting Wrike, we used it much like that. However, soon we realized that Wrike was a much more powerful tool. It can help you to really manage your projects better while viewing them from different angles. So we changed the way we worked. What I really like about Wrike is that I can break a complex task into smaller action items and thus coordinate every tiny detail of my project. Such complex tasks are turned into folders and subfolders. When creating a folder for a project, I immediately plan tasks related to this project. I sit down and say "Ok... To do this we need to do X,Y and Z." The next step for each project is answering who will be responsible for the X,Y and Z steps, and then deciding when each step has to be completed. The great thing about Wrike is that it allows me to sort our tasks in various ways (e.g., I sort my tasks by projects, by responsible team members and by departments, such as marketing, IT, etc.). Finally, I use Wrike's Gantt chart feature to take a look at what else we have planned and see if there are any clashes.
What do you like most of all about Wrike?
Emailing tasks to Wrike is great! Though it took me some time to get into it, it makes dealing with your inbox a breeze. The next fave is definitely the Gantt chart feature. Ah... how did I ever live without it?
What are the major benefits of using Wrike in UKSA?
Wrike saves us 1/3rd of time in dealing with the incoming tasks in our email inboxes. Now I have an overview of the next three months, and this gives me the feeling of control over our projects.
Do you plan to invite more team members to use Wrike?
Definitely. As our organization keeps developing, our projects grow, and we need more people to bring them to life. With Wrike at our hands, it will be so much easier to do.