From here on out, organizations are going to have to accommodate a distributed workforce. 

Depending on the line of business, some organizations will return to the office, others will stay remote, and the rest will adopt a hybrid model. Regardless of the model your organization selects, a company’s workforce will need to be connected and in sync. As the last year has demonstrated, the only way teams can stay connected and productive is by adopting collaborative work management (CWM) tools.

Because a CWM tool is designed to be the hub of all your work, selecting the best solution to fit your unique needs is essential. It must possess the core capabilities and key features needed to enhance productivity while being configurable enough to conform to your workflows without sacrificing scalability. Today’s post is the first in a five-article series that details the most common pain points businesses face in managing their work and how Wrike solves each one.

Pain: No organized method to accept new projects

Work requests can come from anywhere — Slack, email, standup and virtual meetings, or desk drop-ins. These aren’t ideal or sustainable. Compounding this problem, oftentimes requests lack the details needed to get started. As a result, you end up chasing down the requestor to fill in the blanks. Adding to the mess, a disjointed intake process guarantees that those who need visibility into a project or task won’t have it.

You need a simplified, one-stop channel to accept and view all new and upcoming projects. 

Whether your team operates within Agile or Waterfall, your CWM should include templatized request forms, easy-to-configure dashboards, workflows, and reporting. If your CWM is so rigid that you have to conform to it, it’s time to look for an alternate solution. This brings us to ... 

Pain: Spreadsheets aren’t a work management solution 

Spreadsheets are great for organizing data, but managing complex workflows and tracking progress in Excel or Google Sheets is worse than “old school”; it's a potential threat to the bottom line and your business’s longevity. First, spreadsheets are disconnected from email and chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, killing cross-functional collaboration. Of course, you can tag somebody in a comment thread, but ongoing communication gets messy in a hurry. With a variety of work deliverables often in progress (e.g., emails, landing pages, prototypes, graphic design, videos, etc.) trying to manage everything in spreadsheets is a nightmare.

In addition, spreadsheets lack the visualization tools like Gantt charts and interactive dashboards to track project progress; identify risk; and manage resources, workflows, contract types, and customizable fields for project start and end dates. Relying on an antiquated method to manage your team’s work prohibits collaboration and slows down your ability to scale and deliver results. 

Pain: Too many tools, not enough time

Spreadsheets are a drag for sure, but too many tools can be just as bad, maybe worse. Some organizations are using too many applications to collaborate and get work done. Cross-functional teams like marketing, sales, product, and customer success use separate tools, but everyone must work together to achieve a common result. With too many scattered tools, there’s no master system of record for teammates to collaborate, move work forward, approve assets, track billable time, and more. There’s a better solution, one that hypergrowth and enterprise teams use to get work done and scale at their pace. Not to mention the countless hours you and your team spend getting disparate tools to play nice.   

Follow the paper trail (that’s a good thing)

A single source of truth, where a record of all team communication and how projects reached completion are kept, is a good thing. If you’re constantly switching between Slack, email, product management, and design tools, then you’re keeping some team members siloed in those tools and out of the loop of other (related) project questions. Plus, you lose valuable time copying details from one software to another to update other teams or clients.

How Wrike solves each problem

To simplify and organize incoming work requests, Wrike has dynamic request forms that channels work to the right teams or individuals based on form inputs. These customizable forms and blueprints make it simple for requesters to input their exact needs and the responders to collect the necessary information and begin work immediately. No more chasing down the stakeholder to get clarification on dependencies, specs, budget, and the deadline. Upon form submission, the request gets sent to the correct teammate, automatically saving time assigning the work. This automated intake system enables team members to have visibility into the new project. No more checking Slack, email, or handwritten notes for project details.

Wrike’s dynamic request forms allow account and Space admins to create rules, such as:

  • Designating additional assignees or project owners.
  • Adding subtasks or subprojects to the submitted form.
  • Setting up approvals for the task or project created.

 How Wrike’s CWM Solves Productivity Roadblocks | Wrike

What Wrike customers have to say

Charli Edwards, Head of Design at Built Environment Communications Group, on why her team relies on Wrike’s automated project intake process:

“We use the request forms for a creative briefing which are then automatically linked to our in-house resource, this means everything is one place, fully trackable and transparent — everyone is always clear on what they are doing and how long it should take.”

When you have repeatable projects, Wrike users can save time creating tasks and dependencies using blueprints, which let you manage your project, folder, and task templates to plan your work while keeping it separated from ongoing work. Launch a blueprint to quickly create a task, folder, or project with attributes you've already specified. 

As your team scales and more projects get greenlit, you’ll need an efficient way to collaborate and have a centralized hub to host your work. Wrike is a recognized leader in collaborative work management, acting as a single source of truth with enhanced collaboration capabilities, file uploading, custom workflows, fast-tracking approvals, tracking billable time, and more. No more hectic processes trying to manage all your work with dozens of spreadsheets, chasing down approvals, or work slipping through the cracks. With Wrike’s CWM platform, you’ll have a master system of record for all comments, document versions, and approvals. A win-win-win.

Brynne Roberts, Director of Creative Operations Fitbit on how Wrike speeds up their product launch preparations:

“Before Wrike, there was no structure with product launches. We used to spend hours building and managing a complex spreadsheet to track marketing materials for upcoming launches. We’d be late on deadlines and working overtime every day. Burnout was at an all-time high. Now we can see what’s on everyone’s plates with reporting. And timelines allow us to project and provide transparency on how long it will take. We work faster, update key dates for deliverables much more quickly, and eliminate human error. We’ve likely saved around 200 or more hours per year in our launch prep.”

Shaun Carlson, Director of Continuous Innovation and R&D at Arvig:

“In the past when we onboarded new developers, it took 6-9 months before they reached peak productivity. With Wrike as a single source of truth for the knowledge and activities surrounding our work, and the Kanban methodology to help us prioritize tasks, that onboarding timeline is only 3-4 months now which has been a game-changer for our enterprise business growth.”

Get more from your collaborative work management software

Most teams experience the same growing pains accepting work requests, managing their work, and having a historical record of all communication. With many CWM solutions on the market claiming to be the answer, how can you feel confident you’re making the best decision for your team? 

Get your free copy of our new eBook, “Empowering Teams With CWM: 13 Common Pain Points and How to Solve Them” to learn the top 13 pain points and the 16 most important features to address each need. Then start your Wrike free trial and see why Wrike is the leading collaborative work management solution having won awards from Forrester and GetApp.