How’s your 2020 planning going? Hopefully well since December is nearly over. There’s just so much to consider, whether you’re planning for one department or an entire company. How can you think ahead while still keeping up with your current workload? In my experience, carefully. If you’re already using Wrike, that will help.

You can do a number of things to help inform your planning. Meeting with colleagues, networking at holiday events, following thought leaders on LinkedIn, and subscribing to (and actually reading) industry newsletters or blogs are all good ways to get planning ideas. Conferences are also a great place to gather tons of insight and information 

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Wrike hosted two Collaborate user conferences this October — in Nashville and London. There were 45 sessions with speakers from Wrike, customers, partners, and thought leaders sharing an amazing amount of information to help organizations of any size. If you’re still refining your project management plans or haven’t gotten too far because you’re so busy with revenue-producing work (yay!), read on for Wrike’s list of 20 things we learned at Collaborate that can drive success in 2020. 

    1. Find ways to solve pain points. Everyone needs help with something, whether it’s a pain point or just an itch. One of our speakers recommends you aim for 80%. Find a solution that solves 80% of every team’s requirements.
    2. Always. Be. Learning. Similar to “Always Be Closing,” this is important because the world is moving so fast. If you aren’t learning, you’re behind the curve. Take an online class, attend an internal training session, or try a new hobby.
    3. The amount of data being created every day is mind-boggling, and it must be managed. It’s estimated that we’re now exposed to as much data in a single day as someone in the 15th century was in their entire lifetime. Look at what happens in one minute, all day, every day. Data is powerful. Be mindful of how you’re using and interacting with it.

      20 Things We Learned at Collaborate to Drive Success in 2020 Blog Post 2
  1. Consider implementing change management principles, especially with medium to larger changes. Successful change is about people and making sure they’re informed and able to ask questions and engage with the change. When you encounter resistance, roll with it instead of resisting in return. Find ways to work around the resistance and create advocates.
  2. Revise and/or implement request forms or intake forms to streamline workflows and improve project management. Using forms improves visibility, makes it simpler for the assignee to get all the work done the first time, and maximizes productivity.
  3. Disengaged employees cost U.S. organizations about $500 billion annually. Make your organization a place people want to work by giving them the tools, technology, and support to be successful.
  4. A culture of collaboration is key for customer-centricity and success — and it’s easier to collaborate during the development process than after. If you haven’t already explored the Agile methodology, check it out. It could have a huge positive impact on your organization.
  5. Whatever the project or implementation, start small, iterate, and scale. It’s more cost-effective to make a “small bet” and work out the bugs before expanding to a larger audience. Plus, you can find your champions who will help the launch be successful by advocating and training others.
  6. Organizations should be fluid, flexible, and agile. Design your teams and processes to bend, not break.

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    (Source: Photo by Tomas Sobek via Unsplash)
  7. Standardize your tools and technologies to maximize productivity. Constant innovation is a good thing, but multiple tools that deliver the same results make for complicated workflow management. If that’s the situation you find your organization in, do a comparison and select the best tool for everyone’s needs (using the 80% tip if needed).
  8. Automate manual processes to save time and money. A leading global media and entertainment company was able to integrate Wrike with its internal system to automatically distribute air-time reports each day. That one automation saved 8 people 1 hour each day, so those 8 hours (every day!) could be used for more meaningful work.   
  9. Remember: We all work in service organizations. Whether you’re working with internal team members or external clients, focus on your customers. Determine what they need and work your hardest to meet (and exceed) those requirements. 
  10. Security will continue to be a critical focus for organizations in 2020 and beyond. As threats evolve, it’s important to remember what Wrike’s Director of Information Security, Lucas Szymanowski, says: “A culture of risk awareness, education, and responsibility must be cultivated and built into every organization’s DNA.”
  11. Bring your customers, partners, users, and remote workers together when you can. One thing we heard repeatedly from Collaborate attendees was that they loved being able to interact with other users, hear about their challenges and solutions, and bring fresh ideas back to their teams. Create opportunities for in-person interactions, and your organization will reap the benefits.
  12. Develop cultural brokersBridges and adhesives — to enhance collaboration across teams. Bridges offer themselves as go-betweens, allowing people in different functions or geographies to collaborate with minimal disruption to their day-to-day routine. Adhesives help build mutual understanding and lasting relationships. They facilitate collaboration by vouching for people and helping them decipher one another’s language. These are invaluable team members to help cross-functional teams, especially with remote workers. 
  13. Enable self-service training. Make it easy for employees to find information about common tech tools used at your organization. Develop a training page on your intranet or a document with links to resources, videos, FAQs, and other information. 
  14. Pain points and goals are interconnected. Create a solution map (similar to a customer journey map) to ensure both pain points and goals are being addressed in any solution that’s developed.

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    (Source: Photo by Dan Meyers via Unsplash)
  15. “Relationships may not scale, but culture does,” says Kim Scott in “Radical Candor.” Focus on building relationships by Caring Personally while Challenging Directly. But don’t be a jerk about it.
  16. Wrike announced some new products and features that are sure to power success in 2020. Have you checked out Wrike Analyze, Wrike for Marketers, and Wrike for Professional Services yet? 
  17. Start thinking about planning your Collaborate 2020 trip!

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There was so much fantastic insight shared at Collaborate 2019 — think of what you’ll learn at Collaborate 2020! Turbocharge your 2021 planning and join us October 19-21, 2020, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center just outside Dallas. And if you’re interested in sharing your insights and expertise, check back for a call for speakers in the spring. 

We’d love to hear your tips for success in 2020! Share on LinkedIn, Twitter (@Wrike), Facebook, and below.

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