Collaboration and work management are often talked about at an individual or team level. How can our team be more efficient? Are we using our resources effectively? How can we improve our performance?
Organizing work, collaborating effectively, and meeting deadlines are the foundation for accomplishing work. However, as businesses expand, competition surges, and production multiplies, the reality is: Work management basics aren’t enough anymore.
Due to their rigidity and lack of scalability, ancient processes grow stale as the demands of the market fluctuate and priorities shift. In fact, companies lose 20 to 30% in revenue every year due to inefficiencies, according to market research firm IDC. Today, successful companies need extra muscle, so they can outrun their competitors while simultaneously evolving to keep up with the needs of their customers.
Tightening up your current processes, breaking down silos, and embracing work management at the executive level will not only encourage lean thinking from the top down, but will also help you stay ahead of business objectives and mitigate risk at scale.
Here’s how Wrike’s robust work management solution will be your ace in the hole when conquering the market.
1. Alignment across teams
The expectation? Departments flawlessly execute on daily tasks while simultaneously aligning with different teams to meet key business priorities. The reality? Teams often lose sight of priorities and objectives as they wade through the complexity of managing process flow and operations across distributed teams.
The key to keeping teams aligned on business objectives is making them transparent and accessible from the beginning. Objectives and key results (OKRs) are a popular format for documenting quarterly and annual planning in great detail and are touted for fueling Google’s exponential growth and success.
However, establishing a clear process for setting business goals isn’t enough. Without a single source of truth to brainstorm, distribute, and track performance, consider your goals nonexistent. Wrike not only aligns your team on business objectives, but makes them actionable by allowing other goals to roll up underneath them.
With Wrike, you can nest individual goals within team goals, team goals within department goals, and so on — tying assignees, approvers, and due dates to core initiatives. That way, you have a top-down and bottom-up view of how everyone’s goals are connected and impact the bottom line. This level of transparency keeps teams aligned on priorities and ensures business objectives are always top of mind.
2. Spotting the icebergs
Everyone is familiar with the story of how the Titanic sank. On the maiden voyage, a crew member spotted an iceberg and alerted the bridge to turn the ship to avoid it. However, it was spotted too late and the ship hit the iceberg, leading to its infamous demise. If the crew had better visibility into the open water, the iceberg could’ve been spotted sooner and avoided entirely.
Risk is inevitable in every business. When armed with the right tools, you can use your heightened visibility to “spot the icebergs” right away, reducing risk and restoring confidence.
Wrike sends you instant notifications on any changes or status updates on key initiatives so you’re always in the loop on the projects you care about. If something isn’t moving forward or is stuck, you can address it instantly, and everyone involved is immediately alerted.
Quickly check in on priorities and status updates at a high level, or dig deeper into the nitty-gritty without losing any momentum by sitting through endless status meetings.
3. Staying accountable
Poor accountability leads to a myriad of challenges. And as a business leader, you’re the most accountable of all. “If you allow your employees to avoid ownership, the problem doesn’t just disappear. Instead, you become the new owner of that problem. And those problems pile up quickly on your plate,” says David Baker, CEO at Think Shift.
And the odds aren’t looking good for the C-suite. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 50% of managers are terrible at accountability. If your managers aren’t holding themselves accountable, then who is?
Working across various platforms such as email, spreadsheets, instant messaging, etc. adds another layer of complexity. Deadlines come and go as ownership is muddied by email threads — making it impossible to understand what the next step is and who’s responsible for taking it.
Assigning a project owner in Wrike clearly establishes who is responsible for its execution. Not only that, but people who are assigned ownership for a project or a task are more likely to be invested in its success.
When it comes to approvals, accountability can be the biggest hurdle of all. Not only is the approver accountable for pushing work forward, the project owner is responsible for holding the approver accountable for doing their part. As a busy C-level executive, it’s often difficult to know when it’s your turn to jump in.
Wrike Proof streamlines review cycles and assigns designated approvers for assets, so you know when the ball is in your court. Attach dates to approvals so it’s clear how long you have to approve something, and quickly mark something as “approved” when you’re finished.
4. Scalability & Consistency
One of the biggest pain points of scaling a business is maintaining quality and consistency. You need to keep an eagle eye on every square inch of production to meet those high standards. Even then something is bound to slip through the cracks.
Wrike standardizes repetitive and tedious tasks, allowing you to maximize the repeatability and predictability of results. The Airbnb team built and deployed custom workflows in Wrike for every Trip Experience feature. This allowed them to track the production of every asset and gave their creative team unprecedented visibility into production across the globe.
There’s no greater resource than people, but even they have their limits. When your team is drained by repetitive work or jumping between tools, errors occur and efforts are duplicated. By automating repetitive work and integrating your apps with Wrike, your employees spend less time on tedious admin tasks and more time focused on the projects that make an impact.
“Efficiency is about focusing on something you use a lot internally (email, IM, spreadsheets) and using it as an opportunity to embrace automation.” - Bryan Helmig, CTO and Co-founder, Zapier
Priorities change. As the competition grows, your company must stay on its toes and be ready to support ever-changing customer demands. Instead of resisting this change, leaders need to be nimble and empower their teams to adapt.
Without a tool to support agility and shifting priorities, momentum dwindles and employees burn out. Wrike helps executives stay one step ahead of their adversaries by providing them with a platform that makes it easy to quickly shift gears without missing a beat.
Wrike’s flexibility and customization fits into the way you work, not the other way around. Visualize work the way you want, and drag and drop tasks into different buckets when priorities move around. Track and measure performance so you’re constantly learning and fine-tuning efficiency.
Philz Coffee uses Wrike to house their contractual agreements with their coffee importers so they never miss a step. “By using tools like Wrike very consistently and regularly, we're able to easily find holes in the process and quickly make a change,” says Andi Trindle Mersch, Director of Coffee and Sustainability at Philz. “I believe processes should always be evolving; you should never stay stagnant. A good 85% of our process is solid, but I feel like there's about 15% of it that is always pushing toward perfection.”
Playing Your Cards Right
Even the greatest leaders are vulnerable to the unpredictability of growing a business. Basic organization and planning are important, but those only get you so far. Here are the values a work management solution like Wrike will bring to your leadership:
- Breaking down silos with healthy collaboration will have everyone working in unison toward business objectives.
- Gaining visibility to spot the icebergs early will reduce hair-on-fire decision making and lost opportunities.
- Connecting people with their work establishes ownership, building trust across teams and keeping individuals accountable (including you).
- Embracing automation bridges the gap between scalability and consistency, so people can focus on the work that matters.
- Supporting agility differentiates your company from competitors because it allows you to evolve as the market changes.
Sometimes, your most difficult challenges can be your biggest opportunities. With the right tools, you’ll be well equipped to face those challenges head-on with a winning hand.
No one said being a visionary leader is easy. Check out our one-sheet to learn everything you need to know about Wrike.