One of the most telling questions you can ask a software company is: "How do you use your product internally?" If they quickly throw out several compelling ways they use it, great! But often you hear: "Well, we use it, but we use lots of other tools too" and they can't give specific examples of how they're using their own tool.
Why don't companies use their own product? Or why don't they use it well? Is it a question of belief or reliability? To customers and potential buyers, using your own product is a way of saying, "Yes, we love our product (and we hope you do too)!"
Here at Wrike, not only do we believe in our software, but we're bona fide fanatics who use it every single day.
Yes, We Use Our Product Everyday!
We get the question, "How does Wrike use Wrike?" all the time. To answer that question, I'm sharing my example of a big project we completed using Wrike when I first started:
I joined the marketing team at Wrike in January 2015. As a marketer, my team and I live and breathe in Wrike. Brainstorming, writing, editing — you name it, it's done in Wrike. And one of my first projects was part of the effort to develop example pages on our site. My priority was to provide customer stories, so people could see our product in action.
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During my first week, our international creative team was in town, and they had a huge role to play in the development of our new pages. We had a quick kick-off meeting with our Head of Creative and the project lead, our VP of Product Marketing. Within minutes we had created a task in Wrike to collectively brainstorm which example pages we wanted to develop and which took top priority. We used Wrike to schedule when each example page would be published, and created subtasks delegating to our teams what needed to be completed for each page. Then, we created a template from our first task structure, so we could use the same workflow for the rest of the example pages. The entire project planning meeting took only 30 minutes.
Although the kick-off meeting consisted of only 4 people, the whole project required input from 15 team members. Since all my initial meeting notes were in Wrike, everyone could see our detailed project plan without needing to call me or tap me on the shoulder to ask a question. My teammates could add questions or suggestions to the kick-off task, and then simply @mention the appropriate person to get their answer.
3 months later in March, we had completed all five example pages on time without ever having to jump on another call or schedule another meeting. Everything between our content marketing, product marketing, design, and development teams was done through Wrike. This was an "A-ha!" moment for me as a new employee; I saw the power of our product in action.
After our project was completed, our VP of Product Marketing sent out a congratulatory message. Always making a little time to celebrate our wins!
"This is an amazing example of Wrike in action. In January, we laid out the project plan in a 30 min meeting and here we are today delivering exactly on time with 10+ people involved in these pages and 0 status update meetings. There were at least 5 individual pages created as part of this project. In the typical creative process, this would have required at least 3 rounds of review for each, and we did it all in real time through Wrike."
— Brian Thome, VP of Product and Product Marketing at Wrike
...And Here Are Our Wrike Tips:
1. We take notes in Wrike so project plans are accessible in real time
We don't wait until the end of the meeting to record next steps or primary goals. Instead, we open up Wrike right when the meeting begins and take notes in real time. This allows us to document every detail and create/assign tasks appropriately. Since everyone involved in the project has access to these notes, it helps keep the meetings short and only requires key players to attend.
2. We assign tasks to document accountability
Since all the information is in one location, assigning individuals to tasks helps us track accountability. In the example above, each example page required a number of tasks to be completed by different team members. In Wrike, everyone saw who was responsible for which task, so if there was any delay we could comment on the task to see what the hold up was. There was never confusion on who was responsible for any work.
3. By receiving daily updates on projects, we cut out meetings
Whenever there is a change to a task, everyone on that task is notified immediately. So while creating the example pages, all project tracking was done through Wrike. There was no need for status meetings or conference calls. If our director was curious about our progress, he could just glance at Wrike to see what was still in motion and what had already been completed.
4. Consolidating project data in Wrike allows us to plan around the clock
With our team spread across the globe, we use the "follow the sun" technique, allowing the U.S. team to get tasks done during our work day, and then pass off the work to our international teammates to keep progress moving as we sleep; the project never stops moving. And since we keep all our progress and work in Wrike, there's no need to send emails asking for updates or documents, and then wait day (or more) for a response. Our teammates' work is always accessible.
5. We create templates to save time
We love creating templates and copying folder structures in Wrike so efforts aren't duplicated. For example, we created five example pages — all with different content, but developed using the same process and with similar components. We duplicated our tasks and subtasks structure, so the process for the individual pages stayed consistent. It helped us prepare for the next step on each page and reference what worked last time.
Want more on how Wrike uses Wrike?
I hope you enjoyed this account of how we use Wrike internally!
Check out some of our case studies to see some examples of how our customers are successfully using Wrike! You can also see How I Run a Marketing Team, 8 Lessons in Increased Productivity from Wrike Customers, and How Wrike Uses Wrike... for Fun! for more examples, or see other examples of Wrike use cases.
Are you a big Wrike fan? Tell us your favorite reason to use Wrike in the comments!