Marketing leaders are under intense pressure to drive business results in increasingly competitive markets. But today’s savviest marketing managers find ways to execute faster and work smarter while best-in-class organizations leverage collaborative work management platforms like Wrike to both deliver results, and galvanize their teams.

In this climate, it’s not just the results we seek to accomplish that matterit’s also the way in which we lead. That’s according to Joelle Kaufman, CMO at Dynamic Signal. Kaufman has studied organizational psychology and team management for 30 years, and has led marketing and operations teams at companies including Addify, Reactivity,, Net Dynamics, and Bloomreach. She’s best known for transforming good teams into truly amazing teams.

We chatted to Kaufman during our recent webinar, “CMO Strategies Using Wrike.” During the session, she talked about how she follows The Management Method and discussed the steps leaders can take to follow in her footsteps.

Read on to check out the webinar highlights, or watch the entire webinar on-demand here.

The Management Method

The Management Method is a highly collaborative and efficient way to provide clarity around  team goals and roles. The objective is to enhance visibility and to empower each team member to work autonomously.

1. Clarity of goal

Success is easier to achieve when everyone involved in an initiative understands its underlying purpose: Why are you working toward this goal, and how do individual tasks feed into the bigger picture? Expectations should be clear from the beginning. It helps to have the team participate in creating goals so they’re motivated to reach them.

2. Clarity of role

Managers often hesitate to place limits on employees’ roles for fear of hurting their feelings. But establishing a clear list of responsibilities helps workers understand exactly what they’re expected to do, onboard quicker, and avoid getting bogged down with tasks they shouldn’t own. This also helps people on other teams understand their roles and hand tasks off to the appropriate team members.

Kaufman adopted the Management Method after years of trial and error, and has learned how to streamline the process down to a few key methodologies.

Key Methodology 1: Creating a first day memo

New hires tend to spend their first days on the job tapping their fingers with nothing to do. Kaufman’s “first day memo” strategy quickens the onboarding process and establishes clear goals and responsibilities upfront.

The objective of the first day memo is to provide a new hire with all the information they need to ramp up and establish clear deliverables within two-weeks time. This memo should include:

  • Company background and job responsibilities
  • Initial projects and deliverables
  • Administrative activities

The hiring manager is responsible for writing the memo and sharing it in a Wrike task with other key stakeholders and the new hire. This saves the new hire time tracking people down and lays the foundation for collaborating with other teams. The hiring manager can also use this task to track completion of memo deliverables.

Key Methodology 2: Establishing the “top three”

Have you ever had so many things to do that you didn’t know where to start? Too much work is paralyzing—both mentally and emotionally. So it’s important for managers to set clear priorities.

Kaufman has her team commit to three tasks each week and tracks them in a Wrike Dashboard. This helps everyone stay focused and motivated. These tasks should account for only 40-50% of the team’s work capacity to leave room for any urgent last minute requests.

Help, I’m stuck!

Ah, the “stuck” task. A stuck task happens when someone from a different department is unable to help move work forward because of conflicting priorities. What’s a task owner to do?!

Managers must take action when projects get stuck. Wrike Workflows make it easy to identify stalled tasks. When a Wrike task is marked “Stuck,” the manager is notified immediately so she can quickly address the roadblock.

Wrike also keeps all task-related conversations in context, so managers can quickly get up to speed and understand why a task is stuck. Re-prioritizing takes just a few clicks!

Key Methodology 3: Automation

Embracing automation across your team increases efficiencies. It also bolsters autonomy by adding guardrails to key responsibilities. Kaufman believes automation is essential to putting the Management Method into practice.

Wrike Templates keep the ball rolling when Kaufman’s team organizes events. Templates ensure accountability and consistency while preventing details from falling through the cracks. When planning events at scale, they provide a framework for tracking deadlines and replicating success.

Kaufman’s team also leverages Wrike’s Request forms to streamline project intake. Instead of sending ad-hoc requests via email or IM, requesters must fill out a form with all the information Kaufman’s team needs before they start the project. Eliminating the need to chase down details gives Kaufman’s team more time to focus on work quality.

Putting it all together

Kaufman believes establishing a consistent process for managing work is just as important as the work itself. Make team goals and roles clear and strive for autonomy by:

  • Writing a first day memo for all new hires so they’re able to hit the ground running
  • Commiting your team to complete their top three tasks each week
  • Eradicating roadblocks by pushing stuck tasks through or putting them on hold
  • Automating repeatable processes

Teaching your team to work smarternot harderensures you’ll meet your objectives and boosts trust and confidence across the organization.

Ready to put your learnings into practice? Replicate Kaufman’s success: Start your 14-day Wrike free trial today!