A common question we hear from new Wrike users is: "How do I maximize my ROI when I implement Wrike?" The answer is Wrike's consultation services. With our own in-house specialists, we can help take you from problem to sustainable solution in less time than ever before. We spoke to Wrike's Principal Consultant, Errette Dunn to learn more about the challenges faced by digital teams, and how Wrike's Consultation Team can help.

Why does Wrike have a Principal Consultant?

The reason I’m here, and why my team of consultants is here, is that we want our mission of making teams insanely productive to extend beyond just building software. Teams who come to Wrike aren’t necessarily looking for project management software. They’re looking for a solution to a problem that they can’t quite pinpoint on their own. So our job is to help them visualize their workflow, identify the problems, coach them through implementing a better version of that workflow in Wrike, and — through adopting Wrike — to sustain the improvement.

Why do you think there are so many challenges in the digital workplace?

Online tools allow us to do something that was never possible before, which is visualize our flow of knowledge. Since the traditional tools used by teams are fragmented within companies, we see that the flow is broken for a lot of workers. The reason is that internet-based knowledge work is very new. To put it in context of the industrial revolution, we’d still be in the Cotton Gin age. Manufacturing has had over a century to focus on process and efficiency. For digital workers, we’re still in the early stages. Wrike is part of a movement to fix digital work.

What are some of the problems?

Put simply, I think it boils down to keeping track of our commitments to others. That includes colleagues, customers, and managers. A significant amount of day-to-day work is about providing visibility into our commitments, which a lot of organizations do very inefficiently. Ever prepared a report for management? A report is a way to give higher-ups visibility. Ever attended a status meeting? That’s just a way to give a team visibility. Ever sent someone an email to ask for an update on a task? That’s you trying to gain visibility. So, by improving visibility into work, we can reduce the need for all of those time-consuming activities dramatically.

So, how do you solve those problems?

Like everything, we first have to admit that we have a problem. If you’re here with Wrike, you might be at that stage. A tool like Wrike, one that gives you status visibility and a searchable database of your company’s knowledge, is a huge step forward. But software isn’t a silver bullet. Anyone who has bought Rosetta Stone and never gotten around to opening it (guilty) knows what I mean. We need to implement software in a sustainable way that makes sure users are active and enthusiastic, and simultaneously make sure we’re not just using the software to replicate our existing problems. Workers need to ask themselves: Where does my work originate and where does it end? By mapping that process (even in simple pen and paper) we start to understand how others play into our work, where waste enters the process, and where we can make improvements. That’s the part I specialize in from my time at Toyota and Airbus — and that’s what our consultants do here at Wrike.

If a customer uses Consulting Services at Wrike, what should they expect?

In the spirit of what I’ve said so far, they should expect some introspection. We want to know what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and who you do it for. If you can’t answer those questions, don’t worry, you’re in good hands. This is especially valuable for anyone who has never worked with any sort of outside process consultants. Once we learn that about your work, it's time for goal setting. We’ll hone in on exactly what improvements you want to make, and work with you to decide how you’re going to quantify your success with Wrike. This helps you determine if the deployment was successful, and it also helps us measure if we’ve done a good job for you. Once goals are set, we help you configure Wrike in a way that will make sure you meet those goals. This may mean building project structures, designing templates, getting integrations in place, and making sure that what we set up together is scalable over hundreds of projects. Finally, we spend some time training your teams on the new procedures, because the human element is the most important in making sure you meet those goals.
"Teams who come to Wrike aren’t necessarily looking for project management software. They’re looking for a solution to a problem that they can’t quite pinpoint on their own."

What’s your favorite part about the consulting process?

My favorite part, and the most rewarding part for all our team members, is when you see in a client’s eyes that they are having an “A-ha!" moment about a better way to work, and when they become confident that they can sustain the improvement in the long term. Imagine someone who has worked in a job for years, and has experienced the same challenge for years. They may have felt a little defeated, and had the mentality, “That’s just the way we do things here.” When you leave their office and know that you haven’t just changed their one work day, but you've really changed their attitude about work and reduced their stress - that’s rewarding.

If people would like more information about Consulting Services, where can they go?

Your Account Manager or Account Executive on our sales team will be the best place to turn. They’ll be happy to give you information and help connect you with a consultant. Interviewee Bio: Errette Dunn is Principal Consultant at Wrike. Prior to joining our team, he worked in process improvement for companies including Toyota and Airbus. He holds an MBA from the IESE Business School, and has studied Management at Stanford and MIT, as well as Engineering at Universidad Panamerica at his home town of Guadalajara, Mexico. He currently lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and 4 kids. If you're interested in using Wrike for your team, start a free Wrike trial today and contact us at sales@team.wrike.com.
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