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Championing Change: Mike Fank on cutting implementation time by 83%
Project Management 5 min read

Championing Change: Mike Fank on cutting implementation time by 83%

We’re back with another installment of our Championing Change series, where we learn how real Wrike customers are using our platform in their daily work to reach their goals. Getting Wrike tips and tricks directly from customers is one of the best ways to get the most out of our platform.  This time, we’re hearing from Mike Fank, Operational Excellence, Quality, and Safety Manager at Wisconsin Metal Parts (WMP). In operation for over 30 years, WMP is a one-stop shop for metal production. As Mike put it, “We make everything.” The company manufactures the metal parts in bike racks, medical devices, HVAC systems, orthodontics —  and just about everything in between. “If it’s made of metal, we’ll gladly work on it,” he said.  Recently, Mike became our latest Wrike Black Belt holder, marking his work toward becoming a true Wrike champion. Today, Mike gives us insight into how the company continues to strive for improvement, increase efficiency, and embrace change using Wrike. Using Wrike to implement a continual improvement process “Continual improvement is core to what we do at WMP,” Mike explained. To reach its continuous improvement goals, the company created an employee improvement submission system to “track how many ideas are submitted and how many are implemented”. Starting with one small piece, WMP has grown its continual improvement process using Wrike as the foundation. “Wrike helped automate the approval and routing of ideas. After our initial use case was adopted, we continued to grow what can be put in Wrike,” Mike added.  But WMP didn’t just use Wrike to effectively collate employee-submitted ideas, it also integrated its corrective action process by building a custom template in Wrike that ensures each step is completed. Then it added required reviews and approvals at key steps, so management could regularly monitor each submission’s progress. Try Wrike for free In the process of implementing this system, WMP landed on one of our favorite bonuses of using Wrike: the elimination of spreadsheets and emails. As a manufacturing company, WMP can’t keep every element in Wrike but the key initiatives are there, according to Mike. And that alone has allowed the company to drastically cut down on status update emails and cumbersome spreadsheets for its continual improvement program.  Anticipating change management issues When we hear about our customers introducing entirely new processes, we know that adjustment can be tricky. Change can be hard! That’s why we’re particularly interested in spreading the word when we hear our customers tout the successful introduction of new Wrike features.  Mike explained that WMP’s strategy for change management was to get initial buy-in for building its continual improvement program using Wrike, build said program, and then follow up with those who needed extra assistance. “The key has been follow-ups and one-on-one training for the people who are either skeptical or didn’t understand,” Mike said. The icing on the cake? Being able to show that the program works. “We’ve also been able to show the dramatic improvement Wrike has had on implementing ideas.” As adjustments have been needed to tweak the continual improvement system, Mike said the process has been to “get the team together to understand the problems we’re facing with the current system, and then pilot a revised system in Wrike”. He added that it doesn’t take long for those adjustments to take hold: “So far, when people start using it, they immediately see the improvement.” Being a Wrike go-getter helps implementation  While a lot of what Wrike can do is intuitive, there’s so much more the platform can provide when you look a little deeper, take a tutorial, or attend our webinars. Mike really dove in head first, aiming to make sure WMP was getting the absolute maximum from Wrike.  “When first launching Wrike, I consumed everything I could. I read everything I could find, asked questions on the How To forum in the Help Center, and looked at all the other use cases,” he said. “I wanted to learn all the things Wrike could do to better help WMP implement it effectively.” And Mike’s diligence on the front end has paid off, both in a smooth Wrike rollout and impressive improvements in efficiency.  Leveraging Wrike to augment manufacturing technology Manufacturing organizations have priorities that can be a bit different from other Wrike customers, such as marketing agencies or IT companies. But WMP is a prime example of a manufacturing company using Wrike effectively.  Mike explained that WMP began by using Wrike for key initiatives while keeping scheduling, planning, and reporting on physical processes in its ERP system. However, WMP is striving to ensure all possible work moves into Wrike eventually. Mike admitted: “Not all our work is in Wrike. I know the saying is, ‘If it’s not in Wrike, it doesn’t exist’ — we’re not there.” With such effective change management strategies, however, it looks like WMP will be soon.  Wrike features boost WMP’s efficiency Thanks to WMP’s employee submission system, the company has been able to cut its backlog by more than half, from 300+ items to 128. Even more impressive? The company was also able to cut its implementation time from more than 30 days to just over five.  We just love hearing stories of Wrike significantly saving our customers time and energy.  If you’ve been on the fence about introducing Wrike’s work management platform to your company, let Wisconsin Metal Parts serve as an example: change really is worth it. Why not try Wrike for free for two weeks and get a taste of how your processes could improve and evolve with Wrike?  Try Wrike for free

How To Enhance Customer Experience With Client Intake Forms
Project Management 10 min read

How To Enhance Customer Experience With Client Intake Forms

Entice potential clients and get them on board using a client intake form.

Collaborate 2023: Hand-Picked Sessions for PS Teams
Leadership 5 min read

Collaborate 2023: Hand-Picked Sessions for PS Teams

This one’s for the professional services teams! Here are some of the most exciting sessions from Wrike Collaborate 2023, tailored just for you.

Wrike in Action: How Wrike Lightspeed Powers Our Professional Services Team
Project Management 7 min read

Wrike in Action: How Wrike Lightspeed Powers Our Professional Services Team

Learn how Wrike Lightspeed powers Wrike’s professional services, helping the team deliver game-changing results to teams, departments, and organizations around the world.

Crucial Skills for Success in the Consulting Landscape
Project Management 7 min read

Crucial Skills for Success in the Consulting Landscape

Consulting is a dynamic industry that offers exciting opportunities for individuals looking to work with diverse clients and solve complex business problems. To thrive in this landscape, it is essential to have a well-rounded skill set that combines both technical expertise and interpersonal abilities. In this article, we will explore the crucial skills necessary for success in the consulting field. Understanding the Consulting Landscape Consulting is a dynamic and ever-evolving field that requires professionals to stay abreast of the latest trends and developments. The industry encompasses a wide range of specialties, including management consulting, strategy consulting, financial consulting, IT consulting, and more. Each specialty brings its own unique set of challenges and opportunities.   The Role of a Consultant A consultant acts as a trusted advisor to their clients, offering insights and recommendations based on their expertise. They conduct research, analyze data, and develop unique solutions tailored to each client's needs. Additionally, consultants often assist in implementing these solutions and measuring their impact. Generaly, consultants work closely with their clients, building strong relationships and fostering collaboration. They act as a bridge between the client's goals and the practical steps needed to achieve them. This requires effective communication, problem-solving skills, and the ability to navigate complex organizational structures. Key Industry Trends in Consulting Digital transformation: Consultants play a crucial role in helping companies leverage digital tools and technologies to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and drive innovation. Data analytics and artificial intelligence: Gather and analyze vast amounts of data to uncover valuable insights. This enables consultants to make data-driven recommendations and develop strategies that are grounded in evidence. Sustainability and social impact consulting: As more companies recognize the importance of corporate social responsibility, consultants are being called upon to help organizations integrate sustainability practices into their business strategies. This means advising on environmental initiatives, social impact programs, and ethical business practices. Essential Soft Skills for Consultants All successful consultants possess a range of soft skills that enable them to excel in their roles. Here are several of them. Communication Skills When working with clients, consultants must be able to articulate their thoughts and ideas in a way that is easily understandable. They must be able to break down complex concepts into simple terms, so that clients fully grasp the implications and benefits of their recommendations. What's more, consultants must possess excellent interpersonal skills to establish rapport and build trust with clients. This involves adapting their communication style to different individuals and cultures, fostering effective collaboration and teamwork. Problem-Solving Abilities Problem-solving in consulting often requires consultants to think outside the box and come up with innovative approaches. They need to be able to anticipate potential obstacles and devise contingency plans to mitigate risks. This requires a combination of analytical thinking, strategic planning, and adaptability. Moreover, consultants must possess strong research skills to gather relevant data and information. They must be able to analyze and interpret this data to derive meaningful insights and recommendations for their clients. Adaptability and Flexibility Consultants often work on projects with changing requirements and shifting priorities. Therefore, the ability to quickly learn and adapt to new industries, technologies, and business models is a valuable skill in the consulting landscape. Consultants must be willing to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new challenges, as this is often where the most valuable learning experiences occur. In addition to adaptability and flexibility, consultants must be able to manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks based on client needs and project deadlines. This requires strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask without compromising the quality of work. Technical Skills Required in Consulting While soft skills are essential, consultants also need to possess a strong foundation of technical knowledge to provide effective solutions to their clients. In this expanding field, the demand for consultants with a diverse range of technical skills is on the rise. Business and Management Knowledge Consultants must have a deep understanding of business and management principles, including strategic planning, financial analysis, and operations management. This knowledge enables them to provide relevant and practical recommendations to help organizations achieve their goals. Additionally, consultants need to stay updated with the latest industry trends and best practices to ensure their advice is current and valuable. Lastly, consultants often work with clients from various industries, each with its own unique challenges and requirements. As a result, they need to be adaptable and able to quickly grasp the intricacies of different business models and processes. This requires a broad knowledge base and the ability to learn and apply new concepts efficiently. Data Analysis Proficiency In today's data-driven world, consultants need to be proficient in data analysis to derive meaningful insights and identify trends. Proficiency in data visualization tools, statistical analysis, and data interpretation are critical skills for consultants to extract valuable information and support decision-making. Moreover, consultants must be able to effectively communicate their findings to clients, often through visually appealing and easy-to-understand presentations. This requires not only technical skills but also the ability to translate complex data into actionable recommendations that clients can implement. Understanding of IT and Digital Tools Technology plays a vital role in today's business landscape. Consultants must have a sound understanding of IT infrastructure, software solutions, and digital tools to help organizations leverage technology effectively. This includes knowledge of cloud computing, cybersecurity, and emerging digital trends. Additionally, consultants often collaborate with IT teams within organizations to implement technological solutions. Therefore, having the ability to effectively communicate with technical experts and bridge the gap between business and technology is essential. Building a Successful Career in Consulting While possessing the requisite skills is essential, building a successful career in consulting also requires additional considerations. Continuous Learning through Training Programs Training programs are an effective way for consultants to acquire new skills and enhance their existing knowledge. These programs are designed to provide in-depth training on specific topics, such as project management, data analysis, or strategic planning. By participating in training programs, consultants can expand their skill set and become more versatile in their approach to solving client problems. Attending Conferences and Workshops Conferences and workshops offer consultants the chance to learn from industry thought leaders and experts. These events often feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive sessions that provide valuable insights into the latest trends and developments in the consulting industry. Consultants can also network with fellow professionals, exchange ideas, and build relationships that can lead to future collaborations. Networking and Relationship Building Building a strong network of professional relationships is invaluable in consulting. It not only helps consultants stay connected with industry trends but also opens doors to new opportunities. Focus on developing connections with clients, industry experts, and fellow consultants at networking events and industry conferences. The goal is to create a support system that provides guidance, mentorship, and potential business leads. Also, effective relationship building skills are essential for consultants to succeed in their careers. This involves developing strong interpersonal skills, such as active listening, empathy, and effective communication. Building rapport with clients and colleagues can lead to long-term partnerships and repeat business. Balancing Client Expectations and Deliverables Understanding client needs and requirements is crucial for consultants to deliver value-added solutions. By actively listening to clients and asking the right questions, consultants can gain a deep understanding of the challenges they face and develop tailored strategies to address them. Managing project timelines and resources is another critical aspect of successful consulting. Consultants must allocate resources effectively, so that projects are completed within the agreed-upon timeframe and budget. This requires strong project management skills, including the ability to prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities, and adapt to changing circumstances. Lastly, striking a balance between client satisfaction and project delivery is essential for long-term success in consulting. Consultants must manage client expectations by setting realistic goals and providing regular updates on project progress. By maintaining open lines of communication and addressing any concerns or issues promptly, consultants can build trust and credibility with their clients. Develop Crucial Skills with Wrike Developing crucial skills is key to achieving success in the consulting landscape. With Wrike, you can effectively manage and develop your consulting skills. Wrike allows you to create individual folders for each skill development initiative, serving as a central hub for all relevant information and updates. Beyond just developing crucial skills, Wrike offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to foster collaboration, and drive productivity. From real-time communication to intuitive task management features, Wrike provides everything you need to develop crucial skills for success in the consulting landscape. Ready to develop crucial skills and succeed in the consulting landscape? There's no better time to start than now. Get started with Wrike for free today. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Understanding the Value of IT Consulting Services in Business
Project Management 7 min read

Understanding the Value of IT Consulting Services in Business

In today's fast-paced and competitive business landscape, organizations are increasingly relying on technology to gain a competitive edge. However, many companies struggle with effectively harnessing the power of technology to achieve their business goals. This is where IT consulting services come into play. By providing expert advice and guidance, IT consultants help businesses leverage technology to improve performance, drive growth, and achieve success. What are IT Consulting Services? IT consulting services involve the provision of expert advice and guidance to businesses in leveraging technology to meet their strategic objectives. These services encompass a wide range of offerings, including technology assessment, strategic planning, system implementation, and ongoing support and maintenance. Let's take a closer look at the different types of IT consulting services available: Strategic IT consulting: This type of consulting involves developing and executing a technology roadmap aligned with business objectives. IT consultants work closely with businesses to understand their long-term goals and create a comprehensive plan that outlines the necessary steps to achieve success. From identifying emerging technologies to implementing strategic initiatives, strategic IT consulting helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and drive innovation. Infrastructure consulting: This focuses on designing, implementing, and managing IT infrastructure to support business operations. IT consultants assess the existing infrastructure, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to optimize performance, reliability, and scalability. Whether it's upgrading hardware, implementing virtualization solutions, or enhancing network security, infrastructure consulting ensures that businesses have a robust and efficient IT foundation. Security consulting: In today's digital landscape, cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses. Security consulting encompasses assessing and mitigating cybersecurity risks to protect sensitive data and maintain regulatory compliance. IT consultants conduct comprehensive security assessments, develop tailored security strategies, and implement robust measures to safeguard against threats. By staying ahead of potential vulnerabilities and implementing best practices, security consulting helps businesses maintain a strong security posture. Cloud consulting: Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate, offering enhanced flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. Cloud consulting involves helping businesses migrate to and optimize cloud-based solutions. IT consultants assess the organization's needs, recommend suitable cloud platforms, and assist with the migration process. They also provide ongoing support and optimization services to verify that businesses can fully leverage the benefits of cloud computing. Benefits of IT Consulting Services IT consultants play a vital role in bridging the gap between technology and business. They help business leaders understand how technology can be applied to achieve specific goals and overcome challenges. Therefore, organizations that leverage IT consulting services can benefit in numerous ways: Cost Efficiency and Savings: Optimize IT infrastructure and processes, resulting in cost savings through reduced downtime, improved efficiency, better resource allocation, and streamlined operations. Access to Specialized Expertise: IT consultants bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various technologies. They stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices, so that businesses have access to the most advanced solutions. Enhancing Business Productivity and Efficiency: By designing and implementing streamlined workflows and technology-driven processes, IT consultants enable businesses to maximize productivity and efficiency, leading to increased profitability and growth. Improved Cybersecurity: IT consultants are well-versed in the latest cybersecurity threats and can help businesses implement robust security measures to protect their sensitive data and systems. They can conduct thorough security assessments, identify vulnerabilities, and recommend and implement appropriate security solutions. Scalability and Flexibility: Businesses are given the flexibility to scale their IT infrastructure and resources as needed. Whether it's expanding operations, accommodating seasonal fluctuations, or adapting to changing business requirements, IT consultants can provide guidance on the most suitable technologies and strategies to ensure scalability and flexibility. Strategic IT Planning: IT consultants work closely with businesses to understand their goals and objectives and align IT strategies accordingly. By conducting thorough assessments, IT consultants can identify areas for improvement and recommend technology solutions that align with the business's long-term vision.  Efficient Project Management: IT consultants have the expertise to manage complex IT projects, so that they are delivered on time, within budget, and meet the desired objectives. They utilize project management methodologies and tools to effectively plan, execute, and monitor projects, minimizing risks and maximizing success. Continuous Support and Maintenance: Consultants offer proactive monitoring, troubleshooting, and regular maintenance to make sure that systems are running smoothly and efficiently. This continuous support helps businesses minimize downtime, resolve issues promptly, and optimize system performance. Improved Customer Experience: IT consultants can assist in implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data analytics tools, and other technologies that enable businesses to gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. This information can be used to personalize marketing efforts, improve customer service, and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. Compliance and Regulatory Adherence: IT consultants are well-versed in compliance and regulatory requirements specific to various industries. They can help businesses confirm that their IT systems and processes adhere to relevant regulations, such as data protection laws, industry standards, and security protocols. This ensures that businesses operate within legal boundaries and avoid potential penalties or reputational damage. Selecting the Right IT Consulting Services Choosing the right IT consulting services is crucial to achieving the desired outcomes. Here are a few key factors to take into account: Reputation and experience: Look for a consultant with a proven track record of success in your industry and relevant expertise. A reputable consultant will have a portfolio of satisfied clients and a wealth of experience in dealing with various IT challenges. Communication and collaboration skills: Check that the consultant has effective communication and teamwork skills to collaborate with your internal teams. IT projects often require close collaboration between consultants and employees, so strong communication skills are essential for seamless integration. Understanding of your business: Search for an IT consultant who understands your unique business needs and can tailor their solutions accordingly. Every business has its own set of challenges and goals, so it's important to find a consultant who can align their strategies with your specific requirements. The IT Consulting Process Broken Down  The IT consulting process typically involves several stages, each crucial for the successful implementation of IT solutions: Assessment: The consultant assesses the current technology infrastructure, processes, and challenges. This involves conducting a thorough analysis of existing systems, identifying areas for improvement, and understanding the organization's IT goals. Planning: A technology roadmap is developed, outlining the recommended solutions and implementation strategies. The consultant works closely with the company's stakeholders to create a comprehensive plan that aligns with the business objectives and budget constraints. Implementation: The consultant helps implement the proposed solutions, ensuring smooth deployment and minimal disruption. This stage involves configuring new systems, migrating data, training employees, and conducting thorough testing to verify that everything functions as intended. Monitoring and support: Ongoing monitoring and support are provided to guarantee the continued success of the implemented solutions. IT consultants offer maintenance services, perform regular system checks, and provide technical support to address any issues that may arise. Future Trends in IT Consulting As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, IT consulting services will play an increasingly pivotal role in helping businesses navigate the digital landscape. Some future trends to watch out for include: Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and blockchain will create new opportunities and challenges for businesses. IT consultants will assist organizations in harnessing these technologies to drive innovation and remain competitive. As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for expert guidance and support in managing and optimizing technology investments will continue to grow. IT consultants will play an integral role in helping businesses leverage technology to achieve their strategic goals. Understand the Value of IT Consulting with Wrike Understanding the value of IT consulting services is key to leveraging IT for business success. With Wrike, you can easily manage and understand your IT consulting services. Wrike allows you to create individual folders for each IT consulting project or task, serving as a central hub for all relevant information and updates. Beyond just understanding the value of IT consulting services, Wrike offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to foster collaboration, and drive productivity. From real-time communication to intuitive task management features, Wrike provides everything you need to understand the value of IT consulting services in business. Ready to understand the value of IT consulting and leverage IT for your business success? There's no better time to start than now. Get started with Wrike for free today. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Navigating the Consultant Business Model for Professional Success
Project Management 10 min read

Navigating the Consultant Business Model for Professional Success

The consultant business model has become increasingly popular in recent years, providing professionals with the opportunity to utilize their expertise in various industries and offer valuable insights to businesses. However, understanding and successfully navigating this business model requires a combination of knowledge, skills, and strategies. In this article, we will explore the key components of the consultant business model, discuss the role of a consultant in today's business environment, examine the challenges faced by consultants, explore the future of the consulting business model, and provide strategies for long-term success in the field. Understanding the Consultant Business Model The consultant business model involves offering specialized services and advice to businesses in need of specific expertise or solutions. As a consultant, you provide your knowledge, skills, and experience to help clients tackle challenges, improve processes, or achieve their goals. By operating independently, consultants have the flexibility to work with a range of clients while focusing on their unique areas of expertise. Whether it's developing a strategic plan, implementing a new technology system, or improving operational efficiency, consultants play a crucial role in driving business success. Key Components of the Consultant Business Model Below are some must-haves for consultants: In-depth knowledge and expertise in their chosen field: This allows them to provide valuable insights and recommendations to their clients. They stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, research, and best practices to ensure their advice is relevant and effective. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: They are skilled listeners who take the time to understand the unique challenges and goals of each client to tailor their approach and deliver customized solutions that meet specific needs. Solid reputation and a strong personal brand: This involves showcasing your expertise through thought leadership, publishing articles, speaking at conferences, and maintaining an active presence on professional platforms.  Wide network of contacts and referrals: Word-of-mouth recommendations and positive testimonials from satisfied clients can significantly contribute to business growth. Effective business and project management skills: This includes understanding how to price their services, manage contracts, handle negotiations, and efficiently deliver results to clients. The Role of a Consultant in Today's Business Environment In today's rapidly evolving business environment, the role of a consultant has become essential. Companies are faced with complex challenges and are often in need of specialized knowledge and expertise to overcome them. Consultants play a crucial role in providing objective advice, identifying opportunities for improvement, and implementing strategies that drive business success. Consultants also act as catalysts for change. They bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to organizations, helping them adapt to market trends, optimize their processes, and achieve sustainable growth. By working closely with clients, consultants provide a tailored approach that addresses specific needs and maximizes results. Lastly, consultants serve as mentors and educators to their clients. They transfer their knowledge and skills, empowering organizations to become more self-sufficient in the long run. Through training programs, workshops, and coaching sessions, consultants equip employees with the tools and expertise needed to excel in their roles and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Building a Successful Consulting Business Building a successful consulting business requires a combination of essential skills and strategies. Let's explore two key elements for achieving professional success in the consulting industry - essential skills for a successful consultant and building a strong client base. Essential Skills for a Successful Consultant Superb analytical and problem-solving skills: As a consultant, you will often be faced with complex issues that require thorough analysis and creative thinking to develop effective solutions. Imagine you are working with a manufacturing company that is experiencing a decline in productivity. Through your analytical skills, you identify bottlenecks in their production process and propose innovative solutions to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Effective communication skills: Consultants must be able to articulate their ideas clearly, listen actively to clients' needs, and effectively collaborate with stakeholders. When presenting your recommendations to the company's executives, you use concise and persuasive language to convey the potential benefits of your proposed strategies. On the other hand, when working with frontline employees, you adopt a more empathetic and supportive approach to address their concerns and gain their buy-in. Strong leadership skills: As a consultant, you often find yourself in a position of influence, where you need to inspire and motivate others to embrace new ideas and embrace change. When assisting a company in implementing a new technology system, you demonstrate strong leadership by creating a clear vision for the future, providing guidance and support to employees during the transition, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Continuous learning: Stay updated with industry trends and advancements to ensure your recommendations and expertise are up-to-date and relevant. This involves attending conferences, participating in professional development programs, and staying connected with industry thought leaders. Imagine you are a consultant specializing in digital marketing. By continuously learning and staying updated with the latest digital marketing strategies and technologies, you can provide your clients with cutting-edge solutions that give them a competitive edge in the market. Building Your Client Base Networking to build relationships and cultivate trust. Attending a conference related to your consulting niche allows you to meet industry professionals and potential clients. By engaging in meaningful conversations and exchanging contact information, you lay the foundation for future collaborations. Word-of-mouth referrals: Satisfied clients can be your best advocates, so deliver exceptional results and provide exceptional service. When clients are pleased with your work, they are more likely to recommend your services to their colleagues and business partners. Picture that you successfully helped a client increase their sales revenue by implementing a comprehensive sales training program. The client is thrilled with the results and shares their positive experience with other companies in their industry, leading to new client inquiries and potential business opportunities. Invest in marketing efforts such as creating a professional website and sharing valuable content through blogs or social media. The reason is that establishing yourself as a thought leader can attract clients seeking your expertise. If you specialize in sustainability consulting, you can create blog posts or social media content that educates businesses on the benefits of adopting sustainable practices. This not only showcases your knowledge but also attracts potential clients who are interested in incorporating sustainability into their operations. Challenges in the Consulting Business While the consulting business offers tremendous opportunities, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Let's explore some common obstacles faced by consultants and strategies for overcoming them. Common Obstacles for Consultants Managing unpredictable workloads: Projects can vary in terms of duration and intensity, and it can be challenging to balance multiple clients while maintaining high-quality deliverables.  Constantly proving value to clients: As a consultant, you must consistently demonstrate the impact of your recommendations and ensure they align with the client's goals. This requires ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and adaptability to refine your strategies and stay relevant. Overcoming Challenges in the Consulting Industry Establish clear expectations and boundaries with clients from the outset by agreeing on project timelines, deliverables, and scope to manage expectations and avoid scope creep. Communicate often and hold regular check-ins for alignment purposes and to address any concerns before they become larger issues. Utilize project management tools, communication platforms, and analytical software to optimize your workflow and deliver high-quality results.  Embrace continuous learning and professional development to stay ahead of industry trends and maintain your competitive edge. The Future of the Consulting Business Model The consulting business model is continuously evolving in response to emerging trends and changes in the business landscape. Let's explore some of the key factors shaping the future of consulting. Emerging Trends in Consulting Increased demand for specialized expertise: With the rapid pace of technological advancements and industry disruptions, businesses are seeking consultants with highly specific skill sets to help them navigate these changes successfully. As a consultant, identifying and developing niche areas of expertise can help you stand out in a crowded market. Integration of data analytics and technology in consulting services: Consultants who can leverage data-driven insights and utilize technology tools to drive decision-making will be in high demand. This requires continuous learning and staying updated with the latest tools and techniques. Adapting to Changes in the Consulting Landscape To adapt to the changing consulting landscape, consultants must be agile and adaptable. Embrace new technologies and methodologies, invest in ongoing learning and development, and build networks that foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. Emphasize the value you bring as a consultant in terms of problem-solving, creativity, and strategic guidance. Strategies for Long-Term Success in Consulting Long-term success in consulting requires a combination of continuous learning, maintaining client relationships, and delivering exceptional value. Let's explore two key strategies for sustaining success in this field. Continuous Learning and Development in Consulting: Consulting is a dynamic field, and to stay relevant, you must commit to a lifelong learning journey. Invest in professional development opportunities such as workshops, conferences, and certifications. By continuously expanding your knowledge and skills, you will be better equipped to provide valuable insights and maintain your competitive edge. Maintaining Client Relationships for Sustained Success: Building and maintaining strong client relationships is crucial for long-term success in consulting. Ensure you regularly communicate with clients to understand their evolving needs and challenges. Be proactive in offering new solutions, seeking feedback, and going above and beyond to exceed expectations. This will not only lead to client satisfaction but also pave the way for long-term partnerships and potential referrals. Navigate the Consultant Business Model with Wrike Navigating the consultant business model is key to achieving professional success. With Wrike, you can easily manage and understand the consultant business model. Wrike allows you to create individual folders for each consulting initiative, serving as a central hub for all relevant information and updates. Beyond just navigating the consultant business model, Wrike offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to foster collaboration, and drive productivity. From real-time communication to intuitive task management features, Wrike provides everything you need to navigate the consultant business model for professional success. Ready to navigate the consultant business model and achieve professional success? There's no better time to start than now. Get started with Wrike for free today. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Wrike Research Finds 82% of Professional Services Organizations Are Prioritizing Efficiency This Year
Productivity 5 min read

Wrike Research Finds 82% of Professional Services Organizations Are Prioritizing Efficiency This Year

As a professional services leader, you should equip yourself with the insights needed to illuminate unseen complexities, navigate economic uncertainties, and improve efficiency.  To make it easy to discover the strategies essential for your organization’s resilience and growth, Wrike has released new research that uncovers the most effective measures professional services teams take to enhance efficiency. Road to efficiency: How professional services teams thrive In Wrike’s 2023 Efficiency Report, leaders across the professional services industry ranked poor communication and collaboration, time wasted on activities like duplicative work, and ineffective use of technology as top causes of inefficiency. To combat these, 82% of professional services leaders are looking to work management software to provide a single source of truth for work across their organization. “With continued economic uncertainty looming, the pressure is on for professional services teams and firms to shorten time to value for key stakeholders, increase efficiency across their organization, and deliver on business outcomes,” said Thomas Scott, Interim CEO at Wrike. “Transparency with clients is essential and real-time reporting is a must-have. We are passionate about helping these teams deliver successful projects profitably.” Deliver success with the best platform for professional services. Wrike’s solution for professional services encompasses powerful features for teams across the professional services industry — including IT services, management consulting, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), marketing agencies, and more — that are designed to connect and accelerate the entire project life cycle, from scoping, planning, and execution to time tracking and resource management. Wrike also offers the following templates to help organizations get up and running quickly, maximizing efficiency and addressing some of the critical challenges professional services teams face day-to-day: Project Delivery Initiation Contract Management Enterprise Service Management Professional Services Management Requirements Management Services Scoping and Initiation Beginning the efficiency journey “In Wrike’s 2023 Efficiency Report, 80% of leaders said consolidating applications is one of the most effective ways to improve efficiency,” continued Scott. “Conversely, 59% of knowledge workers use redundant software applications, and the problem extends beyond disparate apps. Many organizations also use more than one work management platform — 63% of professional services leaders say this creates a lack of visibility into the work between teams or departments. Leaders must now come together and engage in more strategic conversations about their tech stacks because consolidation is needed to get to a single source of truth.” From many to one: Granicus’s shift to a single work management platform with Wrike Wrike’s ability to bring all work together in one place is already helping customers like Granicus, a global leader in customer experience technologies and services for the government, improve efficiency. Previously, Granicus used between five and eight different project management tools inherited from previous acquisitions to execute and track work across its organization. By introducing Wrike, it has centralized all teams into one work management platform — increasing visibility, alignment, and efficiency and delivering more standardized processes, reliable reports, and more accessible updates for external clients. It has seen a 20% increase in time tracking compliance since implementation, has taken on 200 new projects in Wrike every month, and can serve 1,200 external clients in Wrike. Better visibility into projects and performance “Work was getting lost in emails and across numerous project management solutions, making it difficult to share information,” said Debbie Prette, Director of Implementation at Granicus. “We needed a single source of truth for project management, time tracking, and external collaboration.” After carefully assessing multiple work management solutions on the market, Granicus scored Wrike as the best option to streamline operations, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce technology costs. For an engaging, live conversation about how Wrike is helping professional services teams improve efficiency, register for the upcoming webinar, “A Platform for Profitable Growth: Level Up PS Delivery,” on August 22 at 9 a.m. PDT. To read the Granicus case study, visit: https://www.wrike.com/customer-stories/granicus/ And to learn more about Wrike’s solution for professional services teams, visit: https://www.wrike.com/professional-services-management/

Work Goals Examples for Enterprise Professional Services Teams
Project Management 7 min read

Work Goals Examples for Enterprise Professional Services Teams

Setting clear and strategic work goals is essential for the success of enterprise professional services teams. Goals provide direction, focus, and motivation for both individuals and teams, helping them to achieve their full potential and contribute to the overall success of the organization. In this article, we will explore the importance of setting work goals, the different types of goals for professional services teams, and provide practical examples and strategies for effective goal setting and monitoring. Understanding the Importance of Setting Work Goals Goals play a crucial role in the professional growth of individuals and the overall success of a team. By setting clear and challenging goals, employees are provided with a sense of purpose and direction, which enhances their focus and motivation. Goals also serve as a benchmark for measuring progress and success, allowing individuals and teams to track their achievements and identify areas for improvement. The Role of Goals in Professional Growth Work goals are instrumental in fostering continuous professional growth and development. When individuals set specific and challenging goals, they are more likely to push themselves out of their comfort zone, acquire new skills, and tackle complex projects. As people strive to meet their goals, they develop resilience, problem-solving abilities, and a growth-oriented mindset. When employees finally achieve their objectives, they will feel accomplished and more confident of themselves, which can boost their performance in the future. Aligning Team Goals with Organizational Objectives For enterprise professional services teams to operate effectively, team goals must be aligned with the objectives of the organization. When teams have a clear understanding of the organization's strategic priorities, they can focus their efforts on projects and initiatives that contribute to the overall success of the company. Aligning team goals with organizational objectives also promotes teamwork and collaboration. When team members have a shared sense of purpose and work towards a common goal, they are more likely to communicate effectively, share knowledge and resources, and support one another in achieving their goals. They can keep each other accountable and strive for excellence when completing their individual tasks. Lastly, alignment allows for better resource allocation and utilization. When teams have a clear understanding of the organization's priorities, they can allocate their time, energy, and resources in a way that maximizes efficiency and effectiveness.  Types of Work Goals for Professional Services Teams Work goals can be classified into two main categories: short-term goals and long-term goals. Both types of goals are important and complement each other in driving individual and team performance. Short-Term Goals Short-term goals are those that can be achieved within a relatively brief period, typically ranging from a few days to a few months. These goals provide individuals and teams with a sense of progress and accomplishment, as they can see tangible results in a short amount of time. They can include objectives like acquiring new skills or certifications, attending relevant workshops or training sessions, or implementing process improvements within the team. Short-term goals also serve as stepping stones towards achieving long-term goals and contribute to overall professional growth. For example, a short-term goal for a professional services team could be to successfully complete a specific project within a specified timeframe and budget. By meeting this goal, team members gain confidence in their abilities, improve their project management skills, and enhance client satisfaction. Long-Term Goals Long-term goals, as the name suggests, are those that take a longer period to accomplish, often spanning several months or even years. These goals are typically more ambitious and strategic in nature, focusing on broader objectives and outcomes. They can include objectives such as fostering a culture of innovation within the team, promoting diversity and inclusion, or becoming a socially responsible organization. Long-term goals require careful planning, perseverance, and dedication to achieve. Businesses may need to build stronger relationships with stakeholders or invest in research and development to stay ahead of the competition. For instance, a long-term goal for an enterprise professional services team could be to expand their client base by a certain percentage or to become a recognized industry leader in a specific service area. These goals require sustained effort, continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to evolving market demands. Practical Examples of Work Goals for Enterprise Teams When setting work goals, it is important that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This framework allows for clear goal setting and facilitates effective monitoring and evaluation. Let's explore some examples of work goals for enterprise professional services teams: Examples of Individual Work Goals Enhance client communication skills by attending a communication workshop within the next three months. Complete at least two professional development courses related to the industry within the next year. Improve project management efficiency by reducing average project turnaround time by 10% within six months. Examples of Team-Based Work Goals Increase customer satisfaction ratings by implementing a client feedback system and achieving an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 within one year. Streamline internal processes by identifying and implementing at least three process improvement initiatives within the next nine months. Expand service offerings by conducting market research and launching two new services within the next 12 months. Strategies for Setting Effective Work Goals While setting work goals is essential, it's equally important to establish strategies to make goals that are meaningful, attainable, and aligned with the organization's vision. Here are some strategies for effective goal setting: Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals to track progress, make necessary adjustments, and celebrate achievements along the way.  Encourage staff participation in goal setting, to foster engagement and a sense of belonging.  Monitoring and Evaluating Work Goals Monitoring and evaluating work goals is crucial to achieve progress and make necessary adjustments. Here are some key steps to consider: Regularly review goal progress with your team and make any necessary adjustments or modifications if needed. Acknowledge individual and team successes and provide constructive feedback where necessary to boost morale and encourage continued progress towards future goals. Overall, work goals are instrumental in driving the success of enterprise professional services teams. By setting clear, challenging, and SMART goals, individuals and teams can enhance their focus, motivation, and overall performance. By employing effective goal-setting strategies and implementing a robust monitoring and evaluation process, teams can overcome challenges, celebrate achievements, and continuously strive for excellence in their professional services endeavors. Set effective work goals with examples from Wrike. Start your free trial today and motivate your enterprise professional services team for improved productivity and successful results. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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Delivering Value: How Customer Analysis Can Transform Your Professional Services
Project Management 10 min read

Delivering Value: How Customer Analysis Can Transform Your Professional Services

In today's competitive business landscape, delivering value to customers is more important than ever. Professional service providers, such as consulting firms, law firms, and marketing agencies, constantly strive to meet the needs and expectations of their clients. Achieving this requires an understanding of the customers themselves. This is where customer analysis becomes invaluable. Understanding Customer Analysis Customer analysis is a process of gathering and analyzing data about your customers to gain insights into their behavior, preferences, and needs. It goes beyond basic demographic information and dives deep into understanding their motivations, pain points, and desired outcomes. By conducting thorough customer analysis, professional service providers can develop strategies and solutions that align precisely with their customers' needs, ultimately delivering exceptional value and driving long-term success. When it comes to customer analysis, it requires collecting various types of data, including quantitative data and qualitative data. This data provides valuable insights into who your customers are and what drives their decision-making process. By analyzing this data, you can uncover patterns, trends, and preferences that will enable you to tailor your services effectively. Why Customer Analysis is Crucial for Professional Services In the professional services industry, building strong relationships with clients is vital. Customer analysis plays a significant role in this process, as it helps you gain an understanding of your target audience, allowing you to deliver experiences that surpass their expectations. Also, customer analysis allows you to stay ahead of the competition. By understanding your customers' preferences and needs, you can identify gaps in the market and develop innovative solutions that set you apart from your competitors. This proactive approach not only helps you attract new customers but also enables you to retain existing ones by continually meeting and exceeding their expectations. The Role of Customer Analysis in Delivering Value Creating value for clients is the cornerstone of any successful professional service provider. Customer analysis plays a crucial role in this process by providing insights that enable you to enhance the overall customer experience. Identifying Customer Needs and Expectations Through careful customer analysis, you can identify the specific needs, desires, and expectations of your target audience. This knowledge enables you to customize your services to address their unique challenges and deliver solutions that precisely meet their requirements. For example, let's say you are a marketing agency specializing in social media management. Through customer analysis, you discover that your clients value quick response times and creative content. You can develop a tailored approach that ensures prompt replies to customer inquiries and the creation of engaging posts that resonate with their target audience. By going above and beyond what your customers expect, you can establish your professional service firm as a trusted advisor and partner in their success. Enhancing Customer Experience through Personalization Personalization is a powerful strategy in professional services, and customer analysis gives you the necessary insights to implement it effectively. By understanding your customers' preferences, habits, and pain points, you can tailor your interactions, communications, and service delivery to create a personalized experience at every touchpoint. Imagine you are a financial advisor. Through customer analysis, you discover that one of your clients is passionate about sustainable investing. Now, you can proactively provide them with information on socially responsible investment opportunities and help them align their financial goals with their values. Personalization not only drives customer satisfaction but also cultivates loyalty and advocacy, leading to long-term client relationships and repeat business. Steps to Effective Customer Analysis While customer analysis may seem complex, it can be broken down into a series of systematic steps that provide actionable insights to transform your professional services. Gathering and Analyzing Customer Data The first step in effective customer analysis is gathering relevant data from various sources. This may include customer surveys, social media analytics, website data, and sales records. You can get a comprehensive view of your customers and their interactions with your business. Once collected, the data should be thoroughly analyzed and segmented to identify trends, patterns, and customer preferences. This analysis will form the foundation for strategic decision-making and service customization. By understanding what your customers want and how they behave, you can align your offerings with their expectations and provide a personalized experience. Segmenting Your Customer Base Segmentation is a vital step in customer analysis that involves categorizing your customer base into distinct groups based on their shared characteristics, needs, or behaviors. You can better understand each group's specific requirements and develop targeted strategies to meet their expectations. Segmentation allows you to allocate resources efficiently and tailor your service offerings to maximize value for each segment. For example, if you have identified a segment of price-sensitive customers, you can create promotions or discounts to attract and retain them. On the other hand, if you have a segment of high-value customers, you can focus on providing personalized and premium services to enhance their loyalty. Predicting Customer Behavior Customer behavior prediction is the ultimate goal of effective customer analysis. You can predict future behaviors by understanding your customers' preferences, needs, and motivations. This knowledge enables you to proactively address their needs, deliver personalized experiences, and stay one step ahead of the competition. Using advanced analytics techniques, such as predictive modeling and machine learning algorithms, you can identify patterns in customer behavior and make accurate predictions. For example, by analyzing past purchase history and browsing patterns, you can anticipate when a customer is likely to make a repeat purchase or when they might churn. Now, you can take proactive measures to retain customers and drive revenue growth. Transforming Your Professional Services through Customer Analysis Applying the insights gained from customer analysis can revolutionize the way you deliver professional services and create significant value for your clients. By understanding your customers' needs and expectations, you can tailor your services to provide exceptional value and build long-term relationships. Tailoring Services to Meet Customer Needs By leveraging customer analysis, you can tailor your services to address the unique needs of your customers. This customization can involve everything from pricing structures and service bundling to specialized offerings and personalized support. For example, if your analysis reveals that a particular segment of your customer base values flexibility and convenience, you can introduce flexible service packages and online scheduling tools to meet their needs. By offering personalized solutions, you position your professional service firm as a trusted partner and generate exceptional value that differentiates you from the competition. Moreover, customer analysis can help you identify emerging trends and preferences within your target market. By staying ahead of these trends, you can proactively develop new services or modify existing ones to meet evolving customer demands. This agility in adapting to customer needs not only enhances customer satisfaction but also positions your firm as an industry leader. Improving Customer Retention and Loyalty Customer analysis enables you to identify the factors that drive customer loyalty. By understanding your customers' expectations and providing experiences that align with those expectations, you can increase customer satisfaction and retention. For instance, if your analysis reveals that prompt and responsive customer support is a key driver of loyalty, you can invest in improving your support infrastructure and training your staff to deliver exceptional service. Satisfied and loyal customers are more likely to refer your services to others, leading to positive word-of-mouth and new business opportunities. Moreover, customer analysis can help you identify potential pain points or areas for improvement in your service delivery. By proactively addressing these issues, you can enhance the overall customer experience and strengthen customer loyalty. Regularly analyzing customer feedback and incorporating it into your service enhancements demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. Driving Business Growth and Profitability Through effective customer analysis, you can identify untapped opportunities and emerging market trends. By tailoring your services to meet these demands, you position your professional service firm as an industry leader and actively contribute to your client's success. For example, if your analysis reveals a growing demand for sustainable solutions in your industry, you can develop environmentally-friendly service offerings that cater to this market segment. This not only drives business growth but also enhances profitability as you attract new clients and increase the lifetime value of existing ones. In addition, customer analysis can help you uncover cross-selling and upselling opportunities. By understanding your customers' preferences and purchasing behavior, you can identify complementary services that can be offered to existing clients. This strategic approach not only increases revenue but also strengthens client relationships by providing comprehensive solutions that address their evolving needs. Lastly, customer analysis can assist in identifying potential gaps in the market that your firm can fill. By understanding the unmet needs of your target audience, you can develop innovative services or modify existing ones to cater to these gaps.  In conclusion, customer analysis plays a pivotal role in delivering value and transforming professional services. By deeply understanding your customers' needs, preferences, and behaviors, you can tailor your services to exceed expectations, enhance customer loyalty, and drive overall business success. Embracing customer analysis as a strategic imperative will enable your professional service firm to remain competitive and continue delivering exceptional value in today's dynamic business landscape. Advance your professional services to the next level by understanding your customers better through Wrike's client management features. Try our platform for free and deliver greater value consistently. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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