What exactly is work management and how can it help you improve your project success rates?

Here at Wrike, we talk a lot about project management. That’s because projects that are properly planned, organized, and executed have a drastically higher likelihood of succeeding. In fact, according to one study from the Project Management Institute, organizations with a defined project management structure achieve a project success rate that’s 38% greater than companies without a project management system or structure in place.

While project management is key to the success of individual projects, the same philosophy of an organized structure or system for accomplishing goals can be applied to the organization or company as a whole. This process or systemized approach is known as work management. 

So, how can organizations utilize a work management system and work management processes to improve efficiency, reduce or eliminate waste and redundancy, and ultimately boost overall success metrics? Read on to discover the answers in this ultimate guide to work management!

What is work management?

According to Gartner, work management is “a set of software products and services that apply workflow structure” within businesses and organizations. Work management “streamlines and transforms crucial business processes and thus can improve results and performance,” the IT research and advisory firm continues. 

In other words, work management is the means by which businesses and organizations manage, refine, and optimize all internal processes to maximize success. 

What is the difference between work management and project management?

Work management and project management share some common features. Where they primarily differ is in the scope of what they’re trying to help organizations accomplish. For instance, both project management and work management solutions help teams collaborate and work together more efficiently. However, since projects are limited in time, scope, and objective, project management seeks to optimize workflows and processes within that limited framework. 

Work management, on the other hand, encompasses all the ongoing processes, workflows, operations, and tasks that companies carry out on a day to day basis, outside of the limited parameters of a singular project. 

Work management touches every employee and every function at every organizational level. From the C-suite all the way down to the front line, efficient work management helps streamline and improve operations and processes that have no defined start and end date. Project management, then, is actually a subset of work management, as individual projects fall under the umbrella of organizational operations and functions.

What are the challenges of work management?

Gartner’s definition of work management gives us some insight into the primary challenges that a work management solution seeks to remedy. The company states that work management is “a set of software products and services that apply workflow structure to the movement of information as well as to the interaction of business processes and human worker processes that generate the information.” In other words, work management considers — and seeks to improve — things like:

  • How information flows within an organization
  • How team members, managers, and executives interact with that information and apply it to business processes
  • How organizations can utilize a suite of digital tools and solutions in a more cohesive, unified manner

Perhaps the single greatest challenge of work management is streamlining and optimizing the use of multiple different apps and software solutions within an organization. According to a recent analysis, the average number of software apps used by large organizations (defined as those with more than 2,000 employees) has increased 68% since 2015. At the end of 2018, the average was 129 apps per company, and almost 10% of those businesses have more than 200 apps in their IT systems. 

Smaller firms with fewer than 2,000 employees are not that far behind. The same study found that the average number of apps being used among these organizations jumped from 53 in 2015 to 73 in 2018. This presents a massive challenge on the work management front, and is the primary reason why a work management system is so crucial in the digital age.

Why your team needs a work management tool

To put it simply, your team or business needs a work management tool to help boost overall business performance. More specifically, a work management system can help streamline the flow of information within the organization and optimize the integration of all the different software apps and solutions you’re currently using. 

By utilizing work management processes, you’ll be able to track, organize, and manage work at every level and identify inefficiencies in your current workflow. Work management system software can also greatly reduce the time your company spends on tracking and updating progress manually. With a work management tool, you’ll enjoy centralized communication and information exchange, instead of trying to keep up with endless email chains and disjointed notes from multiple face-to-face meetings.  What’s more, a work management system will help you spot recurring bottlenecks and roadblocks that hold up and slow down production.

Why use Wrike as your next work management system?

While Wrike is known as the go-to project management solution for modern-day, project-based organizations, the truth is that Wrike can help any organization streamline operations and boost productivity with its robust work management platform. 

Wrike helps connect organizations with centralized communication and easy, secure collaboration. You’ll be able to share tasks, folders, and projects and communicate in real-time with colleagues and coworkers all in one unified space. Wrike isn’t some cookie-cutter solution, though. With customizable dashboards, calendars, team project time tracking, and workflows, you can easily tailor the way your company plans, executes, and delivers not just projects, but all ongoing tasks, procedures, and processes that operate on a day-to-day basis. 

Wrike also makes it simple to keep everyone in your organization abreast of what’s going on. Wrike allows you to build automatic, customized status reports to easily share vital metrics on tasks and projects that impact the whole company, all on a secure platform that offers customizable access roles, continuous data backup, 99.9% uptime, and global data centers. 

Finally, Wrike facilitates and supports integration with more than 400 cloud and on-premises apps for all your needs and functions including CRM, email, file storage, extensions, CMS, business intelligence, and much more. 

Ready to see just how simple work management can be? Get started with Wrike today with a free trial and see for yourself!