At any one time during a project, do you know who is doing what? What happens when your team experiences delays in turning work around, or mysterious bottlenecks in production? Can you figure out how to solve these problems?

When we talked with Bailey Shemenski, former Head of Operations at predictive analytics company SimpleRelevance, she shared how she used to solve this problem by carrying a little notebook with her packed with project details. Meanwhile, her teammates each used their own personal whiteboards with to-do items listed. Far from ideal.

Her operations team was forced to spend time tracking down items in notepads or email threads in order to follow up on tasks.

Shemenski shares: "Small details would sometimes fall through the cracks without calendar due dates or without being able to share my notes with team members."

In a similar fashion, global apartment rental company Only-apartments struggled with much the same issues. Their marketing department had eight distinct divisions, and were launching a brand new website on top of day-to-day matters. They survived by sending hundreds of emails and setting up dozens of meetings. Again, not ideal.

According to Ramon Glieneke, Marketing Director at Only-apartments, they needed a clear view into how each of the divisions was collaborating and who was assigned specific tasks.

The answer, as it turns out, is proper visibility into your team's entire workflow.

What Business Visibility Isn't

Business visibility is one of those buzzwords you read about in every B2B Software-as-a-Service website. Not in the creepy sense of surveillance cameras and remote desktop spying, but rather the thought that transparent information provides a more complete view of what's going on in your company.

Visibility therefore does not condone micromanagement or employee surveillance. Instead, it's a way to better understand the inner workings of your team so you can improve how work gets done.

Improved Visibility Affects the Bottom Line

In the cases of both SimpleRelevance and Only-apartments, they got their much-wanted visibility when they implemented Wrike, which became the central platform where all project data was stored and accessed. Nowadays teams can find data or client information without wading through email threads, taking status meetings, or waiting for email responses.

"It gives us a much quicker turnaround," says Steve Rose, Customer Success and Operations at SimpleRelevance. "The virtue of having everything in one system makes it a lot easier for people to collaborate on projects, and it breaks down some of those knowledge barriers."

Shemenski adds: "The transparency and ability to have an overview of the workload across all the individual team members has allowed us to deliver for clients a lot faster and a lot more efficiently."

End result of all this visibility? SimpleRelevance successfully increased their ability to produce client deliverables by 30%.

How the Right Tools Improve Visibility

Visibility isn't achieved by simply saying you want to see how things are performing. You need the right work tool with the proper features. When looking for a tool, you should have the following functionalities:

  • Dashboards - A way to take in data that you find critical in one view
  • Reports - Automated, recurring reports on team performance, project status, and other customizable data points
  • Workload view - A way to see into the workload of any single team member or entire teams
  • Resource management - A way to manage the team's resources, whether this refers to physical or monetary resources

Glieneke of Only-apartments says: “Detailed custom reports on project, employee, and team progress helped us achieve great results in launching our projects.”

Ready to Improve Business Visibility?

You can certainly proceed the same way you've always been conducting your business, by struggling to see what your team is doing, and how projects are progressing. Perhaps by sending more emails and setting up more tiresome meetings.

Or you can look more carefully at some options to improve your visibility by implementing a work management tool like Wrike.