Wrike is a tool that helps make your project management process more efficient, but it's not enough to just know about all of Wrike's features. Without a clear process in place, things will still fall through the cracks. In order to help your team successfully implement Wrike, you need to create a clear picture of your end goals, determine how certain features will be utilized, and communicate new processes with your team.

Define Your Goals for Wrike

Because Wrike has so many features, it's especially important to have a clear plan for what you want to get out of the tool. So make sure you get a good idea of the specific goals you want to achieve using Wrike. Do you want to boost work velocity and get things done faster than before? Do you want to increase visibility and collaboration between team members? Whatever your goal, having a defined objective will help you ensure Wrike is doing its job.

Clear goals also make it easier to gauge how Wrike has contributed to your team's productivity and overall success. One of our customers — a project manager leading her team — used Excel spreadsheets before coming to Wrike. She wanted to increase the number of tasks the team completed on a weekly basis. Having a defined goal made it very easy for her to measure the success of their Wrike implementation: she simply compared the number of projects done with Wrike to the number of projects completed when they formerly relied on Excel. She showed this tangible benchmark of success to upper management, and they were very excited to see the jump in productivity.

Decide How Your Team Can Maximize the Features

This is generally true for most software, but with with a tool as flexible as Wrike, it becomes crucial that you figure out and really define what certain features mean for you and your team.

For example: Wrike lets you mark tasks with a "deferred" status, but what does "deferred" mean for your purposes? Are you reactivating that same task later on, or giving up on it completely? In the same vein, when do you use the “Cancelled" status? And when do you simply delete a task that is no longer needed? Deciding ahead of time will save confusion.

And when it comes to rescheduling tasks, should it be standard operating procedure for your team members to @mention the person responsible for the project, or can they simply reschedule the tasks on their own?

Furthermore, how will you use milestones? Will you only set milestones for the final due date of a big project, or will there be multiple milestones along the way? Will the people working on the project come up with the tasks in between?

Spend some time considering the best processes and most helpful features to enhance your team's everyday work. Creating some standard usage guidelines will give them direction and help establish consistency to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar software.

Communicate Processes with Your Team

Once you've figured out the best working processes and most helpful features for your goals, communicate them with your team and get everyone on the same page.

Here's an example: Let’s say your goal is to encourage your team to share knowledge with their colleagues, so you're setting up a company knowledge base within Wrike. Instead of actionable items, each task represents a piece of information that your team can use for reference. Since you want each piece of information to be easily accessible, you don't want these "tasks" to be marked as complete. If you’re setting this as the rule, communicate it with the team and explain the reasoning.

For larger companies, consider distributing a reference guide, (e.g. a PDF file listing all rules) especially regarding features in Wrike that are the most beneficial for your team. And if there are features you won't be using, be sure to communicate that as well.

Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to use these features. Since you are the one most familiar with how your team works, you must put some thought into creating an intelligent way to integrate Wrike with your team's habits and workflow, culminating in a holistic process. Only then can you truly adopt Wrike and attain the overall goal of increasing your team's productivity.

NOTE: This is the third in a series of posts I’ve written regarding adopting software in general, and Wrike in particular. For more adoption tips, here is the first in the series, and here's the second.