Nickelodeon Brings Dreams to Life Through Agile Workflows and Collaboration in Wrike
Founded in 1979, Nickelodeon is the first dedicated Entertainment network for kids. Today, the organization, part of Paramount, encompasses a diverse, global business represented in over 180 countries, with a dedicated internal creative group that translates brands into customer products and experiences.
The Location-based Experiences Group is one of those essential creative teams responsible for tackling the incredible task of bringing Nickelodeon characters to life through attractions, rides, resorts, and hotels. With around 120 members, the team includes 30 project managers, producers, and senior creatives – all of whom rely on Wrike to manage their work and deliver on complex, time sensitive projects.
Success Story Facts
- Eliminated endless email and meeting chains
- Streamlined complex business functions and decision making processes
- Established a single source of truth for asset development
- Consolidated collaboration and enabled hybrid work transformation
- Brought digital characters like SpongeBob and Angelica Pickles to life for fans
If it's not in Wrike, it doesn't exist.
Nickelodeon’s Location-based Experiences Group is responsible for managing the complex ecosystem of projects required to translate well-loved Nickelodeon and Paramount brands into tangible encounters. This includes experiences that visitors can touch, taste, and feel at places like Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park – American Dream and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya.
On a day-to-day basis, this involves developing their own internal creative, building new attractions from conception to execution, managing the complex, multi-stage pipelines required to deliver on experiences that take years to build, as well as reviewing and revising requests from various departments across multiple Paramount brands. However, with a growing workforce, increasing expectations, and the complexities of hybrid operations, the team eventually needed a work management solution to better streamline and accelerate work.
“Our team's work management history was like a lot of typical companies – complicated, based on emails, with too many meetings," notes Jeff Hartlieb, Project Director, Nickelodeon Location-based Experiences. “We required tools and systems to manage the very complex work that we had to deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
Hartlieb knew his team needed a way to establish a single source of truth and simplify processes before they got overwhelmed. “We, as a team, needed to find a solution and redo the way that we worked. We decided to turn our office into a more agile way of doing business.”
With the implementation of Wrike, we've been able to bring on more projects with the same amount of people because we've been able to be more efficient.
Looking to do away with the endless emails, meetings, and complexities, Hartlieb’s team chose Wrike to transform and support a more streamlined and agile way of business. With Wrike, Nickelodeon was able to simplify workflow processes, provide clarity into decision making, establish cross-functional project visibility, as well as succeed as a remote team in an agile, hybrid work environment.
Enabling better workflow prioritization and efficiency
By implementing Wrike, Nickelodeon was able to focus on more meaningful work rather than getting bogged down in lengthy email chains and back-to-back meetings. “The most frustrating thing for our team before we found Wrike was dealing with complicated business via email and having endless meetings,” explains Hartlieb. “Wrike provided a system for us that was simple, clean, and easy for everybody to use – which made our work much more efficient.”
Furthermore, Wrike’s intuitive user interface and tools resulted in the team spending minimal time figuring out how to structure and organize projects – letting them prioritize important work and accomplish more with the same amount of resources.
”Wrike came in and provided a very clean, simple user interface and adaptable tools for our business,” noted Hartlieb. “With the implementation of Wrike, we've been able to bring on more projects with the same amount of people because we've been able to be more efficient.”
Accelerating approvals and the proofing process
Wrike’s easily customizable approval automation and workflow features alleviated one of Nickelodeon's biggest obstacles – streamlining the decision-making process and clarifying the approval process based on their decision matrix. “Our biggest workflow challenge before we found Wrike was determining who is the decider at each point and phase of a project based on our decision matrix – and Wrike was able to support that methodology,” says Harlieb.
Wrike’s powerful built-in proofing feature also provided the team with a better way to review and collaborate on creative assets. Proofing enabled them to easily keep review tasks organized, share in-context feedback for each asset, as well as automatically notify approvers when assets were ready for review.
“One of the major tools we use is the proofing tool, which allows us to collaborate effectively on countless concepts, sketches, and designs,” mentions Hartlieb. “Within Wrike, we set up every project with different phases. And then in each of those phases, we use the proofing tool … to be able to collaborate and ensure that assets are on-brand and executed in a proper manner.”
Streamlining projects by establishing a single source of truth
Wrike also enables Nickelodeon’s Location-based Experiences Group to consolidate their countless assets, tools, project information, and statuses into a powerful, unified, and versatile platform that everyone can rely on and stay on the same page with. “One of the great things about Wrike is it's the single source of truth,” says Hartlieb. “We also have all of these different tools. We have Google Docs, we have Slack, we have Teams, we have Illustrator, PDFs – all this information. And by bringing that into Wrike, it becomes a single source of truth. And that makes us more efficient in the way we work and the work that’s produced.”
Unraveling project complexities with simplified work intake systems
Hartlieb’s team also uses Dynamic Request Forms within Wrike to further facilitate information consolidation and sharing. Request Forms enable creatives, project managers, or external partners alike to organize their information exactly how they want it and locate it exactly when they need it. “Our creatives like Wrike because information comes in via our request form. All the things that they need – whether it’s PDFs, Word documents, scripts – everything is in one place and it makes it easier for them. It's all wrapped up in a bow for them, and they don't have to work to find it,” notes Hartlieb. “Our partners love Wrike as well, because the request tool puts everything in one spot. They get a much faster response time because of Wrike.”
Enabling cross-functional collaboration and visibility in hybrid environments
By pooling requests, project progress, goals, and more directly into Wrike, Nickelodeon’s teams were able to maintain full visibility over not only their own work, but the work other teams were doing – enabling them to eliminate silos and unlock cross-functional collaboration.
“The best thing about being transparent in business is that we can have all those projects laid out, and other teams within different departments can see what's going on”, says Hartlieb. “And in fact, that engenders cheerleading, and everyone's excited about all of these different projects – everyone has exposure, and everyone can chime in and be collaborative.”
That same visibility and capability for collaboration greatly assisted Hartlieb’s team to transition to an agile, hybrid work environment with minimal difficulty. Wrike provided them with everything they needed to do their best work while maintaining good work-life balance, no matter where they were located.
“Wrike has really helped our work-life balance by being a system that has its tools available on a laptop, work computer, or remotely on mobile devices. It allows that collaboration to happen anytime that suits the person doing the work,” mentions Hartlieb. “We were lucky three years ago, when we implemented Wrike with our agile transformation, that we already had the tools in place for remote work when that became a reality for many of us. In a hybrid work environment we have been able to hone our ability to use those different tools in a great way.”
Wrike provided a system for us that was simple, clean, and easy for everybody to use – which made our work much more efficient.
Wrike has helped Nickelodeon bring dreams to life and connect with its fans through exciting location-based experiences. By integrating transformative features like easily customizable workflows and automation, as well as better ways to approve and proof countless projects and assets, Nickelodeon was able to establish the single source of truth and essential project visibility that they needed to provide immersive offscreen experiences for fans.
And although originally used exclusively by Nickelodeon's Location-based Experiences Group, Wrike's ease of use and cross-collaborative work management capabilities have now helped it spread to teams across the larger organization.
“Although we use Wrike within our particular team, it's moving out into other groups at Paramount,” says Hartlieb. “And what we find interesting is that those other lines of business use Wrike in a totally different way than we do, which is exciting to see. And so we pick and pull from each other and find out what those other teams are doing.”
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