UNSW Sydney Breaks Down Silos and Improves Cross-Division Communication With Wrike
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney is a powerhouse of cutting-edge research, teaching, and innovation. Recognized as one of the top 50 universities in the world, UNSW has more than 59,000 students, a research community of 7,000, and 6,000 staff members.
With ambitious strategic plans in place and their sights set on growth, UNSW needed to increase productivity and work output across their large teams. Leading a cross-functional team, Dave Rorke, Project Officer, and Nancy Peaty, Production and Traffic Manager, both of the Division of External Relations, were tasked with initiating the change process.
The Division of External Relations handles all external marketing and communications for the university. Rorke and Peaty’s roles are to ensure excellence around managing incoming work and foster operational business improvement. The division handles a variety of types of requests from teams across the university, which means work is coming in from 6,000 people. Being a lean team, they needed to ensure that there was an effective and efficient system in place.
They required a robust system that would allow multiple stakeholders to collaborate while centralizing communication and ensuring accuracy. It was clear they needed a platform that would allow them to visualize work, track progress, and report on projects. On top of that, they required a flexible solution that could be easily implemented and would allow them to scale. Time and resources were lacking, but change was needed — and quickly.
The division was already using Wrike successfully, and taking all their requirements into consideration, Rorke and Peaty determined that Wrike was still the right solution. “In our case, we needed a workflow management platform, so Wrike was a brilliant option for us, particularly for the project management side of things. Wrike makes things easier and clearer, which in turn makes things consistent. It enables a lot of simplified interactions between our departments and clients, which is a game-changer.” says Rorke.
Rorke consulted with stakeholders across the university to review what was and wasn’t working and drove the development of a new structure that would best suit all stakeholder needs through the working group he created. Then he partnered with the Wrike customer success and deployment team to create an intensive training program on using Wrike.
This approach proved very successful for UNSW, and they found the experience a lot easier than expected. Wrike has allowed cross-collaboration within the departments and among 275 users, and garnered rave reviews. “Things are a lot clearer now, which makes working across the division a lot easier and faster.” Peaty says, “Having everyone properly trained and understanding how the system works means that we work together more effectively and deliver more efficiently.”
Increased communication and clear workflows
Wrike request forms have streamlined the process for teams who are initiating new work with the division. Using required fields and dropdown options, the forms save time by gathering all the information up front. They significantly reduce the need for the countless back and forth emails previously necessary to collate all the needed details. The Division of External Relations team can focus on managing the flow of incoming work and ensuring sufficient resources are allocated.
Wrike’s structure of folders, projects, and tasks allows for all communication and collaboration of ideas to be housed in one place. With one central location, “UNSW has seen a 250% increase in communication in the tool within the first three months of this new training.”
UNSW Open Day
UNSW Open Day is an opportunity for all students and those interested to gather more information, experience the campus, attend workshops, and meet current students and
staff members. Thousands of prospective students attend the annual event. “Typically, it requires management from start to finish. It’s a massive project that touches every faculty
member, every division, and every team within,” Rorke explains.
“I am so glad that we have Wrike as opposed to having information in hundreds of spreadsheets going around thousands of emails or worse, just in people’s heads,” says Rorke.
With Wrike, the process is seamless and painless.
Automated processes improve accuracy and visibility
Simple, automated processes have increased the accuracy of information for UNSW and improved visibility into projects in several ways:
- Wrike’s functionality allows UNSW to design its request forms with required fields, dropdown options, and progressive questions. The forms allow accurate information gathering before the work begins and decrease the risk of human error.
- Custom statuses and workflows allow projects to move from step to step. With Wrike Integrate, stakeholders are automatically notified of the status and progress of their requests. This has saved Rorke and his team members many hours of administrative work.
- Dashboards give the UNSW teams an overview of all projects that are in the queue and what their statuses are. They can drill down into details, report on progress, and forecast the amount of work they can accept at a given time.
“Now the team can really manage their work more effectively and work well across divisions,” Rorke concludes. If you’re looking for a collaboration and project management platform or a workflow management platform, Wrike is brilliant.”