CPS HR Consulting Improves
Cross-Departmental Collaboration and Reduces Email by 20%
Director of Information Technology
CPS HR needed a single system to manage projects more efficiently, without requiring formal training
Founded in 1985, CPS HR Consulting is based in Sacramento, CA, and has offices in Maryland, Texas, and Georgia. CPS HR focuses its consulting services in the public and non-profit sector in the U.S. and Canada, and serves over 1,200 clients.
Teams at CPS HR were managing projects using only email and spreadsheets, which quickly became unwieldy — particularly among teams with remote employees who needed to coordinate with each other. As Dave Powell, Director of Information Technology, explains, "What happens is an absolute proliferation of email for just about anything you can think of: simple communication, project/task status, meeting notes, you name it. It's all just email ad nauseum."
One team decided to experiment with Asana to address the issue, but found it to be inadequate for their needs. "They really needed something to help manage their tasks without a lot of training, but they ran into Asana's limitations fairly fast. They ended up asking for IT help in evaluating tools, and eventually we came to Wrike."
Teams at CPS HR wanted a powerful yet easy-to-use task management system to help them track timelines and dependencies, without needing a formally trained project manager on staff.
"It became really difficult to manage resources and tasks. People needed something to manage both their own work, and be able to see what's going on with their teams without having to email somebody or get into a spreadsheet," says Powell. CPS HR Consulting adopted Wrike in early 2015, with the goal of improving cross-departmental collaboration and project visibility.
That project was so complex, that I can't picture it working without a tool like Wrike. It really did help us meet our goal of being able to deliver a project on-time and on-budget, because everyone could see what was going on.
After implementing Wrike, CPS HR improved collaboration across departments, while reducing email by 20%
Supporting Remote Teams with Centralized Project and Meeting Management
The first team to adopt Wrike was the most geographically distributed team at the company, with the most limited resources. They used Skype for nearly all team and client meetings, traveled extensively to and from client sites, and relied on desktop and mobile technology to facilitate their work." They really needed a central location to store everything, rather than just try to email and make sure everybody has the latest version of the spreadsheet. And the managers of that unit needed a way to balance their resources and maximize efficiency and task loads for each team member. Wrike does all of this very nicely," says Powell. "It really does run their whole operation, meeting notes, documents, the whole thing."
CPS HR started requiring the use of Wrike for complex, cross-departmental projects. "We set a ground rule: it doesn't exist if it's not in Wrike." This cut out the mountain of email and paperwork, and helped keep the team aligned on progress. "They really needed a central location to store everything, rather than just try to email and make sure everybody has the latest version of the spreadsheet. And the managers of that unit needed a way to balance their resources and maximize efficiency and task loads for each team member. Wrike does all of this very nicely," says Powell. "It really does run their whole operation, meeting notes, documents, the whole thing."
Deployment and Adoption
CPS HR brought in Wrike to train the team. "We had your specialist come in and do training, and turn them into champions, which then helped the rest of the team to adopt." To build team members' skills and comfort-level with Wrike, Powell and other departmental managers encouraged their teams to watch tutorial videos and manage their personal tasks in Wrike. Eventually, they would give team members more urgent projects to complete in Wrike. "They know how to lead a meeting in Wrike. They know how to manage their personal tasks. They know how to create a dashboard."
Teams at CPS HR use custom Dashboards to manage workflows and view project status. "They use them like Kanban boards, largely for workflows: work flowing from one step to another, or one priority to another."
Task & Project Templates
Templates are a favorite time-saving feature among teams at CPS HR. "Where templates really come in handy is when a process or procedure has a lot of tasks that are repeated on the next project. Just define it once, and then duplicate it," says Powell.
CPS HR staff use Wrike's mobile apps when traveling between client sites. "We use the mobile app for task management: to see what's on for today and what's upcoming, and to rearrange tasks," says Powell.
@Mentions in task comments enables CPS HR to transition away from email for internal project communication by providing a centralized history of conversations and work updates, with date and time stamps.