F5 Increases On-time Deliveries by 33% After Adopting a Tool Their Whole Team Uses
Manager of the PMO
Only 14% of the F5 marketing team used their previous project management tool and they struggled to receive the right support.
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Planning 47 global events annually, the F5 marketing department had been relying on project management tools such as Workfront and JIRA to communicate on projects and plan events. "One of the major reasons why Workfront wasn't working for us was the low adoption rate," says Patricia Davis, Manager of the PMO at F5 Networks. "Only about 55 out of 400 people were using Workfront and most of them were just using it as a ticketing system for people who wanted to get their work through the pipeline."
Adoption rates were continuing to decline as training on the tool was extensive and difficult to replicate. "Their training was probably four hours on each of their features," says Davis. "There was an enormous amount of documentation just to learn their functions. We simply didn't have time." Davis' team was also experiencing issues with receiving customer support. Davis continues: "We could not physically see everything that was going through our pipeline in comparison to everything else. And whenever we contacted Workfront support, they couldn't solve our problem."
With little support and a tool no one was using, Davis had to return to the drawing board to explore an easy-to-use solution that was within their budget, that came with top-notch support, and could be used by her entire team.
If there was something that we couldn't make work, the Wrike team always came up with a fabulous workaround, and then they came up with the actual function to make it work.
With almost 100% of the marketing team using Wrike, they have successfully increased on-time delivery of tasks and overall event attendance by 77% in the past year.
Davis evaluated about 10 different solutions before landing on Wrike. She was impressed with the tool's ease of use and the incredible support her team received when they asked questions. "The support team at Wrike was on top of it," says Davis. "Every single thing we asked on our wish list is being addressed now, or was addressed within a matter of weeks."
Transitioning the entire marketing team to a new tool was not easy, however. In the beginning, adopting a new tool was met with much resistance from Davis' team. "I showed it to one of our top team members who initially refused to use Wrike and within minutes he was saying, 'This is brilliant.' I even took that response and framed it on my desk!"
Some team members did not want to change their current processes while others just wanted to stay in JIRA. Davis showed them how much more transparent Wrike was compared to JIRA, and how easy it was to use the Wrike and JIRA 2-way sync. "We were quickly able to ramp everyone up and after just 30 minutes of training, people would start to see how easy it was to see everything," says Davis.
With all work and all team members now in Wrike, their events run much more smoothly. "We put everything that has to do with the event in Wrike," says Davis. "The logistics, hotel, entertainment, everything that anybody touches on this event is in Wrike. At the end of the event, we can pull a report to see how it performed. This has been a very positive thing for us, since we were able to get things done faster than we would normally have in any other year. Our director even shares that she feels she should be more nervous at this point — but isn't because she is able to see everything that's been done."
The F5 marketing team was not only able to get everyone on the same tool, but saw all the benefits from working in unison. By planning their events in Wrike, they were able to increase the number of attendees at their events by 77% by advertising earlier. In fact, they had so many people attend this past year, they had to turn people away.
They were also able to improve their on-time delivery of marketing tasks from 67% to 89%... and understand what led to the improved numbers. Wrike gives them full transparency to clearly see what contributed to their successes and failures.
Reporting allows the F5 marketing team to review each project and evaluate processes. Having a consistent way to measure performance helps the team quantify their achievements and discover what they're doing right and what can be improved. "I can't live without reporting," says Davis. "I can pull a report and within minutes I can pivot it any way I want to without exporting it to Excel."
By moving all requests into Wrike Request Forms, Davis can track all incoming work from other teams. The form now gives her team all the information they need to begin a project immediately. Plus, they no longer have to keep tabs on requests that come in verbally or through email. Davis says, "We're putting full campaigns into forms so our executive team can evaluate the workload and decide what we're realistically able to accommodate within a quarter."
With so many events each year, templates help the marketing team track all event assets and provide them with peace of mind knowing nothing has been forgotten. Templates also make it easy for new hires to come on board and comprehend what's involved in planning. "Templates are nice because you just have to build them once and you get so much use out of them. We no longer have to reinvent the wheel every time," says Davis.