True Colors United Completes More Advocacy & Training Projects Using Wrike + G Suite
Chief Creative Officer
To support their advocacy & training projects, True Colors United needed a system that provided integrated project management, scheduling, and reporting capabilities.
Prior to implementing Wrike, the True Colors United used a combination of email, Asana, Boomerang, and Do.com, along with Google Forms, to manage their workload.
Joe Moran, Chief Creative Officer at True Colors United, identified a need to shift from Asana and email to a more complete project management system. Because project volume was growing, and nearly all projects are pre-planned several months in advance, the system needed to incorporate timeline planning, reporting, and scheduling tools. Project success is defined as on-time, on-budget delivery of the full project scope. "Grants turn into mini projects of at least 10 tasks, whereas our 2-day summit could have more than 300 tasks," explains Moran.
Moran compared Wrike with Asana and Trello, and ultimately chose Wrike because of its Timeline view and granular sharing and permissions settings.
*Photos provided courtesy of The True Colors United
Our team members have reported that they feel less overwhelmed when they use Wrike, because they’re able to release all of the ideas floating around in the backs of their minds, freeing them up to be more creative.
Wrike's ability to provide transparency to stakeholders and prioritize tasks helps management report on productivity levels
The True Colors United was able to deliver more projects with Wrike and G Suite, and also save time by consolidating all work in Wrike, and leveraging particular features.
Pairing Wrike with G Suite (Google Applications)
The entire True Colors United team now uses Wrike to manage all of their projects, including fundraising, awareness campaigns, community support projects, events, trainings, public policy projects, and more.
Moran's team links to Google files like project charters, project plans, and supporting documents within Wrike tasks, or uploads them as task attachments.
Annual Plans Are Initiated in Google Docs, Then Managed & Optimized in Wrike
To complete their annual planning, project charters are created in Google Docs, presented for board approval, then set up in Wrike as projects.
Once projects have been approved, they are scheduled and assigned in Wrike. Repetitive projects are later optimized and converted into templates, using the estimated and actual time of each task to inform future project plans. "It reminds us how long it took to actually get certain things done, because we tend to underestimate how long things are going to take. If we look back at previous projects we have that data, and it helps us make more accurate assessments. It's been helpful having all of that in one place," says Moran.
Optimizing Wrike and Email to Increase Productivity
Before switching to Wrike, the team managed all project details and communications in email. Now, they have shifted to managing all work related items in Wrike, and external stakeholder communications in Gmail. They leverage the Gmail integration to create Wrike tasks directly from their Gmail inboxes.
"Creating Wrike tasks from within Gmail is the best integration we could ever ask for. It allows us to spend less time in our email inboxes and more time in Wrike — which leads to greater productivity," says Moran. "It was really hard to manage things that way. Now, we can actually empty out our inboxes, create tasks from email, and it puts the body of the email into a task."
Improving Employee Happiness
After implementing Wrike, employees have been able to reduce their time on administrative and repetitive tasks, and increase time on creative efforts. "Our team members have reported that they feel less overwhelmed when they use Wrike, because they’re able to release all of the ideas floating around in the backs of their minds, freeing them up to be more creative."
Moran and his team create templates to optimize routine processes and save time creating similar projects in the future. "We created templates for projects that we do over and over again. For instance, we have an assessment process that we do with service providers. Our template is going to save us a lot of time, and will allow us to do more of those assessments this year." The benefits of project templates are not just limited to increasing project speed and volume. “The quality of our projects has most definitely improved since we switched to Wrike. Wrike templates and monitoring tools help us ensure that we never miss a step in a process or leave a key stakeholder out of a conversation.”
Google Calendar Integration
True Colors' Communications team plans their editorial calendar in Wrike, syncing launch and completion dates with Google Calendar. This allows team members to view the content calendar alongside their personal calendars for accurate planning.
Wrike Chrome Extension
The True Colors team uses the Wrike Google Chrome extension to create tasks in Wrike for particular donor and partner contacts, while using Salesforce. They can quickly copy and paste content from Salesforce into Wrike tasks using the extension.