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Work is not an island

Welcome! My name is John Lawton, and I am the CTO at Simplus. I started the “Work Is Not an Island” series with the hopes that the information in the articles that will be published in the coming weeks will help you and your organization enjoy the benefits of “less complexity, more productivity” with the work management solutions that currently are available.

How enterprise work management can be transformed with Workfront

What happens when there’s no centralized approach to overseeing and tracking a project? In a word: Chaos. What’s really happening is that employees and managers develop their own peculiar, unique approaches to try to bring a sense of order and coordination to a project. The problem is that none of these approaches works in a harmonious, synergistic way.

A flurry of emails blasted out to an entire team may attempt to provide real-time updates, but this approach clogs inboxes and makes it difficult to extract valuable nuggets of information contained therein. Alternatively, a Google Doc file started by one manager may help his team stay on target with deadlines — but if no one else in the company has access to it or even is aware of it, its effectiveness as a company wide tracking tool is reduced to zilch. Upper management, meanwhile, may impose a set of reporting requirements and accountability updates on the teams they manage, but this creates another layer of bureaucracy, requiring employees to prepare additional reports that aren’t aligned with employee workflows and that benefit only the manager who requests them. And when supervisors make desk “drivebys” to verbalize new assignments, they interrupt and impede employee efficiency — and that’s assuming they’re in the same building in the first place.

In today’s complex, increasingly interconnected business environment, where emerging technologies are revolutionizing the way we manage workflow and connecting geographically isolate employees as never before, we can no longer think of work as being performed on an island, with a linear reporting relationship and a simple chain of command.

The reality is that technology is allowing us to work more efficiently and collaborate more widely than ever before, and we need enterprise work management systems that adequately address the ongoing needs of this dynamic work environment, allowing everyone to be accountable and stay on the same page. These systems need to interconnect to allow each element to play to its strengths, while at the same time allowing the data and workflow to continue seamlessly.

Workfront is a universal solution

One of the best solutions for the challenges of enterprise work management is Workfront, a platform that harnesses the power of cloud computing to create a highly customizable, easy-to-use interface that allows every employee to communicate with and be managed by others, in real time. Using Workfront, our Simplus specialists have found great success in fundamentally altering how our clients think about and manage their company workflows.

What’s perhaps most remarkable about Workfront is that any system a company might use – from Salesforce to JIRA – can be fully integrated into Workfront. In fact, the people who developed Workfront understood that each layer of management in a company would need to be able to extract different information from Workfront. The entire system is customizable to accommodate for these very needs. For example, an upper-level manager might want to track general trends, and Workfront could be customized to generate these dashboards. A team leader, meanwhile, might need to know what each of her employees is doing; Workfront can provide this snapshot in real time. And individual employees might need to know the status of the project they’re working on in relation to the contributions of their peers; Workfront gives every employee this power and responsibility through a sleek interface.

Updates and Communication Made Easy
Updates and Communication Made Easy

With Workfront, there is no longer a need to barrage your team with a flood of emails. You can communicate with them all at once using Workfront’s intuitive, Facebook-style commenting feature.

 

Workfront works for every division

Workfront can be integrated into every division of a company; in fact, it’s most effective when used by multiple departments to connect workflow processes.

  • Development: Although developers tend to already have their own sophisticated, highly specialized software systems like JIRA, TFS and Rally to manage and track their workflows, the problem is that no one else in the company knows how to extract this information– and certainly would never need such a high level of detail and specificity in the first place. Workfront can integrate these development tools, allowing other divisions of the company to receive only the information they need about how developers are progressing.
  • Sales: If you’ve just implemented a customer relationship management system (CRM) like Salesforce, we’re not talking about yet another wholesale shift in platforms. Salesforce can be seamlessly integrated into Workfront, allowing other departments to access key sales-related metrics.
  • Services: Your customer-facing operations may be accustomed to operating on autopilot, but they really shouldn’t be. Workfront allows your service sectors to report their progress directly into Workfront, as well as to effectively voice concerns and suggestions to upper management. Here at Simplus, we’re able to connect Workfront to Salesforce Communities, ServiceNow and ZenDesk to maximize support and client engagement.
  • Marketing: From creative teams to number crunchers, every member of your marketing department can benefit from clearer real-time communication, less inbox clutter, and elimination of disparate work tracking systems. Integrating Workfront into a division like marketing has been shown time and again to dramatically improve productivity and eliminate cacophony. Furthermore, Workfront can be fully integrated with DAMs (Digital Asset Management solutions) and CMS (Content Management Systems) to allow employees to seamlessly continue their workflow into their native environments.
  • Management: Not only do Workfront’s customizable dashboards deliver real-time status reports and project updates to managers, but team managers are also in a much better position to efficiently manage large groups of employees when it’s simple to keep track of who’s doing what and when. With Workfront, managers can immediately answer key questions like: What resources have been allocated to a project? Are we still on budget and on schedule? What are all of the projects scheduled for next quarter? Furthermore, Workfront can be customized so that you can export and share data in your preferred format for clients and management alike, allowing your logo and your branding to automatically appear on the products that matter most.
  • IT: Perhaps no department operates in more of a silo than IT, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. IT ticketing systems like Salesforce’s Service Cloud can be fully integrated into Workfront, eliminating the need for a separate software system that employees must learn to resolve their IT service needs. Furthermore, Workfront integrates IT change management processes, providing a way to carry out change management natively within Workfront.
Easily Stay Updated on Work
Easily Stay Updated on Work

With Workfront, no one in a company is in the dark about what peers are doing on a daily or even hourly basis. Deadlines are clearly marked, creating accountability for departments that may have become accustomed to operating in a silo.

Workfront is not another software application layered on top of existing infrastructure; it is a transformative tool that can dramatically improve enterprise work management in all of the right places, while avoiding bureaucracy and red tape. When companies start using Workfront, they immediately discover that Workfront fundamentally changes the company’s mentality and methodology for the better. Whether your company manages its work processes with SAP or Oracle or NetSuite or accounting ERP — or, more likely, a combination of several such business systems — you still need to connect the work that is going on in these systems. And in our experience, the solution is clear: Workfront is the common thread that can weave all of these systems together.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be taking a much more in-depth look at the reasons we so strongly urge our clients to embrace Workfront’s outstanding performance and capabilities. I’ll devote separate articles in this “Work Is Not An Island” series to explaining how Workfront helps developers, product lines, management, marketing, IT, sales, service and change. By the end, my goal is that you’ll also be singing the praises of this revolutionary enterprise work management solution.

1Comment
  • Work Is Not an Island pt. 2: Development
    Posted at 15:01h, 11 June Reply

    […] In the next installment of my “Work Is Not an Island” series, I’ll discuss how Workfront facilitates and improves product lines. If you missed my article introducing this series, please go back and read it here. […]

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