When the rubber hits the road and you have 69 access requests to chew through in a couple of days, a little help from a WFPro Workfront Center of Excellence goes a long way.
You can’t document sequential actions on an issue. They’re unplanned topics or problems that need to be resolved by action, otherwise known as tasks. There’s just no way around it. If you could see the “hacks” people have come up with in my environment over the years in attempts to plan work using issues, you would understand what I mean. It just never works because it’s inconsistent with the way people work. The “too much overhead creating projects” argument doesn’t hold weight with me anymore so every time someone wants to remain in “issue” world, I think of them as problem-focused instead of solution-focused… also known as people I don’t want to work with. But with coaching and common sense, people begin to realize pretty quickly that Workfront was designed to be consistent with the way we work, which happens to always be the same when performed correctly.
I’m super excited to connect with the community of developers, power users, system administrators and configuration experts. If that’s you, then I invite you to join me for WFPro Live 11, which will be hosted on Wednesday this week starting at 9am Eastern. If you’re not familiar with the format, I suggest you check out the WFPro Live Archives. Here are a few topics on the agenda:
- WFPro Live Deep Dives:
- Text Mode Training for Beginners, Intermediate, Experts and Masters.
- Whatever else comes up during our conversations!
Be sure to check out the WFPro Live Schedule for the latest on what’s happening and to join via GoToMeeting on Wednesday, June 24th after 9:00 am Eastern. GoToMeeting has an attendee limit so it’ll be first come first serve. Don’t worry if you can’t make it. The sessions will be recorded and published in the archives following the event. Let’s have some fun with this and show the world how the WFPro way is the future of remote work management and collaboration!
I keep hearing people indicate they “need Workfront to tell a story”. It’s understandable because in order for us to know where we’re going, we need to know where we’ve been, what happened, why it happened and what we plan on happening the future. In other words, we need tasks on projects! By ensuring that a task exists on a project that says who (assigned to) did what (task name) and when (actual dates), we can construct a task report, such as the WFPro Live Archives report, which simply retrieves tasks from various projects in sequence of the actual completion date. By carefully deciding what tasks to include in the report, and what metadata to include in the view (who, what, when, why, how, issues, notes, custom data, etc.), you will begin to see a story unfold. Give it a try by building a report that grabs tasks you have completed in the past and sort the results descending by actual completion date and you’ll begin to see your story unfold. Expand the scope of the filters to include a colleague and you’ll begin to see your team’s story unfold. Cast your net a little wider and you’ll see your organization’s story begin to unfold.
The beautiful thing is this can happen anytime you’re ready to begin unless you’re not using tasks, which means you’re not using Workfront properly and need some guidance. Where we are in the story is the line between where we’ve been and where we’re going as seen in the two reports below.
It turns out configuring requests to accommodate multiple custom forms is not only possible, it’s highly recommended. In recent discussions with marketing executives and group administrators, a multi-form setup quickly became necessary to ensure a quality, sustainable configuration. Their desire to have a “one-size-fits-all” marketing request form with display logic and mandatory fields presented interesting challenges from the perspective of custom form development and configuration. With a single complex custom form becoming unsustainable, we decided to develop a multi-form configuration prototype, which turns out to be a great solution to many of the problems we’ve faced with complex request workflows. As the prototype for this configuration unfolded and more discussion emerged on the topic, a spontaneous WFPro Live Deep Dive on Multi-Form Intake Workflows was recorded. While this discussion was from the perspective of marketing configurations and traffic management, it’s a video that should benefit anyone looking to take advantage of multiple forms who may be intimidated by this sort of configuration. Plus it’s full of all kinds of other tips and suggestions. Here are some of the concepts covered in the video. Enjoy!
- Getting Things Right Early
- Configuring for Experience and Reporting
- Single vs. Multiple Custom Forms on Queue Topics
- Display Logic
- Shared Fields Across Forms
- Mandatory Fields Best Practices
- Issue to Project Conversion Using Templates
As a customer of Workfront, it’s important to know your Strategic Customer Success Manager as they should be a key resource when you need direction as you develop your strategy and execute your plans. They should know what you’re doing in your instance. My situation is somewhat unique, but it still requires the building of a relationship and an understanding of the use cases. With a new SCSM assigned, I look forward to sharing my plans for WFPro Home as indicated in this email I just drafted to my contact:
When you finally figure out that one of our most basic human needs is issue resolution, and that with the right tools and basic communication skills, you can solve any problem.
There is still significant emphasis being placed on communicating in platforms other than Workfront, such as Slack or in Microsoft Teams. I understand that communication will always occur outside of Workfront (phone calls, emails, instant messages, Slack, Microsoft Teams, drive-by cubings). However, when communication relates to work, it should immediately move into Workfront and proceed from there. If work hasn’t been defined for notes to be added to, that’s your cue to define the work work immediately.
The ability to easily transform communications into work is essential. If you choose to communicate about work outside of Workfront when you use Workfront to do your work, prepare to fail regularly. Unless there’s an integration pulling communications into the appropriate projects, tasks and issues from these other communication tools instantaneously, other methods of communication will be immediately out of context and disconnected from your operations. I believe that’s heading backwards. I can imagine automating this would be a nightmare, which is why integrations should be avoided until Workfront has been exhausted as the solution.
My goal is for 100% of my work-related communications to be handled within Workfront so that Outlook can be what it’s really good at, a cold email collector and a password reset tool. If you’re being forced to use these other communication tools, I encourage you to move your notes into Workfront as soon as you can and pull people into the conversation in context ASAP so you set the precedent and train them, even though they don’t know it’s happening.
Don’t underestimate what can be done in every Workfront instance with some elbow grease and #TheWFProWay. If you can keep other tools in their place, you’ll have a better shot at conquering the biggest challenge I think we face as humans, the ability to effectively communicate on our projects.
Arinze is a partner we’re working with to deploy an attestation solution in Workfront. Today he started our weekly meeting by saying “This is the meeting I look forward to the most because it’s one where we innovate, break boundaries, push the limits and create something magical.” I had to write it down because it’s perfect language for our job descriptions as Workfront professionals and because it makes me proud of what I do.