I’ve been a system administrator of Workfront for five years. Throughout my experience as an admin, I’ve learned many techniques through trial and error, help from experienced users at Workfront, guidance from partners of Workfront, and the Workfront Community.
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.
If you can visualize a solution and have seen the path to its creation in your mind, then you’ve already created it. Everything between now and then is simply acting on your project plan embedded in your memory. I imagined the WFPro system about eight years ago. Today it exists and it was created without a platform. Today I’m visualizing some new things, and now I have the systems to facilitate real creation amidst the digital work revolution. Check it out at WFPro Home.
Don’t back yourself into an unsustainable corner by deploying solutions to users that are architected incorrectly. Believe it or not, there is often only one “right” way of doing things in Workfront. Most of the variability comes when solutions are architected the “wrong” way. And when this happens, we as owners of the products we deliver, back ourselves into corners with “systems”‘ that become overwhelming, unsustainable, not configurable, garbage in reporting, and ultimately failed projects. Don’t work so hard just to fail. Get with WFPro for solutions to succeed with minimal effort.
Do we speak the same language? I don’t mean English. I mean WFPro. Do you communicate on issues or tasks within projects and almost always in context? But more importantly, are all of your communications true and from the heart? Who do you love the most? Would you be okay if they read your journal notes with context? Would they like what they see? Would it represent who you are? When you’re ready to communicate #TheWFProWay, then we’ll be speaking the same language.
Change is difficult but necessary. I’m a user. My group is my family. We have a portfolio with programs and many projects. We are each a project because everything is a project. We’re on others’ projects. We have issues, plural. We have tasks, too many to count. Our issues are resolved by projects, tasks or issues. We resolve others’ issues through our projects tasks or issues. Much like pulleys of an engine, our interactions are spherical where energy is exchanged as we interact. But unlike an engine, we have the potential for unlimited interactions in infinite directions, each with their own expectations. The quality of our relationships is determined by our ability to resolve issues effectively within these interactions, especially when conducted with agility and as teams. The issues we resolve through tasks and communications determine the balance in our relationships. But we’re in other groups as well, which adds to the complexity of the input we receive and the output we’re expected to produce.
Sometimes things get complicated, but unraveling things is easier than it seems. The only evidence of life is growth and the only evidence of growth is change. Since Workfront can be configured to be consistent with human nature as it pertains to change, we can use the technology to train humans on appropriate and effective communication and change management techniques to restore balance in the exchange of resources. Truth in collaboration in a virtual world will improve our innate ability to be true in the physical world. As we successfully navigate process, communication and change, illogical methods of resolving issues will become counter-intuitive to our nature. Transparency can be restored because ego is removed from the equation in a system where truth reigns and lies die.
We’ve over-complicated communication and collaboration in both the physical and virtual worlds, making it nearly impossible for us to realize our infinite individual potential. Our success correlates directly with our ability to maintain balance in the many pulleys we operate in our systems. The amount of work defined in the system should correlate with our individual motivation for change. Our ability to maintain perfect balance in our pulleys is the key to happiness. Workfront is the platform. WFPro is the framework. #TheWFProWay is the recipe. Let’s evolve.