Work management is a term we've noticed bubbling up quite a bit in recent months. It's becoming more prevalent because it addresses the growing challenge of tracking work across a proliferation of digital tools and channels in the enterprise. Unlike tools designed solely for project management or task management, an enterprise work management platform co-ordinates and tracks the flow of work across multiple projects and tasks within an organization.
In Workfront's first partner post, published today, its CMO Heidi Melin outlines 7 best practices for enterprise work management, illuminated by links to several customer stories, each of which cites a quantifiable impact on operations.
While there are many diverse use cases, a frequent one is in marketing teams, where managing the flow of work across many overlapping tools and projects is a perennial challenge. As Workfront's SVP Business Development Paige Erickson recently told diginomica's Jon Reed, its platform helps marketing teams get a handle on all this activity:
We’re able to come in and help companies rationalize that stack, and start figuring out what’s most important. We can help them by automating the processes that they need to get automated, giving visibility into what the teams are working on.
Workfront positions itself as a 'system of record' for work, which allows enterprises to measure performance and thus discover where improvements can be made, as Erickson explains:
One of the stats that we look at is that how much time do you actually spend doing real work, versus the meetings, and the text messages, and the emails, and the phone calls, and all the interruptions. The more that you can eliminate some of that, which is what we also help do, you get more of your real work done.
The high-level context for all of this is given in Workfront CEO Alex Shootman's recent book, Done Right, which Den Howlett reviewed for diginomica in January. Business leaders must communicate goals and give their workers the tools to achieve them, writes Shootman:
If you believe, like we do, that great work happens when your people finish strong and win together, then (as their leader), you have to orchestrate and automate what they are being asked to do. If you do, speed and scale will follow. This is the modern formula for delivering differentiated products and services to your market and customer base.
Shootman elaborates on this theme in a podcast conversation Dennis recorded with him last month:
If we want people to be the best they can be then we as leaders need to be really, really good at explaining what the role is and explaining to people why their role matters. If you don’t do those two things well then you won’t get an extraordinary outcome.
As someone who's closely followed the evolution of digital collaboration and teamwork, I've often wondered how enterprises will co-ordinate all the various strands. Workfront's approach does seem to hold some useful answers, and Shootman's views on what's needed from leaders also resonates well.
I'll therefore look forward to hearing more from Workfront and its customers as our partnership unfolds over the coming months. This is a crucial topic as enterprises adapt to operating in a digitally connected world — one where no one yet knows all the answers.