Workfront is a tool that helps us manage modern work, so that we can spend more time on essential tasks and reduce repetition. We can find work that needs to be completed in fewer clicks, manage and update that work efficiently, collaborate with colleagues, and simplify the data entry process. In this blog, we’ll discuss Workfront tips and tricks that produce greater functionality and ease of use.
While you’re here, we’d like to let you know about the Workfront Done Right Tour, sponsored by Rego, which will cover ten major US cities and kick off with a virtual summit on August 27th. We’re excited to deliver inspiring new approaches to increase agility at a digital speed and scale. Visit our website to find a workshop near you.
The Challenge: Late Tasks and Cluttered Home Page
Many Workfront users handle multiple projects across teams. Their home pages become cluttered with overdue tasks, some of which may already be completed or not ready to start on. They may spend too much time searching for frequently used items or project intake lists, taking time away from priorities.
Status updates roll in without organization. All of this can challenge the efficiency gains Workfront is designed to support.
The Solution: Using Home Page Filters and Sorting
Workfront is an operational tool. It can’t perform the work for us. Fortunately, as wielders of the tool, there are practices we can implement to instantly dissolve chaos. Using our list of filters enables us to create a more user-friendly and efficient home page. Below, we see a list of filters we can check or uncheck to produce a more accurate view of our assigned work and keep commitments organized.
We unselect items that are inactive, like completed items and items that aren’t ready for us to start on yet. Immediately, we see a massive reduction in the amount of items in red.
The sort by feature allows us to sort by planned completion, commit date, project, and priority. Commit dates enable us to personally plan when we are able to complete work, then automatically note this for the PM under task updates. This gives them advance notice as to whether or not we’ll be able to deliver on a commit date or if a new completion date should be scheduled.
By clicking on the button containing three dots, we can add a task to our priority list.
The assignment status of any project has three states: requested (both ready and not ready to start on), working, and done. In our fictional example below, we can see one project called “dinner chores” that’s been broken down into several tasks. David and Mary have completed their tasks of cooking dinner and setting the table, and Joan is still working on finishing dinner. Rick and Joan have two remaining tasks to complete before dinner chores are over, but they can’t begin until everyone has eaten. Steps four and five are dependent on step three being done.
Joan hasn’t committed to doing the dishes, so the task is displayed on her home page as not ready to start on or late. If she’s not able to commit to the task, she can negotiate with the project manager or provide an update in the individual task view. When we’re currently working on a task, we can see predecessors to the task preventing our ability to start on it. Once the individual before us is done, we can commit to starting the task.
In our example, Joan can click on the select date option under commit date to set up a new proposed time for the project manager.
The most important work can now be sorted and filtered on the home screen, and we can see what we need to accomplish next.
The Challenge: Manually Searching for Content
When commonly accessed projects, teams, and resources aren’t saved, it can take a lot of time to find them via the search bar and create an annoyance that hinders actual work. Workfront is designed to help us speed up time-to-delivery and promote ideation, so it’s important to avoid frustrating team members with inconvenient navigation.
The Solution: Adopting a Favorites List
Saving links to a bookmarked list eliminates time spent trying to find projects, tasks, and resources.
In the image below, we see our Creative team with all resources listed. To add the whole team or an individual coworker to our favorites, all we need to do is navigate to +add current page under the star icon.
This view displays history and bookmarks with up to 40 recent items per object and up to 20 favorited items. When we’re done working on a project, we simply remove it from our list. It will still appear in recent history if we need to add it back at any point.
The Challenge: Modifying Individual Tasks
If a commit date is missed or a project needs to be altered, it could cause the project manager to spend lots of time modifying individual assignments. We don’t want our valued resources to spend their time this way.
The Solution: Modifying Multiple Tasks at Once
We can turn the time-consuming process of modifying individual assignments into a fast and efficient process that takes minutes. To do this, we’ll go to the project that requires attention. In the case below, we see that the project is still in planning.
We use duplication to create multiple assets beyond single tasks. First, we select the tasks we need to duplicate, like production tasks or emails. In the image below, this represents everything in blue. Right-click or navigate to the more button at the top of the screen to select the duplicate option.
We organize our work under a header task for specific parts of the project. In the example below, these are categorized as “Creative Asset 1” and “Creative Asset 2.”
We select the main task and tasks underneath it, then hit tab or click on the indent button. This allows us to collapse the header task as needed.
The amount of assignments needed are subsequently doubled in the copied header task, so we create a filter to easily assign team members. For instance, we can quickly associate all design tasks to our designer. We make assignments in the scheduling tab, seen below.
The filter allows us to find individual projects. Under status, we see all tasks assigned to the project. We can change the start date in this view if we’re behind schedule, and then save filters for later reuse. Changing the duration of our project helps sort tasks, which we can assign to resources by drag-and-drop.
Assigning users based on their role speeds up the process. We do this by selecting role and current user. Simply go through the list until all assignments are made, and then verify that they are correct in the main project.
The Challenge: Scattered Review Notes and Updates
Projects at our organization may conclude with a review process, or we may need to provide regular project status updates to leadership. Our team could be giving us multiple sources of information like last minute emails or hallway meetings. This threatens our ability to track communications and decisions in Workfront’s centralized repository.
The Solution: Establish Team Communications Within Workfront
By implementing standardized processes for updates and reviews, we eliminate the hassle of trying to consolidate the information on our own.
If our team follows a review procedure where project managers leave reviews on work that is not their own, the process can be easily transferred to Workfront in the all projects view.
We add our name to the Reviewed By column, along with any notes we have in Review Notes. If the form hasn’t already been added, it’s easy to create the field in general project information.
We can also print and track weekly project updates to show to our executive team. Ensure that resources are updating tasks every day or every few days to keep tabs on how the work is progressing. Under any task, the assigned resources are able to leave notes and add the percentage of the project completed. Encourage all users to update in Workfront instead of email. Copy and pasting emails to the project updates gets users in the habit of doing this and eases the transition.
Project managers reduce the need to spend time on updates for leadership by organizing them in the request queue.
Simply navigate to projects I own, select a project, and click on issue/request from the task landing page. Create a new issue or request, then click on weekly update. We can provide a description, priority, type of update, and any documents associated with the task.
After we save it, a report is generated to help us track updates. We recommend changing the status to resolved. Now, we have an exportable and sharable report for our executive team.
Learn from Rego
As business transformation leaders, we’ve refined best practices in modern work management or over a decade, across every industry. That’s why 60% of Fortune 20 and 40% of Fortune 100 companies trust us to optimize and support their end-to-end work management services.
If you’re looking for Workfront implementation guidance, training, or support, reach out to our Workfront consultants today. We’ll help you gain measurable ROI from your investment while driving down the cost of implementation, development, and support.