Project Automation through Wrike Request forms

We are a consulting firm looking to take our proposal estimation process out of the dark ages of multiple excel sheets!

I've looked through many of the posts on Request forms and found a few great uses like:

But it seems like I may be missing something (or it can be done with our subscription to Wrike Integrate (Workato))

We have about 8-10 fairly standard 'services' that we combine in various combinations to generate a proposal to a client. We also can estimate if each of these services is a "Low, Med, High or Custom" effort (in hours). 

So the hope is to create a request form (and that uses the great Wrike Budgeting Features) to map Roles, Efforts to each service item and assemble them together so essentially the project (if accepted by the client) is pretty much ready to go.

In our data scheme, roles and efforts need to be sub tasks for time keeping and separating each role out as often team members come into a project for only one or 2 tasks. The team does not always stay the same thru the project.

The process would be -

  1. Sales uses request form to pick the first task (e.g. Task A)
  2. Then based on their knowledge of previous projects, pick 1, 2 or more resources and the effort for each (could be dropdowns or a grid etc) (e.g. pick Account Director-LOW and Senior Consultant-MED) to work on Task A
  3. Then they'd go back and add more tasks, and assign Roles/Efforts to 'build' the project
  4. We'd have an approvals process tied to the submission, but in this way all of the governance and the pricing can happen in Wrike, rather than an excel sheet that has to be re-keyed into Wrike.

Soooo- I am not making progress at the current flow, as I can't see how to have a task then the Roles/Effort as sub tasks for each. They end up all at the same level and I'd prefer not to require shuffling tasks around if we can avoid it at this stage.

And I am finding it difficult to append tasks and sub-tasks to the project without making the form unwieldy. Now it is simply a loop and when they are finished adding tasks, they can just submit the form and it gets routed through the approval.

Short of investing time in Wrike Integrate, (which I am willing to do if I exhaust the possibilities with native forms), I'd like to see if anyone has found a way to use the forms in a similar fashion?

 

Thanks much in advance!

 

 

 

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Hi Jeffrey Veffer

I might have some ideas that may help. Our team doesn't utilize Wrike Budgeting features so I am not sure how all of that integrates, but here is what I would try. 

Request forms can make really good use of blueprints and branching based off of custom fields. 

If you have 8-10 standard services, could you 

  1. Create a custom field listing those 8-10 services (as a multi-select)
  2. Create a blueprint task or project for each one of those services with hours/effort/other custom fields filled in (and maybe even dates if those are standard)
  3. In the request form ask a question (checkbox type) regarding those services
  4. Then add branching logic where you can add any of the following items. When it says add subproject or subtask, you can choose your blueprint. 
  5. Do this as many times with as many questions as you need throughout the request form. Using it like a checkbox though would let you ask for all 8-10 services at one time without it being 8-10 different questions. 

This would be an avenue I would explore first to create what you described. I hope this helps!

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We have a few "add on" tasks for some of our standard projects. I have some yes/no questions that will add those tasks to the project if needed. 

The downside is - they will be added but they dont have dependencies, which isn't great. But at least the tasks are there. 

So it is possible to build projects ad-hoc from a request form.

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Thanks Devree Czupinski - I hadn't thought of using custom fields for this! I will give it a try and see how it works

Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer - I can see how individual tasks don't have dependencies, but in our case for sales estimates we can set the overall time needed at the top task or project level and then get an idea of resourcing and the budgeting feature calculates the costs automatically based on our internal and external rates.

 

 

Its then quite easy to convert into a project once the contract is signed (rather than having to re-key all the tasks etc.)

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I agree with Devree about setting up a blue print. We do not use request forms for setting up our next project, but do use a blue print project to help us estimate when to start and complete our next project.

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Similar to Elizabeth Kennedy Bayer , we also have ad-hoc tasks that can be added on to projects - however, the tasks are requested through a form and then manually cloned as a cluster and tagged to the project. It's not scalable, but it's working for us for the moment. 

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My org is using this feature to fix website errors that employees catch

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Jeffrey Veffer sorry I can't tell from the screenshot - are these custom fields and are you using your request form to fill in these fields? And to concur with others here, always use blueprints. They are essential. The projects and add on tasks I mentioned are all Blueprints. 

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I would also agree custom fields and blueprints are the way forward. I've just reworked our marketing planning request form and we can now launch one project with a combination of channels, activities etc. Downside is the due dates have to be re-worked after submission (as Wrike can't do multiple end or start dates from the request form), but it's way easier than before!

As with the comments above we use branching throughout the form - mainly to add sub-projects, but also for tagging other depts in the project.

We also use customer fields to add additional context to the project - rather than everything having to be remembered and written in the brief. It prompts the user to answer the questions!

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Using the custom fields and also the automation features have helped with intake organization.

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We use request forms to populate the tasks and projects based on blueprints, and then set automation rules based on the answers in the custom fields filled by the form.

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Sarah Dungey -that is an approach I didn't consider yet. I am trying to put together how that might work. With our task and sub task structure for time entry, it is a bit challenging but there may be a way to hand off the request form input (as a framework of tasks) to the Automation with a few custom field tweaks. Thanks for the idea!

 

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We have very similar solutions with using Custom fields and blueprints as part of our standard intake process.  Set up everything you need, in terms of data points as blueprints in custom fields - then map your questions in the request form.

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We've been using the blueprints for our request forms. We can create dependencies, sub-tasks, automatically add in repeated project information, and even pre-assign users to tasks. We do have some tasks that are occasional add-ons that are added through the request form. Technically they do not link as a dependency, but using the gantt chart in blueprints I was able to at least get those tasks to be added within the same timeline as the other project tasks.

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Thanks for the feedback Sameul Kingsley  

Does this mean that you are using blueprints to *create* the request forms?

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Jeffrey Veffer I guess I misstated our process. We've created projects in blueprints based on media type (our work is marketing/creative). In the request form the marketer will select a media type and that will pull the tasks from blueprints. Based on other questions from the request form, the Additional Project Tasks can be added to the project timeline as they are linked to start of the design task in each blueprint project.

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We have generic blueprints that we use to instigate projects, based on the complexity of the job. 

However, we are a large engineering firm, that do not have 100s of ongoing projects at once.

I hadn't thought of using Wrike as a costing mechanism for our Solutions Engineers, as each job is highly specialised.

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Sameul Kingsley- Thanks for the image. Are you able to add all the tasks and subtasks in a single request form?

When I use my request form (using dropdowns or check boxes) even though I have 8 tasks (and subtasks) similar to what you show, I am only able to get the 2 first tasks and subtasks to appear and the subsequent task(s) only show up as the parent.

Not sure if this is a bug?

Thanks!

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Jeffrey Veffer The way we use our dropdowns in the request form, its an all or nothing approach to those projects. So all tasks and subtasks are added to the project as they show in blueprints. Are you adding individual tasks based on the checkboxes and wanting them to be added as sub-tasks? 

The Additional Project Tasks from my screenshot are added via checkboxes as well, but those are added as parent tasks. And even though they are dependent on the Design tasks in blueprints, that dependency breaks when added to a project. Probably not a bug, but a function that was overlooked and needs to be added to Wrike. The same could probably be said for your subtasks.

 

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Samuel Kingsley- I think I understand. Initially I thought that each of your tasks (e.g. Print Project, Product Project etc.) was a blueprint....

In our case each task and subtask represents a Product 'Blueprint' so as sales adds new products to a sales estimate, they get added in sequence. 

This is the Blueprint folder below

 

Since the sales estimates vary by client, I want to have this level of specificity since we don't want sales to have to delete Tasks from their estimate after its created.

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Jeffrey Veffer That makes perfect sense. We tried to go that route, but need our tasks to keep their dependencies for ease of rescheduling and automated completion messages. Sounds like you'll need to put in a feature request to Wrike support to get your sub tasks to work correctly.

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