Allow "Services" or "Departments" to be assigned in templates

Having the ability to create project templates has been key to our success. We use templates to draw up comprehensive dependencies among tasks, write detailed descriptions for each task, and easily replicate those projects for new clients. It’s nice that teammates can be assigned to the tasks, and can be carried over when the templates are replicated, but this process only works well right now because we have 8 employees (one employee for each service).

Down the road, when we are able to hire multiple people for each department and change up project teams, this process in the template tasks will become a hindrance. I will no longer be able to have specific people assigned to tasks in the template because I'll ultimately have to "swap" out people to form new teams, which leaves room for error if a task is missed and the wrong teammate is still assigned. 

Solution: Assign Services in Templates

When creating a template, allow us to assign specific services to each task, instead of specific teammates. For example, I can assign Graphic Designer and Brand Manager to Task 1, then Graphic Designer to a dependent Task 2, and Developer to a dependent Task 3. When I am ready to convert a project template into an active project, I can be prompted to create my project team. I can Select Employee A to fill all Graphic Designer roles, Employee B to fill all Brand Manager roles, and Employee C to fill all Developer Roles.

Through an automated process, the following happens:

Task 1 (Graphic Designer & Brand Manager) = Employee A & B
Task 2 (Graphic Designer) = Employee A
Task 3 (Developer) = Employee C

 

In a project with over 100 tasks, this will save Project Managers so much time, therefore allowing their project teams to get started on the projects more quickly.

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Anastasia

Hi Keeley, this is really detailed and I appreciate how you've structured it! I know you're interested in the automation aspect right now, and it sounds like this could tie in with both automation and resource allocation. Would the assigned services be in the form of User Groups? I also wanted to share a couple of other requests, because I'm interested in learning whether they correlate with your ideas on this:

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I'm not familiar with how User Groups are used in Wrike, but I have a feeling it's not what I'm thinking. My suggestion is to use a department or "role" as a placeholder in the project templates so that when a template is ready to be duplicated and go live as a new project, the PM would be prompted to assign a teammate to each role. I'll check out the other links you included.

To be clear, I am not talking about external users, collaborators or vendors. I'm talking about replacing a "role" or "service" placeholder with an internal teammate, so is a permanent member of the team at the start of the project.

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This is something I am interested in as well. The idea would be that we create our project templates with each task assigned to a "role". Then when we duplicate that template to create a specific project, we assign a user to each role so that tasks are assigned appropriately for that project. Each new project we create from the template might have a different person assigned to a particular role, so this makes it easy to create and assign projects from templates based on who is available at the time.

As it is now, if a project template has 20 tasks spread over 5 different roles, when we create a project from that template we have to assign 20 tasks individually, remembering who gets what task. If we had roles we would just have to assign people to the 5 different roles, and all 20 tasks would be assigned appropriately.

 

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Stephen

Hi both, thanks for your ideas and use-case here. Our Product Team are always interested in ideas that help automate repeatable work, so we'll make sure this thread is brought to their attention. Any updates, I'll post back 👍

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We would use this too... think of the use case of onboarding a new employee, by using a Project Template...

- Someone in HR needs to do 3 tasks (which user varies based on who's available)

- Someone in IT needs to do 4 tasks (again, exact User TBD)

- Their supervisor (different every time) needs to do some tasks

 ... etc.

I agree - it's about identifying which User can fulfill a Role, and letting a Role be assigned to a Task (exact User from that role is then TBD).

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Anastasia, I see this as a use case of the base functionality provided by Ability to Assign Task to "Generic" or General Assignees.

Make it possible to create unlimited dummy role accounts/groups, then allow templates to select them as assignee. I see it as a response to the question "How many project resources will I need for the future, not knowing (or caring) who will be assigned?"

Coupled with the effort allocation that was recently implemented, the ability to provide Generic role assignees (e.g. programmer, Brand manager, Vendor, etc.) could answer the question like this: "Wow, it looks like there are 440 hours assigned to the Brand Management team across 500 tasks for the next 3 months. We only have capacity for 330 hours, and we will greatly exceed daily work rate in 2 months. I should probably hire 3 people or dig down into the details and reassign tasks to other roles". 

As it stands now, I could assign all 440 of those hours to my 11 people, but then I would need to aggregate the hours back up for capacity planning, rebalance 7 or 77 times, send them a bunch of useless wrike task change emails, and then have to repeat the process in 3 months when the projects go live. Also if I need someone in IT or HR to do something, I am not about to overstep another department's processes by directly assigning a task to an individual contributor (especially 3 months in the future). That is no way to do long range planning or negotiate between departments. And the excessive noise created by all those emails to individual assignees means they won't pay attention to the real notifications when I need them to respond (e.g. "Why is this specific task late/over budget?").

Bottom Line: Make us a way to iterate future cases without bothering people, complete with generic assignees by role to load-balance.

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Hey @everyone, thanks for your continued input here 🙂

@Jonathan, please make sure to +1 Megan's post if you haven't already, it really is very similar to what you're suggesting. Also, I wanted to mention Wrike's Blueprints - it's not what we're discussing here in this thread, but they might help in future projects planning. You can create a Blueprint of a project, create tasks within it, assign them, and assignees won't get any notifications until you create a project out of this Blueprint. I hope that can help you. Drop me a line here if you have any questions, I'll be happy to discuss 👍

Lisa Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

Lisa Wrike Team member Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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@Lisa thanks. I +1 Megan's post when I wrote my initial comments.

I use Blueprints (mostly for request form task automation), and you are right that it does address my request about email spam. I have yet to use it for future project planning. But I can see all project templates migrating to Blueprints in the next few months.

However, I would still like to have a generic/role/department assignee function as discussed above. It allows for better workload planning across teams with different task assigning horizons and management structures. Plus the ability to quickly swap in a user for all of a particular role's tasks would greatly speed up the project kickoff from template as mentioned by @William Moudry above. To extend William's use case from kickoff, if the role attribute is persistent, then in the case that someone needs to take over a project, I could quickly find all of the role tasks and reassign them to a new person with that role. Maybe the former person was absorbing tasks from 2 roles, so this tag would be helpful to quickly split up the tasks between 2 new people each taking on 1 role. Of course this could be done by custom fields, but there are so many other use cases as discussed above which merit having role assignees in the Assigned to field (principally dashboards and workload view)

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