Best Folder and Project Setup for cross-project and cross-department visibility

We are new to Wrike and considering our best folder structure. We have what seems like a typical situation where we have projects and departments, and tasks for a given project may fall across several departments. Take a project called "WhizBang." Our goal would be to be able to pull a report on ALL tasks related to WhizBang, across all departments. However, we would also like to be set up in such as way that each of our departments would not see the WhizBang tasks from other departments. So engineering would just see the WhizBang engineering tasks, Marketing the marketing tasks, etc.


Setup 1. Below is a Product-centric design, where you could easily pull a complete WhizBang report and each product is neatly split into its departments. We could still have a top-level Marketing folder for non-product-related Marketing tasks. Not everything we do is a Product, really. But it might make it difficult to report on all Marketing work, across projects. It also seems like there should be a better way than the replication of department folders within every project:

Products folder
   Whizbang project
        Marketing folder
           Tasks ...
        Engineering folder
           Tasks ...
        Design folder
           Tasks ...

Setup 2. Or something like this, where the two Whizbang products are not a single "shared/tagged" product (else all tasks would be seen by all departments), so every Department gets their own version of Whizbang. I shy away from a design where you have multiple versions of the same Project, since in the end it usually hurts you. Not sure how it would affect reporting on Whizbang overall.

Marketing folder
    WhizBang1 project
           Tasks ...
Engineering folder
    WhizBang2 project
           Tasks ...

Setup 3. Then I started thinking about a hybrid, of sorts. Like so:

Departments
     Design folder
     Engineering folder
     Marketing folder

Products
    Whizbang project
         Tasks ...

In this version, the tasks in the single Whizbang project could be tagged with their respective Department folders, so department-specific tasks would show up in folders for the designers, engineers, etc. AND the entire project could be viewed via the project record. I like this but the only missing component is that, as a designer, it doesn't look like I can filter all Design tasks by project, so I pretty much have a task list that combines every project I'm working on. I could filter by my assignment or due date, of course.

Anyhow -- this has definitely brought out the ODC in me. I welcome any suggestions from those tackling similar organization.

Thanks!

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Anastasia

Hi Marc, thank you for sharing all of these ideas! All of those approaches are great and could work for different account structures. My personal favorite is the third one. Just like you mentioned, it allows you to get an overview of the whole Project with tasks from all departments, and at the same time each department doesn't need to see tasks which other teams are working on. 

Based on the scenario described above, team members have no access to the general Project, so it's completely understandable that it might get a bit tricky to track which tasks belong to a certain Project, and which ones are standalone tasks. Have you had a chance to try further breaking down the department Folders, for example creating Subfolders for "Design Tasks", "Design - Whizbang", etc.? In this case, you can tag tasks from the main "Whizbang" Project (1) to the "Design - Whizbang" Subfolder (2), keeping both locations organized and tidy. Would this option work for your use case?

Happy to hear what others think about this!

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Nice that you like #3 because it is also what I decided to go with in our case. And, yes, I can definitely set up Department project subfolders if we need it. We tend toward a project-centric mindset, and our developers should have no problem with working from a master departmental list, probably filtered by assignee, if they want to. All in all, I love the fluidity of changing up the work flow via folders, subfolders, etc. It is so easy to tweak. We are going to have a Wrike deployment meeting in a week or so, so will refine. Thanks!

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Anastasia

Marc, it's great to hear that! Looking forward to learning about any tips you pick up along the way.

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Thank you for all the information!

Your situation is exactly like ours and I’m also struggling to find the best approach.
I find some difficulty’s when I 'tag' a task for a certain department, it will not always show this tag.

For example : when I go to the 'table' view of a project. there is no way of telling what tasks belong to which department? this results in task names showing duplicate without any way to identify the difference (which is the department they belong to).

Maybe I need to add a department specific prefix to every task? (there must be a better way?).
If you could give some details on your approach it would be very appreciated!.

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Anastasia

Hi Daan! For your plan task prefixes are the best option - you can even set them when duplicating Folders and Projects, which adds a prefix to each duplicated task automatically. Have you had a chance to check this out yet? Would love to hear your thoughts about it! Our Business and Enterprise plans do include more sorting options, through Reports, but they are paid plans. Let me know if you want to try either of those out.

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Hi Marc,

I also have had that same struggle when I started using Wrike, after trying different ways I found the following structure to be the best for our development team:

I found that Instead of using a folder, use project:  "X" can be renamed for the specific project. The reason you will need this is because some or all projects will have duplicate tasks across multiple projects. This way the person responsible for that specific task across all project will know which he is reporting on.
I can then duplicate this for any project I desire.  I can rename this also to the specific project as required.

This next screen are the different Top Level tasks that a development team Must complete in order to properly launch a product. Each Top Level task also contain sub tasks as well that are tailored to the specific project, 

The advantages for this project setup is that the timeline, list, and table tabs show by default the TOP Level tasks as a quick summary as to how the project is progress and what the project completion date is.  And if there are multiple projects and place them under a main folder (ie-Active Project), they will all be represented in the timeline tab.  The second advantage to this setup is that you can use the data generated by the Top Level tasks generate a Report that make sense to upper level management.

The third advantage to setting it up this way is that Wrike will be easier to use in Team Meetings in noting tasks that were suggested by others during your meetings.

I hope this was useful for you.

 

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Hey, JohnP. We do something very similar to what you do in terms of a Project Template. We have a template set up with 10 or 12 skeleton tasks that cover all of the basics, from spec to dev to test to launch to report. We found it unnecessary to add the project name to every task, as our projects always reside in a folder named for the project, so that tag/label is sufficient to distinguish it from other of the same name.

Thanks for sharing your approach!

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The reason for the project name is so the User or collaborator can distinguish the tasks with the same name.  I started doing this because Wrike did not tag the project names to the tasks.  Has this changed?  I would love to not have to add the project name to every task.

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Anastasia

@John, thank you for sharing your insight! This is a great setup and I think this information will definitely be useful to others. To answer the question about tags: regular tasks are automatically tagged with the Folder or Project they are created in. Based on your screenshots, I can see that you use several subtasks. Instead of Folder tags, subtasks have grayed out "ghost" tags, which show which Folder the parent task is in (subtasks are not included into any Folders or Projects by default). You can turn these inherited tags into regular Folder/Project ones. We just published a post about how to do this: Ghost Tags. Happy to answer any other questions about this! :)

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We have been struggling with the same issue.  Our folder structure is by project.  Each project has basically the same set of tasks but some are done by PD, some by Brand, some by Creative, etc.  We tried building a template from one master timeline with everyone's tasks on it and then tagging each task with the department responsible so that each department would only see their respective tasks.  However, when we tried to duplicate it, the tags disappeared and we were left with all the tasks.  Has this changed?

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Anastasia

Hi Christine, thanks for reaching out! Folder tags are regarded as separate locations outside of the Folder which is being duplicated, so they're not included in the duplicated attributes. However, Folder tags are duplicated and remain intact if they are included in the Folder structure which you're duplicating, For example, if you include all the tags as Subfolders, and duplicate the parent, the tags will remain on all tasks. I understand that this might not work for all use cases, since it results in quite a bit of Folders being created. Another option is using Mass Editing, which allows you to quickly add Folder tags after you've completed the duplication process. Let me know if you have any questions!

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The approach #3 is great, but unfortunately, it does not work in Wrike.

Example:

1.I have assigned the rights to myself to Product/Whizbang folder 

2.I then assign tasks to different Departments

3. I can see what's going on with the whole Product, and also can see what's going on in each Department regrdless of the Product

It works until someone in Design, for example, creates a task, which is part of the Whizbang project. He can't tag it with Whizbang tag because he does not have access to this folder. And I don't know what to do with it - there is no solution at the moment. 

It would be great to make possible to tag taskseven without access to the folder. In that way the designer would create a task inside Design department, tagging the task with the relevant Product (without having access to the folder).

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@Глеб Hi again :). Interesting situation. Setup 3 is actually similar to the Folder structure we user internally at Wrike. To make it work for our team, we have the high level Folder structure shared with the entire team. So in the example above the design team would have access to their department's Folder and to the Products Folder. I understand that that doesn't work for all teams though. Does your team need to hide certain Folders?

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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@Stephanie

To be more precise, I want to be able to share/hide the "existence" of Folders to make sure people can use the tags even without access to the folder. 

Another examples. We have two general teams. The structure is as follows:

TEAM

- Alpha

- Beta

Department

- Design

- Finance

We have a framework that EACH task should be tagged with both Folders. So i can see all tasks which belong to Alpha or Beta at once.

The problem is that I don't want the Finance team to see Design projects. But if they both belong to Alpha team, team members can see each other's tasks. 

I want to be able to setup the TEAM folder/subfolders in such a way that it can be seen by both ALPHA and BETA, but with NO access to it. So people could still tag tasks with this tags.

 

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@Глеб Got it! So, for some users, you want the full Folder structure to be visible, but don't necessarily want people to have access to tasks with certain Folders?

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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@Stephanie

Exactly!

Thank you

 

PS: it also helps when the new employee joins the company. 

There will be unique Folder structure visible with common tag rules, regardless of the sharing options. This will insure proper tagging along the company. 

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@Глеб Glad I got it 🤘! Have you seen User Groups? Those are also really helpful for setting up new team members with the correct Folder structure. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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