[Community Member Spotlight] Ryan Nelson ๐Ÿ‘‹

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Throughout the Community, there are Wrike Ninjas making this a better place for everyone to share and discuss ideas. We want to highlight these people so you can learn a little bit more about who they are, the industry they work in and how they're using Wrike.

This Community Spotlight features Ryan Nelson, black belt member of the Community ๐Ÿ™‚

Don't forget to comment below if you have any questions, or to simply say hello to Ryan ๐Ÿ‘‹

Tell us a little about your industry and your role in your company.  

Entrust Disability Services contracts with the Alberta Government to provide support services for individuals with disabilities. I am the controller for Entrust and have my hands in finance, process improvement, and file management.

What business functions do you/your team use Wrike for?

We use Wrike in many areas within our company. A big reason we use Wrike is to monitor our accreditation compliance. We create tasks for every standard and assign it a custom status. Using the analytics in Wrike, we know, in real time, if we are compliant for each accreditation standard. We then give our surveyors Collaborator access where they can go in and have full access to everything that pertains to the standard. When a standard falls behind we know who is responsible and the person (or team) can work together to have it brought up to date. 

We also use a lot or request forms. We try and eliminate creating tasks on the fly, instead, we use Request Forms. This helps ensure that all the needed information is added to the task, either in the description or auto-populating a custom user field. We use Request Forms when adding clients, intake work, onboarding staff, creating maintenance tickets, IT requests, a work expense for reimbursement, or invoice that needs to be paid, etc. The possibilities are endless!

We also use Wrike for document management. Any document that is needed for a team can now be found in Wrike. This is beneficial as we now have conversations about the document within the document task. When a document changes, the team can then add a comment detailing what changes were made so everyone is on the same page. This removes the need to look at previous versions of the document to find any changes.

Just before being asked to answer these questions we had started a financial audit, as part of our contractual obligations. Last time we did our audit we did not have records in Wrike, this time we did. The auditor, our CFO, and I have commented on how easy the audit has gone using Wrike. Again, we gave our auditor Collaborator access and then gave them their own folder structure. We then folder tagged everything he needed to see to the already existing tasks. This allowed him to see, approval process, how AR is handled, how AP is processed. Everything from back up documents, to conversations, to approvals, are all done then tracked in Wrike. There is no longer any guessing what was done, searching for the right email as we had it all in Wrike.          

Before Wrike, how did you manage your work?       

Emails, spreadsheets, cloud-based document libraries, and printed checklists. A lot of time was spent looking for the right email, the most up to date document, for printed checklists. More time was spent on sending emails asking for status updates rather then intaking clients. Starting a new project was a headache because everyone was always wondering where we were in the process trying to find out what stage the project was at across departments. Accreditation was a crazy scramble gathering information, pulling files, linking policy and procedures, meetings trying to figure out who was doing what. Three months leading up to an accreditation was a stressful time. Now questions are answered before they need to be asked!

What is the top thing or process that keeps you super productive?

The top process that helps me keep on top of everything is Dashboards. With the right setup, Dashboards can give you information about what is going on, it can answer the questions of โ€œwhat do I need to work on next?โ€. It can also tell you what team members are behind and where you can step in and help each other out. When a task is behind you can click right into it from the Dashboard and see the movement on the task. Just from the Task activity feed, you can see if there is movement forward on the Task, if it has stalled or if there is no movement at all. Direction can then be given to help get the tasks complete.

Tell us about the process/setup that you/your team created that you're most proud of?         

The first piece of our accreditation process is what I feel most proud of. From there we were able to duplicate that approach across all processes, to help everyone stay on top of their responsibilities. The first piece we incorporated into Wrike was our employee files. One of the results of working with vulnerable persons is the heavy paperwork that each employee needs to have to be able to work. Each employee has around 40 different files that need to be tracked; 12 of those documents are living documents, meaning that they need to be renewed annually or every 2-3 years.

We also need to show that the employee has been compliant throughout their entire history of employment. We built a folder structure so that we can start from a high level, and then break it down right to the specific employee to see what is outstanding. We even broke it out so that we can the same document for every staff member. Now when onboarding a new employee we can see as they move through the training week the progress each has made to see if they are eligible to work their first shift. We use the Review feature to send email reminders to the staff about specific files that are still missing so that when they finish their last day of training we know right away whether or not they have done everything that is required for them to work that first shift. It also then feeds directly into our accreditation folder structure so that we can show ours do diligence around how we handle our staff files.

If someone was thinking about using Wrike for their business, and they ask for your advice, what would you say?          

This is a no-brainer, of course, you need to use Wrike. Wrike improves the productivity of all team members that are committed to using it. It gives live information to decision makers when they need it. It gives power to all team members to get caught up on tasks and projects that they may not be involved in on a daily basis. Your business will become more productive implementing Wrike then continuing on your current path.

What value do you get out of Wrike's Community forums?

I really like the forums for a few different reasons. One it allows me to expand my way of using Wrike by learning how others use it as they post new articles or just by answering questions. Second, I love answering questions from the How To section. This allows me to not only help others who are struggling but it also helps me learn. I check the knowledge base and test things out as I answer questions. The idea around helping others allows you to confirm the ways you're using the platform ensuring thing works the way you believe they should so it adds confirmation to your own processes. It may also open up new ways to use Wrike that may improve your current processes.  This is a must to anyone who is new to Wrike, and a suggested best practice to those who may be veterans.  

Last question: If you had to be a Wrike feature which would you be and why? 
This is a funny thought but I think I would be the Folder Tag feature. I feel like I have the ability to be tagged to any team's Project, Folder or Task and provide the needed information that is contained within myself which will contribute to the success of that team.

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Hi Ryan!  Wow, you sure do have a lot going on, I can't even begin to imagine how impossible it would be to track without Wrike.  Thank you for sharing with us.  

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