[From Wrike] Workflow Analysis Basics

Hi Community,
 
This week I will discuss a feature of Wrike Analyze that is very powerful and useful, but that most users skip over as its meaning is not obvious. This is the Status Change History table, otherwise known as Workflow Analysis!
 
You might find this piece helpful if:
  • You would like to perform an analysis of how tasks and projects progress over time
  • You would like to challenge yourself with a more complex BI concept
 
Workflow Analysis lets us examine how status changes happen over time. If you were to imagine the standard Task Status and Project Status fields, that is their current values, as the surface of an ocean, Workflow Analysis is a like submarine that allows you to explore all of the depths of history that exist in your users' actions in Wrike. So, let's explore!
 
Note: Both Projects and Tasks have status change history tables. Choose the table most relevant to your inquiry.
 
Let's first examine the chronology of individual tasks. Name your first widget "Task Progress Detail Tracking".
We'll start with a standard pivot with Project Name, Task Title, Task Link, and Task Due Date. Then add:
  • Task Status Change History Change Date (the date when the user switched the task's status)
  • Task Status Change History Old -> New Status (the precise status change -- FROM this status TO that status -- that was made on that day)
    Note: "Old Status" and "New Status" are also available as separate dimensions and are very useful for slicing and dicing. Give them a try as well!
 
 
 
Looking at our first Workflow Analysis widget, we can see a couple of observations about my tasks. Here is a list of the facts we may glean from this task detail tracker widget:
  • My Runzoocane project has 6 tasks.
  • Tasks 04 and 05 were completed on 1/26. They were completed very quickly and workflow steps were skipped (was work actually done? why weren't all steps followed?)
  • Tasks 00 and 01 were never started (still in New status) even though they were both due in January.
    Explanation: When the New Status (right side) is N/A that means this Old Status (left side) is the current status. Notice that in this situation, the change date will always be the current date.
  • Tasks 02 and 03 were started on 1/26 but have remained in the "In Progress" state ever since.
 
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Now, take a step further and look at status changes in aggregate.
 
Start with a new pivot called "Workflow Progress Statistics".
Add rows: Task Status Change History Old Status, Task Status Change History New Status.
Add values: Count of Task Status Change History ID, Average of Task Status Change History Time Spent (minutes), Max of Task Status Change History Time Spent (minutes)
Edit the Average of Task Status Change History Time Spent (minutes) value and put at the end "/ 1440" to convert from minutes to days.
Edit the Max of Task Status Change History Time Spent (minutes) value and put at the end "/ 1440" to convert from minutes to days.
 
 
 
Whereas our previous widget looked at each task individually, we look at status changes across all tasks with this widget. Here are a couple of observations we can make from our second widget:
  • There are relatively few statuses that are used for tasks. Are other workflows not being used?
  • Those status changes with many IDs mean this status change happens more frequently; relatively few IDs mean that this change happens less frequently.
  • There are 10 cases where a task was completed and then afterward uncompleted. What happened there?
    Hint: Add task name and task link dimensions to see the actual tasks involved.
  • It appears that Wrike has not been used in a while. Those tasks that are still waiting for action (New Status is N/A) have been waiting for a very long time.
    (This is a demo database that was created several months ago)
  • When tasks do get action using the standard operating procedure (eg. New -> In Progress, In Progress -> Completed), these steps happen within an average of 6 hours (.25 days)
  • Many tasks are going straight from New to Completed which may imply skipped or unreported steps.
 
Advanced Tip: If your Count of Task Status Change History ID is large, your data is likely normally distributed and you can add further statistical tools such as Standard Deviation and Median.
 
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As you can see from all of the above observations, Workflow Analysis provides tools to add significant depth and detail when inquiries rely on historical and statistical data. Those in roles such as auditing/governance, team managers, ticket managers, and SLA managers should consider Workflow Analysis a valuable addition to your analytical toolsets.
 
For those hungry for a further challenge beyond the primer lesson above, try these more advanced use cases:
  • Add another dimension, such as project type field, to add further depth and insight to status changes. Does a certain project type take longer to progress than others?
  • Identify which projects ever go backward in the workflow. Why do these projects suffer from backtrack/rework?
  • Of those projects that reach an On Hold status, what % of them are completed vs abandoned?
 
Best wishes growing with Wrike Analyze!

Sam Alter Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

Sam Alter Wrike Team member Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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4 comments
Spot On Innovative Approach Stellar Advice

I am not currently tracking my progress in Wrike, but I'll consider it for the future!

2
Spot On Innovative Approach Stellar Advice

We utilized very specific workflows and custom reports to track our progress. The report is distributed on a weekly basis to internal and external users.

2
Spot On Innovative Approach Stellar Advice

Great examples Sam!!  I often pull workflow reports - but this is excellent that this is part of Wrike Analyze, too!  I think this is very effective and showcases examples of good adoption, as well as teams that may need refreshers in process, too

2
Spot On Innovative Approach Stellar Advice

Thanks for the example Sam! I have looked at a few reports in this manner and this is an area that may help us determine amount of time and effort was we refine our project plan blueprints.

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