Inheriting Over-designed Wrike Projects From Previous PMs

Confessions - I am a huge Wrike fan - I loved working with the former Project Manager (the job I now have) -AND- I want to metaphorically kick both of them in the shin.

We are a small department with a huge project stream. 35 new products with packaging and guides, 150 existing products that need updating per Brexit, a huge new Brand rollout, plus 50 marketing assets (emails, landing pages, Amazon ads, blogs, A+ pages) per month. We have three veteran designers and four new designers hired in the last month. 

While I am rolling out training to the new team members, I am trying to manage using the Wrike infrastructure I inherited. As of right now, I am creating Department Spaces to provide clean access to the data each group needs. 

My biggest goals:

  • Make sure the team can see/find the tasks they are working on (blueprints created tasks without a naming convention that allows easy identification without opening the task)
  • Be the source of truth for due dates (need to disconnect dependencies to avoid date creep)

I suspect one huge ally may be Custom Item types.

Has anyone else tried to implement change in Wrike while using it to manage projects? I keep using the analogy, "Changing the tire while riding the bike."


👍 Spot On 💡 Innovative Approach 💪 Stellar Advice ✅ Solved 🪄 Remove Kudos

Hi Kelly R,

It sounds like you and your team operate in a very similar manner and similar workload to our team.  I can empathize with your challenges and need for easy access to task by item type and ability to allow flexible dates as priorities can differ between the teams performing the work.

I posted about something similar back in 2019 as related to reporting:

but it applies to how the people actually doing the work view their task lists as well.

As for your comment about "changing the tire while riding the bike" (love that analogy by the way), we have tried modifying our templates as well as workflows mid-stream through the development cycle.  This became extremely administrative heavy because all current projects had to be modified to match the updates we were making so viewing and accessing information would be the same for that season.

Instead, we now pick the time of year that is the slowest for our team and perform an annual review of Wrike processes and automations (typically CNY as there is not a lot of communication with our factories at that time).  This allows the team to note what workflows, approvals, and templates are working well and which ones are too heavy to manage.  We make adjustments where needed, then implement those changes for the next season of products.  We have agreed collectively to stick with those changes for the year because change always has an adoption period to get used to.  This has been working well for our team and helps follow my desire that your processes should work for you, you should not work for the process.


👍 Spot On 💡 Innovative Approach 💪 Stellar Advice ✅ Solved 🪄 Remove Kudos

Hi Kelly R- 
Yes, I am doing the same but I refer to it as "building the plane while flying" and it gets tense at times. I have to be very careful when I add or change custom fields as to not disturb work in progress. Yes there is "clean-up work to be done at times. I find the Table view with filters wonderful as you can pull/copy cells like you can in xls. I also document and send out weekly updates to the Wrike team to ensure awareness.


👍 Spot On 💡 Innovative Approach 💪 Stellar Advice ✅ Solved 🪄 Remove Kudos

Thank you so much for the comments! This is really helpful - if only for the validation! :)  

We are updating blueprints now for next year. Fingers crossed.

👍 Spot On 💡 Innovative Approach 💪 Stellar Advice ✅ Solved 🪄 Remove Kudos

Folllowing List for Post: Inheriting Over-designed Wrike Projects From Previous PMs
[this list is visible for admins and agents only]

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Write new post