Setting to disable multiple task owners

I've moved to Wrike from another tool I've used for 7 years and am really struggling to understand why anyone would want to give the responsibility for completing one task to multiple people?

"Drive the bus to France, Sara, Ally and John"

Who choses who drives first? Who's ultimately responsible? What if we can't decide between us? Why should Ally drive first?

This is what multiple task owners leads to. Confusion and a lack of accountability.

"Drive the bus to France, Ally. John and Sara can help" - Driving the bus has one owner with accountability and responsibility, regardless of wether John and Sara drive, it's now clear who needs to get the job done.

Multiple task owners makes zero sense, makes accountability confusing, and makes it unclear to all people assigned, who's ultimately responsible. Currently work gets left open because it's not clear "who's responsible" and it leads to the "someone else will do it" mentality. This defeats the objective of using Wrike to manage work effectively.

People need to be held accountable for getting things done. Multiple task owners kills that. Please give us an Admin setting to limit task owners to a single individual.

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I totally agree. Our team recently implemented a new rule that only one person should be assigned to a task. Having multiple assignees was causing confusion and tasks weren't getting done. 

We did see the need for having some sort of additional assignee. For example, I am our main website manager but I am passing a lot of website tasks to another team member. So he is often assigned website tasks that may require a little more oversight and training.

Previously, our manager would assign us both to the task. Now, we've created a custom field called "Backup Assignee." This allows us to designate someone who:

  • Should be consulted if the assignee has questions 
  • Should keep an eye on the task and hold the assignee accountable if progress isn't being made
  • Should be generally aware of the task in case they will need to continue the task later or cover for the assignee if they can't complete it for whatever reason

We have widgets on our dashboards for these tasks so we can monitor them.

I'm open to feedback about this setup if anyone has any!

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The way I used to manage this was with task "followers". That way if Mary is responsible for getting a blog post out next week, and John is helping her write it, they can both get updates in the comments as the task progresses. But ultimately as her Manager, I can see she's responsible. 

If it doesn't go out on time, I can see John's a follower of the task, I can see he's updated the comments and mentioned delays, and I have everything I need to know to talk to Mary about the situation.

I can kind of do this in Wrike, by "sharing" tasks with multiple people, but like many things with the UI it feels clunky, the pertinent info (who the task is shared with) is hidden, and the process requires a lot of extra user interaction.

There must be a more elegant way to achieve this.

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Rob Davies Did you see my suggestion above? Custom fields might be a more elegant way to achieve this!

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Hi Anna

I did, thanks. We're still trying to get a handle on custom fields and already have a few too many to get around issues with Wrike like this. But thanks for the tip, I'll run it by my team.

 

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Hi Rob Davies, Anna Wallace, thanks for this interesting discussion here! I can see how this could be very helpful. We even have a suggestion on RACI roles here, please upvote if you like the idea 👍

I really like Anna's suggestion to use Custom Fields for this. For more complex assignments, I'd also suggest using subtasks with specific bits of the task that the subtask's assignee is responsible for (it's better to only assign one person to such a subtask). Hope it helps! 

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

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