When to Make Someone a Collaborator

Hey! Before you start reading! This post is a little old and may contain legacy information. You've been warned but fret not, Lisa wrote a new one on the subject.
Read it now.



Wrike has different licenses so that you can give people different permission levels within Wrike. Collaborators are one of the available license types, and they're great because they don't take up a license seat, and they have limited permission rights within the Workspace (which is necessary sometimes). 

 
However, Collaborators can't do as much as Regular or External Users. So the question is: when to invite someone as a Collaborator vs. as a Regular User. If you're not sure whether or not to make someone a Collaborator, try using the guidelines below:
 
Regular/External User licenses are normally great for people within the same organization, while Collaborator licenses are normally best for people outside of your organization.  
 
If the person does any of the below then it's best to make them a Regular or External User:
  • Creates work (i.e. will need to create tasks)
  • Adds context to work (i.e. needs to edit task descriptions)
  • Runs Reports 
Collaborator licenses are better suited for
  • People outside of your organization
  • Users who don't need to create work, but are working with you
  • Someone who only needs to leave comments or change a task's status
Pro tip: Because most Collaborators are outside of your organization, they will more than likely be new to Wrike so you'll want to provide a helping hand. If it's okay for Collaborators to see other Collaborators, then User Groups are a good option. Users on Business and Enterprise accounts can create a "Collaborator" User Group and then share a Wrike FAQ Folder with that group. Add some tasks in this Folder that go over Wrike basics and how you expect them to use Wrike. 
 
Let me know who you think are good candidates for the Collaborator role, or if you have a questions about a specific situation. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Conosci le straordinarie funzionalità di Wrike e le best practices

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This is a good article.  Thank you.

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Is there a way for Collaborators to be able to use Time Entry?

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Anastasia

Hi Ann, thank you for the question! The Time Tracking functionality is not available to Collaborators. The reason for this is that the license type was actually designed for clients, partners and other people outside of your organization who require visibility into the Project or are responsible for a limited scope of work. If someone needs to log hours spent on certain tasks I recommend making them an External or Regular User.

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Is it considered as 'logging' (as in 'timekeeping') or just informing the project manager or client in a streamlined manner?

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Anastasia

Hi Maik! The Time Tracking feature allows Regular and External Users to track the time they spend on a task through a timer, as well as add a time entry manually. Additionally, users can add a note with additional information to any time entry they make. The feature helps people keep track of how much time they spend on tasks, and the Timelog View displays the information in a streamlined view. More details about this feature are on this page. If Collaborators need to inform a manager or partner about the time they spent on a task, I recommend asking them to include this info in the comment section. Let me know if you have any additional questions about this!

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Hi Anastasia, we contract out a lot of project labour, there are multiple contractors in different locations, and they are constantly varied, different people, different projects, different time frames and in some instances managed resources.  It's not practical nor cost effective to add them on and off as internal users - and they aren't, by your definitions.  

However unlike Maik, we need to keep detailed time logs for all work on all projects in a format that is reportable against budgets and KPIs.   This is not flexible, and I can't see how to integrate an external function in a manner that is simple to implement use and train.  I've spent the weekend playing with Wrike - I LOVE IT - but we sell time. We need detailed and flexible resource management (tick!) ...and we need to track it.

Do you have any suggestions on how to approach this?  We really want to use Wrike!

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Anastasia

Hi Cate, sorry for the delayed reply here! I noticed that you already discussed this with your Account Executive, and that you found a really interesting solution for this through the help of a browser extension. I think this could help some other users with the same questions, and I'd definitely love to hear some more information on that! :)

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I would really like to hear more about this solution, as we have the same scenario as Cate Kemp. Thanks for any help

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Is there any way a collaborator can edit the briefs that they submit?

Occasionally our collaborators will submit a request to our team and then need to amend that request or ticket, or similarly to be able to delete it if their request is no longer required.

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@Amy I apologize, it looks like we missed your message, please let us know if there's still something we can help with.

@Holly hi there! There's no way for Collaborators to edit the description field. If they do need to edit their original request, the best thing would be for them to leave a comment. You can then use statuses to help facilitate some changes. For example, you can create a "Request Cancelled" status which Collaborators would be able to use. You could also create a "Request Updated" status which they could use if they do leave a comment indicating that the original request needs to be updated. Let me know if you need any help setting us Custom Statuses, we can go over best practices.

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Conosci le straordinarie funzionalità di Wrike e le best practices

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Hi there,

How do I create my "collaborator" user group initially? 

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@Stephanie,

Amazing, thank you for the reply, the workaround could work well for us using different statuses :)

Thanks

Holly

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@Holly So happy to hear that! 

@Taryn Hello :) Collaborators are a license type, so no need to actually set up a separate group. If you're an admin, then you can choose to invite someone as a Collaborator from the User Management Chart or you can change someone's license to make them a Collaborator (after they've already been invited. You do have to be an admin to make those changes, but it's easy to do. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Conosci le straordinarie funzionalità di Wrike e le best practices

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The ability to use collaborators was one of the reasons I went with Wrike for my small business, which hasn't worked out as well as I'd thought it would.

The ability to 'check off tick boxes' in a check box list, designed to be 'checked off' didn't occur to me, to be 'editing' the task ('cuase it's .. not).  The only thing I need my collaborators to do, is see each task, and check off the list, update the status.

Of course they can't do that - just another example of where the thinking tree didn't go all the way to the top branch - it nearly got there... but not quite.

Sooooo I thought OK we'll use sub tasks!  that cost about 20 hours of pain, as they aren't actually sub tasks, but stand alone tasks that happen to be located within a task.  They do not track, move critical path, nor in anyway effect the status of the header task.  it caused a massive loss of productivity and one team member ended up in tears as there were over 800 tasks in 'my work' and no way to filter them out to header tasks.  I understand this is in dev, and look forward to any improvement here.

I do like your idea to have a standard ops folder, but there is no reason that wouldn't be shared with everyone, or larger groups in the organisation so that processes, updates, and new workflow principles can be accessed by all.

If you've any suggestions for working with collaborators who require multiple checklists - please let me know.  We're back to external links and multiple platforms, which was what we were trying to consolidate.

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Hi Cate, I definitely want to try and help figure out if there's something we can do to try and help with this process. It would be really helpful to know what type of things need to be checked off and how those differ from the statuses you use? Off the bat I'm wondering if Custom Statuses and/or comments could help. Comments would be manual and require a Regular or External user to make changes, but would might still be better than not getting the information and having disparate systems. 

P.S. You are right that we're rethinking how tasks and subtasks interact with each other.

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Conosci le straordinarie funzionalità di Wrike e le best practices

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Hi @Stephanie Westbrook - we constantly working on how to make wrike work for us - sorry for the delayed reply here.

we use Wrike for granular task management and control. 

 example:

/Folder = Client/

Recurrent Task = Clear Client Emails 10an and 3pm  AEST

Task Body: Checklist for Clearing emails:

  • Ready and understand each email (TICK)
  • Forward accounts documentation to Squirrel Street (TICK)
  • Request Statements / Account Balances from the PT and forward to suppliers / customers as required (TICK)
  • IF the client or key stakeholders have emailed the Job Manage, set the status to "Communication Required" (TICK)
  • If you've booked a meeting with the Job Manager update the Status to "VC/Phone call booked" (TICK)
  • Archive all emails that have been dealt with and CLOSED - require no further action, input or reference (TICK)
  • Star Purple any emails for the Job Manager (TICK)
  • Star >> any emails that have been forwarded and waiting response (do not archive) (TICK)
  • If no action required and all emails archived or starred Update the Status to Cleared (TICK)  **this closes and completes the task

Recurrence: Twice Daily

end example

Now this is a VERY simple task.  most of our tasks have 15 to 40 'Tick Items" to go through, some of which are a short paragraph, and there are some decision trees.  the CORE functionality I need to work with our extended team, is to issue them checklists to complete at regularly recurring intervals.  Twice daily, Daily, Weekly Fortnightly.

I NEED them to physically TICK something off, to

a) make sure all steps or each task are completed

b) control and vary procedures

c) have a record of what was completed so we can train / troubleshoot and manage delivery.

Ticking off a checklist in a task is in no practical sense "editing" the task - so why are collaborators not able to check off the items in a list they've been issued to complete.  I was SO excited when I trialled Wrike, and saw the checklists - it was like rainbows, puppies and unicorns in one basket.  Wrike's core function is to allocate task and get them completed - and yet collaborators can't tick off a task list.   Where is the thinking at here, I'd love to understand it. - I absolutely understand the business case for collaborators not being able to edit and control tasks - that makes sense.  Not being able to complete a task checklist ? that is severely limiting the business use case for small business.

At the moment, we have hyperlinks to external checklists and we're having to manage those checklists externally to wrike.  Anastasia mentioned I'd found a solution to this which is not the case, I'd found a timesheet integration to allow collaborators to track time against tasks, not a solution for the checklists.

Short Answer is that if we can't get some of this functionality to work we can't continue managing this mostly awesome system - because the little shortfalls are crippling - and so frustratingly "plain" - seriously people it's a check list, it's designed to be checked off...!!

Again though, all you guys in support are fantabulous and I can't say it often enough.

 

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Hi Kate, thank you so much for that example! Has your team used Request forms? You can create a Request form that has checkbox type-questions. Collaborators can fill out a Request form, check off items, and then submit the Request. Once the Request is submitted it goes into a preselected Folder and all the checkbox options that were ticked off appear in the task's description field. If not every option is checked off, you could create an optional short answer field where the submiter can enter any options that were left unchecked (that way it will show up in the task). 

The Collaborator can't go in and change the description field after the task is created but they can at least get information into the task. You can also make the form available to non-Wrike users, so people outside of your Wrike account could submit form responses if necessary.

I am very curious to know if this could work, let me know :). 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Conosci le straordinarie funzionalità di Wrike e le best practices

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Stephen

Hi Marita, yes, a Collaborator can @mention any member of the account including other Collaborators. However, they can't assign tasks. You can see more about Collaborator rights in this Knowledgebase article.

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@Stephen Orowe: Doesn't "a Collaborator can @mention any member of the account including other Collaborators" mean that Collaborators suddenly can share tasks they are otherwise not supposed to be able to share?

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Can a collaborator add another collaborator to a review?

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Stephen

@Antonio, if the Collaborator they mention doesn't have the task shared with them already, they will see a message when they try to view the comment letting them know they don't have access.

@Alex, Collaborator can't add new users. You can see a breakdown of permissions here.

🙌

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