[Community Member Spotlight] Sven Passinger ๐Ÿ‘‹

Hi Community!
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Weโ€™re excited to continue with our Member Spotlight series and introduce you to our Black Belt Community members! This time we're very happy to featureย Sven Passinger, one of our newest Black Belts๐Ÿฅณ
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We hope you'll enjoy reading our interview with Sven. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments for him ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ
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1. Tell us a little about your role and industry.

I am an R&D manager at Coherent, a leading global supplier of lasers and photonics technology with headquarter in Santa Clara, California. I am working in our BU in Goettingen, Germany.
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Besides leading the laser development groups I care about the project management in our department. We have about 75 R&D colleagues in Goettingen and are dealing with the development of industrial UV lasers and systems for various applications worldwide.
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2. Why do you/your team use Wrike?
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In Goettingen, we have been searching for a tool to bring all our project information together. As Wrike was already available at some US sides within Coherent we tested Wrike in 2019 and 2020. We made a company-wide decision on all engineering project management to use Wrike. I was responsible for the testing and the introduction of Wrike in Goettingen in 2020 and 2021.
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We decided to go with Wrike because it is more simple to use than MS Project, which is very important for our technical project managers, and it can be configured very flexibly to our processes.
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3. What were you doing before Wrike?
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We made a separate project plan for each project in MS Project and put it in our fileserver. The resource coordination between the projects was done by Excel sheets. So we had several separate project plans and a huge amount of Excel resource planning files (for each team a planning file and each person had their own list and so on). It worked already very well, but it was a huge amount of work to keep everything aligned.
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4. What is the top thing that makes you productive?
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The integration of all our projects in one tool gives me a fantastic overview and together with the search functionality and the logical search commands I can find every detail so fast, thatโ€™s fantastic. As we also reduced mails drastically and put information into the Wrike tasks I am able to find specific information, I had to ask somebody to forward me an email before Wrike.
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5. What process/setup that you do in Wrike are you most proud of?ย 
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We imaged our well-established process flow for developing a new product to Wrike in a workflow guiding our project managers. This is now beginning to show benefits. We are still in the process of fully integrating automation and further adapting Wrike to our work, but this first big step was great.ย 
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6. If someone was thinking about using Wrike what would you say?

After we tested Wrike I was one of the supporters to use Wrike company-wide. It's important to understand Wrike's functionality, as it's different from other project management tools, but when you get into it you see the advantages. In the end, customize it according to your needs and you get a fantastic overview of your projects and an easy way to handle the daily work for everybody.
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7. What value do you get out of the Community?

A lot of problems are already known and solved by other Community members. So the Community is very helpful. Also, you get new ideas about what could be possible to improve your own work and usage of Wrike (and I have already a long list I would like to implement).
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8. Fun question: If you had to be a Wrike feature which would you be and why? (Ex. @mentions, Gantt Chart, search, etc).

I would be a customized workflow with locked transitions to guide the colleagues through our work process.

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Way to go Sven! Just like you, we used to have too many silos for each department. It was hard to find where and which file was the latest. With Wrike's awesome file versioning, it help us a lot and the team knows where to get them without bugging (me most of the time!) And I am with you on customized workflows!ย 

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What were you doing before Wrike?ย We were using Excel which had its advantages and disadvantages. This made keep project plans difficult to manage since things where constantly changing. We also had a need to keep project transparent with work going on in Jira, so leveraging Wrike Integrate helps us create transparency to our whole process. Glad to see others have started where we did and then transitioned to Wrike.

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Nice to meet you Sven!ย 

What was I doing before Wrike? Excel spreadsheets ... with LOTS of columns, formulas everywhere and multiple places to update manually. There were way too many sources of truth therefore failing on all of them. Wrike has helped us tremendously as between just 2 of us on my team, we have 47 projects being implemented. I have also had the opportunity to be the point person and admin at my office. We continue to add new areas of the company!

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Hi Sven! I have really appreciated your contributions to the Community. I would answer that question the same way - the Community has such a wealth of knowledge and experience shared, it's a truly valuable asset as a Wrike user.ย 

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My top productivity tip? I try not to multi-task. If I start a task I try really hard to finish it. Otherwise I'm jumping around from task to task and not finishing any of them!

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/sighย 

Why didn't your name come up before we started dealing with one of your competitors!ย ย 

I totally understand huge excel spreadsheets and the problems they cause!

Congrats on the new black belt :)

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Well done, Sven.ย 

I'm not a fan of customised workflows, but since you are suggesting, I will have a try.

If I was a Wrike feature, I would be a request formย ๐Ÿ˜„

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Congrats on becoming a Black Belt - we echo many of the same challenges pre-Wrike - too many spreadsheets or MS project files lead to poor visibility into the process or project!ย  Agree on the Community as well - such a help finding solutions when so many others have come up with creative solutions to complex problems, invaluable to be able to share that knowledge here!

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2. Why do you/your team use Wrike?

The main purpose of Wrike for our company is to track reviews and approvals. Prior to using Wrike, everything was printed out (entire websites, packaging lines, ads etc) and would be presented to executives weekly. It was hard to get executives together, so sometimes there would be weeks between meetings, and many of our deliverables were delayed. During the meetings, if everyone was aligned they would physically sign the printed copy they reviewed and the product manager would file it away. Now with Wrike we have automated approvals that the executives can get to when they have time and a digital file that is searchable in the archive in case there was ever a question about the project. This has streamlined our review process!

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Nice! I agree, Wrike is easy to use and CHANGE. I can change a workflow and update correlating dashboards in very little time.ย 

What value do you get out of the Community?ย I like seeing solutions from other community members - and I love that the community has active members from all different company sizes and industries.

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If someone was thinking about using Wrike what would you say?

Try it out, leverage the community and use the training available on Wrike Discover. It's extremely powerful if used to it's full.ย 

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Thank you all for your comments. I am happy to participate to this community.

Debbie Brownlie it is never to late to cangeย ๐Ÿ˜‰. If you have the need of a change just let me know.

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