Who’s Keeping Track of Everything?
I don’t know about your business, but in ours, we seem to have far too many “moving parts.”
We have customers and prospects to deal with, action items from meetings, and complicated projects that involve a mix of in-house and outsourced staff.
Over the years, we’ve tried several solutions ranging from free desktop applications to complex web-based systems, and just about everything in between.
Nothing really fit perfectly until we discovered Wrike (www.qualitytalk.com/wrike). In fact, it was our “web guy”–who himself manages multiple concurrent projects–who turned us on to it.
A Simple “Action-Item” List for Starters
It seems simple enough–an e-mail comes in from one of our members asking for a reminder of their membership-site password. No problem, we send it out immediately. But the message also contains a question, “Is there a way to add a password reminder feature with the ability to change the password to the site?”
Those are really good suggestions, but what do we do with them? If we put them on the calendar, we’ll end up pushing them forward, and forward again... probably never actually getting to them.
If we put them in some kind of “tracking spreadsheet” that’s likely where they’ll sit indefinitely.
With Wrike, using the “List View” (below), we’re able to add them to a “Feature Request” folder, designate them as “active” or “backlogged,” assign the task to someone, and note a target date.
Share and Share Alike...
But what if I need to assign an item to our Web Team? They’re responsible for completing it, but I’d also like to know what’s going on along the way.
That’s no problem with Wrike. It let’s you give different people access to individual folders, and there’s a feature that lets you add notes and also include attachments so there’s an audit trail of everything that’s happened along the way. (See below)
What About Gantt Charts?
If you were paying attention during your Operations Management class, you might remember working with Gantt charts. These let you show the individual tasks in a project, while giving you the ability to incorporate dependencies. (Task B can’t start until Task A is completed.)
Wrike gives you the ability to display your tasks in a Gantt-chart format (below) and even lets you see a resource-loading view to make sure you’re not scheduling five days of work into one day’s time.
But I Need a Reminder!
No problem: Wrike includes a Dashboard that can be customized and provides an at-a-glance view of your most relevant tasks.
And it even has plug-ins for Outlook and Gmail that let you shamelessly convert individual e-mail messages into Wrike tasks.
We use this software in our business and see the benefits in terms of increased productivity. More importantly, though, is the fact that we’re not having important actions “fall between the cracks” causing us headaches and embarrassment.
And, in case I forgot to mention it, the basic level of Wrike is free, so you really should take a look.
You can get a free trial of the full version at this link and see for yourself: www.qualitytalk.com/wrike