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A Communication and Collaboration Toolkit

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Administrator

01-03-2022

Communication and collaboration within the context of work is an essential part of any organization’s system of record. This week’s Did you know? Toolkit offers several out of the box ways to maximize communication and collaboration in Workfront, along with a reporting script to help you visualize the latest update for every project you manage. We conclude with a few FAQs regarding our 20.1 release.


Useful Practice Tip: Historical project communication should be stored as part of the project plan for the purposes of performing a project retrospective or even passing an audit. 


  1. Ensure project communication is reflected in Workfront by leveraging our robust collaboration capabilities and native integrations with Slack and MS Teams.
  2. Tag other users or entire functional teams into threaded discussions, or tag an entire project team with the Update All feature. This feature can be found under the Staffing area in Workfront Classic, described below, or the People area in the New Workfront Experience, shown here


Has there been a change in project scope and the entire team needs to know about it? Did you know that project team updates can be sent using the Update All function in the Staffing area of a project? 


The Update All feature allows you to send an announcement to all members of the project team with a single click and the communication will be posted directly to the project Updates area.



All team members are included in the communication by default. Individual team members may be removed from the communication if desired. 



NOTE: Rich text formatting is not available when communicating through the Update All feature.


The Staffing tab, or the project team, is populated by default with users assigned to work on the project or users that have defined roles at the project level like Owner or Sponsor. Users can also be a part of the project team if the project was created from a template or if the users was assigned work, and then unassigned. 


NOTE: Sharing a project with a user does not make that user a member of the team. 


In some scenarios you may want to include users on the project team that are not assigned to specific tasks, issues or roles. Users can be added to the project team quickly by clicking Add Users in the project’s Scheduling area.


REPORTING SCRIPT: Want to view the latest update for every project you manage so all communication is visible in a single view? 


By creating a report, you can track the most recent update to all projects you manage without having to click into each object separately. Follow the instructions below to learn how. 


  • Start by navigating to the reports area and select a project report. 
  • Filter by Project Owner ID > Equals > $$USER.ID, Project Status > Equal > Current (or equivalent) and Last Note > Note Text > Is Not Blank. 


NOTE: If you want to narrow down the list of results to just show projects whose last update was posted within the past 24 hours, you can apply another filter for Last Note > Entry Date > Between > $$TODAY-1d and $$TODAY.


  • Remove any unwanted columns and then add columns for Last Note > Note Text, Last Note > Entry Date and Last Note > Owner ID. To rename the columns, use the Advanced Options feature.
  • In the column for Last Note > Entry Date, switch to text mode and replace the line for valueformat=atDate with valueformat=longAtDate. This will display the timestamp associated with the update.
  • In the column for Last Note > Owner ID, switch to text mode and everywhere you see ownerID, replace with owner:name. This will show the user’s name rather than the GUID associated with their account.
  • Group the report by program name. If your organization does not use programs, you can group by portfolio name or leave this grouping blank. 
  • Save and close the report. 



NOTE: You cannot reply to comments in a report, however, you can add a column that takes you directly to the update stream of the object to reply back. To do this, create a calculated custom field and follow the instructions in the article, Link tab to Updates



Important FAQs about the 20.1 Release:


Q: We can’t take on anything new right now. Are we required to enable the updates from the 20.1 release?

A: The key highlight of the 20.1 release is the new Workfront experience, but there is a new feature also available in Workfront Classic that will help enable better timeline planning of large projects with many tasks. If you are concerned about new features in Workfront Classic that may impede on your current work or focus areas, users are not required to use the timeline planning feature. It will be available, but users would still need to select it if they want to use it.

It’s important to remember that the new Workfront experience will not just be turned on in your users’ environments as part of the release. System administrators will still have the ability to enroll users and teams in the new experience. Whenever they are ready to move over, we’re ready to help you with the transition.


Q: What are the other enhancements included in 20.1?

A: If you are going to be using Workfront Classic for a time, you will be able to more quickly adjust timelines when making changes to existing projects and tasks with the new Timeline Planning mode. This feature is also available in the new experience.


Here are the full release notes for Classic for 20.1: https://experience.workfront.com/s/article/2020-1-release-overview-1114906756


Here are the full release notes for all the latest features we’ve added to the new Workfront experience beta since the beginning of 2020, which will also now be officially in General Availability as of the 20.1 release: https://experience.workfront.com/s/article/The-new-Workfront-experience-Beta-release-activity-396255...



If you’ve been waiting for the new Workfront experience, it’s here!


Leverage this New Workfront Experience Onboarding Guide to get you and your users off to a great start. Check out our new Workfront experience onboarding courses, as well - no need for login!


Q: So the new Workfront experience isn’t going to be separate from 20.1? 

A: We believe there is stronger value to you in including the new Workfront experience in this release, as stated in the answer above. Improved usability for better productivity is what you will get in this release, and the new Workfront experience is a big part of that. 



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


Upcoming Virtual Boot Camps


Spread the word! We’re now offering Virtual System Administrator Boot Camps! The following is the updated list along with registration links. You can also view them in Workfront One on the Events page: 


  • Virtual Admin Boot Camp (Classic) April 7-9. Register here.
  • Virtual Admin Boot Camp (NWE) April 28-30. Register here
  • Virtual Admin Boot Camp (Classic) May 12-14. Register here.
  • Virtual Admin Boot Camp (NWE) May 12-14. Register here


See Past Workfront Wednesday tips here.


Find Past Workfront Wednesday: Ask the Expert Workshop Recordings here.