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Tips to Tidy up Workfront




One of the most important aspects of successfully using software is the maintenance of it. One step further is the inevitable cleanup that must occur when the system has gone through challenging times—this is especially critical when your Workfront system administrators change and too many objects are created without reviewing what already exists with colleagues.

This week’s blog focuses on how to review your Workfront instance to find old or outdated items, recommended actions to help keep the system organized, and tips for preventing clutter moving forward. 


If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to cleanup, consider the major areas in Workfront that tend to be the most cluttered—custom forms, templates, projects, and users. Below are some recommendations to help with system organization in each area.

Custom FormsCustom forms are one of the most highly used features in Workfront, as organizations use these to capture specific metrics. If not managed properly, historical data on custom forms can be lost, so consider the following when doing custom form cleanup.

  • If a custom form is outdated or no longer needed, simply deactivate it to retain its historical information. Once deactivated, the data will remain, but the custom form will no longer show up as an available option for end-users to attach to an object. 
  • Review the Fields area (Setup > Custom Forms > Fields) and check to see if fields are not attached to any form. If so, simply delete the field. 
  • If a custom field is no longer applicable but has previously been used to capture data, navigate to each custom form that contains the field, add a section break at the bottom of each, and label it “Admin Only.” Then, adjust the section break settings so only users with System Administrator permissions can view the field. 


Templates—As processes change, so might your project templates. To check and see which templates are still actively being used, create a project report that filters for Template ID > Is Not Blank and Entry Date > This Year. Add the grouping for Template > Name. Compare the report results with the list of templates that are currently available in your system. Chances are if a template hasn’t been used this year to create a project, it can be deactivated

Projects—You may be surprised at how many projects are still marked as Active or Current even when all tasks are complete. The easiest way to find these projects, so they can finally be closed, is to run a project report with filters for Percent Complete > Equals > 100 and Status > Not Equal > Complete (or any other status that equates with complete). 

Sample Report - Projects 100% Not Complete (1)-MC2H4P3A5ILNFLFH3MBVUMPYWXA4.png

PRO TIP: On your project templates, update the Completion Mode (found under Edit Template > Settings) to Automatic. Any project created with this template moving forward will be marked complete once the final task is marked as complete, helping you avoid any manual work in the future.

Users—Depending on the size of your instance, the number of users can range from a few dozen to a few hundred. As mentioned in the blog, System Administrator Best Practices - Knowing Your People, it is recommended that you do quarterly or monthly audits of your user base to see if anyone should be deactivated, not deleted, to free up a license. The quickest way to audit users is to create a User report and add the columns for Last Login Date and Number of Logins. 


Cleanup is not a one and done activity—it takes time and repetition. Once you’ve spent hours or days doing the actual cleanup, it will feel great to know that things are now organized. To keep the system clean, take action on the following recommendations to help prevent clutter in the future.

  1. Governance, governance, governance. Yes, it does require 3x emphasis, it’s that important. Meet monthly with your governance committee to review items of concern or any requested updates, and perform a deep system review quarterly to ensure that the above mentioned items are vetted and reviewed. To learn more about Modern Work Governance, check out this on-demand webinar in the Ask the Expert video library. 
  2. Create a feedback request queue that automatically routes to you, the system administrator, to give people a voice in what they think needs to be created. Announce the request queue to your organization through a personalized Announcement Center message and let everyone know it’s the best way for you to track and respond to their ideas and issues. Review these feedback requests as they come in or set aside time each week to prioritize and respond. 
  3. As you may have learned from watching the Modern Work Governance webinar, review access levels and limit global system administrator rights to only 2-3 individuals. The more people that have access to global settings, the greater the risk of accidental changes, deletions and therefore negative impacts to the user experience. Consider granting group administrator access to individuals per group, so that they can take on the responsibilities of managing group-specific settings without affecting configurations on a global scale. Remember that governance efforts are still required to prevent clutter! 


People change and processes are updated—what worked for your organization at the time of your Workfront implementation has likely been refined and chances are leadership has defined new metrics. As you and your team look to tackle cleanup on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, make sure you set aside ample time to actually get it done. Often, things come up and cleanup is pushed to a later date, but as the Done Right at Workfront team learned, it’s better to get it done and do it right than to wait and find yourself continuing to develop bad habits. 

If this task is too overwhelming and you would like expert assistance, reach out to your Account Executive to learn more about leveraging Workfront Professional Services to help, as part of a value optimization package or Workfront System Administration package.