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Workfront is Simple, Part 3 - Appraising Time, Value and Instance Customization




To wrap up the Workfront is Simple series, this week focuses on the final setup segments — people, finance and system protocols. Detailed below are setup and best practice recommendations for resource management, finance management and overall system capabilities — confirming our sentiment in Part 1 that building a quality foundational design sets the framework for successful work management.


Once you have defined the roles, responsibilities and access levels of each user (details can be found in Workfront is Simple, Part 1), look to get started with setting up schedules, timesheets, and email notifications to prepare for resource management. Detailed below are recommendations for these areas of the Setup menu. 


By creating custom schedules, you can define workweeks, input company holidays and use user availability to determine or calculate project timelines. 

  • Since schedules are applied to both users and projects, there is a hierarchy. Make sure to review the order in which schedules are used by the system when more than one exists in the article, Creating Schedules

Timesheets and Hours

By associating a timesheet profile to each user’s profile and encouraging hours to be logged, you can start capturing vital information essential to the resource management tools. The visibility of time data allows you to assess accuracy of work items as well as to review and analyze performance and efficiency to make data-based decisions.

Timesheet Preferences-MCRRU5FY2RYFARFJLIQ5EXEJERJU.png


As mentioned in Workfront is Simple, Part 2 - Optimizing Work Management, hold every user responsible and accountable for their work. Send out emails, automatic reminders and reminder notifications to make sure work gets completed on time, work items are marked complete when finished, and accurate time is logged.

To learn how effective time tracking can completely transform project planning and resource allocation to add value to your organization and contribute to its success, watch the on-demand Leap presentation, Unlocking Time Tracking Potential presented by Walgreens. 


Projects shouldn't just be completed on time, they should be prioritized based on value and executed on budget. Budgeting and financial management within portfolio and project management helps organizations plan and account for the key aspect of any business, money. By crafting a detailed business case, you can ensure alignment, executive approval and financial backing. Detailed below are the setup items to enable you with building out a successful business case.


Expenses affect the overall cost and revenue of your project, including ROI. These are non-labor costs and can be associated with tasks or projects.

  • Create custom expense types to track things like catering, room rental, parking, or equipment. Then, attach custom forms to these expense types to capture information related to vendors, invoice dates and links to e-receipts. 
  • Only Plan license holders will be able to view all expenses on a project (whether they submitted them or not), so if you want to share financial information with users with a Work, Request or Review license, create a report and run it with the access rights of a System Administrator.

Learn more from one customer, Merck, on the benefits of using Workfront as a single place to manage work and track expenses speedily and efficiently. 

Scorecards (and Custom Forms) 

As pre-planning is extremely important in all project work, both scorecards and custom forms can be used to help answer the question of “how do we know what to work on next.” Only available to customers with a Business or Enterprise Workfront plan, scorecards can be used by Plan license users to help with alignment and prioritization within a portfolio. Custom forms are also commonly used and are easily accessible by all users, but don’t tie back to the portfolio optimizer. 

  • On custom forms, create weighted fields using the Show Value option to capture a score for each selection. Then, create a calculated field to capture the total value of the selections. The greater the total, the more closely aligned the work request is to the organizational strategy. You can then report on this field or create custom reports/charts for quick and easy visibility. Learn from and connect with other several like-minded system administrators on real-world use cases in the Community discussion, Scorecard for a Request



All projects face risks. Risk management is a required part of project management and risks need to be managed throughout the project life cycle. To get started managing risk in Workfront, create organization-specific risk types so that you can categorize them for reporting. 

  • From a project report, add a column for planned risk cost and then group the results by portfolio name for an overview of risk costs associated with portfolios.


Several shortcuts for system setup and management can be found in the Setup menu and allow for customization of your organization’s instance of Workfront. Detailed below are recommended tips for managing the interface, setting up documents and configuring overall system settings. 


Available to both System Administrators and Group Administrators, the categories listed in the Setup > Interface dropdown control what users can and cannot see in terms of their layout template, views, filters, groupings, and what fields are being tracked in the Update stream. 

  • The most notable upgrade in the new Workfront experience is the navigation. The Main Menu and left panel menus are customizable, so you can put what users need in an easily accessible place. Learn how to do these customizations with layout templates in the Control and Interface learning path, part of the system administrator training available on Workfront One. 
  • Add important custom fields to the update feeds dropdown so that you can see when a value has been entered in or edited, and the exact date and time of that action. 
  • Manage which filters, views and groupings are available globally to all users by editing list controls. You cannot set default views, filters or groupings, so make sure to send out an Announcement Center message or update training materials so that users know which to apply. 


Depending on how your organization manages documents, you can select which cloud providers that users can select when adding or sharing files (Google Drive or DropBox, for example). To learn more about linking documents from external applications, click here. You can also connect Workfront to several document storage providers through Custom Document Webhook Integrations or look to integrate SharePoint


Only available to system administrators, the categories in the Setup > System dropdown menu provide valuable system-specific and confidential information.

  • Brand your instance by applying company-specific logos or images to the login page (if not using SSO) and to the top left corner of the navigation bar once logged in.
  • Update the Admin Email field, found via Customer Info, with the most up-to-date main global system administrator. Any site-wide communication from Workfront is directed to this email address, so it is important to keep it updated. 

Admin Email - Customer Info-MCXPNS6SBNNJFEXCDPU7FQEKB67M.png

  • Import data into your system, or export data from the system using Kickstarts. If you have any questions, have an Authorized Support Contact contact Workfront Support
  • Manually trigger automated processes, such as time-based scripts, recalculations, or email notifications using diagnostics.
  • Adjust security settings or access your Preview Sandbox from the Preferences section. If you are unsure how to login to the Preview Sandbox, check out the blog, Safely Test in Your Preview Sandbox
  • Track, and export, user-triggered changes such as login attempts, access level changes or deleting users using audit logs

For an overall summary of the Setup menu, read through the article, Getting Started with Workfront Administration on Workfront One.