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Workfront Wednesday: Did You Know? Connect People to Strategy Using a Single Instance




Workfront was built for people, with configurable capabilities for any team. It can support multiple departments on a single instance by adding group configuration elements that empowers Group Administrators to manage Workfront based on their department’s needs. 

This week’s blog will focus on the 4 key elements that make Workfront the most flexible enterprise application platform, used across departments, teams, regions and countries.


With Group Administrators, everyone in the company can share a single instance but departments can be administered separately, controlling their own settings, templates, workflows, and users at the group level.

Here at Workfront, each department has its own Group Administrator to help standardize and assist with a myriad of items, including: 

  • Be a Workfront champion and share best practices around how the department operates
  • Provide assistance configuring new workflows
  • Submit bugs to product for improvement
  • Run the departing employee dashboard for each employee leaving the company
  • Share governance decisions from monthly board meetings. 

Additional enhancements are coming to give Group Administrators more power to independently manage their groups — extended hierarchy levels, group-specific preferences, approvals, custom fields, subgroup administration and much more! Check out the highlighted features in the article, Understanding Group Administrators, to see what’s currently available in the Sandbox environments for an upcoming release.


As your organization grows, departments evolve and work needs to be tackled by cross-functional teams, the best way to stay organized and focused is through the use of department or team-specific portfolios, programs tied to deliverables and updated groups and teams. 

Since portfolios are the top of the object hierarchy in Workfront, the portfolio optimizer provides an interface through which a portfolio manager, steering committee, or product management office can view summary information about the business case of each project. Used for project evaluation and comparison, the portfolio optimizer can prioritize projects according to their strategic values and goals, or according to their overall score, making sure that the most important work is tackled first. 

NOTE: If the portfolio optimizer is not available for you, reach out to your Account Executive.

In terms of organizing users, although you can designate just one Home Group and one Home Team per user, each user can belong to an unlimited number of teams or groups. Groups should be configured to represent the departmental structure (ex: Finance group), whereas teams should match the day-to-day structure of your departmental teams (ex: Accounts Payable). For help in comparing these functionalities, see Understanding Differences and Similarities between Groups and Teams.   


“The ability to manipulate custom forms to get data has been invaluable in every organization I've been in, to date, that has used Workfront.” 

Custom forms provide you with the flexibility to collect and report on project, task, issue, user, or other object-specific information needed on your team or in your organization. For one customer, the Human Resources Group Administrator adds a custom form to all new hire’s profiles, containing the following fields so that all information can be visible in a single view: 

  • Hire Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Part-Time or Full-Time
  • Exempt or Nonexempt
  • Salary/Hourly Wage
  • Birthday

For project managers, custom forms are also used to track important status meeting notes. To do this, create a project custom form and add a paragraph custom field for Status Notes. Apply this custom form to all projects within your environment. During project status meetings, add this custom field as a column to your project report so that you can quickly make notes without having to click into each project’s update stream. 

IMPORTANT: If custom fields are deleted off a form, all values that were originally entered into that field are lost. To avoid this mistake, move archived custom fields and those containing confidential or financial information below an Admin Only section break for added security and to retain historical data. If you have accidentally deleted custom fields, follow the data restore steps in the article, Restore data in the new Workfront experience.


By having all departments share a single instance of Workfront, executives are able to report in an aggregate manner across the entire organization in real-time, gaining transparency across each department’s completed and work in motion.

For many customers, executives are not system administrators and therefore are not logging in to Workfront to build reports. To make sure that they are seeing identical results as you, navigate into the Report Settings and populate the field, “Run this report with the access rights of” with your name. By entering in your name, this allows anyone who the report has been shared with to see the same results, regardless of access level or permission level on the objects.

Is your organization interested in incorporating other teams or departments into Workfront? If so, check out best practices on single vs. multiple instances here.

To ask questions, share additional information on best practices, volunteer to host an upcoming Ask the Expert webinar, or request content, send us an email! 

Sue, Kara, Nichole and Mary Ann - Workfront Customer Success at Scale