Showing Value to Executives
Note - In my previous life, I was a Workfront System Admin, and these are the steps that worked for me. I hope these ideas help other Sys Admins out there.
How are you sharing data from Workfront with Execs and how do you control the narrative?
Adobe Workfront data, like any data, can be open to interpretation if distributed without context, or presented to the wrong audience at the wrong time.
Reporting is just a visual way to present a story ‚Äì of what happened, what is happening, and what could happen. Your Workfront data can be the paints you use to create that image. What kind of picture are you trying to present? And what kind of emotion are you trying to evoke with your story?
Is it a picture of a ship on rough seas?
Or is it a picture of a relaxing, sunny day?
And who is the audience for our picture? First-line supervisors benefit from task reports for their employees and middle management might need specific data on each active project, but unless it’s a high-profile, strategic project, then execs don’t typically need all of the details. They need to know are we moving in the right direction or the wrong direction.
The first step to showing value to executives is to identify the specific audience, value statements and timing for your reports.
When determining audience, typically, EVPs and C-Suite level are already bogged down with data, so find out what they care about now and build your story accordingly.
- Less is more. If you want to make an impact, keep it short, stay on track, and end on a high note.
- Timing is everything. When does your exec block time to review data? If they like to prepare for their meetings with your data, pick the right day (and time) of the week to give them an opportunity to focus on the information.
- As they say in the newspaper business, don’t bury the lead story. When leaders are already in a state of information-overload, make sure that the main idea that you want to share is the first thing they see or hear. If distraction sets in, your message might get lost in the noise.
- Be mindful of any quick sound bites (or what I like to call “thought nuggets”) that tend to stick with execs.
- A good example is if adoption has been a challenge and the sound bite is “no one is logging in” then that might end up being the picture that sticks.
- Instead, build a clear picture (see tip #1) of the progress that’s been made so far and add one or two areas of improvement that would make the biggest impact.
Pro Tip! No data or missing data can be just as powerful as a full screen of graphs. If, like the example in Step #3, adoption has been a challenge, the lack of data communicates a very powerful message. “Why does this team have 0 tasks?”
Bonus Pro Tip! Watch out for data that might cause heartburn without context.
- A good example can be "Project Condition.” Does this cause extra grief to a certain audience? If so, use Percent Complete or a Milestone Report instead.
The best tip we can give is to let Workfront help you build that picture.
- The Enhanced Analytics feature can get you started with project data and trends. Watch 2-minute KPI Walk-through video for more info.
- Interested in the Milestone Report? With its bold colors and easy to understand messaging, it’s a fav for execs.
- Just getting started with reporting? Here are some pre-built dashboards that can provide some quick metrics.
o Usage Dashboard to help gauge adoption.
o Cleanup Dashboard to help identify stagnant work.
o KPI Dashboard to assess demand and productivity.
----Here’s the link to the download
----Here’s the link to the details
And if you don’t feel like you have enough paint to build your picture, take a look at this great article that breaks down each piece of the puzzle in order to capture the data you need.
Any other tips for sharing value with execs? Would love to see your recommendations!