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From a customer perspective, what are some best next actions for new admins once they complete training?

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Employee

The Customer Success team is looking to create a more detailed onboarding guide for new system administrators, so from your perspective, once you had completed training and reviewed the Workfront basics, what should happen next? What would you consider best next actions for those admins just joining Workfront?

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9 Replies

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Level 8

Connect with other new admins! In many organizations admins are often their own little crew and sometimes that crew equals one person. It's so hard to not lose your excitement and enthusiasm for Workfront when you're the only person in your company that really understands or cares. Having a 'buddy system' of admins to bounce ideas off each other and celebrate each others success is amazing. I had a great call the other day with @Charleigh Loder‚ and @Benetta Perry‚ and it got me pumped to get back to work!

Also, I really think there is something to be said for empathy. I came into my organization thinking I knew exactly how Workfront should work and was baffled by why our users weren't using it, but then I took the time to get to know them and their struggles. I hold a 15-minute monthly one-on-one with each member of my team to talk to them about their Workfront usage and I have learned so much! It helps me become a better admin because it helps me understand my users and walk in their shoes for a minute each month. I highly recommend the practice if your organization isn't too big.

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Community Advisor

I agree connecting with other admins is great. The User groups are a great way to do that. In the Pittsburgh user group, we have a monthly call to chat about all things Workfront!

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Level 10

I highly recommend browsing the community site. I can't tell you how much I've learned about the tool from this site. People ask questions that your people haven't thought of yet and you (most of the type) get the answer as well. 🙂

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Level 7
  • Document the processes you have in Workfront including setup and end-user instructions
  • Create governance over Workfront so that everyone knows what is going on
  • Identify your SMEs - use them to keep the Workfront excitement going (in the pre-covid days, we would make certificates that our SMEs could hang in their cube/office - it made them feel good and showed people who to go to for help

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Employee

@Samantha Isin‚ @Anthony Imgrund‚ @Heather Kulbacki‚ and @Sarah Nau‚

THANK YOU all for this incredible information, I've added each of these suggestions to our onboarding guide for new system administrators. While we at Workfront think we know what's best, it's great to hear your perspective on what is really needed. I can't thank you all enough, this is extremely valuable insight!

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Level 6

Answer assumes you're a new admin in an already existing implementation, versus helping a new deployment -

  1. Go through every one of the Setup screens, make note of anything configured that's unusual. Look at access levels, teams/groups - see what's configured and what isn't. Are layout templates used, are they effective? How many people are using Workfront, and who are the heaviest users?
  2. Make a list of the most common reports/dashboards, see what's used the most and what's been updated recently. This gives you a good proxy for what data visibility matters to the organization.
  3. Look at the Top 5 'Entered By' and 'Updated By' for Reports/Dashboards. There's your governance council. The people giving the org data are the ones that know it best. Run changes and updates by them first.
  4. Look at Projects - who opens the most of them? Set up meetings with the top handful and ask what works/what's frustrating to them. There's part of your 30/60/90 plan.

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Employee

@Katherine Stibley‚ Thank you for sharing, and I appreciate you clarifying! We are hoping to deliver two different initiatives regarding new system administrators, so your suggestions give GREAT insight into the latter:

  • Brand new admin in a brand new instance
  • Brand new admin in an existing instance

If you have any additional comments or best next actions, just let me know! I want to include as much from a customer perspective as possible!

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Level 6

For a brand-new admin on a brand-new instance - that's definitely an uphill battle. Having done precisely that myself, it can be done, but you'll be up against a heck of a headwind.

  1. Get to know the legacy system, if you're replacing one. Who are the power users, what features do they love? What features do they wish it had? Does WF fix anything that annoyed people? Any weird workarounds or bad behaviors the legacy system encouraged? Does WF offer you a chance to eliminate or reduce them?
  2. Assuming WF isn't replacing a legacy system, get people to send you how they currently manage projects. Excel/smartsheet/google docs etc. Meet with them to learn what visibility/reporting is important, especially if you have specific large clients or internal stakeholders.
  3. The beauty of WF is that it is nearly infinitely configurable, the drawback to WF is that it is nearly infinitely configurable. There are at least 3 ways to do most things, don't fully commit yourself to one until you've evaluated the benefits/drawbacks of at least one other. The forums and Support are fantastic ways to brainstorm those things.
  4. If you find yourself setting something that will work perfectly, but only if steps 1-7 are fully completed in exactly the right order - there be dragons. It won't work perfectly because people are human and you'll fix a lot of mistakes on the backend.
  5. Create yourself exception dashboards. Find the critical reporting elements that drive your insights, then build yourself ways to see quickly if they've been missed.
  6. Before you make any configuration decisions, play them all the way through to reporting. Putting data INTO the system in a way you can't effectively get it back OUT doesn't do you any good.
  7. When talking to Support or the forums, don't just ask "How do I X?" - explain the actual business problem you're trying to solve. The thing you've hit on may either not be the best solution, or not actually possible - but that doesn't mean the business problem can't be solved.
  8. Be prepared to be flexible, and make changes to decisions. Revisit 3 months in, 6 months in etc. The way you found first may not work as well once you're up and live and that's ok.

I can keep babbling, but for a new admin on a new implementation, it's less about technical skill and more about change management and user adoption than anything. Know the process, know the people, the rest will follow in time.

Katherine

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Employee

@Katherine Stibley‚ I love that last line regarding people and processes, because when it all boils down, without user adoption and effective change management, the (Workfront) technology piece wouldn't be a success. Thank you so much for sharing these great recommendations and I'll be sure to share these with new system administrators through this new welcome/onboarding guide!