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How does your company do road mapping/future planning?

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Level 8
Hi everyone! We're struggling to find a way to do high-level road mapping using Workfront and I'm wondering if anyone is integrating with another system (ProductPlan, Aha!, etc.) or if anyone has any creative Workfront solutions. What we want to see is the following: - all the projects in the upcoming model year (must have) - the key milestones for each project (must have) - who is responsible for that project (would like to have) I've attached a picture of one of our custom solutions, which is also completely manual. Each row represents a project and the different colors represent milestones. For example, end of light green bar = RevA, end of blue bar = Rev0. Thanks! Kirsten Heikkinen
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9 Replies

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Community Advisor
We go through a process every year where we gather spreadsheets, not drastically different than yours, from all our business partners listing all projects they expect to send our way during the following year. We then enter all those projects into Workfront, using our templates, so they have milestones and job roles attached to them, but minus our custom forms so we don't have to fill in all the exact specifics that will be needed. We place them into a Planning portfolio so they don't get mixed in with our actual projects. And we generally set them to schedule from completion date so the business partner can tell us when they'll need each tactic complete and the project schedule can work backward from that date to determine milestone start dates. Once those projects are all in Workfront we can slice and dice them however needed with reports based on the projects in that Planning portfolio. We primarily use this for capacity planning.

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Level 5
We're going through the same exercise. My manager is new to the org an really likes SmartSheets, so I am talking to them about what they can do for us. I'd also love to hear anyone else's solutions. Kristine Ross

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Level 5
Hi, Our team uses a mixture of Kirsten and Heather's processes. We use google docs for the product managers to do strategy planning and place all of their hoped for deliverables on a calendar. Then we use Workfront templates in a planning portfolio to map our capacity and start dates. Then reality hits and we eliminate half the plans. BTW: we also used smartsheets which was good and it's getting better but is still missing the proofing/review component that Workfront has. Aileen Aileen Taylor Cell Signaling Technology

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Level 1
One option is creating a report with a project for each row from your current roadmap. Then, assign a milestone path to each project and set up tasks or a template that can show the duration between each milestone. Next, set up your view for the report to have the name of the project and project owner on the left most side of the report. Once you run the report, click the Gantt icon on the upper right side of the report and then click the gear/ Options icon below it. Check the Milestone Diamonds box and click out. Finally, make sure it says Fit All on the top left of the Gantt/ calendaring portion. You can then adjust the calendar to a year/ quarter/ month view if that works better for you. This is a view of the roadmap that I have used with some teams. Have you tried this before and if so did it work or not work for you? Lauren Kelley Rego Consulting

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Level 2
We are looking to do the exact same thing. BUT we currently operate via request queue. We have trained everyone from the business units to input a request only when the project is ready to kickoff and they have all of the information. I would be curious to know how anyone handles that? I love the idea of a self-created planning portfolio, but what happens when someone else, that does not have access to the planning portfolio is responsible for submitting the request when ready? Do you manually hand off the planning project to the requestor to fill out a form (moving it the in work portfolio)? Or does someone from your team delete the planning project when the real request gets submitted? Overall trying to figure out how to have a nice gantt of planning projects while not disrupting or duplicating work projects. Also - the future projects typically shift their dates around based on business needs. Who is responsible for keeping that up to date? Susie Lage Western Digital Corporation

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Community Advisor
We also operate via request queues. Those planning projects that we create do not get pushed to live projects at any point. They just live in a separate portfolio for each year that is only used for planning. Our operations team enters them into Workfront and runs the reports for our business partners. We're also created a custom status for them so we can filter them out of any reports either by portfolio or by status. When the actual project is ready to kick off and the business partner has all the info they need to submit to us, they do that through their normal request queues.

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Level 10
So for the actual planning part and getting that info, our company built a custom solution for annual Scopes of Work (SOWs) and staffing plans to compile all the different excel sheets everyone has. So I'm not much help there. However, I did want to say that one business unit did, which I loved, is put a placeholder project (created from a template) in the various portfolios and spread throughout the year so that it matched the Annual SOWs. (i.e. this client wants 1 email in Q1, a website to launch in September, and a Q4 email so they would put in the three projects in that portfolio in Idea status). Now, we still have a request queue for Project Initiation, BUT, there is a question that says, is the project In Scope or Out of Scope. If it is in scope, they know the already have a project. They will still convert that issue to a project as they want the other info on the request to transfer over, but then they will delete the corresponding placeholder project from the portfolio. (If the project is out of scope, they will create the project and know they don't need to delete a placeholder one because it was not in the original SOW). Hope that is helpful. Anthony Imgrund FCB

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Level 2
Anthony, I think this is where we are trying to go. Right now creative services owns Workfront. We make the business unit submit requests. The business unit essentially gets no value from Workfront except being the current central place for information about their projects, and moving it along. I would be curious tom know how that business unit got so involved? None of our business units have plan licenses right now. They serve as reviewer/requestors. I am afraid that if we did this, it would fall on my team's project managers to input all of this stuff and check in with the business units to see if changed constantly to keep it updated. What is your secret? Susie Lage Western Digital Corporation

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Level 10
Hi Susie - well for us, a business unit is an agency and each agency has their own PM or Producer team. So it does sound like our instance is setup differently from yours. But since your instance is setup with different business units though, you should be able to look at expanding your use of Workfront. Creative Services can still own their part of processes, but there is a lot with in Workfront that you can customize at the group level. I mean, we have 18 different business units in our instance alone. There are some global things you will have to do, but if your business unit wants to start tracking work, you should be able to do that. We are currently at 18 different business units, but it was never a forced thing. Different groups came to us saying they wanted something to track work (whether it is something as basic as proofing or full on project/resource mgmt) and then we work with them to set things up. Right now, we have a really good word of mouth going on so Kathy and I don't even really have to broadcast the benefits of Workfront. People hear about it from someone they work with at another agency and then come to us wanting it. :) It is a great position to be in, but took 6 years of work to get to. Anthony Imgrund FCB