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User Group Follow-up (May 5, 2020) - Cross-Functional Collaboration



The purpose of this thread is to continue the conversation from the Virtual User Group on Cross-Functional Collaboration on May 5, 2020.

Many thanks to everyone who attended to our virtual meetup! As promised, attached is a copy of @Ewan Hruska‚ 's presentation, and you can watch the recording here.

In the meantime, I’d love for anyone who attended to take a minute to share:

#1 - What was your favorite takeaway from today (big or small!)? Anything you’ll start doing (or stop doing) as a result of what you heard?

#2 - Do you have any outstanding questions? Anything you didn’t get a chance to ask or that wasn’t discussed?

Bookmark this thread to be notified as people reply. It’s a great way to meet folks outside the User Group so you can connect between events.

Future events will be shared in various discussion groups and also featured on the Events page here in Workfront One. You can also follow the “Events” topic if you want to receive notifications any time a new event is posted.

Thanks again. If you have any feedback (good or bad), please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can leave a comment below, direct message me here on Workfront One, or send an email to usergroups@workfront.com.


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7 Replies



My biggest takeaway is the reminder that governance is a never-ending thing! So many people commented that they have regularly scheduled cadences to check in and keep things all organized. I sometimes think of governance as rules that you set and then everything should work, but it really doesn't work like that. So that was a good reminder for me!


Level 10

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I learned a lot from both the employees and customers who participated. The biggest takeaway for me was that there is still significant emphasis being placed on communicating in platforms other than Workfront, such as Slack or in Microsoft Teams. I understand that communication will always occur outside of Workfront (phone calls, emails, instant messages, Slack, Microsoft Teams, drive-by cubings). However, when communication relates work, it should immediately move into Workfront and proceed from there. If work hasn't been defined for notes to be added to, that's your cue that you need to define the work in Workfront immediately.

The ability to easily transform communications into work is essential. If you choose to communicate about work outside of Workfront when you use Workfront to do your work, prepare to fail regularly. Unless there's an integration pulling communications into the appropriate projects, tasks and issues from these other communication tools instantaneously, other methods of communication will be immediately out of context and disconnected from your operations. I believe that's heading backwards. I can imagine automating this would be a nightmare, which is why integrations should be avoided until Workfront has been exhausted as the solution.

My goal is for 100% of my work-related communications to be handled within Workfront so that Outlook can be what it's really good at, a cold email collector and a password reset tool. If you're being forced to use these other communication tools, I encourage you to move your notes into Workfront as soon as you can and pull people into the conversation in context ASAP so you set the precedent and train them, even though they don't know it's happening.

Don't underestimate what can be done in every Workfront instance with some elbow grease and #TheWFProWay. If you can keep other tools in their place, you'll have a better shot at conquering the biggest challenge I think we face as humans, the ability to effectively communicate on our projects. --Narayan


Community Advisor

Zoom froze for me going into the 2nd small group session and I fell off, but thank you for hosting this Kristin!

My team tends to use Slack and occasionally email, our internal clients use Teams and email, so I'm getting questions from a variety of places and often their question is about a specific project so I'm going into Workfront to find the answer for them anyway.

Narayan makes a good point about training them without them knowing it's happening, I like that idea! If they have a question on a specific project I will definitely start answering them in that project no matter which tool they used to ask the question.

If it's a general process or Workfront question I generally haven't minded answering them in whatever tool they use. But I'm really starting to lean towards moving all those more general questions into Workfront as an issue, (1) so I can track time directly to them, (2) wait to close them out when they are truly resolved, and (3) track the types of things I'm doing and for who.

My initial fear is that each quick answer will take more time because I need to move it to Workfront first. But we already have a "Workfront Help" request queue that NO ONE uses, hopefully my extra time now might eventually get them submitting through that queue - it's worth a shot!


Level 10

The reason no one uses your "Workfront Help" queue is because you're being too nice. Try this out:

1) Reply to their inquiry with a.... "Happy to help... please submit a request by clicking here so I can serve you best by keeping all of our communication in a Workfront request."

2) Delete the email sent you

3) Wait for the request to come to your queue. If it doesn't come, it clearly wasn't important.

4) Accept and post an update to the issue.

5) If they communicate directly on the issue going forward, remind them to use Reply or Updates in Workfront and delete the direct email communication.

Works every time. :-)



As promised, here is a recording of @Ewan Hruska‚ 's presentation, and a PDF copy of his slides.

[RECORDING] Collaboration While Working Remote: The Irony, the Myth, and the Solution (31 minutes)



Community Advisor

I thought the question at the beginning about "how I communicate" was really interesting. I didn't want to derail but hearing the question for me boiled down to two things -- how I prefer to communicate and how others would prefer me to communicate (or prefer to communicate with me).

As a side note, I had contacted a few charity groups through their "contact us" website pages to ask questions about how best to donate and not received much of a reply. After the user group meeting, I went back and tried a different avenue (through facebook messenger) and received replies from everyone within the hour.

I think we all have avenues that we HAVE to receive communication through whether we like it or not. But I think it's also obvious (in this case) that the ways we prefer to communicate, are the ways we respond the fastest to. And, after I chatted to one of the board members about it, he said he was going to also go back and make sure that their contact form was still working and not broken... so there is always that possibility that some of your methods of communication are a bit more fragile than others.



That part of the presentation really resonated with me too! I lean into email because it's how I've always structured my professional workday. My inbox is my todo list. I'm new(ish) to Workfront and it's been a shift in thinking to look at my homepage as my todo list (or a combination of homepage, email and an array of sticky notes). That was kind of you to try a different avenue with those charities and not give up or go somewhere else!