Two young children carry a sled together through some snow.
Your organization needs a centralized source of truth to manage work and projects, which leads to better teamwork, according to Workfront officials. PHOTO: Joe Goldberg

Enterprise work and project management is a jungle that can only be navigated with teamwork and the right tools and strategies that ultimately encourage teams to work smarter with a more centralized approach. Bryson Duncan, senior solutions marketing manager at Workfront, shared these and other tips in a recent Workfront webinar, “How to Conquer the Jungle of Enterprise Work.” The world of enterprise work is a dense jungle with “all kinds of obstacles and dangerous conflicts that can trip you up,” Duncan said. Useless status meetings, limited project visibility and lack of good, strong collaboration lead to massive project delays and frustrated teams.

The good news? There are ways to prevent this, and Duncan shared some tips to help.

Maximize Visibility

Visibility into all of your work and your team's work is really the key to making good business decisions going forward, according to Duncan. It's also the key to demonstrating your team's value. Centralize projects in one place. This can be daunting at first. Track all of your work in one location. Monitor requests as they come into one location with status updates and project information and tie that to a project specifically. Do not have updates and documents floating out there in various tools.

Keep Communication in the Context of Work

Think about your most common communication channel right now: email, Slack, perhaps? “How easy is it for you to find information about a specific project in these tools? If your inbox is like mine it's near impossible to see me a coherent thread of information regarding just one project,” says Duncan.  

Give stakeholders access to that information so that you don't have to have as many status meetings. Make that one location by default the go-to place for everyone concerned with the project. If Tiffany emails you with a question, refer her to the system of record. If Scott calls you know wondering about how you’re measuring up with past projections, tell him it's all in the communication stream attached to the project.

Utilize Resource Management 

Utilize your people strategically. Your greatest resources or your own people, Duncan said. “A key to success is knowing who is working on what and if they're at capacity underutilized or way overburdened. And you can only know this by tracking who's assigned to what how much time a task might take.,” Duncan says. 

Centralize all that data into one place, and, once you do that, start assigning work based on strategic initiatives that the company has, he advises.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

How do we reduce those stressful, long work days and weeks where we often feel like we're just keeping our projects and heads above water? It’s about process, people and efficiencies. Also planning is key. Duncan cited commentary from the 34th US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said in preparing for battle he found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable. Streamline processes, detail workflows and standardize them for each kind of project during the planning stage. 

Define your organization's roles. Who is going to take the incoming requests? Who's going to be the project leader? Who's going to communicate with the stakeholders? Simplify request management so that you can replicate it over and over again.

Collaborate as a Team

Great collaboration is the only way to get through the jungle unscathed. A single system for collaboration allows you to track updates and keep all communications centralized for easier retrieval and documentation. “An online review and approval repository is the best way to simplify that team collaboration,” Duncan said. 

Establish Your Team as a Strategic Leader

screenshot of an image from the Workfront webinar talking about working smarter on enterprise projects.
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Modernize how your teams work and demonstrate your team's value. It needs to be based on real data and reports. “You need to show how you're actually contributing to and growing the bottom line. You can only get by so long on perception and at the end of the year, you actually need to show some hard numbers,” Duncan says.