Wrike.com is an awesome, awesome project management tool. Blogging to pass on the love.
Why is it awesome? Because it is light, makes no assumptions about my workflow, and is simple and intuitive. Consists of tasks, arranged in folders (one-to-many), with dependencies (Gantt charts), integrated with email allowing for easy discussions and notifications, and time tracking to boot. Currently, I use Wrike at JoMI along with FairSetup (my other project) allowing everyone on the team to, once a week, quickly review our activity and self-report on accomplishments/time allocation, which leads to short-cycle calibration within the team.
So far, Wrike has been particularly good at helping with the following:
- workflow management – when I have a multi-step workflow, easy to track progress
- prioritization – when people get overloaded, I am able to prioritize their (and my) attention
- memory – things no longer get lost
- rapport – making sure that we are all on the same page. This last one deserves more attention…
In a startup, when there is so much to get done, something is always missed. This causes significant friction, as was the case between myself and my business partner Moshe when we were spinning up JoVE. Things were starting to get out of hand – I was the technical co-founder and felt that I was working as hard as I could, but it was somehow never enough because something was always unfinished. Incredibly frustrating for everyone.
To solve the problem, I began to track what I am working on so that my activity became transparent. There are 24 hours in a day: some of the time I slept, some I ate, the rest I pretty much worked (such was the startup life). So when Moshe came with questions of why X is not done, I was able to, calmly, respond with “Look, here’s what I am doing. If you want X done, then I need to stop working on Y. Shall we shift priorities?”
And it worked. Our relationship normalized and, eventually, the IT department grew allowing for faster development.
I then used Wrike at FairSetup and now am using it at JoMI (where we became a paying customer).
At JoMI, the time tracking function became particularly useful. Initially, one of my partners noted “Oh, great. Now we have to clock in…” with the implication being that we are being the opposite of a free-wheeling startup. However, very quickly, time tracking became about mutual respect. We trust each other to be honest in how we track things, so people generally don’t micromanage. That said, when someone works a 60 hour workweek vs. someone else who was only able to put in 30 hours, the team came to really appreciate the differences in effort. And, unless you are sitting side-by-side, such effort often goes unnoticed… So, especially when used in conjunction with short-cycle appraisals, Wrike really helped.
Wrike isn’t perfect. I’ve seen several improvements over the years such as better integration with Google Docs, UI tweaks, etc. And there are certainly more improvements to be made here and there (comments should integrate into time-tracking, for example). But having tried BaseCamp, Pivotal, Asana, Zoho, and several others, I have to say – I love Wrike and strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a good simple project management system.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or reach out to me and I’ll be happy to respond.
And just in case you have any doubts: no, I am not getting paid to post this nor did they ask me to blog – I just really like the tool. 🙂
P.S. This post is long-overdue – my sincere apologies to Nic and the www.Wrike.com team.