Choosing an Enterprise Work Management Solution: 5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

BrandPost By Smartsheet
Aug 31, 2017
IT Leadership

Plan ahead to avoid difficult implementation, disjointed workflows, or haphazard integration.

In response to increased pressure to execute faster, information workers are adopting a range of collaboration and productivity tools to gain the flexibility they need to work with greater agility. But this adoption may actually hinder their ability to efficiency by dispersing work, critical information and conversations across multiple tools.

An enterprise work management platform can help cut down on this multitasking by providing a centralized place to manage and automate all forms of work. However, you need to be careful about choosing the right work management solution for your business needs.

Here are five of the most common pitfalls to watch out for:

1.  Difficult Implementation: Many work management platforms require internal and external resources and significant time to implement, which can drain already overburdened IT teams.

The Solution: As you search for a solution, consider the needs of business users, the implementation and onboarding processes, and the key scenarios that the platform should address. Look for tools that provide “no-code” solutions, so end users can easily set up processes that work for them, without support from IT.

2.  Narrow Scope: Often, collaboration tools are chosen based solely on one team’s needs, leaving the organization with solutions that only satisfy part of the business and may not be adopted across the organization. This results even more tools that are disconnected from each other, leaving siloed data and processes in the wake.

The Solution: Once you’ve identified the platform that will fit your needs, run several pilots across the organization to get feedback from multiple business users. Make sure the group covers many potential use cases to gauge whether the platform will work in a wide range of key scenarios. During the pilot, pay close attention to adoption and ease-of-use across the group. This will help to determine the effort or ease of rolling out the tool to the entire organization.

3.  Disjointed Workflows: Work management solutions are typically implemented to help workers manage projects and processes. However, business users are often left to determine what those processes look like and how they flow. This lack of structure can result in workflows that are disjointed and difficult to scale.  

The Solution: Configure processes to provide the backbone for collaboration on your key scenarios. Find a tool that allows you to configure specific pieces of the process up front, so that workflows remain consistent, and still provide users with the ability to manage their work the way they want. This consistency also enables streamlined reporting and allows for greater transparency across your organization.

4.  Haphazard Integrations: Simply adding one more tool to the approved list, without making sure it works with other core apps, compounds app overload and results in inefficient processes. Likewise, when a solution is brought on and integrated with many tools, but the integrations don’t automatically sync, the need for manual processes increases.

The Solution: Find a tool that enables you to connect your key systems and scale across the organization. This will create a single source of truth for your business. Integrate with core business systems, and make sure the integration automatically syncs in real-time, so that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.

5. No Communication:  Once a tool has been configured, tested, and launched, general availability is not always communicated across the organization. This contributes to low adoption of approved tools because employees don’t know the tools are available or they aren’t sure how to get started.

The Solution: Create a user group for the tool to champion it across the organization. Have this user group help roll out the tool to their teams, encourage other departments to get onboard, and answer any questions new users may have. Additionally, once teams start using the new tool, document and highlight the successes they are seeing.

Selecting the Best Work Management Tool for the Job

Work today has an exceeding number of moving parts, and is only getting faster and more complex. Become a more agile organization by finding a work management solution that helps your business succeed by eliminating slow, disconnected, rigid, time-consuming processes and siloed information.