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Updated. Wrike, a leading provider of social project management software, has an impressive new release. Founder and CEO Andrew Filev walked me through Wrike’s capabilities and the project management perspective that allows companies to crowdsource some project management work — as well as increasing transparency and spreading the workload — all in real time.
Updated: The release will be generally available on August 17.
The “work graph” approach
Wrike is built on the idea of the work graph, like the social graph, as a key organizing feature of the tool. What’s new in this release is the flexibility and the speed. Wrike’s customers are managing up to 70,000 tasks and 5,000 projects. In the demo I saw, users could switching instantly between across task lists, spreadsheet view, timeline (Gannt chart), list of backlog tasks (tasks without set due dates), folders (attached files), and activity streams. The work graph approach means tasks can cross projects, similar to how your friends can cross circles in Google+.
I asked Filev how Wrike was in terms improving work. He replied that Wrike is more of a:
[M]anagement solution — geared more toward managing organizations and people — than just project management. Top down and bottom up. Project management works in ivory tower to create plans for next quarter and then sends those plans to “resources” (team members). In another approach, people do the work, and then managers try to figure out what is going on and aggregate.
We combine both. In our case we shoot toward real time enterprise. Real time visibility to work.
Wrike at work
Filev told me about how The Project Management PrepCast, a five-person startup, uses Wrike as a “unified collaboration, coordination and management platform for the virtual team.” The founder, Cornelius Fichtner, is a certified project management professional with 18 years of experience. His challenge was that running a startup with multiple projects is very different than running a project. The work graph came to the rescue. Cornelius is able to provide foundations, but his team can also create tasks and share them “up” then update tasks on their own — with much of it happening through Wrike’s email integration (which many users may find more convenient than visiting the Wrike site). This is crowdsourcing project management work, empowering project management where the work itself is happening.
Wrike provides an excellent platform for modern transparent and more virtual organizations. Sharing is flexible and can include everyone or just some of people on the project. Wrike can also take on underlying workflows that are very connected and complicated, but reduce the clutter through filters and search tools. Slicing and dicing seems to happen instantly and is reflecting the real time nature of the work.
The Wrike approach is responsive to the needs of people and the modern organization: Complexity can be managed, work can be shared, and transparency supported — all at blazing speed.