Get the most out of Workfront discovery by avoiding 5 common issues

Adobe Workfront has the power to make work faster and easier throughout your entire organization. Involving both leadership and Workfront users in your first implementations can greatly accelerate adoption. However, this means getting your deployment right from day one and making any required organizational changes from the top down.

Workfront’s capabilities bring teams together to not only complete tasks, but also execute them collaboratively and strategically in one place. With Workfront, everyone contributes to company-wide success and knows their work matters. This also means that the domino effect of Workfront discovery gone wrong is felt — from early misalignments to snags in everyday work — all the way down the line.

That’s why the discovery phase of your deployment is essential. Doing it right can set you up for success. But missteps in implementing Workfront can lead to unrealistic expectations, deadline pushbacks, and uncomfortable disagreements — all of which can cause employees and leadership to lose faith in your Workfront project. And the more these delays occur, the longer it will take to achieve ROI.

While these are cautionary tales from various discoveries, knowing common challenges and how to get ahead of them ensures teams are extra prepared for all possible scenarios. With our Workfront Services team, companies are streamlining discovery efforts and enhancing the employee experience. Based on consultations with hundreds of clients, we’ve identified five pitfalls to avoid to make your Workfront deployment a success.

Overcome five Workfront discovery challenges

Discovery is a process, and teams need the right people in the room to pull it off without a hitch — from internal team members to the vendor. Adobe Workfront consultants have the background to provide the appropriate guidance on avoiding common discovery issues and coming out on top.

Here are five issues we often see during the discovery phase and recommendations to overcome them.

Issue #1 — difficulty finding experienced experts

It’s important to find professional services partners you trust, and then follow their recommendations. In our experience, customers often run into problems when they modify our plans without talking to us first. For example, one of our customers opted for a more complex build and setup for their initial launch than we had suggested. Unfortunately, the resulting solution was widely considered too difficult to use by the employees who were expected to make it part of their daily routine. Our customer ultimately reverted their build back to our original recommendations.

Your path to success

We encourage you to trust your solution partners and raise concerns about their recommendations rather than modifying them yourself. Many Workfront consultants were once Workfront customers themselves. They understand what teams are feeling and are willing to listen to any unique circumstances. Ultimately, their experience gives them empathy for their clients and determination to help them succeed. They can look at experiences from customers in similar situations to provide specific recommendations as well.

Issue #2 — incomplete trainings and limited process understanding

It’s critical to understand how people across the organization manage their work. Without this reference material, teams may inadvertently lengthen several phases of the implementation, including:

We’ve seen customers add months to their deployment — and have to roll back extensive development — by failing to fully grasp their users’ requirements upfront.

Your path to success

It’s critical to understand the specific business needs your teams expect Workfront to solve and be ready to explain them in detail to your Workfront consultants. Ideally, you should have process documentation and flowcharts that explain how work happens now and where Workfront could make it better. This information should inform your design and build processes and reduce the need for exhaustive validation testing.

Issue #3 — no communication plan for end users

Failing to establish a path of communication with end users limits the success of the launch. Teams that are in the dark about how it benefits them and why they should buy in will decry any improvements teams hope to make to processes. The user base will see it as a hindrance to their success rather than a boon to daily work outcomes at all levels. This also causes pushback to launch timelines, since end users will not feel ready to use the tool.

Your path to success

By starting communication early and often, discovery teams create buy in. Transparency is critical as people enter the process for testing or training because they will know what to expect. It’s also imperative for change management efforts as it builds trust in the user base and creates familiarity and excitement with the platform in the early stages.

Issue #4 — decision-making involves too many stakeholders

In our experience, two scenarios can be especially problematic when validating decisions as you plan your deployment. The first is crowdsourcing. One of our customers would consult their entire user base for every design element. Not surprisingly, their build was delayed for months because everyone had different viewpoints and could not agree.

The second scenario is running even the smallest decisions up the chain of command. This may be initiated by leaders with a tendency toward micromanagement or inexperienced team members who lack confidence in their decisions.

Your path to success

Don’t be afraid to delegate decision-making to your core project team. To delegate effectively, you must properly empower your team to make decisions without regularly needing to involve stakeholders or the user base. Your team should also include members who are knowledgeable in digital work management and can quickly learn the administrative portions of the Workfront platform.

Issue #5 — frontloading advanced features in your implementation

Packing your initial deployment with exhaustive features can backfire. For example, one of our customers continued to add complex Fusion elements to their requirements. As a result, members of the deployment team, who also had to do their normal jobs in addition to Workfront discovery, were overwhelmed. The end results were massive delays and their user base losing faith in the implementation.

Your path to success

Focusing on key steps to value, and not letting perfection overtake progress, keeps everyone and everything on schedule. The system will be in a constant state of change as needs and goals adapt, so allowing teams to keep their time and commitment for already established Workfront strategies is a must. Teams can trust their consulting team to determine what that looks like.

Get the most out of your Workfront investment

Overcoming these five challenges can help you achieve the full benefits of work management in less time and for less cost. When teams do their homework, listen to their users, and are empowered to make informed decisions, you position your organization for success. Likewise, we recommend setting appropriate and achievable goals and rolling out functionality in phases to gain rapid acceptance and build momentum for your Workfront deployment.

Ready to get started?

Contact the Workfront Adobe Professional Services team to learn how we can partner with you on your discovery phase.

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