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Wrike’s Approach to Avoiding Employee Burnout Requires a Collaborative, Top-Down Approach to Portfolio Planning

Wrike’s Laura Quiambao recently blogged about the dangers of employee burnout and highlighted how Wrike Resource can help project teams address the problem. It’s tough to argue with her four proposed solutions, but there’s a fifth component that’s absent from her analysis and that, in our experience, is required to help her valid tactics congeal into sustainable and effective resource management strategy: engaged and responsible portfolio ownership

For Quiambao, the four ways of avoiding employee burnout are by providing visibility into team workload to inform project planning, optimizing team performance with more balanced workloads, performing agile prioritization to keep projects on task, and increasing resource utilization through automated dashboards and reporting.

For each of her tactics, Quiambao highlights ways in which Wrike Resource can support teams:

  • In terms of providing visibility into team workloads, there’s Task Effort, a feature that separates effort from duration and allows the user to allocate in hours and minutes across days and weeks.
  • For balancing workloads, there’s Job Roles, which allows the user to group staff into roles and allocate to those roles for the purposes of what-if planning around new projects.
  • For agile prioritization, there’s Wrike Resource’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface, which allows the user to extend project timelines and visualize the snowball effect across the portfolio.
  • Lastly, Quiambao touts Wrike Resource’s consolidated timesheets, which automatically use task-level reporting to generate weekly timesheets so hours can be easily logged and billed.

Certainly, the ability to forecast resource needs on projects and track actuals is foundational to any fledgling capacity management optimization, and Wrike Resource is competitive in the marketplace here – though what it offers is relatively table stakes at this point. While the automation features around timesheets is no doubt a timesaver, I’m skeptical of Quiambao’s claim that this feature will inherently improve resource utilization. I’d certainly like to see it, but the administrative burdens, inefficiencies, and distractions imposed upon the average knowledge worker extend considerably beyond timesheets.

Source: Wrike Product Scorecard at SoftwareReviews, Accessed November 2019.

Our Take

Wrike Resource offers a competitive product in the increasingly crowded resource management space. However, regardless of the tool employed, any sustainable initiative to address employee supply-demand pain points needs to first address the role that senior executives play in this.

While providing visibility is key, it’s ineffectual if no one is providing responsible stewardship of the portfolio. The executive layer needs to play along in addressing employee burnout by regularly consuming capacity reports and dashboards and by using the allocation data to inform approval and scheduling decisions. Without this ongoing reconciliation of supply and demand at the level of executive decision makers, no tool (regardless of functionality) can help with something as endemic as employee burnout.

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