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This APM independent user review was based on input from practising project professionals, asked to rate the effectiveness of Workfront in the workplace.

Overview
Workfront is a collaborative tool that helps to simplify project and portfolio management. It is claimed to ‘solve the failures of traditional project management software’. Using a cloud-based system for easy access in the office or on the go, it offers a centralised solution, which unifies all work processes, data and communication on a single system.

Benefits
Workfront has a number of characteristics that appeal to project professionals. These include the ability to:

  • Prioritise work across multiple projects – making sure the right work gets done at the right time.
  • Collaborate in real time – stop losing work in email and chat, and eliminate expensive and frequent status meetings.
  • Manage workflow – request management, work prioritisation, agile, ad hoc work, traditional projects and collaboration.

As well as getting rid of piles of paperwork, project managers report more time to get on with critical tasks such as planning, budgeting and scheduling, all of which can be logged.

Users added that Workfront was useful in helping to manage the high volumes of work often found in the project pipeline. And because data is centralised, it avoids unnecessary duplication of effort and reliance on ‘unwieldy’ and static spreadsheets.

Of those questioned, the majority described running multiple (up to 250) projects simultaneously with little or no hassle.

Challenges
With the growth in global project teams – operating across different time zones and locations – close collaboration can be challenging.

Fortunately, Workfront is easy and intuitive to use. One reviewer said users were productive with it almost immediately. Another praised its use of social collaboration including the messenger system, which cuts out the need for pointless meetings, emails, phone calls, and catch ups.

The only real downside in terms of functionality was around planning and reporting, which according to one user, was not as comprehensive in terms of management information as some stakeholders require.

However, the general feeling was that Workfront stood up well to the fast-paced, changing nature of global projects (managed by increasingly global teams).

Summary
Workfront is an easy-to-use work management tool, ideal for assimilating and prioritising large amounts of projects, tasks, and ad hoc work.
It is particularly useful for portfolio optimisation, which reviewers highlighted as a major benefit in terms of allocating resources to individual projects as well as managing workflow.

One user remarked that before installing the software, it was difficult to determine  what team members were working on across the portfolio and identify users who were over utilised or under capacity. Workfront helped to join up the workflow, they added.

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