How Can a Mobile App Effectively Help You Manage Work Chaos?: A Q&A Session With a Workfront Product Manager

November 21, 2016 Shaswati Cates

Do mobile devices hinder or better support the way we complete our work?  How should productivity apps nowadays better accommodate for a mobile workforce? We recently had a chance to chat with one of our product managers, Anna Grigoryan, about how the need for better productivity apps has driven the evolution of design and functionality of those apps.  In the same conversation, we also talked about how marketing, creative and enterprise users have been able to effectively tame their work chaos remotely, with the help of a mobile device. Enjoy!


How has an increased reliance on technology played a role in improved productivity?  

I once read an article in Inc. magazine that highlighted an increase of 84% over the past 40 years in productivity because of advancements in digital technology.  That’s a tremendous spike in the amount of work that employees are able to focus on but also, hopefully, on the amount of meaningful work they are able to accomplish.  What we have come to expect from mobile devices now is significantly more than what we did even a few years ago and I think that’s come from our need to stay connected to everything, both socially and professionally. It’s important for technology offerings nowadays to provide features and functionality that support the ever-increasing reliance of being able to be productive from anywhere, at anytime.  The global workforce has become increasingly mobile and technology needs to be able to support that productivity requirement in an effective way.         

What are some of common productivity issues you see with creative teams and how can mobile apps help resolve those issues?  

We have become so used to consuming content often, that creative and marketing teams are tasked with moving quickly on generating content and running campaigns constantly.  This means that key stakeholders on project teams have to be present and available at all times to make sure that workflows are kept fluid.  If they are away from their desk or office, there is a possibility that the project is put at risk.  With a well-designed, functional and effective mobile app, a lot of the functionality that is often required to move projects along can be tackled from their mobile device.

How does the Workfront mobile app help sustain productivity?

With Workfront’s new mobile app, marketers and enterprise teams are better able to manage their work.  They no longer have to worry about the restraint of having to be in the office or at their desk in order to make sure that work requests, approvals, and timesheets are accepted, completed and approved.  Armed with the confidence to know that projects can move through workflows, team members can remain productive.   

Tell us more about how work can be managed via the mobile app.

We designed the mobile app to centrally manage project work details.  Here is a quick overview of how our mobile app manages work for marketing and enterprise teams:

  • Let’s start with work requests, this is where teams are easily able to manage both individual work requests as well requests for their teams, including accepting those requesting or reassigning them to other members or teams.
  • To ensure that team members are able to understand the scope of the request, the task details screen provides a single, comprehensive view of deadline dates, status, priority, percent complete, ability to log time on the task, provide comments and view documents.  
  • Our push notifications allows team members to stay in the loop on updates, comments, and requests for approvals via notifications regarding activity on projects.
  • Providing seamless access to documents attached to projects and tasks allows for the continuation of work management.  Users can preview, digitally proof and review or download documents directly within the app - tasks that previously required being on your computer.
  • As we looked at the some of the most important uses for the app, we wanted them to be able to able to log and track time on a per task basis so billing on projects by creative and marketing teams are accurately captured on projects.  
  • Finally, to properly address collaboration and communication, our company directory feature allows team members to search and find members and view contact details including email address, phone number, etc.  Additionally, they are able to initiate contact directly via the app when viewing a team member’s information, for example calling or emailing them directly from the contact record.  From iOS devices, app users can also use the Spotlight feature to search for contacts and team members.

To learn more about how each of the features work, take a look at our mobile webpage.    

With the growing trend of creative and marketing teams adopting Agile practices, how does a productive mobile app like Workfront help drive those efforts?  

What I love about the Agile methodology for marketing teams is that it allows for a tremendous amount of flexibility with the added bonus of being able to adjust easily to market conditions, as they are happening.  As a product manager dedicated to building a mobile app designed to help teams be as productive as they can be, I feel like our app is a perfect tool to help Agile teams to have that extensive real-time accessibility without requiring a lot of the overhead resource costs.  


To see Workfront's mobile app in action, watch the demo below:

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