F5 Increases On-time Deliveries by 33% After Adopting a Tool Their Whole Team Uses 

Patri­cia Davis

Man­ag­er of the PMO

F5 Net­works — Spe­cial­izes in appli­ca­tion deliv­ery net­work­ing (ADN) tech­nol­o­gy for the deliv­ery of web appli­ca­tions and the secu­ri­ty, per­for­mance, avail­abil­i­ty of servers, data stor­age devices, and oth­er net­work and cloud resources.

Their story

Only 14% of the F5 mar­ket­ing team used their pre­vi­ous project man­age­ment tool and they strug­gled to receive the right sup­port.

Secu­ri­ty is a top con­cern for any orga­ni­za­tion. F5 Net­works strives to elim­i­nate this con­cern by pro­vid­ing cus­tomers with top-of-the-line secu­ri­ty and pro­tec­tion of their appli­ca­tion infra­struc­ture. Work­ing in the secu­ri­ty realm, F5 under­stands the impor­tance of work­ing effi­cient­ly.

Plan­ning 47 glob­al events annu­al­ly, the F5 mar­ket­ing depart­ment had been rely­ing on project man­age­ment tools such as Work­front and JIRA to com­mu­ni­cate on projects and plan events. “One of the major rea­sons why Work­front wasn’t work­ing for us was the low adop­tion rate,” says Patri­cia Davis, Man­ag­er of the PMO at F5 Net­works. “Only about 55 out of 400 peo­ple were using Work­front and most of them were just using it as a tick­et­ing sys­tem for peo­ple who want­ed to get their work through the pipeline.” 

Company story photo/image

Adop­tion rates were con­tin­u­ing to decline as train­ing on the tool was exten­sive and dif­fi­cult to repli­cate. “Their train­ing was prob­a­bly four hours on each of their fea­tures,” says Davis. “There was an enor­mous amount of doc­u­men­ta­tion just to learn their func­tions. We sim­ply didn’t have time.” Davis’ team was also expe­ri­enc­ing issues with receiv­ing cus­tomer sup­port. Davis con­tin­ues: “We could not phys­i­cal­ly see every­thing that was going through our pipeline in com­par­i­son to every­thing else. And when­ev­er we con­tact­ed Work­front sup­port, they couldn’t solve our prob­lem.”

With lit­tle sup­port and a tool no one was using, Davis had to return to the draw­ing board to explore an easy-to-use solu­tion that was with­in their bud­get, that came with top-notch sup­port, and could be used by her entire team. 

If there was some­thing that we couldn’t make work, the Wrike team always came up with a fab­u­lous workaround, and then they came up with the actu­al func­tion to make it work.

Patri­cia Davis

Man­ag­er of the PMO

Their victory

With almost 100% of the mar­ket­ing team using Wrike, they have suc­cess­ful­ly increased on-time deliv­ery of tasks and over­all event atten­dance by 77% in the past year.

Davis eval­u­at­ed about 10 dif­fer­ent solu­tions before land­ing on Wrike. She was impressed with the tool’s ease of use and the incred­i­ble sup­port her team received when they asked ques­tions. “The sup­port team at Wrike was on top of it,” says Davis. “Every sin­gle thing we asked on our wish list is being addressed now, or was addressed with­in a mat­ter of weeks.” 

Tran­si­tion­ing the entire mar­ket­ing team to a new tool was not easy, how­ev­er. In the begin­ning, adopt­ing a new tool was met with much resis­tance from Davis’ team. “I showed it to one of our top team mem­bers who ini­tial­ly refused to use Wrike and with­in min­utes he was say­ing, ‘This is bril­liant.’ I even took that response and framed it on my desk!” 

Some team mem­bers did not want to change their cur­rent process­es while oth­ers just want­ed to stay in JIRA. Davis showed them how much more trans­par­ent Wrike was com­pared to JIRA, and how easy it was to use the Wrike and JIRA 2-way sync. “We were quick­ly able to ramp every­one up and after just 30 min­utes of train­ing, peo­ple would start to see how easy it was to see every­thing,” says Davis. 

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With all work and all team mem­bers now in Wrike, their events run much more smooth­ly. “We put every­thing that has to do with the event in Wrike,” says Davis. “The logis­tics, hotel, enter­tain­ment, every­thing that any­body touch­es on this event is in Wrike. At the end of the event, we can pull a report to see how it per­formed. This has been a very pos­i­tive thing for us, since we were able to get things done faster than we would nor­mal­ly have in any oth­er year. Our direc­tor even shares that she feels she should be more ner­vous at this point — but isn’t because she is able to see every­thing that’s been done.” 

The F5 mar­ket­ing team was not only able to get every­one on the same tool, but saw all the ben­e­fits from work­ing in uni­son. By plan­ning their events in Wrike, they were able to increase the num­ber of atten­dees at their events by 77% by adver­tis­ing ear­li­er. In fact, they had so many peo­ple attend this past year, they had to turn peo­ple away. 

They were also able to improve their on-time deliv­ery of mar­ket­ing tasks from 67% to 89%… and under­stand what led to the improved num­bers. Wrike gives them full trans­paren­cy to clear­ly see what con­tributed to their suc­cess­es and fail­ures.

Their superpowers

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Instant Report­ing

Report­ing allows the F5 mar­ket­ing team to review each project and eval­u­ate process­es. Hav­ing a con­sis­tent way to mea­sure per­for­mance helps the team quan­ti­fy their achieve­ments and dis­cov­er what they’re doing right and what can be improved. “I can’t live with­out report­ing,” says Davis. “I can pull a report and with­in min­utes I can piv­ot it any way I want to with­out export­ing it to Excel.”

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Request Forms

By mov­ing all requests into Wrike Request Forms, Davis can track all incom­ing work from oth­er teams. The form now gives her team all the infor­ma­tion they need to begin a project imme­di­ate­ly. Plus, they no longer have to keep tabs on requests that come in ver­bal­ly or through email. Davis says, “We’re putting full cam­paigns into forms so our exec­u­tive team can eval­u­ate the work­load and decide what we’re real­is­ti­cal­ly able to accom­mo­date with­in a quar­ter.”

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Con­ve­nient Tem­plates

With so many events each year, tem­plates help the mar­ket­ing team track all event assets and pro­vide them with peace of mind know­ing noth­ing has been for­got­ten. Tem­plates also make it easy for new hires to come on board and com­pre­hend what’s involved in plan­ning. “Tem­plates are nice because you just have to build them once and you get so much use out of them. We no longer have to rein­vent the wheel every time,” says Davis.

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