Workfront: Modernizing How People Work

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Steven ZoBell, Chief Product and Technology Officer and Erica Antony, Vice President, Product Management Employee engagement has been a hot subject over the last decade garnering ubiquitous attention across organizations. The new generation of employees approach a company seeking not just better opportunities, but purpose and direction. Although many business leaders use the adage, “Our people are our most important asset,” very few have moved the needle on improvement. Visit Glassdoor, a website where people can share their work experiences, and many are venting their anger against poor work experiences. And in an unhappy work environment, employees either burn out or head elsewhere. In this context, having an engaged workforce that is primed, focused, and motivated with common business goals is an imperative for any company. However, despite the rigorous efforts, work management often fails to reach fundamental goals, let alone inspire employees to deliver stellar performance.

So where is the problem? What is holding them back?

Steven ZoBell, Chief Product and Technology Officer of Workfront, believes the major problem facing the work landscape is the inability of companies to revamp their existing system and modernize their work environments. Illustrating this issue, he says that companies with the traditional work models primarily function in a hierarchical order to meet their project needs. In hierarchical order, employees are assigned tasks from top down, with the assumption from leadership that employees know they are working toward the common goal of the organization. This is an assumption that no longer works. Employees want to understand what they are working on is important and delivers value, not to be assigned work for which they have no context. And the market is changing, with customer experiences now driving demand. “The modern workplace needs a new model of work. Customers expect better digital experiences, but so do employees,” says ZoBell.

The top down approach doesn’t just leave employees in the dark, it yields a disconnect between strategy and execution. Leaders know they have to move faster to be competitive, but teams don’t have enough resources to keep up with demand. Teams are focused on deliverables instead of outcomes, while individuals waste time searching for context to guide their efforts. And how do you even measure results? Erica Antony, the Vice President, Product Management at Workfront, says, “Developing an organized and coordinated work system aligned with the key business objectives of an organization becomes a tedious task for any business.”

The consequence of this strategic misalignment in an increasing number of underperforming employees, subsequently leading to a loss in productivity. This is where Workfront identified a gap. If you can help people do their best work, engage in work environments with context and collaboration, companies can thrive in the digital world.

Every leader wants to know resources and work efforts are aligned with strategy. Employees want to know why they are doing what they are doing, and to provide better outcomes.

We enable global and cross-functional teams to work together. Our partnership with Adobe allows our customers to engage employees by keeping them in the design tools they love

Once employees understand how their execution is aligned to strategic objectives, they are better able to accomplish goals against those objectives.

Based outside of Salt Lake City, Workfront wants to connect people and processes to deliver the most important outcomes. The work management platform provides full transparency to help knowledge workers focus and apply their creative energy where they are most valuable, while giving leaders visibility into work in progress. Workfront helps map strategic objectives to initiatives, allowing any organization to cascade those initiatives to employees. Further, Workfront provides employees one place to work, giving leaders the right information at the right time. The ability to promptly prioritize and streamline work for employees with resource management helps simplify work, making it easier for workers to understand what they need to accomplish, so they can do it in less time.

"Workfront helps people do their best work by connecting them to the context of strategic objectives"

The Collaboration with Adobe: Creative + Workflow

“We enable global and cross-functional teams to work together. Our partnership with Adobe allows customers to engage employees by keeping them in the design tools they love,” states Erica. Erica says creative teams often face issues juggling between multiple tools and applications that do not work together. “It is frustrating for people to choose between staying creative and productive, or responding to rapid request for changes,” she adds. Marketing and creative teams can leverage Adobe products with Workfront integrations to manage their work in one place, and increase alignment to strategy, resources, and execution the work management software. Workfront is the workflow bridge between Experience Manager (AEM) and Creative Cloud so work in progress is visible, contextual, and connected. Creatives bolster efficiency by reducing movement between systems, seamlessly accessing their projects in Workfront, but staying inside the Adobe Creative Cloud, so they create and design more quickly. Stakeholders know where work is at and when they can expect fulfillment—and will know they have the right asset at the right time. In a nutshell, Workfront for Adobe Creative Cloud eliminates disconnected experiences, while empowering creatives and giving visibility to stakeholders.

“The DNA of work is where content, tasks, and collaboration come together. They are the most foundational elements of all work. Our work management platform is designed with the DNA of work at its core, providing a single pane of glass to oversee all work,” adds ZoBell. The platform helps workers at the task and collaboration level have the context they need to deliver compliant intellectual content with efficiency, while allowing for custom work methodologies. Leaders get a comprehensive visibility into workflows and can digitally review and approve work in a timely manner, while maintaining auditable processes.
A modern work management platform gives knowledge workers the flexibility to work the way they want and gives enterprises the assurance of compliance control. “Our integration with Adobe tools enables companies to organize and orchestrate their campaigns with the right resources and subsequently augment the fluidity in work,” he adds.

Visibility for Better Outcomes

ZoBell quotes an example where a client felt swamped with increasing demand on creative resources because they had no streamlined process to communicate with their stakeholders. As a result, the stakeholders and executives felt they were not getting the desired results because of a presumed inefficiency of employees. Even though employees felt satisfied with their work, executives and stakeholders rated creative performance as barely above average, escalating the problem.

The client engaged with Workfront to drive greater efficiency and visibility across their international organization. Once the client had the modern work platform in place, they were able to gain comprehensive visibility into their organizational workflows and truly understand their capacity constraints. Workfront enabled entire teams to prioritize their work according to the needs of the business and ensure the highest priority initiatives had the right level of focus. The outcome for the client was a substantial increase in throughput as their global organization was focused on the highest priority items and gained the ability to share capacity across divisions. Scaling globally further increased throughput and substantially reduced costs. Team member confidence grew, as they felt they could be creative and while contributing to improving the bottom line of business.

Doing Your Best Work

Over the years, Workfront has played a pivotal role in developing leading tools for the workforce management space. A small group of entreprenuers established Workfront helps clients supplement team potential through crystal-clear visibility, measurable productivity, and lasting motivation. “Our focus is to help employees do their best work and help make them as productive as possible,” states ZoBell. Along with the deep Adobe integration, and other native integrations to enterprise systems of record, the other factor that differentiates the platform from similar offerings in the space is that it has been designed to drive modern work, where employees can stayed focused on fulfilling core business goals.

With the vision to trasform work management, Workfront is focused on helping people do their best work so companies can reach their strategic objectives. “We strive to bolster the productivity of each worker by continually bringing the best innovation in this space.” Some of those innovations include Workfront Fusion, a codeless integration platform enabling anyone to build and maintain seamless workflows without the need for dedicated development resources or maintaining an API. “We are also releasing a digital content hub that will enable organizations to manage the full lifecycle of digital work, from creation, review and approve, and version control, to distribution. So if employees are collaborating on the content, stakeholders can flawlessly navigate the ones that are ready to be published.” The new digital content hub, dubbed Workfront Library, also allows for enterprise-wide digital content search with role-based security access.

Forging ahead, Workfront will continue to invest in its partnership with Adobe, as the joint venture has been an exemplary model in engaging employees and powering creative work. “We will continue to develop state-of-the-art products to fuel the workforce management space and help our clients achieve optimal value,” concludes Erica.


Lehi, UT

Steven ZoBell, Chief Product and Technology Officer and Erica Antony, Vice President, Product Management

Workfront is the modern work management platform, helping people do their best work, so teams, organizations, and companies can thrive in a digital world. Workfront aligns work execution to strategic planning for career-changing results. The world’s largest enterprises use the configurable, connected, and secure Workfront platform to develop, manage, and leverage their intellectual capital