Wrike is about more than just project management; making it easy for teams to get a structured overview of all of their tasks and progress with just a few clicks or taps, wherever they are is what Wrike wants to help us with. The company manages to serve both small businesses to large international corporations with their software, while making their software just as easy to use as a social network like Google+. That's why Wrike calls its product “social project management software”. Their app isn't just a tool; it has a whole community surrounding it as well. Customers and fans of the software are currently helping the company translate its product in other languages as well.
Andrew Filev is the CEO and founder of Wrike, one of the leaders in social project management software, that has some world-famous enterprises in its customer base. With over ten years of experience in the IT industry, and know-how of project and product management, Andrew leads his team in the process of making project management tools using the latest technologies. Furthermore, Andrew is a frequent guest blogger for business and tech websites, as well as a passionate blogger for his Project Management 2.0 Blog.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do at Wrike?
Wrike’s talented, fast-growing team and I, together we grew Wrike from an ambitious startup to one of the leading providers of project management software. As Wrike’s CEO, I not only oversee my company's business strategy, but lead the product management. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to increase my productivity, and with Wrike, I aim to help every knowledge worker become more efficient, too.
Wrike serves both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. How do you manage to serve both of these groups with one and the same solution?
Flexibility and scalability – these are key. One of the greatest things about Wrike is that you can use it both for your personal productivity and, at the same time, for running a team with dozens of employees. For instance, one of our customers manages over 150K tasks and 10K projects in their Wrike account. We designed the system from the ground up to scale to hundreds of projects within the organization, while still allowing every worker to find the necessary data in a blink of an eye – just a couple of clicks, that’s it. Our target users are all information workers, which count to 1 billion today. We aim to make them all more productive, one company at a time.
Why should people opt for a project management tool that has a time tracking feature built-in, instead of using a stand-alone time tracking app?
When things are moving so fast, it’s very stressful and unproductive for a worker to have his data scattered across several apps – tasks sent by e-mail, documents stored here, time logs kept there… Something can easily slip out of sight. It’s one of our major goals to get people’s work data connected in one workspace – tasks, schedules, documents, discussions and, like I said, the time logs, too.
In what other languages will Wrike be available in the future?
To speed up localizations, we implemented a user-driven translation platform. Any volunteer can register and contribute to translating Wrike’s UI into his or her native languages. End users know the context of the system perfectly well, so their input should ensure the most accurate translation. Czech, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese are already available in beta mode. A lot of other languages are in progress – German, French, Italian, to name just a few.
Why should Best Reviews visitors choose Wrike, and not another online project management software?
I believe our customers’ feedback would be the best source for answering this question. What they love most is Wrike’s simplicity, our mix of project management and social features in one app, unlimited projects in one workspace, convenience for distributed teams, smart e-mail integration, and much more. Recently, a customer tweeted that Wrike puts her in a state of a flow. Sounds like a good reason to try that feeling in Wrike! ☺ By the way, we also have a free version – this might be attractive for smaller teams.
@wrike If user experience had a quadrant you'd be in the upper right, that elusive goal to put users into a state of flow!
— Susie Wyshak (@susiefoodie) augustus 2, 2012
Do you think social media like Facebook, Twitter etc could be integrated well in a project management app?
There are some very valuable things that business software vendors can learn from social media. We tried to adapt their ease of use, scalability and friendliness to the work environment. Real-time project newsfeeds, avatars, the task “follow” function – these features make Wrike as simple and familiar as a social network. So you don’t need to learn or train – you can just stick to your habitual behavior on the web.
You currently already support Google Apps, how do you think Google+ could be used in Wrike?
We integrate tightly with Google’s business oriented products – Gmail, Docs, etc. When Google+ gets more momentum in the business collaboration environment, we will happily integrate with it, as well. It’s all customer-driven.
How will Wrike offer more virtual collaboration options to its users in the future?
We release a new feature about every other week, and we never stop working, so stay tuned and you’ll know. The best way to stay in the loop is to sign up for Wrike’s product blog.
How will mobile change project management in the future?
This is already an ongoing process. People aren’t tied to an office cubicle today. A creative worker needs to have instant access to his/her tasks at any time or place. If your favorite project management software is available on your smartphone, you literally have your tasks in your pocket, and you can make an important change on the go, staying connected with your team. Mobile is a critical piece of our strategy, and in a couple of months, we’re releasing the next-generation mobile apps.
Are you planning new app integrations with Wrike in the near future?
Absolutely. With the help of various integrations, we want to make sure that people’s data smoothly flows in and between apps. For example, smart e-mail integration has been one of Wrike’s killer features from the start. Our journey in this direction continues, so new integrations are indeed one of the priorities on our long-term roadmap. We also have great APIs and a very friendly partnership team, so if you want to integrate tasks or projects into your app, you’re more than welcome.
Which cloud apps do you use at Wrike?
Most of our business software is SaaS. For smooth collaboration, we rely on our own product. Just like other creative, fast-moving teams, we need a system to connect the dots and help us all collaborate in sync. Actually, if I look back a few years, I can say that Wrike’s journey started from taking our own challenges in project management and collaboration that we face every day, and solving them for everyone. We also use Google products and various tools from SaaS start-ups in our customer service and marketing teams.
What's the best project management tip you would like to give to small business owners?
Pick a very lightweight process, institute new daily or weekly habits into your team, and leverage technology at its best in your day-to-day work. I know from my own experience that an SMB owner is a person who always juggles multiple activities, and he needs to do that fast if he wants the business to thrive! To focus on the strategic goals and mission-critical decisions, let helpful software take care of administrative routines, like collecting work updates, reminding workers about the deadlines, etc.
Big thanks to Andrew and Dasha from Wrike for doing this interview with us.