Workfront Leap 2019
May 8, 2019

Leap 2019 First Half Highlights

More than 2,000 work management leaders are attending the Workfront Leap 2019 Conference this week in Dallas, TX. The conference celebrates leaders who are transforming their teams, their companies, and even whole industries. Leap 2019 features nearly 200 sessions led by more than 150 presenters, along with networking events and workshops.

Participating companies include ADP, GM Financial, Harvard University, Boeing, Google, Bloomberg, Cisco Systems, Marriott International, and many more. Keynotes include Daniel Pink and Keith Ferrazzi, and sponsors include Accenture, Deloitte Digital, CapGemini, LeapPoint, Allocadia, Adobe, Capability Source, Moventus, Cella, Strala, IOI, Milestone, Smartempo, and Zee Jay Digital.



The first half of Leap 2019 is a wrap!

The conference launched with several announcements via press release.

First, Workfront now connects directly with G-Suite productivity applications, enabling people to manage resources, projects, content, and collaboration from directly within G-Suite.

Second, we announced a strategic partnership with Adobe that provides connectivity between Workfront and Adobe, making it easier than ever to seamlessly manage work in Adobe products. With Workfront for Adobe, enterprises can manage their entire campaign process, from strategy and planning to creative, deployment, and measurement, on a single operational system of record.

Third, we unveiled a completely new user experience that helps people deliver their best work by providing a single destination for strategy, planning, content, collaboration, and work process. To build this new experience, the Workfront team spent over 1,000 hours sitting side-by-side with workers and leaders from across the company’s more than 3,000 customers to observe, track, and understand the ways work gets done. That learning, along with insights built from more than 1.7 billion hours of work managed within Workfront, have been built into the new Workfront experience.

Keynote Speeches

Alex Shootman, CEO at Workfront and author of Done Right, spoke about how the five elements of work — workers, tools, time, interdependence, and location — have changed since the dawn of humanity. Today, for the first time in history, all five elements are changing at the exact same time, which leads to challenges we’ve never faced before. “The problem,” Alex said, “is that in the era of modern work, the person doing the work is moving further and further away from the result of that work.”

Alex Shootman Keynote

And yet, Alex noted, people still want to feel proud of the work they do. This fact particularly struck Alex during a service project in Ethiopia where he saw a worker beaming with happiness after being congratulated for all they’d accomplished. Alex shared how since that moment he’s seen similar success stories over and over with a range of Workfront customers who are navigating modern work in a way that connects the work teams do with the results they achieve. Alex praised these companies for leading the era of modern work and reaffirmed that Workfront exists to help people do their best work.

Alex was followed by Steve Zobell, CTO at Workfront, who talked about how an operational system of record (OSR) enables companies to help their people do their best work and achieve predictable results across the enterprise. He and Alex then talked through an example of how companies can use an OSR to empower their work from top to bottom by connecting Workfront with a range of products such as Salesforce, SAP, Workday, the Adobe Creative Suite, the Google Suite — as well as by using templates, unifying the prototyping process in Workfront Library, connecting all work with budget data, and much more.

Steve then invited Dale Whitchurch, director of engineering global program management at Arthrex, onstage to talk about how Arthrex is using Workfront as their operational system of record. “All work goes into Workfront,” said Dale, who showed that Arthrex uses Workfront as a hub connected with Domo, Jama, Jira, SAP, Aha, and Salesforce so they truly have a system of record for work.

Finally, Steve illustrated how Workfront has listened deeply to a wide range of customer feedback to update the product, especially when it comes to the new user experience. This experience simplifies work management by making it easier than ever to see the context of tasks while getting in and out of projects effortlessly.

Next up was Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Pink shared that when it comes to getting work done, people ignore the importance timing far too often. “The hidden pattern of the day profoundly affects our mood and performance,” Pink said. For instance, he shared data showing that hospital errors (including failures in hand washing and anesthesia) go up dramatically in the afternoon. Similarly, earnings calls in the afternoon are far more likely to be negative and combative than calls in the morning. Pink added, “The point is to remember that our cognitive abilities don’t remain static over the course of the day, that these daily fluctuations are more extreme than we realize, and that the best time to perform a task depends on the nature of the task.”

Daniel Pink Workfront

In addition, Pink said that the times of day that people experience peak performance differ from person to person. Some people naturally stay up late, some people naturally head to bed early, and others are in between. Because of this, it’s important for individual workers to understand how they function, and it’s important for teams to make adjustments as necessary. However it plays out for an individual, what’s critical is being aware of the natural peak, trough, and recovery throughout the day. It’s best to do analytic work during peaks, administrative work during troughs, and creative work during recoveries. Above all, understanding the importance of timing can make an enormous difference in getting work done. 


The first half was also full of presentations from a wide range of companies. Here are some highlights (see the agenda for a bigger list):

  • Sara Rothkopf shared how Marriott International captures and reports on multiple types of budgets for a single project, tracks fiscal year funding, and how the funds gets allocated across projects, bulk processes billing records and converts them into invoices, shows billed vs. unbilled costs, and more.

  • Terricka Brooks showed how her team at GM Financial gave executives and senior leaders visibility into work and initiatives with one persistent and strategic Workfront user.

  • Denise Hackner and Cory Burgon explained how Optum uses Workfront tools and resources to bring together cross-functional teams with differing project requirements.

  • Nancy Conroy and Teri Chisholm demonstrated the templates, custom forms, and dashboards their team at Harvard University created to give managers visibility into staffing, expenses, and milestones across programmatic initiatives.

  • Narayan Raum showed how SunTrust Bank enhanced their intake processes through prioritization within the request queue prior to conversion.

  • Brian Kemp taught the audience how Nationwide Insurance overcame the unique challenges of large enterprise implementation.

  • Brendan Bagley, Lindsey Droz, Michelle Carr, Kelli Prescott demonstrated the ways Penn State University uses the Workfront dashboard to gain clear visibility on project/portfolio condition, status, and resource availability.

  • Alexis Kidd and Linping Sun walked through how Bristol-Myers Squibb increased collaboration ten-fold and doubled its user base with increased efficiencies through optimization strategies and learnings.

  • Adina Pierce, Laurel Pearson, and Rafael Renovato demonstrated how The Hatch, the in-house creative agency for the world-class business Cisco, uses Workfront to empower its team to create innovative solutions that enhance the client experience and foster operational excellence.

  • Wayne Barringer discussed how he and his team guided Boeing Creative Services through monumental change, drawing a comparison to climbing Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain on Earth.

  • Clifford Stevens showed how their in-house agency at Liberty Mutual uses Workfront to provide foundational value to marketing and the larger organization.

  • Richard Garner and Lloyd Spring demonstrated how Lincoln Financial migrated hundreds of users and tens of thousands of projects from an old process management solution.

Stay Tuned for More!

Leap 2019 still has two days left. Stay tuned for more keynote speeches, presentations, the Lion award winners, and entertainment from Marc Martel, voice of Academy Award-winning film, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Follow the activity on Twitter via #Leap2019.


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