workfrontleap 2019
May 10, 2019

Leap 2019 Second Half Highlights

More than 2,000 work management leaders attended 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. Sponsors include Accenture, Deloitte Digital, CapGemini, LeapPoint, Allocadia, Adobe, Capability Source, Moventus, Cella, Strala, IOI, Milestone, Smartempo, and Zee Jay Digital.


Lion Awards

We announced the 2019 Lion Award winners, which showcased the groundbreaking work that Workfront customers are doing to transform work management within their organization. Winners included Arthrex, Esri, JLL, Lincoln Financial, and Tableau.

Workfront also recognized three partners for their contribution to Workfront and their role in enabling customers to achieve their modern work management goals. The Workfront Partner of the Year award winners include:

Keynote Discussions and Speeches

To start the main stage in the morning, Sue Fellows, chief customer officer at Workfront, spoke about how the customer journey is the key to success in work management. She explained that to best help with this journey, Workfront has listened to deeply to our customers, resulting in updates and optimization to the user experience, analytics, reporting, support (including support directly in the platform), the digital community, training (including recurring webinars and in-platform guidance), and more.

Sue also highlighted the success of Sean Pederson, Bcycle product development director at Trek, who was featured in Done Right. Pederson used Workfront to create an innovative bicycle taillight that was both small and powerful — visible from more than a mile and a half away. Thanks in part to his success with this project, Pederson was promoted to his current position, which requires him to simultaneously manage relationships with a host of partners to bring bicycle sharing products to cities across the United States.

Sue then invited Rose Hayes, VP Project Manager at JLL, on stage to walk through the customer journey with Workfront. Hayes shared how Workfront has enabled JLL to create a  “human-centric agile workplace” that manages billions of square feet in property and facilities. Hayes said that she and her team always asks “What does done look like?” and then uses Workfront to can mark a project yellow or red when it’s in progress or falling behind so they can quickly discuss what they need to do to turn it green and complete the project on time. In addition, JLL implements time-tracking to ensure that progress on all work is recorded.

Next up was Steve Zobell, who invited Jennifer Adams, Worldwide Marketing Operations Lead at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Salima Eboo, Managing Director at Accenture Interactive. Jennifer said she and her team uses Workfront to execute 6,000 projects a year while centralizing all their marketing efforts. She added that the challenges they face are easily overcome with Workfront because they can iterate and make continuous improvement on the fly. Salima said that she advises clients who are daunted by the digital transformation to “start somewhere small where you really can deliver the value and the business outcomes you’re looking to deliver.” She added, “If you can do that with even 10 people and show the outcomes, it’s much easier to get the buy-in when you go big.”

Steve then invited Wayne Barringer, director of Creative Services at Boeing, on stage. Wayne describe the difficulties his team faced before Workfront — including working on projects that fell behind schedule, went over budget, or weren’t even optimal for his team to be working on. “It was like managing a restaurant where the customers were barging into the kitchen and saying, ‘Hey, I want this kind of fish,’” he said, referencing the way that people from internal and external departments would make random and direct requests to designers. After implementing Workfront, however, they’ve streamlined their processes and focused on the high value, high complexity work they need to focus on. “We’ve freed up our designers to do what they do best, which is to design,” Wayne said. As a result, they’ve seen engagement scores go way up. “The key,” says Wayne, “is to place human beings before technology and to be vigilant about simplification.”

In the afternoon, all attendees gathered back in the main hall to hear announcements about charities Workfront supports as well as the announcement about the Lion Award winners listed above.

Next, Heidi Melin, CMO at Workfront, introduced keynote speaker Keith Ferrazzi, author of Who’s Got Your Back? and Never Eat Alone. Ferrazzi spoke about the future of work, which he outlined as fluid, agile, and radically independent. Specifically, he spoke about the importance of being a company that’s mature enough to handle conflict. “Conflict avoidance kills transformation and innovation,” he said. “If you are leading a meeting and your people don't feel safe to speak truth to you, you are a crappy leader.”

Ferrazzi also explored the idea of co-elevating, which entails “making a commitment to each other to go higher; to take each other to a more elevated level.” In practice this means “the true responsibility for you as a leader is to shift your point of view to leading from inside your network – become the leader of the network, whether you’re a member or whether you’re officially the facilitator of that group of individuals.” Ferrazzi detailed how this simple mindset shift will exceed shareholder expectations and solidify teamwork.

Finally, Workfront CEO Alex Shootman got back on stage to deliver a parting thought about leading teams that master modern work. To do this, he outlined three suggestions: Help them understand their role, help them know that their work matters, and give them a chance to be proud of their work. Teams that successfully do these things will thrive during the modern work era.


Just like the first half of Leap, the second half was full of insightful and practical presentations that gave attendees the ability to practice modern work management more effectively.

Here are some highlights (see the agenda for a bigger list):

  • Kevin Lindsay illustrated how Adobe accelerates content velocity by driving more value from existing assets through new workflows and new approaches to digital asset management.
  • Rich Blickley talked about how he and his team at JLL minimize the use of custom fields, find creative uses for issue objects, and reuse fields across different object types.
  • John Lemme and Andrew Frost showed how Fidelity and Moventus tackled Agile marketing operations and emerged with a sustainable, teachable model. They demonstrated how Agile execution can be used to tackle both Waterfall projects and backlog-friendly work.
  • Jaime Penney and Corey Dill reviewed the critical steps Boeing Creative Studio took when implementing Workfront.
  • Erin Kennedy, Danya Porter, and Brian Mauger revealed how the in-house creative team at Bloomberg successfully implemented Workfront.
  • Monique Evans showed how Stanley Black & Decker leverages Workfront as its single system of record to drive and coordinate its global marketing workflow.
  • Josh Blackwood pulls from his experience at ADP to examine five core problems hurting IT's ability to deliver on digital transformation and how to be the strategic partner that the modern enterprise needs.

Stay Tuned for More!

In the coming months we’ll be adapting key thought leadership presentations from Leap into blog posts so readers can peruse insights and practical advice at their own pace. Subscribe to the blog below, and you won’t miss a thing.

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