Wrike is among the best project management software options as an industry-recognized solution for enabling team productivity and collaboration. After using Wrike, I can attest it’s a powerful tool with extensive features for a range of teams.
A subsidiary of Citrix Systems since early 2021, Wrike is a part of the enterprise vendor’s portfolio addressing the increasing adoption of hybrid and distributed work environments. The Wrike platform’s user-friendly interface makes the transition from traditional spreadsheets like Excel seamless for teams upgrading project management workflows. Add in the extent of templates, integrations, and plans to choose from, Wrike has a little something for organizations across industries.
This review is based on my personal experience registering, configuring, and executing a project in Smartsheet. The sample project I built in the tool is a three-month application development timeline with six sprints and over 20 core tasks.
Below is the sample project (Figure A). The columns listed include task name, start and end dates, assigned contact, status, duration, completion percentage, and notes. Meanwhile, rows organize sprint tasks and subtasks into sprints. Two sprints contain multiple subtasks.
To add additional context, I familiarized myself with Wrike’s product documentation, demos, industry reviews and recognition and a comparative analysis with alternative software applications. I ran a free trial of the Business Plus plan to test this tool.
What is Wrike?
Wrike is a cloud-based project management software that provides small to enterprise organizations observability and productivity capabilities that enable collaboration between internal team members and external contributors. While starter plans offer a spreadsheet-style interface, Wrike offers plenty of choices for visualizing project data.
Founded in 2006, Wrike released its project management software the same year. The company’s user base gradually grew in its first decade. The San Jose-based company earned multiple rounds of funding before its acquisition in March 2021 by enterprise technology vendor Citrix Systems. Today, Wrike serves over 20,000 companies across 140 countries.
The Wrike platform offers general project management capabilities for IT project teams as well as marketing, creative and service features with a range of plans for different team sizes and functions.
Wrike alternatives & competitors
Wrike offers a free trial and SaaS subscription for its project management platform. Additional productivity, data sharing and collaboration tools can be added to any plan for an monthly fee.
Start with the Wrike desktop or mobile app
From the Wrike homepage, new users can register for a free account by typing in their business email. After verifying the email address, users will be redirected to Wrike’s platform for completing the initial registration process. Wrike is available via browser, desktop application, or mobile application for iOS and Android devices through the Apple or Google Play stores.
Wrike features and workflows
Navigate the user homepage
All users start with a personal homepage showing AI-recommended tasks, recent activity, pinned items, and a bundle of access points to other platform areas. The homepage also includes your Spaces, which is a group of icons showing workspaces dedicated to different teams. As the project kicks off and fellow team members join Wrike, the left-hand side will show updates from teammates managing tasks.
As seen below, I belong to two Spaces: Personal and Project Management. These spaces offer a view into folder and project data dedicated to my personal tasks and the project management team tasks. The Recent and Pinned sections as well as other options in the right-hand sidebar show different useful filtered views of the work in those projects.
On the right-hand side, users will see twelve listed items split into 3 sections. Wrike allows users to hide buttons in the middle section, which is nice as there’s a learning curve for new users.
Core buttons (Unhideable)
The unhideable buttons are the top and bottom three on the homepage. These are central to the user’s personal workloads, created items, and storage.
- My to-do: A list of tasks belonging to the user and filter to search.
- Created by me: All tasks created by the user.
- Starred tasks: Tasks designated by the user(s) as high priority.
- Shared with me: All tasks shared with the user.
- Blueprints: All designated blueprints accessible to the user.
- Recycle bin: Deleted items with option to restore or empty recycle bin items.
The middle buttons are hideable and will be useful to seasoned users for quick access to Wrike’s tools for enhanced observability, analysis, and project management capabilities.
- Calendars: Create a calendar to view project tasks over a calendar grid.
- Timesheets: Create and track time committed to the project via a timesheet.
- Dashboards: Access a personal dashboard or create one with custom widgets.
- Reports: Create a report of project data by tasks, status, time spent, etc.
- Workload: Create a workload chart for optimizing team member work capacity.
- Stream: View the global stream of updates shared with the account user.
At the top of the homepage, and throughout the Wrike platform, users have access to a handful of buttons on the left and right sides.
Top left buttons
- Inbox: quick link to the user’s messages
- My Home: quick link to the homepage
Top right buttons
- Search: search for tasks throughout the user’s projects
- Create: create a new task
- More: access to apps
- Assistant: link to help documentation
- Your profile: quick link to the user’s profile
To create a project, click the plus sign in the banner and choose New Project or Folder. From there, give your project a name, choose whether you want to make a project with trackable assets or a folder that organizes a set of tasks. For a project, you will need to set a start and end date, assign a project owner, and choose the default way you’d like to visualize your tasks. Finally, choose the sharing settings that will apply to the project.
Users have access to pre-built templates by team purpose including Agile, creative, IT, operations, and professional services. Examples from the Wrike Templates page include:
Agile and IT templates
- Agile teamwork
- Change control process
- IT risk assessment; IT service management (ITSM)
- Kanban project
- Project management office (PMO)
- Technology roadmap
- Website project plan
Other notable templates
- Business continuity; business process management (BPM)
- Content operations; creative asset management
- Professional services management; services scoping and initiation
- Quarterly business review
- Ticketing and help desk
Dashboards help teams visualize the status and progress of their work by applying filters and transforming the task data into charts, graphs, and other visualizations for analysis.
Widgets in Wrike are prebuilt visualizations you can add directly to a dashboard. Choose the widget and customize the data it transforms into insights.
Examples of widgets include:
|Projects||Track projects filtered by status, owner, folder, and other metadata.|
|Files||Access select files fast for asset management.|
|Tasks by||View tasks by assignee or status like progress, starred, and overdue.|
|To Do||View a list of personal tasks assigned for the day or week.|
|Pending Reviews||View tasks assigned but not reviewed by the user yet.|
|Activity Stream||View updates from the Stream tab on your dashboard.|
When a user opens or refreshes a report, the report updates with the most recent changes and shows the current status of the project. Reports can be built for all projects or within a Space. The reporting will show the active tasks, but if you have a large team or one that’s rapidly working through tasks, you may want to refresh the report often to get a better understanding of the current workload.
Accessible from the user homepage, Workload view is another convenient way to view how tasks break down between team members, work effort expected for tasks, and progress. Like the Gantt view, Workload charts offer a timescale view of tasks.
For our project, the Workload chart (Figure H) shows the project at month-view with one registered team member owning all tasks. As team members join Wrike, they will appear beneath the project manager and, in turn, be assigned tasks—therefore, splitting up the work by assignee.
Though the screenshot doesn’t capture Workload view’s potential, the demo tour offered a clear view of how managers could allocate tasks based on resources and available effort of team members.
By double-clicking on a task, a small in-chart window opens (Figure I) displaying the task’s duration, status, and the option to enable Effort—the total number of hours expected to complete a task.
To see a task’s details up close, I changed the Workload chart to view by days, and selected the Team onboarding task in Sprint 2. This task already was set for 4 days upon opening so I enabled Effort and set the total effort to 8 hours. Wrike automates the math to show the time spent per task, per day, and per person.
Once all team members and efforts for project tasks are set, managers can evaluate how the team distributes effort and make adjustments to ease individual or team workloads without sacrificing project momentum. For administrators, the Workload view is an excellent tool for visualizing team member bandwidth, and a team’s flexibility to take on new or unexpected project tasks. The Effort tool is limited to allocating hours rather than other standard Scrum units like points, which may mean that some teams would need to reconfigure their units of work to fit Wrike’s setup.
Import existing project data
Avoid the hassle of manually inputting all of your project data by importing an existing Microsoft Excel or Projects file. Wrike also requires that user files meet data input requirements and formatting before a successful import into an existing platform folder.
Relative to other project management tools, this process was tedious and time consuming as I had to upload my Excel spreadsheet a half-dozen times before meeting the requirements of the Wrike template.
Working from a Mac device with project data stored in a Google Sheets file for our ongoing top PM tools series added to this difficulty. Every upload attempt was met with a different error requiring I go back into the Sheets file, edit the spreadsheet, download as an Excel file, and try again. Wrike’s template was helpful in rearranging columns to fit upload parameters, but errors persisted.
Unfortunately, in order to get the upload to work, I had to remove existing data regarding task status before submission, Wrike refused to recognize Assignees that didn’t exist in the platform, and additional columns within the spreadsheet didn’t make the cut. Without additional teammates, all assignments are owned by me until I onboard new teammates to Wrike.
When transitioning to a new PM tool, having the ability to import existing data is critical to reducing unnecessary work and keeping the project moving. What followed was two steps to update Wrike data to reflect reality.
- Update task position to show the relationship between parent tasks and subtasks. With the original PM template in mind, I was able to drag-and-drop subtasks within their corresponding sprint (seen in Figure K as indented).
- Update task status by selecting from a list of: New, In Process, Completed, On Hold, and Canceled. I was able to drag and drop “New” for most tasks as they’re set for future sprints, which saved me time and clicks.
View project data differently
For imported projects, the preset views are Table and List. Users have the option to add views for Board, Gantt Chart, Resources, Files, Stream, Timelog, and Analytics.
The Table view is most similar to traditional spreadsheets for teams transitioning from legacy tools, offering a classic row and column approach to creating and managing project data.
After taking steps described in the previous section, Figure K shows the imported and adjusted project data specifying the tasks for each sprint, assignee, task status, start and end dates, and task duration within the Table view.
To change task data in the Table view, users can double-click column values aligned with a task. Similarly, users can view and change all of a task’s data by hovering over the task and opening an in-browser window or new tab detailing the selected task.
Figure L is the expanded look at Sprint 2: Inception in a new tab showing the sprint’s task, description, and space for communication between stakeholders.
In between the top row and the tasks, users have access to a handful of quick access buttons:
- Duration: Change start and end dates to show expected duration.
- Approvals: Create new approvals with advanced settings for assigning tasks.
- Time Entries: Quantify time spent on projects with a built-in timer for stakeholders.
- Subtacks: View existing subtasks or create a new item.
- Attach Files: Attach files from your PC, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, SharePoint, or links to YouTube and other websites.
- Add Dependency: Create dependencies by selecting predecessor and successor tasks.
- Share: Share the task with others by email or Wrike name to collaborate.
Together, team members can view, edit, and optimize the workflow to complete a task with project-related attachments, ongoing communication, and supervisor proofing.
Wrike offers a number of built-in column types to use in organizing project data or the option to create a new field based on common input conditions. In addition to values previously listed (title, assignee, status, dates, and duration), other column options include:
- Project manager approval and completed date
- Expected effort and time spent
- Percentage complete or progress
- Predecessors (dependencies)
- Task metadata (author, task ID)
- Task importance by low, medium, or high priority
Outside of the above, users can create new fields with a custom column name for data including text, numbers, percentages, dates, checkboxes, multiple selections, and formulas.
After the last column in the Table view (far top right of spreadsheet), users can add a column through the plus sign (+) button. When selected, users can quickly pick one of the pre-built column types or create a new one.
In this project, I created a new column for the cost of tasks requiring a third-party contractor in USD. Figure M shows the create-your-own-column options for currency include choosing a national or project currency, default aggregation (sum or average), number of decimal places, and whether to include a thousands separator.
Rows: Task placement, sharing, and deletion
Users have two options for engaging with rows:
- hold and drag rows vertically
- double click a row for additional options
The drag-and-drop feature is convenient for moving tasks within appropriate sprints, but offers little more use.
By double-clicking a row, Wrike opens an in-table menu (Figure N) where users can:
- Change the task status.
- Open the task’s details in a separate tab, or copy the permalink to this tab.
- Add a sub-item underneath a parent task.
- Delete the row and task data.
List view: Cut out the noise
All users start with access to project data through a list of all tasks and subtasks. The List view allows users to open tasks, mass edit tasks by condition, and drag-and-drop tasks as needed.
Users can filter this view of tasks to see an entire folder or project. For filtering, users have the option of seeing all tasks, active tasks, personal tasks, or additional filters based on column header values like assignee, task type, and deadline. Quick access options for seeing list data include by Priority (as seen below), Date values, Status, Importance, and Title.
With an imported version of our PM template, the List view (Figure O) started with all sprints collapsed. As seen below, I expanded the first three sprints and (like the Table example) selected “Sprint 2: Inception”. This opens a platform window on the right side covering task details and metadata.
At first glance, a list with only a few values (task name, date, and status) might not be appealing. However, for those looking to avoid the clutter of traditional spreadsheets or even Table view, List view offers a simpler perspective for seeing and interacting with tasks.
Gantt view: Tasks over time
With Gantt view, customers have access to a timescaled perspective of project tasks, their duration, and dependencies.
Board view: Drag-and-drop cards
The Board view offers users a Kanban board with lanes dividing tasks based on a condition like progress status. This view is best suited for drag-and-drop functionality as team members can drag tasks vertically within lanes to show task priority, or horizontally between lanes to signify task progress.
The Board view in shows New, In Progress, and Completed tasks, and task data on each card has the task name, assignee, and deadline.
Deploy request forms for collecting data
Request forms help streamline the intake and organization of team data by translating a request directly to a team, project, or folder. These forms are customizable and available to share with the entire company and outside stakeholders.
How much is Wrike?
Wrike is available in five core plans and two plans designed specifically for marketing and creative teams and service delivery teams.
There are also three types of user licenses for regular users, external users, and collaborators. All plans offer full license users (regular and external users) 20 invites for collaborators or 15% of the licensed number of users under a business plan. Collaborators can access limited features under a guest license.
Wrike pricing & plans
|Professional||Growing teams||$9.80 / user / month|
|Business||Multiple teams within org||$24.80 / user / month|
|Marketing Teams||Marketing and creatives||Contact|
|Professional Services||Service delivery teams||Contact|
Free: $0 per user per month
- Multi-language support
- Wrike for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices and applications
- Folder hierarchy, task and subtask management, account-wide work schedule
- Email integration and notifications
- Custom work views including table view and kanban
- Work intelligence including AI recommended tasks, smart search, VoIP, and OCR
- Use case project templates
- Integrations with open RESTful API and cloud storage platform
Professional: $9.80 per user per month
- Storage space of 2GB per user
- Dynamic Gantt chart
- Pre-built dashboards and widgets
- Add collaborators for an asset
- Productivity apps and tools
Professional is a jump up from Business but pales in comparison to premium plans. Much of what comes with Professional is already available in the free edition.
Business: $24.80 per user per month
- Storage space of 5GB per user
- Branded workspace
- Personal and account-wide work schedules
- Custom fields, workflows, and statuses
- Project portfolio management
- Real-time reports and calendars
- AI project risk prediction
- Custom templates and blueprints
- Custom and dynamic request forms
- Advanced workflow automation
- Task and project approval
- Custom approval flows
- Automation engine with up to 200 actions per user per month
- Resource management including workload charts, effort, and time tracking
- Guest approvals, file proofing, and extension for Adobe Creative Cloud
The number of features increases sharply from Professional to the Business plan, adding capabilities in almost every category and a stack of resource management tools.
- Storage space of 10GB per user
- Business intelligence API and Tableau integration
- Automation engine with up to 1,000 actions per user per month
- SAML 2.0 single-sign on, two-factor authentication, and allowlist IP
- Advanced user access controls, password policy settings, and user audit reports
The Enterprise plan is similar to Business and adds helpful administrative and security controls.
- Storage space of 15GB per user
- Advanced analytics and data visualizations
- Automation engine with up to 1,500 actions per user per month
- Advanced resource and capacity planning including job roles and budgeting
- Advanced proofing in HTML5 and Sharepoint
- Digital asset management (DAM) integration
- Locked spaces
The Pinnacle plan is designed for companies that integrate Wrike into every part of the company’s work or need more extensive analytics and automations to drive more efficient work.
Purchasing additional features is only available to Business, Enterprise, and Pinnacle customers, with four capabilities to choose from.
With Wrike Integrate, clients can add custom automations and integrate critical software from a list of over 400 connectors. These applications include cloud and on-premises enterprise software covering productivity, sales, analytics, collaboration, AI modeling, and developer apps.
Wrike Two-Way Sync
Beyond standard integrations, Wrike Two-Way Sync offers technical teams a fully synchronized experience between Wrike workflows and apps covering a spectrum of needs. Options include:
|Software/IT||GitHub, JIRA, Marker.io, TestLodge, Azure DevOps|
|Gmail, Outlook, Third-Party|
|Messaging||Microsoft Teams, Slack|
|Export/import||MS Project, MS Excel, MS Office 365|
|Single sign-on||SAML, Microsoft, Okta, Google, ADFS, OneLogin, PingFederate|
|File storage||MediaValet, Google Drive, SharePoint, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box|
|Extensions||Adobe Creative Cloud, Office Timeline|
The company’s cloud data security solution is Wrike Lock, offering an extra layer of encryption, request management, and encryption key management for customer-managed data and third-party services. Stored via the AWS Key Management Service, administrators can use a master encryption key and individual keys to protect account data.
Wrike Marketing Insights
Ideal for marketing teams and companies, Wrike Marketing Insights offers customers the needed campaign management features and data-centric integrations to maximize a marketing budget. Clients can import data from more than 50 applications for data management, business intelligence, and digital marketing, including automation tools for popular social media platforms.
Similar to other top business software, Wrike’s interoperability can eliminate data silos, consolidate such data in an user-friendly interface, and conduct ongoing analysis for the team and campaign’s benefit.
Wrike business analysis
Wrike use cases and audience
In 2022, Wrike’s client base includes over 20,000 companies and 2.3 million users in 140 countries. For this myriad of potential users and companies, Wrike specifies solutions for 33 use cases and 15 types of teams or organizations, including:
- Agile project management
- Bug tracking
- Business continuity
- Campaign management
- Capacity planning
- Client management
- Event management
- Portfolio management
- Product roadmap
- Sprint planning
- Resource management
- Working from anywhere
Roles and teams
- Agile developers and IT service managers
- Company-wide and business ops teams
- Creative and digital marketing teams
- Product management teams
- Project management for consulting, design, and engineering teams
- Professional services and program management teams
Through the Wrike Integrate add-on, clients have access to more than 400 applications to integrate data from databases and cloud or on-premises apps. In addition to apps featured under the “Two-Way Sync” section, other popular business and enterprise apps include:
- AI: Amazon Lex, Google API.ai, Watson Tone Analyzer, and Workbot.
- Collaboration: Cisco, Confluence, and GotoWebinar.
- Customer Relations: Freshdesk, Oracle, Zendesk, and Zoho CRM.
- Developer: AWS, Anaplan, Jenkins, MySQL, PagerDuty, PostgreSQL, and Snowflake.
- Finance: Fresh Books, NetSuite, QuickBooks, SAP, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
- HR: ADP, BambooHR, Expensify, Namely, Workday, and Zenefits.
- IT: LDAP, New Relic, ServiceNow, and Splunk.
- Marketing: Apttus, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Marketo, and Twitter.
- PM: Airtable, Asana, Basecamp, Smartsheet, and Trello.
Help Center and learning opportunities
Through the Wrike Help Center, prospective users and clients can access interactive training, video demos, release notes, and the customer community forums. Overarching topics with a bundle of articles include getting started, learning the platform, communicating with collaborators, and working securely.
For learning content, the Wrike Education Guides covers pertinent topics like go-to-market, agile software development, Scrum, remote work, professional services, and digital marketing.
Wrike Discover: Train for free or get certified
On the Wrike Discover homepage, teams can explore learning plans, track progress, and enroll new employees into conveniently-timed courses. For administrators onboarding an organization or large team, the Wrike Discover Team Manager is the designated role for managing course and training registration.
For project managers and administrators looking to augment their skills, Wrike’s educational opportunities include free training and four fee-based certifications. Interested candidates can choose from Bronze or Silver editions of certifications in Product Mastery (PM) or Report Mastery (RM).
All certifications come in the form of an online course with hands-on exercises, assignments, and a final assessment Though the easier and less expensive certifications offer a foundational understanding of platform features, there are no formal prerequisites. Fast learners can jump straight to RM Silver and skip lower certifications if desired.
Wrike certifications, time commitment and cost
- PM Bronze: For contributors learning core functionalities and managing tasks.
- PM Silver: For project managers requiring training, exercises, and assessments.
- RM Bronze: For familiar users learning to structure, track, and report project data.
- RM Silver: For familiar users using Wrike Analyze to build boards.
|Product Mastery||Bronze||1.5 hours||$99||2 years|
|Product Mastery||Silver||2-5 hours||$299||1 year|
|Report Mastery||Bronze||1-2.5 hours||$199||2 years|
|Report Mastery||Silver||8-12 hours||$699||1 year|
Wrike professional services
The Wrike Professional Services connects companies with consulting solutions for platform onboarding, designing, and optimizing.
The Wrike Deployment Guide covers the handful of stages professional services consultants (PSCs) do to help companies fully deploy the Wrike solution. Phases for deployment include initiation, change management, discovery, configuration, go-live, and closeout. Specific examples of PSC services include workspace transformation, integration services, custom training and engagements, and analytics.
Wrike partner program
Businesses interested in partnering with Wrike join an extensive global ecosystem of resellers, distributors, consulting firms, global system integrators (GSIs), and independent software vendors (ISVs). The Wrike Partner Program allows companies to generate new solutions and opportunities for clients through the project management platform’s capabilities.
Featured Wrike partners include companies like Adobe, AWS, Dropbox, Google, Ingram Micro, Microsoft, Slack, and Zoom. Apply now as a technology or channel partner.
Wrike customer support
Customer support is available for more than 15 languages and in 20 currencies. Standard support options come included in each paid plan, and Premium and Premium Plus plans are available via quote.
The amount and availability of support varies based on plan. The freemium plan, for example, can access support via a web form 24 hours a day and 5 days a week with no minimum response time. In contrast, the Premium and Premium Plus Support plans have a response time of 1 hour for all four contact channels: web form, help center chat, phone, and workspace chat.
|Support package||Freemium||Standard||Premium||Premium Plus Success|
|Who||Free Wrike account||Paid and trial Wrike account||Paid Wrike account with purchased Premium support||Paid Wrike account with purchased Premium Plus Success support|
|Channels||Web form||Web form, help center chat, phone||Web form, help center chat, dedicated phone line, Workspace chat||Web form, help center chat, dedicated phone line, Workspace chat|
|Ticket response time||N/A||24 hours||1 hour||1 hour|
|Support resources||Shared support team||Shared support team||Prioritized response||Designated support agent|
|Cost||Free||Included in plan||Contact Wrike||Contact Wrike|
Maintaining data privacy
Wrike’s commitment to data privacy includes multiple third-party certifications to ensure compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and other mandates. These certifications include SOC2 Type II, CSA STAR, and ISO 27001 (2013) and 27018 (2019).
Pros & cons of Wrike
Wrike advantages and benefits
- Extensive number of project management features and capabilities
- Easy to zoom in and out between tasks, projects, and teams within the platform
- Strength in security standards
- Import process requires meeting exact perimeters for column names and field inputs and is only interoperable with Microsoft Excel and Projects.
- May be overwhelming for new users who need to get used to the number of buttons, pages, and features
- Enterprise-ready project management software leader
- Robust features through a user-friendly interface and extensive documentation
- Range of plans and add-ons offer options for general and niche teams
Wrike is a general project management platform speaking to teams of varying sizes and project types. Though it offers plenty for software development and IT service teams, organizations across industries can just as easily benefit from incorporating Wrike into business process management.
While the learning curve is intimidating, Wrike proved to be a featured-packed solution that can do as little or much as a team desires. For small teams, the free plan offers plenty but larger teams will recognize the value of Wrike’s premium features for data integration, security, marketing, and productivity.
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