ClickUp Guide

The PMO's Guide to Building Operational Excellence With ClickUp

Scalable solutions to help your teams align, collaborate, and execute on company-wide goals with ClickUp.

Introduction

Introduction

Workflows graphic

As an operational leader, you're well aware of the divide between strategic plans and team execution.

It's not just a gap; it's a daily challenge filled with unseen obstacles created by inefficiency and miscommunication.

And the studies show it:

61% of business leaders

acknowledge the struggle in translating strategy into action, as per the PMI Thought Leadership Series

Half of all strategic plans fail to materialize...

yet, there's a silver lining—with effective execution, the likelihood of success jumps to 73%

Even more telling, almost half of all strategic plans fail to materialize. Yet, there's a silver lining—with effective execution, the likelihood of success jumps to 73%.

To make matters more difficult, the role of project managers is often misunderstood by the teams they support.


Minefield v2

PMOs must grapple with the monumental task of navigating organizational minefields, where silos, inefficiencies, disjointed teams, and misaligned workflows threaten to disrupt execution at every turn.

Navigating the minefields within PMO requires a keen awareness of the prevalent challenges they confront. These obstacles include (but are not limited to):

Lack of clear scope

and objectives hampers alignment of projects and goals

Poor communication

and collaboration hinders teamwork and knowledge sharing

Inadequate planning

and risk management leads to delays and budget overruns

Poor stakeholder engagement

creates false expectations and assumptions

A recent study conducted by ClickUp and ProjectManagement.com across 500+ operational leaders revealed pervasive challenges that define the organizational minefield, for example:

  • 30% say critical project details are not readily available in a central tool
  • 59.3% say "busy work" is not minimized with automation
  • 52.8% say documentation is not ingrained in team culture
Maggie Davis Headshot

Maggie DavisVP of PMO at Convene

"Every day, we face the challenge of aligning our strategic objectives with our operational capabilities, often feeling like we're trying to solve a puzzle blindfolded."

Convene Logo

The Solution

Solutions v3

So, how do you ensure your systems are set up so your teams can navigate these challenges and execute with precision—especially when you can't be everywhere?

Here's the good news: recognizing these pitfalls is your first step toward building your system for operational excellence that:

  • Creates visibility & alignment
  • Maximizes efficiency by minimizing busywork
  • Enables seamless collaboration
  • Streamlines workflows and handoffs
  • Empowers everyone with knowledge sharing
Teresa Headshot

Teresa SothcottPMO at Vmware

"Process mapping, with the aid of ClickUp, was pivotal. It clarified roles and expectations, streamlining our workflow with precise templates and tasks."

Vmware logo

In this guide, we'll uncover the solutions to these obstacles, shared by highly effective teams at the forefront of company operations across each of the five areas of collaborative work management with ClickUp:

The PMO Solution ClickUp

Systems for Operational Excellence

Visibility

Create Visibility & Alignment

Visibility v2


Why Visibility Matters

When building a collaborative work management (CWM) practice, one of the first—and most significant—gains companies can expect is a boost in the visibility of project status and the time it takes your teams to complete tasks.

Visibility empowers your teams with:

Improved decision-making

based on comprehensive data

Better alignment

across teams

Increased stakeholder trust

due to transparency


Challenges to Visibility

So, what’s keeping less-mature companies from having the visibility they need? The answers—as always—come down to people, process, and tools. For most companies, challenges to visibility include:

Tech silos

Different teams using disparate tools, leading to fragmented processes and information

Communication barriers

Inadequate channels of communication, causing misalignment and misunderstandings

Lack of real-time updates

Delays in reporting and updating statuses, leading to outdated info being shared


Finastra, a financial software company, faced a myriad of visibility challenges with the goal of scaling their go-to-market activities across their business units.

Fragmented GTM strategies scattered in various formats and locations ultimately led to inconsistent campaign delivery and lackluster customer experiences.

That's when Finastra decided to use ClickUp to unify its GTM functions, align stakeholders, and boost efficiency across business units with a new level of visibility.

Joerg

Joerg KlueckmannVP of Marketing at Finastra

"The fragmented structure made it difficult for senior leadership to gain visibility into what GTM activities were taking place at any given time, and for which business unit. Imagine 200 slides of marketing plans that are outdated the second we produce it."

FINASTRA-22 LOGO RGB 1 (1)

How to Create Visibility & Alignment

Finastra tackled the challenge of ensuring seamless visibility across tasks and collaborations by leveraging ClickUp to create greater visibility and alignment organization-wide.

Their teams, from front-line members to leadership, use ClickUp to stay informed and aligned, effectively transforming the way they manage projects and maintain team cohesion.

Here's how to replicate their success to create visibility across your organization:

List view - Simplified - With filters 4x

1. Organize Your Workspace for Success

ClickUp's Hierarchy allows organizations to structure their work in a way that mirrors their internal setup.

From Spaces to Lists and Tasks, teams can categorize their work in layers, ensuring every project and task has a designated place.

Tailor Task views 2

2. Tailor Task Views for Teams

With ClickUp, teams aren't confined to a one-size-fits-all view.

Custom views allow teams to tailor their Workspace to see all their goals, projects, and tasks in a manner that's most relevant to them; be it in a list, board, calendar, Gantt, or 10+ other customizable views.

Track Progress with Dashboards

3. Track Progress with Real-time Dashboards

ClickUp's Dashboards are a game-changer for teams that rely on real-time data.

With customizable widgets, teams can get an instant overview of project statuses, performance metrics, and other critical data points, all in real-time.

Stay Updated with Notificaitons

4. Stay Updated with Task Notifications

ClickUp's task notifications ensures team members are instantly informed on task updates, comments, status changes, and more.

Whether it's a task assignment or a comment on a document, ClickUp ensures that you're always in the loop.


Outcomes for Finastra

By switching to ClickUp, Finastra’s teams consolidated their tools, standardized processes, and empowered everyone with improved visibility and team alignment.

This has enabled employees to align on high-impact work, save time on updates and meetings, and drive marketing outcomes more efficiently.

+30%

iIncrease in collaboration effectiveness

+40%

growth in total go-to-market (GTM) efficiency

Joerg Klueckmann

Joerg KlueckmannVP of Marketing at Finastra

"Communicating the status and performance of our global and regional marketing campaigns to our business units was far from optimal. With ClickUp, we’re saving time and our stakeholders have real-time access to the information they need, whenever they need it."

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Systems for Operational Excellence

Efficiency & Automation

Maximize Efficiency & Automate Busywork

Efficiency Graphic


Why Efficiency Matters

Efficiency is paramount in project management; it's about doing more with less so every team member's efforts directly contribute to project objectives.

Efficiency empowers your teams with:

Streamlined operations

with a sharp reduction in unnecessary tasks

Enhanced productivity

as team members focus on high-value activities

A clear pathway

to project completion, marked by milestones and fewer roadblocks


Challenges to Efficiency

Why do many organizations today struggle with efficiency? Many obstacles can prevent efficiency and the biggest roadblocks usually include:

Manual processes

Reliance on manual entry and ops that are work-intensive and error-prone

Task redundancy

Repetition of tasks that lead to employee fatigue and disengagement

Adaptability issues

Difficulty in adjusting to project changes due to rigid processes and systems


STANLEY Security, an enterprise security solutions company, relied on legacy tools such as Excel and email for internal communication and task management.

As teams became more integrated during the pandemic, there was a need for a scalable project management tool to run a global enterprise that would help break down silos and boost productivity.

The challenges that STANLEY Security faced required not just another tool, but a centralized solution that would serve as the one source of truth for all their work, tools, and teams.

David Corner

David CornerDigital Manager at STANLEY

"Our challenge was to create a virtual organization that provided enough structure without stifling the different teams, all with a different culture and work style."

stanley logo

How to Maximize Efficiency With ClickUp

Stanley harnessed ClickUp to unify their regional and global teams, revolutionizing their collaborative processes. This strategic move drastically cut down the time spent in meetings and on email threads, empowering their employees to save an average of 8 hours per week.

This shift enabled a focus on productive teamwork and enhanced reporting, significantly improving their operational efficiency.

Here's how to replicate their success to unlock efficiency across your organization:

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1. Automate the Busywork

ClickUp's Automations remove repetitive tasks from the day-to-day, enabling a shift towards high-impact work.

This allows your team to automatically assigns tasks, update statuses, and send notifications, streamlining project workflows.

Save it as a template

2. Template for Consistency

ClickUp's Templates standardize project initiation, for a quick and consistent setup for all new projects.

Teams can create flexible templates for workflows, documents, tasks, and more to save time on any repeatable workflow.

ClickUp Brain

3. Fast-track Projects with ClickUp Brain

ClickUp Brain is the world’s first neural network that connects the tasks, docs, people, and all of your company’s knowledge with AI.

With Brain, teams have best-in-class generative text for writing, AI project management for automating tasks, and can ask any question for accurate answers from tasks or Docs across your Workspace.


Outcomes for STANLEY

Once siloed across multiple tools, STANLEY Security's distributed teams now collaborate in single, shared Workspace with ClickUp.

This has enabled its teams to align, collaborate, and work more effectively to provide their clients with world-class security solutions.

8+ hours

saved weekly on meetings and updates

-50%

decrease in time spent on report building & sharing

+80%

Increase in improved teamwork

Katie Cameron Headshot

Katie CameronSenior Product Marketing Manager at STANLEY

"Since using ClickUp, our team's productivity has dramatically increased by reducing the number of meetings and unnecessary back and forth emails."

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Systems for Operational Excellence

Collaboration

Enable Seamless Collaboration

Collaboration graphic


Why Collaboration Matters

Let's face it, when everyone's rowing in unison, the boat goes faster.

Collaboration in the workplace is just like that—it's about getting all hands on deck, working towards the same goal, and doing it in an efficient way.

Effective collaboration empowers your teams with:

Quick sharing of insights

which means hurdles are tackled before they become roadblocks

Ensuring everyone's strengths are in play

upping the quality of deliverables

Combining brainpower to problem solve

because two (or more) heads are better than one


Challenges to Collaboration

Everyone knows working together is important, but even the best teams face roadblocks to effective teamwork, including:

Disparate systems

that create information silos, complicating seamless interaction

Communication breakdowns

lead to misaligned goals and duplicated efforts

Ineffective team tools

that make collaboration across multiple projects and teams more difficult

Pigment, a business software company, faced similar challenges when they tripled headcount; their legacy processes of using email, Slack, Notion for checklists, and other tools generated headaches for scaling collaboration.

Alexis Headshot

Alexis ValentinGlobal Head of Business Development at Pigment

"We really needed a shared platform where we could work together to maintain high efficiency in our day-to-day operations as we scaled up in a remote first and global environment."

Pigment Logo

How to Enable Seamless Collaboration with ClickUp

While each team at Pigment uses its own specialized tools, they now use ClickUp as the central platform for cross-functional collaboration.

Since adopting ClickUp, they have improved numerous workflows, from employee onboarding to client software deployment to bug ticketing.

Here are some of the solutions they've implemented to scale collaboration:

Organize with tasks

1. Organize Your Work with Tasks

ClickUp tasks are the cornerstone of project tracking, allowing every detail to be captured, assigned, and followed up on with precision.

It's the digital to-do list that keeps everyone aligned and accountable, with assignees, dates, subtasks, Custom Fields, and many customizable add-ons tailored for any type of teamwork.

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2. Coordinate with Comments

Teams communicate in ClickUp within tasks, meaning feedback and discussions are always specific, direct, and actionable.

You can also assign comments, leave voice notes, add video Clips, and more; meaning less time in meetings and more time for execution.

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3. Collaborate with Docs

ClickUp Docs are more than just documents; they're collaborative spaces where teams can draft, edit, and refine content together.

Shared rich editing, inline comments, and wiki-features transform these Docs into living, breathing project assets where collaboration is seamless and documentation is clear.

Visualize with whiteboards

4. Visualize with Whiteboards

Whiteboards in ClickUp take the brainstorming sessions to a whole new level, offering a visual playground for ideas.

They act as a canvas for teams to map out concepts, workflows, or project plans that everyone can contribute to and see evolve in real time.


Outcomes for Pigment

With ClickUp, Pigment created one source of truth for collaboration between teams across the entire company, enabling them to deliver exceptional products to their clients as efficiently as possible.

+88%

increase in onboarding efficiency

-83%

reduction in cycle time for bug fixes

+20%

increase in team communication efficiency

Alexis Headshot

Alexis ValentinGlobal Head of Business Development

"With ClickUp, we reduced the time it takes to dispatch tasks and execute them, from days to a couple of hours. Managers are one click away, thanks to templates, of creating onboarding boards for each new joiner. Game changer."

Pigment Logo

Systems for Operational Excellence

Team Workflows

Streamline Workflows & Handoffs

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Why Workflows Matter

Just like a well-oiled machine, streamlined workflows ensure that every part of your organization is operating at peak efficiency.

It's about making sure that work moves smoothly from start to finish, with every process designed to propel work forward, not hold it back.

Streamlined workflows empower your teams with:

Processes that are both smarter

and faster, cutting out unnecessary steps

Tighter coordination across teams

so everyone's moving in sync toward shared goals

Automation that of busy work

allowing your team to focus on what they do best


Challenges to Effective Workflows

In an ideal world, everything runs like clockwork. But here's the reality:

Custom processes create complexity

causing confusing and time loss

Different standards of work

and systems across teams create inefficient handoffs and information loss

Busy work

can bog down your brightest minds, trapping them in a cycle of low-value tasks

Christina Wilson Headshot

Cristina WillsonDirector of Content at Graphite

“We not only started writing articles, but we decided to do so at scale, so we needed a robust platform that could easily adapt to our increasing number of deliverables. ClickUp was the best choice.”

Graphite logo

Graphite, a growth marketing agency, encountered similar challenges when scaling its content services to clients, where legacy tools and workflows made it difficult to manage tasks that required information to flow to stakeholders with different levels of visibility into project work.

The company needed a way to consolidate its various tools and workflows in one place to scale its content services and products.


How to Streamline Workflows & Handoffs with ClickUp

Since adopting ClickUp, Graphite has been able to automate processes, streamline workflows, and enhance collaboration with clients.

ClickUp’s user-friendly interface and automation capabilities allow Graphite’s teams to track project timelines, assign tasks, and generate reports, ensuring that the company delivers high-quality services that exceed clients’ expectations.

Here's how they used ClickUp to transform workflow roadblocks into the foundation for new productivity:

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1. Tailor Workflows with Custom Statuses and Fields

Custom Statuses and Custom Fields allow teams to tailor workflow stages, capture specific task details with clarity, and provide flexibility in tracking projects.

This customization enhances team efficiency by aligning task management with the unique needs of each project.

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2. Automate Handoffs and Updates

ClickUp’s Automations take the repeat out of repetitive work. With over 100+ automation possibilities, you can say goodbye to manual updates and hello to automation that moves tasks along without your teams lifting a finger.

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3. Capture Requests with Forms

ClickUp Forms streamline data entry and task creation, allowing for seamless collection and integration of information into your workflow.


Outcomes for Graphite

Today, Graphite's content teams can execute 300 articles per month and have produced 2,000 articles in total with cross-functional workflows that enable tighter collaboration and swifter handoffs.

In addition, they save two hours per week that used to be spent in meetings, and send 20x fewer Slack messages.

12x

increase in content production

3 hours

saved weekly with improved workflows and handoffs

Ethan Smith headshot

Ethan SmithCEO at Graphite

“ClickUp allows our team to do their best work by optimizing processes to ensure on-time delivery, driving impact.”

Graphite logo

Systems for Operational Excellence

Knowledge Sharing

Empower Everyone With Knowledge Sharing

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Why Knowledge Sharing Matters

For highly efficient teams, knowledge sharing is the key to ensuring everyone is on the same page. It's about making information accessible, turning collective experiences into a powerful asset for efficiency and innovation.

Knowledge sharing empowers your teams with:


Rapid dissemination

of best practices, reducing the learning curve for new members

Faster problem-solving

shared knowledge leads to better decisions

Cultivation of a learning culture

where continuous improvement becomes the norm


Challenges to Knowledge Sharing

Despite its importance, many organizations struggle with effective knowledge sharing due to:

Information silos

where knowledge is trapped within certain teams or departments

Inconsistent documentation

of practices, leading to scattered and hard-to-find information

Resistance to change

where employees may be reluctant to share insights or adopt new tools

Seequent, an earth modeling and geo solutions company, was using multiple tools to manage and collaborate on marketing projects. With information scattered across different apps, they couldn't support the scale needed to take campaigns to the next level.

That's when Seequent decided to create a central location for knowledge sharing to break down barriers and a foster culture of open communication and continuous learning.

Victoria Berryman Headshot

Victoria BerrymanMarketing Operations Manager at Seequent

“Before, it was all a bit too complicated. We needed a platform that would make all of our work visible – one that would move as fast as the business does. Now it’s hard to imagine life without ClickUp.”

Seequent logo

How to Empower Knowledge Sharing with ClickUp

By leveraging Docs to outline the processes and the Kanban Board or Task view to display FAQs or reference materials, Seequent's team now knows exactly where to look when they have a question or need to remind themselves of a process.

Here's how you can replicate Seequent's solutions for effective knowledge sharing in your organization:

Docs Home

1. Centralize Documentation

Use Docs to create a central repository for all your important documents, guidelines, wikis, and resources.

This ensures that every team member has access to the latest information, all in one place.

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2. Streamline Best Practices with Templates

Create standardized Templates for common project types and tasks.

This helps in preserving institutional knowledge and ensures consistency in how projects are executed.

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3. Promote Sharing with Comments

Encourage team members to use the commenting feature in ClickUp to share insights, ask questions, and provide feedback.

This not only enhances collaboration but also creates a record of collective knowledge that everyone can access.


Outcomes for Seequent

With ClickUp, Seequent successfully centralized all knowledge sharing and documentation; increasing process efficiency and boosting productivity.

Today, Seequent’s CX team is looking to expand ClickUp to other areas of the business so more employees can simplify work and get more done.

+50%

increase in resource management efficiency

2X

increase in teamwork efficiency

Victoria Berryman Headshot

Victoria BerrymanMarketing Operations Manager at Seequent

“Having our team’s process documentation and task management in one place helps us save time searching for things. It also provides us with one single source of truth for information."

Seequent logo

The ROI of Operational Excellence

ClickUp Star


With a renewed focus on efficiency in today's organizations, return on investment (ROI) from operational excellence is more critical than ever.

As organizations strive to align their strategic objectives with operational efficiency, measuring the impact in concrete terms becomes essential.

With ClickUp, companies have transformed their operational landscape, with measurable improvements across various dimensions of their business operations, including:

  • time savings
  • cost reductions
  • tool consolidation
  • enhancements in productivity, collaboration, and visibility

3+ hours saved weekly

by 60.2% of customers

3 or more tools replaced

by 40.9% of customers using ClickUp

54.7% report money saved

by switching to ClickUp

96.7% report better efficiency

as a result of using ClickUp

87.9% report better collaboration

as a result of their teams using ClickUp

87.5% report improved visibility

as a result of using ClickUp

The stories and statistics show how crucial it is for PMOs to focus on setting the right goals, building a supportive culture, and smoothing out processes so that everything runs better.

Creating an environment where everyone is clear about what’s expected and works together well can lead to big improvements in how things get done.

By using tools like ClickUp to help with visibility and coordination, organizations not only get more efficient, they also become better places to work.

Next Steps