Asana Implementation Process: Best practices and lessons learned from different companies

productivity
projects

#1

The implementation of new software in a company is always a hard challenge. No doubt!

I felt I should write about this topic, because I have implemented Asana in a couple of companies over the last years, from very small startups over SMB to big corporations with several thousand employees.
During these implementations I had to handle many stakeholders and all had their own concerns and requirements. Making the implementation an interesting and challenging endeavour.

After studying Industrial Engineering and Management in Germany and at Dartmouth College/ Tuck School (USA), I worked as Head of Performance Marketing in several companies and consulted many ventures for Rocket Internet, a startup incubator based in Berlin.
Usually the organization in online marketing departments is very poor, especially in South East Asia and Latin America and therefore a lot of power is lost and not brought onto the street. To change that and to unleash the power of these teams is one of my challenges :slight_smile:

To help you out there I want to share some of my best practices and lessons learned.

I know it is a long article, but trust me, you will find some good points in here and it will save you a lot of hassle.

I am especially interested in your feedback: @Alexis, @Todd_Cavanaugh, @paulminors, @James_Carl

Outline of the implementation process:

There can be two reasons why a software like Asana should be introduced:
The supervisor/manager wants to improve effectiveness and efficiency and therefore, wants to introduce a project management tool like Asana.
The employees themselves have realized they need a project management tool to enhance their teamwork.

The first case has the advantage that you have the support of the supervisor, but usually they have expectations which are not in line with reality. My supervisors often thought, we just subscribe to the premium Asana, send out an email to the employees and they will teach themselves how to use Asana, meet each other to come up with a convention how to work together etc. When I worked in startups, at least a few employees read a bit of the Asana guide and tried to improve, even in their free time but it was a small minority and in a big corporation I worked in recently, nobody was willing to read about Asana by themselves, these people need personal trainings. Do it or fail.

To implement Asana in a company, does not matter the size, it is important to have a responsible implementation manager and a thoughtful implementation process. Countless IT implementation projects fail, because they lack it.

I will mention examples especially from two companies I worked in. Home24, which is the leading European e-commerce shop for furniture with around 500 employees. Around 3 months after starting the implementation, more than 200 people were using Asana. The other company is REWE Digital, a subsidiary of the REWE group which has more than 300.000 employees in Europe and is mainly active in the grocery industry as well as the Do it Yourself industry. REWE Digital is responsible for all digital activities of the REWE Group. I started implementing Asana in April 2016 and around one year later, there were also close to 200 employees enjoying it. In both companies I managed to convince far more than the marketing employees to use the tool resulting in a very efficient cross-department work.

So how did I do it in the past and introduced Asana successfully to many companies, improving the work life of hundreds of people.

1. Kick-off meeting with manager/supervisor who wants to introduce Asana

First of all, I always clarify the objectives. What does he want to have in the end? Which pain points shall be solved? Only if you know what your objective is you can be successful and measure it.
Secondly, I clarify what the current status is of project management. Which tools are used? Has every team their own tools? This was for instance the case in most of the bigger companies, and therefore I needed to put in much effort to convince and show the different teams the advantages of Asana for them and for cross-department work. Starting from a green field is much easier, than convincing people to let go the tool they are used to.
I also clarify what the requirements are. Until now all requirements of the supervisors like reporting, Gantt-Charts etc. could be solved with Asana.
Next thing I discuss is the scope. How many departments are supposed to work with Asana? What kind of work shall be done in Asana. For instance, at Home24 in the beginning the scope was just the marketing department with around 50 employees, but we figured out that there are numerous projects with the Onsite department (A/B testing, UX, UI), the Category Management department and of course the IT department. So there was a scope and an extended nice-to have scope, because the manager who wanted to introduce Asana was the CMO of Home24, so he could not decide for the other departments of course. Since we got the support of one board member later, it was easier to convince the other department heads (read more about it in the next chapter about “Meetings with Stakeholders”).
Another very important point is, which past attempts have been happened regarding software and especially project management implementation. Why did it fail? What were the learnings? In the case of Home24, it was difficult. There have been numerous attempts to introduce software, project management as well as generic online marketing and data analysis software. For reasons like, bad implementation process, a lack in responsibility and trainings, it usually did not work, and once you come up with the agenda point “we introduce a new software” most employees were just saying “it will not work” and you have no support. Such an environment is more often than you might think - but, it is still possible to convince these people, and after they had realized that this time with the Asana implementation we avoided all these common pitfalls, there feedback was overwhelming.
Next point I discuss with the manager, is which Asana model is the best. It is usually Premium in the beginning, for corporations with higher security demands it is the Enterprise edition. If managers hesitate and are not sure about the tool in the beginning, I go with the free version as long as possible. But usually money is not the problem as long as you can convince your manager about the benefits.

One of the most important topics to discuss with the manager is the stakeholder management! I discuss deeply, which stakeholders are in the company regarding a project management software implementation. Since everyone has its own requirements and concerns. It is very important to discuss with all of them to have them on your side and to have their active support during the implementation process. More on this in the following chapter.

2. Meetings with Stakeholders

As mentioned, invest the time and speak to all stakeholders to get their support! If these people try to sabotage you, your Asana implementation will fail.

So here is a list of some key stakeholders you need to talk to:

Employees in your teams:
Before communicating anything like you want to implement a new project management software, ask your teams: How do they think about current project management? What are the pain points? How would an ideal solution look like? Why has a better solution not implemented yet? What do they see as obstacle on the road to implementation.
At Home24, I did this first with the team leads, e.g. Head of SEA, head of SEO, head of Display Marketing and so on. After ensuring I had their support I went on to their employees. This way I ensured, that the team leads were already on my side, supporting me when their team members were complaining about the next software implementation :slight_smile:

IT/ data protection officer:
The bigger the company, the more guidelines are there. For instance at REWE Digital, no new software could be introduced without the approval of the data protection officer. Especially for cloud software were the data is stored in the United States it is very difficult to convince data protection officers in Germany. Moreover, there was a recommendation of another project management tool for marketing. So I needed to show them that the current tool does not meet the requirements of my departments in order to get the IT approval to introduce Asana.
Moreover, I explained how to connect their tools like JIRA to Asana.
At Home24 I implemented a companywide process between all Product Managers and marketing managers. The current feedback and request process was like not existing. If a marketing manager needed the help of a programmer, he send an email to the PM or the developer himself, ending in chaos. I implemented a shared Asana project with a template task, which needed to be filled from marketing managers. Every new request was prioritized from PMs and it was transparent for everyone which request would be solved in which spring. This was a release for all involved people and saved countless complaints via email and in personal form.

Management Board of the company:
At REWE Digital I even needed to present why we need Asana in front of all directors, because the IT department said, they do not want to have an additional project management software in the company, since we had JIRA, Trello and some other smaller tools. Such a meeting required a lot of research about the directors (which position do they have, what is important to them, how to best convince them with what kind of arguments). Usually, something like this is not needed in a tech start up since people know about the importance of the right software for every department, but in big corporations, this step is crucial. Try to get 1on1s before with key directors to get their support.

Other department heads your teams work together with.
Like mentioned, meet with the other departments you have shared projects and ask how they organize the project management. Are they satisfied with the current collaboration? How would the ideal situation look like? And then present Asana as the solution, explaining detailed how it will solve every single issue.
If you have there commitment to support you and to work also with Asana, it is much easier to convince your own team!
If some of them do not want to collaborate, usually for political reasons you can still go the way via their supervisors. At REWE Digital I could convince one managing director that many departments would benefit if this one department would also start using Asana. Afterwards he sent an email to the department head letting him know he needed to start using Asana and improve collaboration with other teams. Of course, use this as last resort, always try to convince people in the beginning without using pressure.

In the end you need an Asana Champion in every team and department. For instance, at Home24 I defined an Asana Responsible manager in the IT team, the Onsite department as well as the Category Management team. I developed the solutions and processes in Asana we needed and these people convinced their teams about Asana.

3. Meeting with manager/supervisor who wants to introduce Asana or a project management tool

Present your findings and your implementation roadmap to your supervisor. Show him the key obstacles and tell him how he can support you. It is also good to manage expectation. Given the amount of stakeholders with all their concerns, you know by now how easy or difficult it will be.
You also need to agree on a communication plan with him. What shall be when and how often via which medium communicated. A software implementation is a crucial process and it is very important to inform your employees properly about what is going to happen and why.
I usually do a kick-off with all employees in person, where I mentioned detailed why we are introducing Asana, how every team member will benefit and how we ensure a proper training and support. Afterwards I send out a weekly newsletter with a summary what has happened, some key successes to inspire people how other employees saved time with Asana, which trainings will come next week and of course always mentioned the Asana Champions which are the first contacts for employees if they have a question.

4. Setting up basic Asana workspace

Based on the collected requirements from all stakeholders I set up the basic Asana workspace. Usually this involves the teams which participate in the beginning and some projects like roadmaps and recurring tasks.

5. Training for Lead Users (future Asana Champions)

I found it very beneficial if you start rolling out Asana not to every employee in the beginning, but to start with some early adopters, where you can be sure they like the software and will be able to adapt their processes and migrate all their tasks to Asana. Especially in a big company, where you have older people, which are afraid of a new software, it is important, that you do not start with them because they will try to block the migration. They need to see, that other people made the transition to Asana, and they have no choice but to switch too. This first lead user migration is also your first success story you should use to promote Asana especially to stakeholders which are not convinced yet :slight_smile:
More on how to do a training for Beginners later in chapter 7.

6. Feedback meeting with Lead Users

After around one week you meet your early adopters again. Gather all their feedback. When I did this, everyone of them had great ideas how to adopt Asana to the company processes. Try to integrate these already in Asana to make it as easy as possible for the other employees. Moreover, mention exactly theses examples, how Asana will work with and improve the current processes, when you train the other employees. This step will get rid of a lot of potential obstacles.
Tell your lead users how they can support the other employees in the future. Moreover, It is important that you as overall responsible implementation manager are always there for questions. For instance, at Home 24 I had numerous people at my desk every day asking me about to do certain things in Asana. If I would not have helped them immediately, they would have thought, that certain things are not feasible with Asana. But due to my immediate help, their work flow was not interrupted and they could improve their Asana use when they were motivated. It was very satisfying to see how the complexity of the questions improved over time, it started with how to create a recurring task, went on over multi-homing sub-tasks in different projects until using custom fields and so on.
The Asana implementation will take a decent amount of time, so tell your supervisor that you need to shift some other projects of your “normal“ work.

7. Training for every normal user

Once the basic Asana workspace is set up and the first feedback from your lead users is integrated you need to start to train employees. Do not expect, that people teach themselves, read the Asana Guide in their free time or anything like this. Most employees do not, if they do not find a way to do something in Asana, they will give up.
Therefore, and to guarantee that all people will use Asana, you need to train them. And it is crucial that you have the support of the managers in your company, that they agree to invest the needed time.

I did countless trainings in the past years and I suggest to do different trainings for certain user groups.
I suggest the following trainings: Beginners, Advanced, Experts, Team Leads, Asana Champions and Asana Admins.
A special training for Team leads and executives is required since they have different requirements like following-up on tasks and reporting and you need to emphasize that they shall not use Asana to “spy” on their employees, which is a major concern from employees.

I will write another post about the different trainings and the content in the future.

8. Workshop for Asana Convention

Once all employees are working with Asana you will realize that people are using it in different ways. For instance I found that some teams avoid using assignees are due dates, or they use duplicates instead of multi-homing tasks in different projects.
To ensure people get not annoyed about Asana, you should do a workshop to agree about an Asana convention.
These are points to agree about:

I will write a detailed post about this topic in the future.

9. Workspace Audits

It does not matter how many trainings you give, people are people and some will use Asana like agreed and some will not. So I found it helpful to run some Workspace Audits from time to time e.g. after 2, 4 and 12 weeks.
During this Audit I check every Asana Team how they do. Are they following the Asana Convention or not? Do I see common mistakes? I collect everything in a spreadsheet and later do 1on1s with the team leads to educate and help them.
It is important not to do this in public and let it become a public blaming event. Every team will make mistakes and I made the experience that most team leads were quite thankful for further tips about their specific issues and how to save time. Never forget, everyone is quite busy and getting used to a new software plus migrating the whole workflow costs time.

10. Best Practice meetings and celebrate success

After some time you should held a meeting where chosen people from different departments should present how they are using Asana and how it made their life easier. This has 2 functions, first it is good to celebrate successes and to share some beer with colleagues, secondly the teams will learn from each other and it will drive cross-team work.
At Home24 it conjured a big smile on my face, when the SEO team explained how much better their cross-department work was going on with Asana, 2 months before they had been the strongest obstacle in Asana implementation within the marketing team :slight_smile:

I know this is a long post and I did not even mention all the details about how to do the trainings for your employees, but I think a good implementation process is crucial for the implementation of Asana and worth discussing here.

Looking forward for your feedback!!

Best
Sebastian


Remembering to Use Asana + Daily Reports
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#2

Wow, @Sebastian_Paasch, this is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this.


#3

:+1: Nice, and I definitely agree with the need for in-depth training!


#4

Hi @Sebastian_Paasch. Wow indeed! Thank you for sharing such detailed thoughts on the Asana implementation process. I particularly like that you emphasize celebrating successes and I like how thoughtful and deliberate you are with each of these steps.

Follow up questions

  • Could you clarify your role for us? Have you been an employee at these companies leading the charge on changing tools? Or are you an Asana consultant or productivity consultant?
  • What does a training entail for you? Most of the time are you introducing your clients to Asana or are they hiring you for this purpose? If you are introducing people to Asana, how do you usually get buy-in that this is the best tool?
  • It sounds like trainings must take a lot of time for you! We created a scaled training program for this purpose. I highly recommend that you visit Asana’s Fundamentals Trainings if you haven’t already.
  • Could you share more o how you respond to employees who resist the change? What are they key points of resistance and how do you convert them from resisters to Asana advocates?
  • With REWE Digital - you mention that you got to 200 paying users. Wow! What did the Asana activity look like for these users and how did you usher them from not using Asana to using it regularly?
  • How do you loop employees into defining the conventions for using Asana? Did they play any part in defining these “rules”?

Thank you for being so thoughtful about this. What a helpful post for this Community! :sunny:


#5

Thanks for sharing all this insight @Sebastian_Paasch. I like your approach of gradually introducing and training more and more people (rather then just releasing it to everyone at once).


#6

HI @Alexis,

Thank you for the feedback. Appreciate it :blush:

To celebrate successes is definitely needed, since in worklife so many people just concentrate on the negative thinks and failure. For instance, every morning when I start work, I concentrate on three things which were positive on the day before and drove a smile in my face. Afterwards I write them down, so I ensure that I start with a positive mindset into the day :slight_smile:

I was a full-time employee at these companies (Home24, REWE Digital) but I also worked as Online Marketing consultant for Rocket Internet (startup incubator and Asana customer) and their ventures across the globe.
At Home24 and REWE Digital I was working in leading marketing roles and was working part-time on introducing Asana at the same time. But I think, it is definitely a full-time job especially if you have a German cooperation with all its stakeholders :wink:
However, I also started as part-time consultant for Asana recently, since I saw the need in many German companies, especially since there is no support in German.

I will write a detailed post about this in the future. But let me give you a sneak peek:

I learned that I had the best chances to win and spark new users, when I start with collecting their pain points with the current set up, e.g. too many differen tools, lack in functionality, lack in unicorns :fearful:
I write everything down on a flipchart and afterwards I show them, how all these pain points can be solved using Asana.… This is usually an AHA moment for most users and they say things like "If it is so easy, why haven’t we done it earlier?"
And if you show at the end of the beginners training the unicorns :unicorn: and cats :heart_eyes_cat: , at least the women are all over Asana :smile:
That people have fun while working is important.

Yes this one is good, but most people do not use or read it :frowning: . Moreover, I tried several trainings with Asanas customer success managers. But there are two main issues: 1. it is only in English and 2. it is only via web conference. I figured out that it is much more convincing if you do it person. People can see you, as a trainer you can better react to people, there are countless benefits.
And if a supervisor says, Asana is that important, that every team member can invest a couple of work hours/days to learn it, it also shows everyone that this is a real game cahnger!
Since I only did it part-time I trained Asana Champions in every department, and they trained new employees in their departments:

First of all, you have to accept, that there are always around 10% of haters, I am a big Tim Ferris fan and he is experiencing the same, it does not matter what he does, there are always 10% of haters you cannot convince. So simply accepting it and concentrating on the people you can help is the first step of the solution and makes life easier :relaxed:

So what I do is, I always identify the early adopters and train them first. They function as Asana Ambassadors (AA) in the company and spark other people. And people who are not convinced in the beginning or I strugle to convince see their colleagues how they save time and project management makes more fun… This is the best argument.
And if people are against Asana I ask very specifily for the reasons and find solutions inside Asana, of course it has also happended that I needed 2-3 days of thinking to find a feasible solution, but in the end it also happended. It is so funny to see what kind of questions some people can develope.
And then we presented these findings in the “Celebrating Success Meetings”. And if the other obstructors see, that someone’s worklife has become more easy due to Asana despite the fact he was against it in the beginning, this helps a lot.
Some reasons which are always mentioned against Asana are:

  • We already have a tool, JIRA or Trello is enough
  • The former software implementation also failed
  • The time investment to introduce a new tool is too big
  • Another place to update projects besides tools, Excel, emails etc.
  • … and countless others

In the end, the aswer is easy: Make their worklife easier and more fun with :unicorn::unicorn::unicorn:!

Very similar to the measures above. One important additional aspect was, that I convinced team leads to also use Asana for their reporting etc. so it really saved time. It is a key abstacle if team leads do not use it and want to have reportings and overviews in Excel etc. because then it is double work for employees.

Definitely they should play a role, if you are allowed to define it by yourself, you are much more likely to stick to it and obey it :slight_smile:
So usually after a couple of weeks, and once every one is used to live in Asana, I organize a workshop to define the convention e.g. checking Asana at least once a day, if a topic is too complicated discuss it in person, always have an assignee etc.

Yes, and it also makes the workload feasible :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In the end I am convinced that in non-IT departments we need something like Scrum-Masters, people who are responsible for the overall project management and happiness in the team - we need Asana Happiness Masters :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks for all the feedback so far!

Best,
Sebastian


#7

Thanks for adding this detail, Sebastian! It looks like you have a very thoughtful approach to your work. A few things stand out to me - it definitely takes a lot of dedication to do what you’re doing and I respect your work ethic. I like your approach for identifying early adopters as Asana ambassadors. And lastly I completely agree that a key to adoption that really makes Asana stick with people is tangibly seeing how someone’s work life has been improved by the product.

An aside - I have a similar morning routine that focuses on positivity and gratitude! I use the 5 minute journal. :slight_smile:


#8

@Sebastian_Paasch, do you have a list of some of the reasons/questions you note in this quote and your responses? I’m sure many of us deal with the same questions and your responses would be helpful.

BTW, great information in both your posts! I really like the idea of champions.


#9

@Sebastian_Paasch - This is absolutely incredible — and so thoughtful!
I’m one of Asana’s Implementation Managers and found myself nodding along as I read this! :smile:
I’d love to know more about the workspace audits you’d conduct — Are there certain things that jump out to you as not following the conventions (e.g. past due tasks, emails instead of comments, etc)? I’d love to know how you’re digging in in that phase!

Again, thanks for the detailed note. This is epic.


#10

Hello @Shannon_McNeil,

Thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it :blush:

Workspace Audits are important from my point of view to guarantee long term success of Asana implementation and to guarantee the compliance of the agreed Asana Convention.
It is also a great situation to further help people to integrate their processes into Asana.

I did this the first time when I worked at Home24, see the screenshot below:

So how to read it:

  • Green means everything is OK

  • Yellow means there are some smaller issues e.g. sometimes assignees are missing, or some tasks are over due which is ofter the case :slight_smile:

  • Red means there are some big issues e.g. important projects are missing, people do not stick to agreed Asana Convention

  • The color coding is to ensure that the manager and I can see easily where we have to fix first - high level overview

  • Inside the cells you find details for a better feedback, because specific feedback has more impact - and I also tell people what they are doing good and encourage them to share their best practices!

So how is the process:

  • I fill out the basics in the sheet template, which you will find below. Basics are the different departments/ teams, the responsible heads, if these people had previous Asana experience and which trainings they and there teams have participated in

  • Then the real work takes place and I dig deep into the team with their projects and tasks: I look for issues which are usually no assignees, no due dates or past due dates, missing objectives and pros and cons in task descriptions, missing files attached, important tasks not in the roadmap etc… ; And I check other things which we have agreed on in the Asana Convention Workshop.

  • Afterwards, I do 1on1s with the team leads, I find it important not to do a public blaming email with all the issues etc. the Results of the Workspace Audits are for the overall manager and me only. In the 1on1s I ask the heads about their experience so far with Asana and give them some feedback. During these 1on1s most of the heads asked very specific questions how they can implement certain processes into Asana which we will also clarify during the meeting if an immediate solution is obvious :astonished:

  • I encourage the heads to share their learnings and best practices in a “Success or best practice meetings” since this keeps the “Momentum” alive

Such a Workspace Audit should be done ideally after 2, 4 and 12 weeks.

Workspace Audit template (is constantly adapted and improved):

At REWE Digital, I did not have time to do these Workspace Audits and it resulted in: People not sticking to the Convention, teams using Asana differently, many overdue tasks or not assigned tasks :dizzy_face:

I hope this helps!

@paulminors, @Todd_Cavanaugh Since you two are also doing Workspace Audits, what is your opinion about it? What do you do differently? How often do you do it?

All the best,
Sebastian


#11

@Sebastian_Paasch very interesting approach, thanks for sharing.

I agree, it’s important to audit your account, particularly after just getting started, to make sure you have everything set up correctly and important details like assignee’s/due dates added to tasks.

From here, I like to keep things quite simple. Set up a recurring task to review the project set up on a regular (monthly/quarterly) basis. I also encourage people to review and tidy their mytasks and any important projects as part of closing out the week (again, this can be set up as a recurring task).


#12

@alexis Like the look of that 5 minute journal will get one for my Wife…

@Sebastian_Paasch Thanks So much for the fabulous post and the ideas and detail you have put into it. Makes great reading and I will be definitely looking at putting some of your approach in place…

Jason.


#13

Many thanks, @Sebastian_Paasch. This is an incredibly useful post. We’re currently rolling out Asana to our team, and I’m relieved to see that we’ve already done some of the things you’ve suggested. We have a number of sub-teams, and getting one person from each of those on-board and trained early on has been key to a (so far!) successful roll-out.

We’ve also set up a Top tips and FAQs project, which has been a useful way of heading off concerns and answering common questions early on.

I’ll definitely take your advice in other areas as we move forward. Thanks again for sharing all of this.


#14

@Sebastian_Paasch, whoa. This is awesome! Thank you!

I’m curious how you were able to push past objections regarding JIRA and more robust reporting. Asana is an excellent tool, but as mentioned in previous posts by many others, it’s not quite there in regards to reporting. My management team requires more advanced insight into what’s happening with projects, where and why delays are occurring, and at risk projects (to name a few). They also need the ability to see the potential consequences of pushing a deadline back (specifically using GANTT charts) and a report on the full history of when a project was supposed to start vs. when it was actually completed.

All that said, with your experience, how would you respond to these stakeholder’s concerns/requests?


#15

HI @Dan_Olson,

We need to accept that JIRA is still more powerful and usually better suited for IT teams, at least the IT teams I have worked with so far. So I do not argue with IT teams that they should switch to Asana.
BUT if the IT team says, you (the non-IT teams) do not need Asana because you can work with JIRA or JIRA Core, which was created for non IT teams, I say no.
I ask them why they love JIRA, and they say “It is a perfect fit for IT teams with all the tools and the marketplace”, and I say “yes, and exactly this is Asana for non-IT teams, plus it has a UI/design people like to work with”, and this aspect of liking the tool is quite important and underestimated by so many managers. But everyone can easily relate to it, what you do not like, you do not use!
People need to accept that different teams have different requirements for their tools, so we need different tools. And if the same people then say, we have data silos, I say no, with tools like Unito or Tray.io everything stays in sync. So before proposing these hypothesis people should do their research.

For a coder, and I coded myself during my studies, the UI of a project management tool is not important usually, I mean if you take a look at JIRA you know what I mean, but for non-IT people it is. And if I look at JIRA Core, which is basically JIRA with less functionality, so that non-IT people do not freak out, it is not exiting people - it does not spark to realize ideas. So among other reasons they will not really use it. But if not everybody uses it, you need to use JIRA Core together with email, other tools and so on, consequently it will not save time but will create more confusion.
Asana is sexy and especially fun things like :heart: and :unicorn: make people smile. And this is an important point to get peoples buy-in.

After having said this, I would ask your supervisors, what is most important to you:

  1. That you have a perfect report of projects which have not be finished in time, because people lost overview and motivation.
  2. Or do you want to have a decent 80% report about a project which was accomplished in time with people smiling, because everyone likes to use the same tool.

And if the answer is 1. - then I would start thinking if you want to work for this manager :slight_smile:

Yes, but the current reporting especially combined with add-ons like Instagantt and SprintBoards makes the reporting sufficient for most managers.

Here applies something from product teams, they say, do not ask customers for specific features, ask them what they need - but find the solution/feature on your own. Because customers often ask for features, but they do not know if it is the one to fulfill their needs at its best and they do not know the interdependencies with other product features.
So I would ask your manager, what do they need to see and know at which time and most important what would they do with the information! I my last years in different companies, I have seen douzens of different reports which took hours in creation and where not used at all, more worse, most people did not understand them.
This led to a awesome decision of one of my former supervisors. He once asked in the weekly meetings about all our standard reports we created every week a and month and the ones which no one read - surprise :slight_smile: - or no one took actions on, were simply not produced anymore. And guess what? We had plenty of hours more every week to get things done!
So create a quarterly recurring task and add it to your “Recurring Tasks Project” to question reports: Do we use them? Does the benefit justify the time to create? What was the last important decision we tool based on this report?

This is possible with https://www.instagantt.com/

This can be simply added as info in the project description or in a project conversation if managers are afraid that someone might “edit” the dates.

If managers want to much reporting and do not trust their employees enough I usually recommend this book here: Leading with the Brain: The 7 Neurobiological Factors to Boost Employee Satisfaction and Business Results . It shows based on experience and many scientific studies how not trusting your people results in dumber and demotivated people.
The solution is easy, trust and empower your people and they will be more happy and more productive.

I hope this helps,
Sebastian


#16

@Sebastian_Paasch, thank you so much for the insight here. This is excellent information. I’m seeing many similarities in the scenarios you are describing relating to reporting behaviors and agree 100%. Many of the features that have been requested have already proven to be unhelpful. In fact, our team has already decided to move away from Liquid Planner :joy:.

Here’s where I’m at:

  • Someone else wanted to take a crack at finding the solution, so I bowed out. Whew! :relieved:
  • I’m going to continue using Asana for my projects and lead by example. When they see how I manage projects, maintain deadlines, and follow through on action items, they may just ask me how I do it!

Thanks again for this info - really great stuff.


How does one prevent due date changes by other team members?
#17

Just curious, how does our team get in touch with you about team trainings?


#18

Hi Jeff,

First of all very welcome to the Asana Community, I saw you just joined.
If you want to discuss further details regarding your Asana setup best is if you write me an email:
sebastian@asana-consulting.com

Best,
Sebastian


#19

For what it’s worth, we’d also love to see the conversations about Asana here in the Community! The more knowledge sharing and peer to peer learning we can have here, the better. :heart_eyes:


#20

@Mark_Hudson Would you be willing to share your Top Tips or FAQs?