How did you get your team started with Asana?


#1

Before I joined Asana I was the Asana champion at my company, but I didn’t know how to convert the rest of my team. I’m sure many of you can relate to that feeling!

  • To all you Asana champions, how have you converted your team and gotten them excited about Asana?

  • To those of you who have become Asana users thanks to a teammate, what worked for you and what motivated you to get on board?


#2

I, too, am an champion in my team! :slight_smile:

We have too many trackers before - Excel documents and Sharepoint lists. So I converted one of them to an Asana project and invited the team. So initially, it’s like I forced them into using Asana. :smiling_imp: But moving forward, I constantly talk to them (either one by one or as a group) about how to do things in Asana (pros and cons) and also get their feedback. Little by little, I make them realize that the team collaboration is improving, and Asana is actually making our work more fun. :slight_smile:

Now, most of our tasks are in Asana.


#3

I still struggle with this a bit. I’m definitely the Asana champion at our company of ~100 people and feel that we’d all be much better off and more organized if more Projects / Tasks were done within Asana. Still, some people see it as yet another place to look for information and another system to learn.

To help with this, I’ve done training sessions with each department, which has resulted in each team having 1-2 things that they use it for. For example, our legal team uses it as a contract pipeline management tool.

My next steps are to figure out ways to have Asana be used more cross-functionally across the entire company and multiple teams, but it’s a slow process.


#4

@allen it sounds like making it clear to people that you were an Asana resource and there to help was a big factor in your team’s success. This is great! And now your team can find more Asana people to help them here in the Community! I encourage you to invite them to visit the Community - maybe we can even help take some extra work off your plate. :slight_smile:

@drewshannon I love that you’re hosting trainings and being a resource for your team. Easing people into Asana with 1-2 projects sounds like a good technique. I also think that your cross functional angle could be a very successful one. When people understand that Asana can help remove the pain of struggling to keep everyone accountable and on the same page across teams, I bet it will stick!

If you’re looking for an anecdote, you could even use this Community as an example. Making this Community a reality was the definition of the cross functional effort! I am the community manager on the customer success team, but this program was created thanks to the work of Asana’s web development, design marketing, sales, support, and user experience teams (and more). We did (and still do) absolutely everything in Asana and collaborated to build the Community in a Community Planning project. Different teams, such as the web development team, were able to multi home tasks from the Community project to their web dev sprint projects, so they could schedule their work accordingly. The pain of working across teams was eliminated because we were all on the same page and we were all held accountable….but I know I don’t need to convince you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#5

@paulminors and Terry Lee from MeUndies also have some great tips on this, and you can check them out in our webinar recordings here:


#6

I am pushing asana every day, moving communication off email and in asana, making sure that everyone knows that if they need something from me they need to use asana.

I think that one of the biggest obstacle I have found in introducing my teams to asana is the personal organisation of every person.

The main obstacle for me is the “My Tasks” section. I tend to work on mine every morning to have clear in mind what I need to do, by keeping it very minimal. The biggest resistances I have found so far are all there:

  • All the tasks in “New Tasks” (complaints: I can’t find anything)
  • 200 tasks in “Today” (complaints: I have so many things to do that I end doing nothing)

I believe that by organising the My Tasks, asana is amazing, but without a specific structure teams tend to see it as an additional tool for noise.
IMHO Starting with teams will be MUCH EASIER to convince people that asana makes life easier.

(any suggestion on how to make it is more than welcome)

Ciao
Carlo


#7

We started with a few “early tester” users to anticipate questions and see what people naturally started doing. Then, I built a project management template with the team director, who could then create accountability & authority for our team-wide launch.

I held trainings and created simple workflow documents (ex: Update Progress reports at X intervals, complete this step first, etc) and then held “open house” hours to create visible blocks of time to onboard together. Pairing this support with some basic adoption metrics that were then shared publicly helped build the case for Asana.

We’re seeing good adoption on the standardized task management / progress tracking in each project, which was our key goal, but less uptake on the individual project management side. We’ll see if that picks up as people get more comfortable and incorporate some of the tips noted above. One thing that has helped is pairing Asana with our previous systems, at least for the onboarding phase (like sending reminders on email, for instance).

Thanks for sharing everyone!


#8

One of the things that is working very well for new joiners is to add a how-to guide in a template task. When you duplicate a task, you have your knowledge base directly in the task you assign. In the beginning this is going to be an invaluable asset, especially if a task is repeated time after time.


#9

Thanks for all the great information here. Wish me luck, I’m introducing Asana to our team tomorrow!

I created a PowerPoint (I know) introduction for the topic to talk about why our current project management system isn’t working, what we need to make it better and how we can use Asana.

The presentation will end with a “next steps” which will include downloading the app, the onboarding checklists and a few assignments. I also strongly note how it will succeed (don’t be scared, respect schedules & meetings & COMMITMENT.)

We’ll have a follow-up meeting on the 28th where we’ll review how the first week went and then dive deeper into features, functionality and conventions.

Fingers crossed that everyone gets excited about it.


#10

As a PM who was new to our organization, I started out using Asana for me only, and working out project plan/task structures that matched up with our team’s project plan/spreadsheet/email timelines and activities. I just assigned every task to myself, although I created and named tasks as if they were for other people.

I shadowed our team’s work this way for a few weeks – it really helped me maintain my sanity because there was no real method in use for tracking what people were doing. (Other than of course the dreaded “status” spreadsheet that needed to be updated every day in order to be of any use.)

Once I felt comfortable that I understood the projects, the team members, the workflow, and what level of granularity was appropriate for tasks, I was able to just shift my team into Asana by actually assigning them the tasks I had been creating for them all along.

It took some hand-holding after the switch, but I felt that by having test-driven Asana this way, it gave the team more confidence that I wasn’t imposing something on them that I didn’t know would work.


#11

@Crystal_Alifanow good luck! This is an exciting moment. Based on your activity here and even reading how you plan to get your team started, it sounds like you’re very well prepared! I think your next steps with downloading the app, etc. sound great. I also know that some teams have been successful by hosting “Asana office hours” - so, as your team is getting started you might invite them to come by your desk once a week if they have questions.

To @Brian_Titus’ point, customers often have an “aha” moment when they assign someone a task. You might encourage everyone on the team to assign you and/or someone else a task to get in the rhythm of using Asana. It’s definitely scary to assign a task the first few times, so if you encourage people to assign tasks (and get their managers’ buy in for assigning these tasks), your team is much more likely to find value in the product.

Let us know how it goes!


#12

Good luck, @Crystal_Alifanow! I know how you feel. My whole team had new system fatigue, but we took a similar approach to you and most people have quickly embraced it. If it helps, the 2 most effective things we did were offering drop-in sessions for one-to-one support, and creating step-by-step instructions (plenty of screenshots) for using our templates.

It sounds like you’ve got it figured out. Knock 'em dead!


#13

Thanks @Alexis and @Mark_Hudson

I have pre-formatted some projects and tried to keep others’ work processes in mind but still, I cannot anticipate everyone else’s strategies and methods so there will still be a learning curve for all of us.

Their onboarding will include assigning tasks and such. I want them to begin dipping their toes in immediately. And I do offer 1-1 help along with links to the help guides.

I also have a reference project so that I can add in How-To info and details as needed.

I wish I didn’t need to kick it off on a Friday but unfortunately that’s when our meeting is required. I would think Mondays or Tuesdays would be an ideal launch day. Anyone else have thoughts on WHEN to strategically launch items to your team?


#14

I really like the reference project you’ve set up. I think I might be stealing that idea. :smiley:

We did our launch in a few stages. There was a small preview presentation, followed by a bigger, more detailed one at a whole-team event, then an email on the following Monday with sign-up details and links to the Asana quick start guides.

Friday is a tricky one, since people tend to experience a black hole in their memories over a weekend. But as long as you follow it up the next week, I think it’ll be fine.

You’ll have to post an update on here and let us know how it went.


#15

@Crystal_Alifanow How did your Asana launch go? Have people jumped on board in the first week?


#16

Hi @Mark_Hudson. The initial presentation was well received. There is still one old dog that will refuse to learn new tricks but I’m focusing on the positive and engaging users for now. :slight_smile:
The first week has been a little slow. A couple people are trying to dip their toes into it. A few others have needed gentle reminders to create the request in Asana rather than email but I think once everyone really spends some time in it, it will become a very valuable tool for us.


#17

Glad to hear it! We had a similar thing at first, where someone would email me to tell me they’d sent a message in Asana! They’ve got the hang of notifications now, so the Outlook overload has settled. Good luck with everything.


#18

Congrats on your success so far @Crystal_Alifanow! Sounds like you’re experiencing a slow and steady Asana onboarding process with your team, which is totally normal and sounds like progress to me. The more you can nudge people and remind them how Asana will make their work easier , the better off your team will be! I also recommend reading Asana’s newsletter emails and sharing them with your team. Our marketing team shares very helpful tips and tricks for how to use Asana in their newsletter emails and also on the blog. Here’s an example. Let us know if you have any other questions!


#20

I couldn’t open the MeUndies link, so wanted to leave the updated links (hopefully I got the right ones!) in case others like me come across this topic :slight_smile: