Leveraging Asana for high-level project summary, with many teams in a department, how to leverage Asana?

productivity
projects
customer-feedback
request
status-updates
team-work
organization

#1

Today Asana only has a concept of “Organization” as in “Company”, and has no concept of Company->Departments->Teams, which does not lend itself well to giving a department/org insight into teams/projects going on within their entire area of focus. As far as I understand Organization == Company in Asana when using SSO.

The team I work with is growing quickly, and department leadership is looking for a way to see active projects within multiple teams at a high level. An operations department would be 4-6 teams, each with individual projects.

1 - How would a department/org leadership best leverage Asana to get insight into project progression, in a monthly review meeting for example?
2 - Has there been thought put into how Asana can help manage a more structure of Company-to-Organization(s)-to-Team(s)?

Today, if I were running a meeting for my teams in which I wanted to walk through each team and their projects to get an update from them, I would need to be a member of all teams to find the projects, and then click individually through each project to have the teams talk through status.

What I would really love to see:
1 - A department-to-teams-to-projects structure
1.1 - Many teams can exist within a department/org, that exist within a company

2 - A project summary page, where one can quickly view all projects within the department or team
2.1 - Each project has a high level status, priority, due date, last updated, etc.
2.2 - Top-level project updates, where a report can be submitted and is emailed to all team members, and stored historically for viewing.
2.3 - Project updates would also easily viewable within the project summary page, click to pop-up most recent project report.

It would be great to leverage Asana for these types of scenarios, in terms of overall project upkeep, reports, status, etc., but at the moment it does see to be lacking in that area but would appreciate any feedback that could be given for future plans.

Thanks!
Simon


#2

Asana of course will answer your question but from my experience I would be surprised if another hierarchy is added. There has been some discussion of adding something equivalent to stacks like Evernote uses to organize projects. As you know the structure currently is:

Organization
Team
Project
Sections
Tasks
Subtasks

My immediate reaction is to consider prefixes and/or custom fields. Use an easily identified Prefix as the name of the Department or possible the Team within the Department. An example would be ACTY for Accounting Department and maybe there is an Asana Team called ACTY| Annual Audit. Your could decide to not use the Asana Team level for department but instead your Team with a prefix. You could also use Asana Teams as Departments like you do but put a Prefix on the name of Projects that identify the Department for better reference. You can also be creative with custom fields to identify your definition of Team. Just remember my link Team and Project Name Duplication Problems With Team and Project Conversation Email Address (Warning if you plan on using Team or Project Conversations. There are many suggestions on reporting. I have touched on a couple Managing/Prioritizing/Reporting A LOT of Projects in Asana Managing/Prioritizing/Reporting A LOT of Projects in Asana but certainly there are other ways.

Sounds like you also would compliment all with a number of Saved Favorites in Advanced Searches.

The book I referenced is very good. I do not know your business but do you have to review every Team and Project in detail or do you have trusted managers that can report your “Stucks” while you still being able to review as much detail as you desire individually. Seems like it would be a long meeting to go into so much detail. Many look at the available hierarchy outside of Organization as a number count of levels available and Custom Fields as an additional level. Hope some of this helps.


#3

Hi @SimonT - nice to e-meet you! I’m the community manager at Asana. Thanks for your thoughtful post. We have lots to talk about!

I’ll start by saying +1 to @James_Carl’s suggestions for project prefix and custom fields, in addition to saving advanced searches for reporting purposes. I’ll elaborate.

Overall, it seems like what you describe is generally possible in Asana today, with the exception of things like the pop up. That’s a great suggestion! To clarify, you can currently search for and access projects that belong to teams you’re not a member of.

Regarding team setup, I suggest the following:

  • You describe your company as having an ops department with 4-6 teams with their own projects. I suggest that you create an Asana team for each team in your ops department. In addition, create an Asana team for your Ops department as a whole for more high level conversations and visibility. This is how we do it on the CS team at Asana. We have a CS team in Asana, but we also have a Customer Ops team in Asana that includes members of CS, Support, Sales, and Marketing.

  • To get high level insight into projects for a review meeting, I suggest that (to James’ point) you use Advanced Search, Dashboards, and Status Updates in projects, and the projects themselves. This is what we do at Asana, as well! If I’m going into a meeting to describe what’s happening with the Community program, I’m going to have a tab open with my Community Roadmap project, my most recent status updates, and the progress chart from my Community Roadmap project. I have a practice of giving status updates every couple weeks, so everyone on my team is up to date on my work. This has become especially helpful when I need to remember what I’ve accomplished in the last few months or even the last few weeks!

  • …Someone who’s interested in knowing the status of lots of projects on my team - my boss, for example - might leverage the resources I just listed, in addition to a unique Dashboard with all the projects our team is working on. Lastly, we might also save an advanced search for all tasks on the CS team that are due within the next two weeks. I highly recommend advanced search for a truly customized overview of your team’s work.

Please let us know if you have any follow up questions and we’ll be happy to help!


#4

Hi @SimonT

Welcome to the community.

I completely see were you are coming from.

The “problem” your are trying to solve is somewhat similar to what is being discussed here:Creating a Reference Project in Asana and other places.

But your addition is really great.

What do you think of the ideas i present here:A better Dashboard for high level overview

/Peter