The Biggest Mistakes in Asana, and how to avoid them

The Biggest Mistakes in Asana, and how to avoid them.

As part of my consulting business, I help SME’s implement Asana, the collaborative Project Management platform. In this video I’m going to talk about some of the more common mistakes I see when working with clients. The idea being that with a little more planning and consideration of these things you can avoid some of these pitfalls. These are all people and process issues rather than the software so should be helpful to anyone considering implementing Asana.

00:00 – Intro
00:53 – Setting Up Asana
02:17 – Using Asana consistently
03:39 – Process vs Asana
04:53 – Any system is only as good as the data
05:45 – Collaboration not control
07:35 – Connect and Automate

Transcript

As part of my consulting business, I help SME’s implement Asana, the collaborative Project Management platform.
In this video I’m going to talk about some of the more common mistakes I see when working with clients. The idea being that with a little more planning and consideration of these things you can avoid some of these pitfalls.

These are all people and process issues rather than the software so should be helpful to anyone considering implementing Asana.

Mistake #1 – Not Setting up projects correctly.

Here it’s good to think about the structure of your work first before diving in an setting up your projects.
So what is a project, and where do sections, tasks and subtasks fit in. The trick is to try and keep things to the higher levels of projects sections and tasks. I often see people with too many subtasks and then looking for another level of detail beyond that. It would perhaps have been better to split the project up to try and raise the level of these details.

So its good practice at the start to take a review of all of the projects you’ll be setting up and consider how the tasks relate to projects, sections and tasks. {Switch to Asana view}

Mistake #2 Teams not using Asana consistently

Within reason, everyone in your organization should use Asana, but more importantly they should use it the same way. Ensure there’s consistency across teams and use custom fields, tags and task content in the same way. It’s really good to get the input of the key stakeholders before you start to implement Asana, and also good to go through a few short training sessions with each team to ensure that consistency.

I did have one client where one country office simply refused to use Asana and wanted to stick to Basecamp. Now this is a people management issue rather than a software issue but we all make assumptions, so good to manage major issues like this up front.

Mistake #3 Trying to get your process to fit into Asana – rather than Asana supporting your process

Asana should improve things for your team. Making task management, communication, hitting project milestones better for your organization. You need to get that return on investment.
If you find yourself struggling to get Asana to work for you, or you’re having to make big changes to your process, maybe you should consider if you’re investing in the right tool.
Of course there are always small changes to make. Asana isn’t a perfect solution for everyone, and I have seen clients review their processes and ask if they could work better. But if this is a battle to implement, there’s likely to be an issue elsewhere.

Mistake #4 Any system is only as good as the data in it

Get into the habit of regularly updating tasks, archiving your inbox, checking the My Tasks section and marking tasks complete as soon as they are done.
There’s nothing worse than looking at overdue tasks, poor descriptions and no communication. People will stop using Asana if the data isn’t accurate and updated regularly.

Mistake #5 Collaboration not control

This is one for the control freaks and some Project Managers and again is a people issue rather than Asana.

It’s important to remember that Asana is built for collaboration and is not a tool to control people. Ensure the structure allows people autonomy to create, update and close tasks and add value to others.
Where you need a strict structure, use templates, custom fields, and make sure your processes are documented and up to date. Regular communication is always helpful of course. I’ve seen some Project Managers insisting that they are the only person to close tasks. This really doesn’t work, as it just causes bottlenecks and problems as people will try and work around this. For issues like this take a look at why someone needs this control, and fix that issue rather than use Asana in ways that it wasn’t intended.

Mistake #6 Connect and Automate

When things are working well within Asana. Look at connecting Asana to other systems to get data in and out, and trigger actions and data flow in other systems. Asana now integrates with more and more applications as well as working with Zapier the automation tool.
This is one of my specialist areas, connecting systems together and automating processes. There’s a link to a video here (point up) that describes connecting Pipedrive CRM to Asana to automatically create a project when a deal is won.

If you need help with setting up Asana do please contact me, I work with clients across the globe to get the best out of Asana and other technology platforms.

The Biggest Mistakes in Asana, and how to avoid them.

Take a look at my Asana Consulting page.  For more about Asana see here.

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