It’s not just businesses that need marketing and investment for development, cities and regions need it too. That’s why economic development organisations like Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) exist. Programmes by ATEED help make Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, a desirable place to live, work, visit, and do business. One way ATEED does this is by hosting and investing in major events like music festivals, art exhibitions, and sporting matches. These events help grow Auckland's visitor economy and shape positive public perceptions of the city.
The ATEED Major Events department is 40 people strong. Within this department sits Feasibility Advisor, Cheyne Stevens, and Events Development Manager, Ruth Montgomerie. Cheyne and Ruth work with each other and the wider team to bring events to life. This collaboration, and a desire to do it more efficiently, started the Major Events team on a journey to find a digital work management solution.
Cheyne, Ruth, and the team knew what was slowing their teams down—manual processes. Spreadsheets and emails were used to manage events, resources, and budgets. Teams working out of the office had no access to documents because they weren’t in the cloud. Lack of transparency into work happening across the team also made it hard for people to pick up workloads and conduct handovers. This often caused miscommunication, resulting in missed tasks, lack of clarity about next steps, and too much time spent on status update meetings.
With these pain points in mind, the Major Events lead team evaluated different work management tools on the market. They chose Asana because:
To kick off implementation, the entire department met and created a list of tasks involved in executing an event investment contract and running a major event. An Asana template was created with this information and used to begin streamlining processes across the department. Next, Asana was rolled out team-by-team. Manager buy-in guaranteed successful adoption. Managers saw how Asana could solve problems like too many meetings, slow reporting, and unclear deadlines and their enthusiasm trickled down the ranks.
Introductory training sessions and the nomination of Asana “Super Users” supported teams through implementation. Super Users encouraged adoption within their team by answering questions and providing extra training. They also collaborated with each other to keep up-to-date with processes and discuss how new Asana features could be incorporated into workflows.
A final step to ensure adoption was setting a deadline for everyone to migrate their work into Asana. After this deadline, simple actions would happen in Asana instead of in a variety of tools. For instance, if a manager received an email, they would respond in Asana.
“Implementing Asana has improved the insight we receive into work being conducted across the department. Tracking status updates, project progress, and workloads has made it easier for me to manage my team.” —Ruth Montgomerie, Events Development Manager
The entire ATEED Major Events department and other teams across the organisation now use Asana to manage all of their work. Here’s how they use Asana to bring events to life:
Overall, it’s much easier for teams to collaborate. For example, purchase orders are made using Asana Forms, and sent to the purchasing team as a task. Requesting team members are added to tasks as followers so they can view progress without formally requesting a status update. This results in less work about work and more time for event planning and execution.
“Our event pipeline is at the heart of everything we do. Managing this in Asana has made it much easier to conduct every part of our process—from feasibility assessments to contracting, operations, and marketing.” —Cheyne Stevens, Feasibility Advisor
The outbreak of COVID-19 has seen Asana become even more important to ATEED. The ability to track work in one place has made it easier to press pause on events, shift priorities, and collaborate with everyone remotely. The team is now planning what the next five years might look like, taking into account different scenarios. While the way events are delivered may change, the team at ATEED will continue working hard to boost Auckland’s profile and keep a sense of community alive.
Using Asana wall-to-wall has been crucial in helping Hack Reactor scale. As Hack Reactor CEO Tony Phillips puts it, ”We’ve cut our operations costs in half because we’re able to execute more efficiently with the processes we’ve set up in Asana.“ And as costs go down, the quality class experience—and the post graduation experience— goes up. Graduates from Hack Reactor are hired at a 98% rate.