Compassion Australia scales project management with Asana

Compassion Australia
  • Compassion Australia logo
  • Locations
    • 5 offices throughout Australia
  • Organisation size
    • 170 employees
  • Children sponsored annually
    • 15,831 in 2018, bringing the number of children sponsored by Australians to 122,055 and 2 million globally

Asana impact

  • More effective project management across departments
  • Fewer company silos and improved collaboration across teams
  • Better project resourcing thanks to improved visibility of all work in flight

Worldwide, 385 million children live in extreme poverty. Humanitarian organisations like Compassion Australia play an important role when it comes to tackling this issue. To date, Compassion Australia supports over 120,000 beneficiaries and has helped lift over 2 million beneficiaries globally out of extreme poverty, focusing not only on food and shelter but also on education and emotional wellbeing. The organisation seeks to build long-term relationships with the children they sponsor and works every day to help reach more children in need.

In order to release children from extreme poverty, the team at Compassion Australia orchestrates the opportunity for sponsorship with fundraisers through the careful management of well-executed projects. As part of the organisation’s Strategy, Execution & Innovation team, it is the team’s role to help ensure all projects operate smoothly. The team does this by training employees across departments on how to manage their own projects, which is a relatively new strategy for the organisation. Given the size and limited complexity of projects, the decentralised project leads approach is working very well.

The project management office (PMO) now looks at equipping and resourcing those staff to deliver well executed projects rather than undertaking the work themselves. However, the team knew that for Compassion Australia’s new project management strategy to work, they needed to consolidate to one work management platform to create consistency and improve efficiency across the organisation.

Finding the right work management tool

In order to break down silos and empower employees to manage their own projects, the organisation needed a tool that would:

  • Consolidate communication onto one platform for projects
  • Create and save project templates for easy duplication
  • Integrate with third-party systems like Everhour
  • Display projects in a Gantt-like view and Kanban format
  • Delegate tasks across departments

Asana ticked all these boxes, plus it was already used by Compassion Australia’s marketing team. The team also appreciated the flexibility Asana allowed and how quickly the platform releases new features to improve usability.

Implementing Asana across the organisation

First, the team focused on implementing Asana for people who were already leading projects within the organisation. Since a few teams within the organisation were already using Asana, this helped to ensure a smooth roll-out process.

To further help with implementation, one of Asana’s customer success managers conducted trainings with employees. Going through the basic fundamentals helped everyone get on board and ensured a seamless transition to the new platform.

“Having our Customer Success Manager take the team through the basic fundamentals was really helpful. It solidified our understanding and helped the team see how easy Asana was to use.” –Sarah-Jane Van Eeden, Project Manager

Also during this time, other departments took notice and expressed interest in moving their smaller projects and day-to-day work into Asana as well.

The benefits of better collaboration

Asana is now used across Compassion Australia for both large projects and day-to-day work. Here’s an insight into their process:

  • Project management is conducted entirely through Asana. Project teams can easily communicate and Kanban boards allow high-visibility operations, like sending celebrities overseas to visit sponsored children, to be tracked carefully.
  • Marketing manages all campaigns, including content development and creative production, in Asana. External contractors are invited into the platform to ensure smooth collaboration, and it’s now much quicker for regional offices to assign tasks to the marketing team.
  • Finance operations are now easier to manage with recurring tasks for reimbursements, reconciliation, and month-end procedures organised in Asana.
  • Travel planning is managed with greater accuracy. The travel team manages trips to visit sponsored children with Asana, and field training templates are set up in Asana to ensure travellers do not miss important information that will keep them safe abroad.

With Asana’s Timeline view, leaders in the organisation can accurately see when work is happening and how it connects to resourcing. Better communication between departments and offices has improved efficiency, and the team can more easily track projects led by different employees across the company.

“With Asana, we now have greater visibility into how our projects are progressing in real-time. We can see areas that need attention and can identify roadblocks quickly.” –Sarah-Jane Van Eeden, Project Manager

Sponsoring more children with Asana

Compassion Australia will continue sponsoring children and work to reduce world poverty statistics. They will soon begin promoting their epic 2021 Compassion Coast to Coast bike ride, which will see people raise money by riding their bikes from Perth to Newcastle. The last event saw 20 people ride across 4300km of Australian terrain and raise over $500,000. The team is hoping to do even better in 2021 and will have Asana to help them manage the initiative from end to end.

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