Saved 90 workdays per year, on average, previously spent coordinating work within the company
Improved customer satisfaction by increasing the efficiency and quality of creative projects through a best-in-class workflow management process
Increased actions taken in Asana 15% year over year as adoption grows and more projects are managed in the platform
We Are Era is a pan-European media company that turns values into stories, talent into icons, and insights into relevance. The award-winning media company, a subsidiary of RTL Group and Bertelsmann, has diversified its business model and redefined its mission in recent years to become a hybrid talent agency and content studio that sees itself as the shortest route to every community in Europe.
In the ever-changing media environment, We Are Era has their finger on the pulse of the times, identifying trends and offering content solutions that fit the current zeitgeist and actively shape it. So how are they able to react to client requests faster than other agencies and implement them creatively? We Are Era relies on collaborative technology like Asana to standardize processes, automate work, and manage information so it can be found at any time. As a result, they’ve increased their efficiency and shortened project timelines.
The Pitch & Project Management team developed the successful project management concept We Are Era now follows. Led by Christian Röhrich, the team is responsible for positioning, creative concept development and the company's pitch deck, influencer sourcing, media buys, and distribution planning. They’re the interface between internal and external stakeholders, and are responsible for leading new projects for brands and public organisations, plus managing cross-functional workflows with Asana.
In the past, the team used various solutions for communication and collaboration. This was cumbersome and ultimately led to extra work for the project management team.
Initially, We Are Era used the freemium version of Asana as a tool for work requests across locations, including travel, IT support, and design requests. Christian immediately realized that Asana offered much greater potential, and began expanding its use across his team, making Asana the central platform for project management and day-to-day collaboration.
There are typically many departments involved in projects at the company–such as strategy, creative, and production– so there’s a lot to coordinate, including many briefings and feedback rounds. Christian and team built out a standard process for their project workflow in Asana, and now everyone can collaborate in a clearly structured place that enables efficient work. For repetitive administrative and organizational activities, Christian created automation rules that are activated by specific triggers, like due dates, to save time and minimize the workload.
For Christian, it's the status reports and clarity that make the best-in-class workflow possible: everyone involved in a project knows how it’s going and where work stands, either via automated status reports or reviewing the project in Asana themselves. Additionally, communication happens right in Asana at different hierarchical levels on a project-by-project basis so it's tracked, classified, sorted, and easy to find by everyone.
Team members got to decide whether they wanted to use Asana. Many quickly recognized the value of managing their open work in the platform and started working on their projects and tasks in Asana. For Christian, it’s important to highlight automation rules within the team so everyone knows what is "going on in the background" while they are working on their core tasks.
Also, some employees who identify strongly with Asana have formed an ‘Asana Task Force’ to test new functionality as it’s released to ensure processes are mapped meaningfully in Asana. Not only do they support their colleagues, but also actively contribute to scaling the platform further within We Are Era.
Christian’s team is responsible for evaluating pitch requests from new clients and briefings, or requests for new projects from existing clients. Across functions and countries, they process requests across all We Are Era locations. The team works from a shared project in Asana, which automatically receives all new inquiries from the sales team.
Once they receive an inquiry for a new project in their Asana project, the Pitch & Project Management team clarifies important key data such as the targeted time frame, budget planning, consulting intensity, and target group. If insufficient information is provided, communication with the sales team is handled directly via an Asana form as a standard process. Another form is designed so employees can send it directly to customers. The inquiry workflow with fixed forms ensures quality and minimizes time lost at the beginning of a project.
Once all the essential information has been collected, the appropriate project managers and teams are selected for the project depending on capacity, skills, and interests.
The project manager can view deadlines and the status of employees' work in Asana. This allows them to see who can take on or support another project at a glance. Asana’s structure enables the Pitch & Project Management team to work much more efficiently.
But it's not just the Pitch & Project Management team that enjoys working with Asana; it is used throughout the company as a central work management platform, along with HubSpot, Dropbox, CreatorIQ, Tubular, Socialbakers, CrowdTangle, and Frame.io depending on the department and responsibilities.
One of Asana’s major advantages is that it offers users different options to view their work. Many like to work in the board view so they can visualize the entire workflow and see creative assets – for example, images attached to tasks. The timeline view is also popular and easily shared with clients so that everyone involved can see when project work is happening and how it connects.
Because Asana's functionality is so intuitive and user-friendly, it doesn't require lengthy training. Onboarding new customers, for example, is typically completed in just 15 to 20 minutes using the simple methodology they’ve developed.
At We Are Era, 240 employees across all eight locations use Asana in their preferred language, and have handled 2,500 projects and nearly 400,000 tasks in Asana as of March 2022. Christian estimates that the increasing use of Asana rules, forms and project templates enables an overall saving of 90 working days per year on average.
Asana has made collaboration with customers much more transparent and efficient as well. We Are Era has noticed that many customers respond to requests sent via Asana faster and more frequently. They provide more feedback, therefore ongoing projects can be adapted to customer needs and completed more successfully and with less stress. By improving customer engagement with Asana, We Are Era has increased customer satisfaction and strengthened long-term customer loyalty.
Employees have seen a lasting change in their working style, as Asana enables them to work seamlessly, regardless of their location. Not only from the office or home, but from any location because all information that is stored centrally in Asana is accessibly anywhere. The native mobile app has also been very successful in this regard.
Thanks to Asana, We Are Era practices a transparent way of working together throughout the company and everything is communicated openly. The media industry is fast-paced, digital and very open, and employees quickly recognized the benefits of this way of working in Asana to share ideas with others or ask for support. Often others have already done similar projects, already researched a target group, or know a suitable influencer. This avoids duplication of effort, experience is shared, and projects can move forward faster.
The information from colleagues helps enormously with new projects, and the knowledge transfer increases employee motivation and improves the quality and efficiency of work.
Looking ahead, We Are Era plans to prioritize Asana for project-related communication, run office functions on Asana, and generally expand its use. The company also plans to start using the Portfolio and Reporting functionality.
Through further automation, We Are Era anticipates making processes even more accessible and efficient so that employees can focus on what really matters: delivering best-in-class creativity.
In keeping with open collaboration, the company will also store employees' OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) alongside corporate goals using Asana’s Goals feature. This links strategic goals to day-to-day work at the operational level, providing clarity on purpose, plan and employees’ own responsibilities. This way, everyone is enabled to see how to prioritize their specific projects and tasks to achieve the OKRs–and have access to the big picture to see how these contribute to meeting the company’s annual goals and ultimately achieving their overall mission.