Project management

Every team uses Asana for project management a little differently, but regardless of what you’re working on, there are things any team can do to help projects run smoothly.

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1. Plan a project

Sticky notes, whiteboards, and spreadsheets are easy enough, but they’re manual and get outdated quickly. Asana is easy enough for brainstorming and planning, but powerful enough to track your work in one place when you want to turn the ideas into a reality.

How to do it:

  • Create a project. Projects live within a team in Asana and store tasks. You can use them to track large goals, routine workflows and complex processes, manage deadlines, or even organize your ideas. You can choose from a list or board layout.
  • Use an Asana-created template. Our templates are based on some of the most tried-and-true workflows in Asana. They have recommendations about how to set up a project and move your tasks through the workflow.

Create a project in Asana from scratch or choose a pre-made Asana-created template

2. Organize your project

Once created, add structure to your project. When stakeholders are clear about who is doing what work, team members can get started on their piece and keep the project moving.

How to do it:

  • Use sections or columns to organize your tasks in a project. You can organize them by deadlines, work stages, timeframes, and more.
  • Assign tasks and give due dates. Projects get derailed when it’s unclear who’s actually responsible for what, especially if team members don’t know when their work needs to be completed. Not to mention all the time spent on work about work and potential for miscommunication.

Make your project more organized with sections and assignees

3. Make workflows clear

Now that your project is built, set clear priorities, timelines, and expectations for your team. Asana has a lot of features to take your work from start to finish smoothly.

How to do it:

  • Mark tasks as waiting on. If you’re waiting on a teammate to finish their work, Asana can help you keep track of its status so you can start your portion at the right time. That also means you spend less time checking in on the task, or not realizing when it was ready.
  • Use custom fields to track stage, priority, additional task details, and more. As work moves along, use them to indicate the task’s status. You can also sort projects by custom fields and do advanced searches on them to find out what tasks need attention.
  • Create subtasks to break up work. If a task entails a lot of steps or several stakeholders, use subtasks so you can break it into more manageable pieces and show ownership in the process.
  • Use Calendar View. You can keep track of work on a calendar to make sure you’re hitting deadlines and to visualize the project schedule. You can even add the project to your email calendar to keep it top of mind.

Mark tasks as waiting on others to make it clear when work should start

4. Share status updates

As your team begins to collaborate, Asana becomes even more powerful for project management. You can easily provide status updates in context with the work your team is doing. And you’ll only get notified about what matters most to you. (It beats sitting in status update meetings or digging through long email threads.)

How to do it:

  • Comment on tasks you’re working on so followers know where the task stands, and can answer questions or provide feedback about the work.
  • Write status updates in the Progress tab of your project. Choose a status color and @mention teammates, tasks, other projects, and conversations to link to them in the status update.
  • Add the project to your Dashboard to keep a pulse on it, relative to other projects you are managing or working on in Asana. Sending weekly status updates in each project makes your Dashboard even more meaningful.
  • Create reports in Google Sheets. When you’re tracking lots of projects, understanding how well they’re going can be a challenge. With Dashboard reporting in Asana, you can use project data to create custom reports and visualizations to see what’s on track and what needs attention.

Write status updates in projects you manage, then save projects to your Dashboard for custom reporting

5. Prepare for your next project

Hurray! You’ve successfully managed a project in Asana. But before you jump right into the next project, take a moment to reflect on this one.

How to do it:

  • Take any learnings from the project and incorporate them into a template. That way, you can avoid repeating the same mistakes and make your plan even stronger for next time.
  • Archive the project. Now that you’re done with the project, archive it so you can focus on priorities. Archiving a project doesn’t delete any of the information, it just removes it from your project list.
  • Celebrate with your team. There are lots of small ways you can express gratitude in Asana (like hearting, @mentioning) but balancing work and play with your team leaves you energized and inspired for your next big project together.

Celebrate your achievements with teammates, and occasionally unicorns, in Asana

If you want even more tips and training to become a project management pro in Asana, Asana Premium users can sign up for our self-paced project organization training.

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