Being Agile in Asana

The Agile approach to development is all about responding to change and iterating quickly. Most Agile teams employ some Scrum practices, and continue to adapt them. Since Asana is intended for all types of teams, it can easily be tailored to your engineering team’s specific Scrum practices.

Below is a list of some Scrum practices and how you can do them in Asana.

Sprint planning

Conduct your sprint planning meetings in Asana, and break stories into assigned tasks at the beginning of each sprint to represent the work each teammate committed to. Teams will have clarity on the official sprint plans, in context with the work teammates do to complete them.

Building a roadmap

Building out a roadmap in Asana is simple and gives your team a clear idea of priorities and progress at a high level. You can also create a backlog section to show what’s coming up and track stories as unassigned tasks. You can store tasks in multiple projects to track work in the roadmap, and in the project with the work happening to complete it.

Time costing

Calculate time devoted to sprint tasks by using numeric custom fields in your project. Add custom fields to any project, like sprint planning project or bug tracking by clicking the project header dropdown and selecting Manage Custom Fields. If you multiselect tasks with numeric custom fields, Asana will add them up and display the sum in the right pane.

How to create custom fields in Asana

You can also set up a Harvest integration to see how your time estimates compare to actual time spent. Forecast time more accurately and know the average time spent on tasks you do frequently for future planning.

Sprint retrospectives

During sprint retrospectives, your team reflects back on the sprint and how to improve processes for the future. Pull up your sprint planning project in Asana during a retrospective to look at Progress View, add notes or comments on remaining tasks, or start an actionable conversation around ways you can improve processes for the next sprint.

Stand-up meetings

Use different List View options in My Tasks to help you prepare for stand-up meetings. You can change the List View option to Tasks By Due Date to see what you’re working on next, and to Completed Tasks to see what you accomplished. Tracking work, communicating, and giving status updates in Asana helps make stand-ups more efficient—you might even find that your team needs to have them less frequently.

Status updates

Use the Progress View in a project to post weekly status updates so stakeholders (a.k.a. “chickens”) are up-to-date during a sprint. Your team can comment on the status update to keep the conversation going outside of meetings. This frees up time spent in sprint planning, review, and retrospectives so you can strategize with your team instead.

Make sure to look at the progress chart to see how many tasks have been completed on the project and how many remain, relative to the project deadline. The project deadline could be a ship date or the end of a sprint.

For an even more in-depth view of team progress, try Dashboard reporting in Google Sheets to see tasks completed by person, compare the progress of similar projects, and more.

Agile practices emphasize choosing flexible processes that can adapt to your team’s needs each sprint. Asana is great for Agile teams precisely because it is so flexible and has many ways for your team to incorporate Agile practices, even as they change.

Learn more ways engineering teams can use Asana:

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Asana Lessons

Learn the Asana basics in less than 15 minutes with these quick lessons

Tasks

Tasks Lessons

Track all of your work

3 Minutes

My Tasks

My Tasks Lessons

Always know what to do next

3 Minutes

Projects

Projects Lessons

Work with teammates

3 Minutes

Inbox

Inbox Lessons

Communicate even faster

3 Minutes

You can use tasks to track, collaborate on, and organize all your work.

Tasks can be to-dos, ideas, notes, or reminders.

Assign a task to yourself or a teammate.

Press Tab+M to quickly assign a task to yourself.

Add a due date so your deadline is clear.

Add instructions and expectations in the task description field.

Type @ to link to other tasks, people, conversations, or projects.

When you @mention someone, they’ll be added to your task as a follower.

Followers get notified when new comments or attachments are added.

Add anyone who needs to stay up to date on your task as a follower.

They can always unfollow to stop getting notifications on your task.

Add comments to ask questions or give followers updates.

Heart a comment to let followers know you’ve seen it.

Add relevant files or irrelevant GIFs as attachments.

You can also attach directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.

Create subtasks to break your task into smaller steps.

When you’ve added a subtask, press enter to add another.

Subtasks can contain all the same details as regular tasks.

Click the comment bubble to add comments or attachments to a subtask.

You can create tasks from any screen using your top bar.

Every Task has a unique URL to easily copy and share.

Congrats! Looks like you’re up to the task.

On to the next lesson!

Always know what to do next with My Tasks.

My Tasks is a list of every task assigned to you.

It makes managing your work simple.

Click on your My Tasks list and start typing to add tasks.

Like a text document, add a new line for each new task or paste in any list.

Forward to x@mail.asana.com to turn your emails into tasks

Asana will translate your email into a task, including your attachments.

New tasks will appear at the top of your list in New Tasks.

Tasks you add to My Tasks are private to you.

Click Make Public to share them with your team.

Prioritize tasks as Today, Upcoming, or Later.

Click on the blue dot next to the task, to quickly sort it.

Mark the tasks you’ll have time for Today.

Teammates can view your My Tasks list to see what you’re up to.

They’ll only see tasks you’ve made public or shared in a project (more on projects later).

Mark tasks due within a week as Upcoming so you can see what will be due soon.

On its due date, your task will move from Upcoming to Today.

Just like magic.

Mark tasks due in more than a week for Later.

They’ll be out of your way until their due date approaches.

Your tasks will move from Later to Upcoming a week before they’re due.

Keep My Tasks prioritized to always know what to work on and what’s coming next.

Now you know how to track and plan your work!

Next, learn how to work with your team in Asana.

Work together on groups of tasks with projects.

Projects help you track and organize the steps in a process or initiative.

Like an event plan, product launch, or editorial calendar.

Like My Tasks, simply click and type to add tasks to your project.

If you have your steps in a document or email already, paste in that list.

Add tasks to your project from email.

View your project’s unique email address from the project dropdown menu.

Add your tasks to other related projects.

Tasks can be included in multiple projects.

Add sections to organize tasks in a list project.

Type : at the end of any task title to make it a section.

Or, add columns to organize tasks in a boards project.

Drag and drop tasks between or within columns to reorder.

Assign your tasks and set due dates.

Never miss a deadline with your project calendar.

Drag and drop tasks on your calendar to change their due dates.

Add everyone who needs to stay updated on your project as members.

Project members will get notified of new conversations, statuses, and tasks.

Post conversations to make announcements or start discussions.

Your post will be sent to all project members.

Use Progress to see how your project is moving forward.

Set a project status to update your team on how it’s going.

The Project Owner will be reminded to set a status once a week.

Open and organize projects from your sidebar.

Favorite projects to pin them to the top of your sidebar.

Click the star button on the left of your project name to favorite it.

Create new projects from any screen using your top bar.

Now you can move projects forward with your team.

Just one more lesson before you dive in.

Communicate and coordinate faster with Inbox.

Check Inbox to quickly read and respond to your latest updates.

Inbox will notify you when you have a task due…

and when teammates update tasks, conversations, and projects you follow.

Open and respond to updates without leaving Inbox.

Click an update and you’ll have all the context you need to respond.

Archive updates you’re ready to dismiss.

Click the X that appears on the right of an update to archive it.

Open Archive to move dismissed updates back to your Inbox.

Click the arrow that appears on the right of an archived update to move it back to Inbox.

Unfollow tasks or projects to stop receiving updates about them.

In the end, you have control over the updates you receive (or choose not to receive)

When you’re ready, you can turn Asana’s Email notifications off.

Most communication with your team can be more easily managed from Inbox. Just remember to check it often.

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to have a great work day with Asana.