Help your team adopt Asana

To help your team adopt Asana, we’ve analyzed what the most successful teams in Asana have in common, channeled the expertise of our Customer Success Managers, and incorporated proven change management strategies all to craft the “Asana Way of Change” framework outlined in this article.

GRAPHIC depicting the six steps outlined by the Asana way of change to define, discover, design, enable, add more teams, and expand use

For maximum success, we also recommend:

1. Answer “Why Asana?”

Before inviting your team to Asana, make sure you have a compelling reason for using it. To help you answer “why Asana?” complete the following exercise.

Envision success

First, imagine your ideal world where your team is using Asana, and what you’ll achieve. Ask:

  • What goals will Asana help you achieve?
  • What will be possible in the future that isn’t now?

Identify pain points

Next identify the pain points that brought you to Asana in the first place that will resonate with your team.

Pain point Example
Responsibilities are unclear Action items get lost across email and other tools, and teammates don’t know deadlines or what they’re responsible for
Collaboration is challenging Teams focus on their own priorities and handoffs are messy or nonexistent
Processes are inconsistent When you kick off work, you start from scratch or everyone does it slightly differently
Project management is difficult You have systems that are too simple or complex which make it hard to plan projects and see how they’re progressing

Write your “Why Asana” statement

Now you’re ready to draft a “Why Asana” statement using this structure:

“[Team/Organization name] uses Asana to manage [these projects and processes] to alleviate [these pain points] so that we can accomplish [these goals].”

For example: As a design team, we’re using Asana to manage design requests and marketing campaign projects to prevent unclear requests and eliminate duplicate work so that we can hit campaign deadlines, work on top priorities, and prevent team burnout.

Assemble your adoption alliance

Next, get a group of at least three people to form an “adoption alliance” consisting of the following roles:

GRAPHIC depicting the three roles of the adoption alliance

  1. Convention-setter—Establishes basic rules about how you’ll use Asana and answers questions teammates have along the way.
  2. Awareness-builder—Communicates the “Why Asana” goal statement and helps the team feel bought in.
  3. Success-celebrator—Recognizes and celebrates wins throughout the process to keep the team motivated.

2. Discover your now

With a clear reason for why your team will use Asana, now you can decide what workflow, process, or project you want to try out first. A workflow is the process or set of steps you take to get things done, like producing a video or launching a new product. Workflow management is all about building and tracking these processes.

The specific workflow you try depends on your team, but aim to pick something that is:

  • Collaborative, involving communication between multiple stakeholders
  • Specific with clear goals, deliverables, or a time-bound duration

For inspiration, check out all of our ways to use Asana.

Finally, lay the groundwork for future success by establishing your Asana team structure. Generally, your team structure in Asana should reflect your org chart.

If only one team is using Asana, you can lay out your teams based on verticals, initiatives, or collaborative groups within that team.

GRAPHIC depicting the Asana data hierarchy and how teams, projects, and tasks are organized

3. Design your first workflow

Make sure to survey your team about how long it currently takes them to complete work, where they’re getting stuck, and the problems they’d like to solve. That way, you can see Asana’s impact and if it’s solving those problems.

Not sure where to start? Try starting with a template.

As you’re building your first workflow, you’ll also want to understand how Asana fits with your other tools, so you can set clear expectations on your team for what kind of work happens where.

GRAPHIC showing how Asana works with file creation, messaging, and communications tools

Start collaborating

Invite a small group of teammates to play around with Asana to get familiar with features and recommended best practices. Asana is flexible, so don’t be afraid to try things even if it’s not “perfect.”

When you’re ready, invite your whole team and host an Asana kickoff meeting to cover the information from step one and introduce them to Asana and your first workflow.

Download our Asana kickoff deck template by signing up for our Asana team kickoff on-demand webinar then personalizing it with touches for your team specifically.

4. Enable your team & celebrate wins

Share our “getting started” resources below to help teammates learn the basics:

Setting and reinforcing Asana conventions

Some teams hit roadblocks when teammates aren’t sure when and why to use certain features. A teammate might know how to create a task but they aren’t sure when to mark it complete or how to prioritize it. Check out this article for a deep-dive on establishing team conventions in Asana.

Expect and embrace mistakes! Your convention-setter should constructively re-direct teammates when they forget about established conventions.

5. Get set up for future success

Once your team is up and running, continue enforcing your conventions and make Asana the single source of truth for answering any questions related to the processes you’ve built. Some ideas to get you started:

  • Set up an Asana project for questions and feedback and check it weekly.
  • Celebrate your team’s early victories, big and small! Your success-celebrator might create incentives or celebration systems for learning and using Asana.
  • Set up a safe space where people can play with features without fear that they’ll “break” something.
  • Try a “day without email challenge” to see if your team can go an entire day or week without sending any email to one another, opting for Asana instead.

You’ll also want to create a plan for onboarding new teammates so they can get up to speed quickly. Check out our employee onboarding template for inspiration and consider integrating Asana onboarding with your general employee onboarding process.

6. Measure and expand use

After using Asana for a month or two, reflect back on what you wrote in section one, and revisit the team baseline you surveyed them about in section two to see how you’re tracking. Ask your team:

  • Did we accomplish our original goal?
  • Are new processes running smoothly?
  • How long does it take to do the same work relative to before?
  • How effective is Asana relative to our expectations? Has it solved the problems we hoped it would?

If you’ve been successful and completed your timeline, communicate your wins and progress to your executive sponsors and stakeholders. You can also start adding more processes, projects, and workflows to Asana if you haven’t already.

More resources

The learning doesn’t stop here. See how other teams use Asana and learn more best practices with our wide array of resources:

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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 Recently Assigned.

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 Tab+N in any task row to create a new 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.