Better company alignment due to more effective OKR tracking
Improved collaboration as a result of broken down silos
Faster software development thanks to seamless sprint planning
Car Next Door is a peer-to-peer car sharing company that empowers people to save money, reduce waste, and create cleaner and greener neighbourhoods. Launching in Sydney in 2013 with 20 cars and 60 borrowers, Car Next Door now has over 155,000 members and has paid over $5 million to owners who rent out their cars using the platform. They’ve also planted 12,500 trees. Now experiencing a high-growth phase in their company, the team at Car Next Door realised they needed to shift to an agile mindset and break down silos for better collaboration across departments in order to successfully scale and grow.
Marty Newkirk, product manager at Car Next Door, led the charge to find a tool that would promote collaboration between the product and business teams and align the company around a new style of working. For Marty, the work management tool had to be technical enough to facilitate software development, simple enough for non-technical teams, and intuitive enough so Car Next Door’s spreadsheet-loving CEO would get on board.
Defining criteria for a tool to fit their needs was simple enough. Marty used Car Next Door’s pain points as guidance. The product team was already using a work management tool but it didn’t allow for collaboration with other departments and wasn’t always easy to use. The rest of the company was using spreadsheets where information was siloed and hard to access. On top of that, company OKRs were not being tracked in a central place so it was hard to prioritise work around them without clearly seeing how day-to-day tasks laddered up.
With this in mind, Car Next Door’s new work management tool needed to:
Be user-friendly for quick adoption
Enable frictionless collaboration across departments for better visibility
Integrate with tools like GitHub for seamless software development
Be flexible for a range of uses, from OKRs to sprint planning, for effective tracking
When Marty discovered Asana ticked all these boxes, he decided to get the company on board.
To ensure a smooth roll out, Marty trialed Asana within his own product team and cross-functional partners first. The team used Asana to plan a sprint and track the results, and they were more than happy with the experience. Marty then introduced Asana to the company during a quarterly planning event, and over the next three months it was rolled-out company-wide. At the same time, Car Next Door began to shift toward a more agile mindset. By structuring work in Asana around agile principles, the company was able to begin their new journey on the right note.
When it came to implementing Asana, one of Marty’s tasks was convincing some teammates who were still using spreadsheets—including the CEO—to try Asana for themselves. Once these teammates saw other leaders and their peers adopting Asana and how it was improving their work, they were won over.
Implementing Asana has seen the entire Car Next Door team experience a multitude of benefits. Three prime examples are:
OKR tracking is transparent and every department can easily align to goals and priorities. Within Asana, key results are listed under the company OKR they’re driving towards as tasks so it’s clear how work ladders up, and progress is tracked in custom fields (status, type of task, effort required, cycle stage).
Sprint planning is now based on company OKRs and thus much more effective. Each sprint is tracked in a project, and the plan is created by adding tasks from the company-level OKR project to the sprint project as well. Team members then tick off tasks as they complete them and continue to move through the list until the sprint is complete.
One-on-one meetings are more impactful. Team members add tasks to one-on-one projects with their managers as topics come up to set agendas for their meetings. This ensures their time is spent on meaningful discussions when they meet.
Overall, Asana has enabled the company to work in a more collaborative and effective manner. Technical and non-technical teams can work together in one place, there’s alignment around goals and priorities, and the company can move faster because information is easier to access.
What’s on the roadmap for Car Next Door? Growth and expansion. Marty and the team are focused on getting more people in Australia to share their cars in order to create a sustainable future for transportation. The company currently facilitates car hire in Sydney and Melbourne. In the coming years, the team plans to expand their reach throughout Australia, and they’ll plan this growth with the help of Asana.