How Asana uses work management to effectively manage goals

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshotAlicia Raeburn
March 20th, 2024
3 min read
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Goals give structure to big-picture plans for your business—but they’re only useful if you can action on them. 

Lotte Vester, Head of Organizational Strategy at Asana, drives a process to guide teams through execution of goals. She helps transform broad initiatives into focused goals and Key Results (KRs) for Asana's dynamic teams. But she’s a one person team, and Asana is a multi-faceted, global organization. So she doesn’t try to do it alone. Instead, she looks to a product she knows can help her organize and execute on goals—Asana.

Learn how to connect work to goals with Asana

Interested in learning how to improve goal setting for your teams? See how Asana can help connect your entire organization and align your business goals.

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The challenges of goal management

Speed and efficiency allow enterprise companies to create products and bring them to market profitably. So they build goals to help them move faster, with fewer resources.

For Vester, velocity is a key focus. “Your goal management needs to help you make good decisions, fast. You need to have built-in flexibility to pivot quickly when circumstances change, or when you run into roadblocks.”

But velocity is hard to achieve. Many enterprise companies have a robust tech stack, but these tools can be disconnected. You might set a goal in one tool, complete the work in another, and collaborate with teams in yet another. This all needs to be separately, manually updated. By the time the work gets completed, it’s difficult to connect it back to the goal it originally came from.

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Many companies struggle with ‘set it and forget it’ goals, where someone might present their goals in a slide. But as individuals get caught up in daily tasks, they forget about it. That’s why keeping work directly tied to our goals is so important. It’s the way we build clarity, visibility, and focus towards achieving our most important company initiatives.”
Lotte Vester, Head of Organizational Strategy, Asana

Goal setting itself often happens in silos, with teams working separately from one another to set and achieve their individual priorities. Yet being able to collaborate across teams is essential for execution and engagement.

Pulling and working from multiple sources of truth in many companies—particularly larger ones—can slow work down, lead to a lack of clarity for leadership, and make it extremely difficult to track, update, and report on goals. And when you lose sight of your goals, you lose sight of the company’s vision. By keeping goals front, center, and connected to your work, you can use them to drive results.

4 ways Asana helps you create connected and impactful goals

1. Standardized goals with templates 

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Many companies understand that goals are important, but employees are rarely taught how to design and structure impactful goals. The result? Everyone does it differently. This inconsistency makes it hard to measure impact.

But that doesn’t mean it falls on Vester to design and review every single goal that’s created at Asana. Instead, she builds goal templates with the exact format and details she wants teams to include. Then when a team or individual is ready to kick off a new goal or KR, they have a structure in place—instead of starting from scratch. This helps Asana standardize the structure and messaging of goals across the company.

2. Less time spent with AI 

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Vester can standardize goal creation with templates, but what if you’re starting from scratch? Or maybe your company relies on department heads to create and standardize all goals. In this case, Asana’s smart goals feature can help you get started. You enter a description of what you want to achieve, and AI will draft a goal for you based on previous goals or performance.

As goals progress, it can be tedious and time consuming to send out updates. But thanks to AI, Asana makes it fast and easy to summarize progress. Vester uses the smart status feature to generate a status update draft with AI. In a matter of moments, she has a summary of progress and blockers to share out with teams and leadership.

3. Reduced manual work with automatic progress roll-ups 

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When work and goals live in separate spaces, you’re left manually updating progress. But in Asana, goals are connected to the projects and daily tasks that support them. When someone completes a task, that progress shows in real-time immediately within the goal. 

Real-time progress tracking capabilities within Asana offer a comprehensive overview of how goals are progressing. This is seamlessly integrated into dashboards, so stakeholders don’t need to wait for a status update to review the status. 

4. Centralized workspace

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In many companies, goals are spread out in different places, like slides, spreadsheets, and docs. But this disjointed method makes it really hard to stay connected to goals, understand them, and help stakeholders maintain visibility. That’s why Asana’s connected platform is so crucial.

Even the largest company goals are in Asana where everyone can see them. This creates clarity. People can see company goals, team goals, and individual goals—and how they’re all connected. This helps motivate teams because everyone knows their work impacts large-scale efforts. It builds a collaborative environment, connecting different teams and their work towards common objectives.

Organized goals are actionable goals

Leveraging the right tools can transform the way companies achieve their most ambitious objectives. By centralizing goals, standardizing their creation with templates, and using AI for efficient tracking and updates, Asana not only streamlines the goal-setting process but also fosters a culture of transparency, collaboration, and agility. 

See how you can design and execute your biggest company goals faster with Asana.

Learn how to connect work to goals with Asana

Interested in learning how to improve goal setting for your teams? See how Asana can help connect your entire organization and align your business goals.

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