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How Asana uses work management to drive product development

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshotAlicia Raeburn
March 21st, 2024
3 min read
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Modern-day product development isn't just about the latest feature or trending use case. At Asana, we're redefining product development by innovating how we listen and respond to our customers. Partnered with our work management platform, we can more effortlessly turn this feedback into action. 

At many companies, customer feedback doesn’t make it past customer-facing teams. And if the product development team doesn’t know about feedback, they can’t action on it. This is a missed opportunity. In our research at Asana’s Work Innovation Lab—our future-of-work think tank that helps companies adapt to the changing nature of work—we’ve found that improving the customer experience is everyone's responsibility. And an improved customer experience can translate to tens of millions of dollars of revenue.

Having tight cross-functional feedback loops ensures the customer voice (current and future) is more quickly and accurately incorporated into product launches and development. 

Our Voice of the Customer program is an innovative way for each customer interaction to fuel the continuous improvement of our products. This method transforms our users into active participants in the product development process, keeping them engaged while ensuring Asana is finely tuned to their needs. Here’s how Asana’s product team uses the power of Asana and our customers to drive product development.

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Innovating with our customers, and our product

[Resources] Asana on asana Product Development forms product UI

Traditional approaches to product development involve collecting and analyzing large amounts of user feedback, often via survey responses. While this can be important input for your product development process, conversations with the people who use your product—or who you hope will use it—are irreplaceable.  

To implement feedback from ongoing customer conversations, we created our Voice of the Customer program to ensure we’re taking action on feedback from prospective and current customers. Using Asana, we categorize and operationalize this feedback. So when it’s time to plan our next roadmap, we can more accurately prioritize work with the largest impact on our customers. 

Operationally, this looks like:

  • Using an Asana form to gather input: Asana customers can submit their feedback through their Asana contact or sometimes within the product itself. For example, when customers interact with our AI features, there is an option to share and submit feedback via a comment in Asana. In addition, employees who interact with our customers can also submit feature requests and feedback directly from them. This form is live and accessible 24/7, so our employees can input information any time, anywhere around the world.

  • Storing data in an accessible project: The customer feedback form automatically funnels customer requests into a designated Asana project where it’s easy to sort, view, and use information. We can see the type of request and how frequently this topic comes up, and assign it to the proper team to follow up. After a feature is added to the roadmap, the product team alerts the relevant customer-facing team, closing the loop. All company employees have access to this project, so everyone can see what our customers value most.

  • Amplifying and implementing data: We use Asana AI features to understand and prioritize the most important asks from our customers when developing our roadmap. For example, we can use our “Ask AI” feature to look for trends in the project and identify recurring topics. If there’s one request that users are repeatedly asking us for, we might prioritize that sooner in our roadmap.

The double diamond process

Once a feature or update makes it onto Asana’s product roadmap, we initiate a "double diamond" process. This human-centered design framework uses four key stages: 

  1. Discover: This first phase focuses on understanding the problem through user research and data analytics. 

  2. Define: Based on the findings in the discovery phase, we define the problem and create a design brief. 

  3. Develop: In this ideation stage, we brainstorm, prototype, and test solutions, often through cross-functional collaboration.

  4. Deliver: The final phase involves refining the selected solution through further testing and getting it ready to be built into the product.

This process creates a two-way street, building a highly engaged user base who feels heard, while providing a continuous stream of valuable customer insights. We then use these insights to power our product roadmap, from conception to launch, ensuring we always prioritize customer needs.

How this leads to the product roadmap

Asana on asana Product Development workflows product UI

Every six months, Asana's product development team revisits their roadmap. As part of this evaluation, they sort through the Voice of the Customer Asana project to identify common pain points and brainstorm solutions that address the most pressing challenges our users face. These insights are pivotal in the planning process because they ensure our roadmap aligns with user needs and the broader business strategy.

Maintaining flexibility is also crucial to innovation. To stay agile, the product team has an escalation process that allows them to fast-track solutions for customers outside of scheduled roadmap evaluations. 

Working faster with AI

To quickly distill and act on customer feedback, we loop in AI. After using Asana automations (custom-built forms and associated workflow rules) to sort incoming data and assign it to the proper teams, we can use our native AI technology to more easily detect trends and emerging opportunities. From there, we’ve developed a qualification process to filter these insights further, ensuring that we incorporate the most impactful opportunities into our evolving roadmap.

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Customer-first product development

Asana's Voice of the Customer program is more than just a feedback mechanism—it's a strategic pillar in our quest to build purposeful and impactful products. By placing customers at the heart of our development process, Asana creates products that resonate with users and fosters a culture of shared success and smarter working methods. This customer-first approach has led to a product our customers love, partly because they helped to build it. That’s the transformative power of listening, engaging, and co-creating with users at every step of your product development journey.

Discover more powerful product launches

See how you can have more impactful product launches, faster, with Asana.

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