First Look at Asana for teams to track work
Back in 2008, Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook co-founder) and Justin Rosenstein built an internal tool at Facebook to help various teams track their projects and efforts. They realized this technology could very well help other organization achieve their goals, and by 2012 Asana was launched.
Today, Asana is a team of over 100 peers across 3 offices in San Francisco, New York and Dublin, with investors including Benchmark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and Peter Thiel.
In the surface, Asana seems a very simple collaboration tool, but as you explore it you can tell there is a lot of other things running in the background that will make your life easier. The end result is that you can focus on your tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards - free yourself of some hundreds emails - and let Asana enable your team members to move work from start to finish.
From the Asana website: "Think back to the last time you were deep in the zone—time flew by and the work flowed through you almost effortlessly. That’s how working together should be... Instead, information is scattered and responsibilities are unclear. We try to cut through the chaos with endless meetings and micromanagement, but we end up with less time and not much more clarity"
By 2015, Asana announced: it has annual recurring revenue in the “low tens of millions,” a metric that it predicates on the 140,000 companies currently using its platform. The firm also announced that it is expanding that number by 10,000 companies a month.
If your work environment consist of looking over hundreds of emails because you have different teams working on multiple plans and actions then Asana could potentially remove that overhead - specially when projects are asymmetric and are defined based on tasks - These are the Asana features:
Task and Project Management:
- Tasks: Easily create tasks and assign them.
- Projects: Organize tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings, and programs.
- Sections: Customize Asana to match your workflows and add structure to any project.
- Due dates/times: Due dates ensure every task gets completed on time.
- Attachments: Add files from your computer, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive to any task or Conversation.
- Task Conversations: Comment directly on a task and exchange ideas for clarification.
- Project Conversations: Discuss a project’s progress to keep the momentum going.
- Team Pages: Have Conversations and see all of a team’s projects in one place.
Insight and Views:
- My Tasks: Plan your day with a prioritized to-do list.
- Inbox: Get automatic updates about just the tasks that matter to you.
- Search: Powerful search helps you find the work you need quickly.
- Dashboards: Check progress on all the projects in one customizable view.
- Calendars: List of tasks on a Calendar to get a clear view of when work is due.
- Files View: Find the files you need quickly or see a gallery view of any project’s attachments.
- Task Assignment: Give tasks a clear owner, so everyone knows who’s responsible.
- Followers: Only get updates for the work you care about by following (or unfollowing) tasks and projects.
- Guests: Collaborate with vendors, contractors, and partners in Asana.
Third Party Integration:
- Dropbox: Attach Dropbox files directly to tasks.
- Slack: Post updates to a Slack channel when there are changes in your Asana workspace.
- Chrome: Quickly and easily add tasks to Asana from any web page in Chrome.
- Okta: Eliminate passwords and access Asana using your existing corporate credentials.
- Github: Link Github commits to tasks so your team can stay on top of recent code changes.
- Google Drive: File chooser is built into Asana so you can easily attach files.
Asana pricing is simple but it has its caveats. You can use Asana for free for up to 15 people. If you go over 15 people or you want to gain Administrator capabilities then you have to pay - this is called an upgrade from your FREE plan to the Asana Premium.
When upgrading, you can apply the upgrade to an Organization, Team, or Workspace you belong to. Any of the members under the upgrade will then pay the monthly fee - as of the time of this post = 8.33 per user per month - Asana also offer two months for free in exchange for an annual subscription.
Some tips from Asana:
- Upgrade your entire Organization if you want Administrators for your company and premium features for all Teams.
- Upgrade just one Team if you don’t need Administrators or premium features for all Teams, but want to add more Organization Guests to that Team, want per-project permissions in that Team, or the option to hide that Team from other Organization Members.
- Team upgrades are usually only the best option for Teams in large companies. If you’re a smaller company you should usually purchase the Organization.
Keep in mind that the “Accounts” are free and tied to individuals (your name, email addresseses, photo). After you have an account you can create/join an organization or a workspace.
There are no storage limits at Asana. You can create as manu tasks and projects and upload as many files as needed. There is a 100MB limit per file but you can always upload via Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.
Conclusion: If you are a small or mid-size organization then getting into Asana should be no problem - fast and very intuitive - your teams can also enjoy using the Asana apps available on iOS, iPad, and Android. For global and large organizations the challenge is adoption unless your project team is within a business unit with well defined boundaries (to the global organization) then it is worth exploring to remove some of those undesired emails.
Posted on March 06, 2016