Tasks and subtasks are assigned to specific employees. Everyone who is a participant in the task, as well as the project manager, can leave comments. So implemented a quick discussion about each part of the project.
One of the features of Asana is that you can quickly get started by selecting a template in accordance with the theme of the project. The service also allows you to create your own templates for different types of projects. Therefore, if you carefully organized your work, you can maintain a general view so that you can use it in the future.
In paid models of using the service, a timeline is available. Outwardly, it resembles Gantt charts. This scale connects all the timelines, tasks and team members depending on the classifications.
Asana allows you to set tasks depending on others. Thus, it is possible to organize the consistent implementation of all goals and more efficient work on the project. It also allows you to detect project bottlenecks and make sure that every employee is busy with something.
The service provides several ways to view tasks and their implementation. One of them is the timeline mentioned above. There are also calendars and timelines, which are available in the basic (free) version.
There are two types of calendars. The first, "personal", which is created by each employee taking into account their own tasks. The second is general, which allows you to track the progress of the project. It is useful when you need to plan work for the next few days or vacation (if the project is long).
The timeline shows how tasks pass into each other. It gives the employee an idea of what his role is at a particular stage of work on the project.
The main way to report on the work done is to comment on the task. It is noteworthy that the service itself does not allow to close the working day if there is an outstanding task with the date of the current day. In this scenario, the supervisor and executive are notified. One of them should change the due date, as well as indicate the reason for the postponement.
The supervisor can set the status of the project (green, yellow, red) so that the team knows how well things are going. Also, each employee can write the status of his task in the "Progress" tab. This is especially important if many employees and the further course of work depend on its task.
When completing a task, a manager can check a box in front of it. Thus, the contractor learns that no changes will have to be made, and the rest of the staff will know about the situation in the project.
First of all, services like Asana are needed by project managers. Therefore, it is very important to know about the possibilities of project management and access to it.
Obviously, the key feature is the addition of project participants. The quantity depends on the tariff plan chosen by the manager. Teams are created on the basis of responsibilities, the degree of involvement in the project, or at least the greatest relevance of the person to the organization.
On top of project participants, the manager can add sellers, contractors, or partners as guests. By default, the guest has limited access (he cannot make edits, download files without the permission of the leader, change the terms, etc.). But the leader can configure access for each guest (for example, allow comments on tasks).
If the project is too large, the manager can appoint his assistants, setting them the appropriate status. They will have more opportunities within the project (adding and removing participants, setting access, etc).
Communication and teamwork
Project management tools are designed to organize a team whose members can work remotely. In this scenario, the communication capabilities within the service are important. Such tools have gained superiority over communication via e-mail or instant messengers, as they provide all the necessary functionality for discussing the project.
The first element is a description of the project. In it, the leader indicates the terms, the customer, the main ideas, direction, the nuances of work, the target audience and other issues that at least somehow affect the business and the project itself. Thus, having access to the project, each participant immediately understands the general concept and can create a plan of work.
The main way of communication is to comment on tasks. They allow you to discuss any errors or innovations without going beyond the limits of the task itself. If the work took place in the office, then the comment would play the role of calling an employee to the head of the office. Notes are also available in Asana if you need to clarify a small element without discussion.
Discussions are another Asana feature. When innovations appear or priorities change, the leader can create a discussion and invite all employees involved in the information to it. This allows you to not clog the project with excess data.
For each task, you can make attachments or share files within the entire project. There are no restrictions on the use of storage memory on the service, therefore you can add files of any size and in any quantity.
As an enhancement of team spirit, the opportunity to put a “Like” mark under each task, comment or file has been implemented. Thus, employees can instantly express their positive attitude towards someone’s actions.
Asana is SOC 2 certified (Type 1 and 2) for system control, security and privacy. This certificate provides guarantees of the integrity and safety of data from unauthorized access. SOC 2 certificate is provided by independent security experts after conducting checks of the company's work processes and its methods of providing services.
The service uses the git control system. So, changes in the code base pass a series of automatic tests, after which they undergo manual testing additionally. Changes are retested before they can be implemented.
Web connections are made through the TLS 1.1 protocol and above. These protocols provide asymmetric encryption and message authenticity codes, which ensures their reliability and integrity during sending.
The service really provides excellent organization of work on projects.
In a way, it is one of the best and is rarely sought for an alternative. However, there are a number of shortcomings that both project managers and implementers often complain about:
- it is impossible to combine personal and shared calendars;
- many automatic mail alerts that cannot be turned off;
- to study the full potential takes too much time;
- offline access only through the application on the smartphone;
- there is no way to convert the list into a board and vice versa;
- limited hot keys (for example, creating a new task with the combination “Ctrl + N”).
Extensive functionality has become not only an advantage, but also a disadvantage of Asana. This is seen in large projects, where the manager gradually begins to use all the features of the service. If you mistreat some features, the project can become complicated and confusing. Sometimes it comes to the need to re-create a project.
In other words, despite the high-quality and detailed documentation of the service, its study and use remains difficult. For constant efficiency in complex projects, you must be an experienced user. This has led to the choice of simpler alternatives.
A frequent complaint from managers is that only one person can be assigned to a task. It would seem that this problem was solved at the stage of service release, by adding subtasks. But sometimes it’s easier to add a few people to the task than to break it down into several stages.
Asana collaborates with hundreds of brands around the world, making it possible to integrate their service with other applications. This greatly simplifies the work, because for each project third-party software is used (design applications, communications, tables, etc.). Instead of constantly attaching different files, you can integrate the project with applications that will often be used for it and perform tasks inside the service.
Among the popular solutions can be distinguished Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Gannt, Zendesk, Outlook, Slack. In paid versions, integrations of Adobe Creative Cloud, Usersnap, Microsoft Office 365 and others become available. Complete list of integrations is here.
It is important that in addition to applications for other purposes, Asana can be integrated with similar project management tools, such as Jira or Trello. Therefore, the team can easily communicate and achieve rapid progress in completing tasks, even if they work in different places.
Integration with other project management tools is especially useful for large organizations in which teams of different sizes and directions are created a priori, or who simply prefer to use different services.
Asana has four business service delivery models: