Asana Conventions

A Project is a strategic way of thinking. Its a limited, closed of container containing everything that is needed to hopefully reach a desired outcome. Everything which has more than two tasks are per defintion a project, meaning a project subtask with two subtasks becomes a new "sub project". Simpliefied, Every project has three phases(which themselves are projects):

  1. Preject - Planning and preparing for the project. Creating the best condititions for the project to reach the desired outcome.

  2. Execution - Execution of the project

  3. Evaluation - Learning what worked / didnt work in the project.

Project Briefs All projects / Areas of responsibility shall have an project brief in the information about the project to share everything we know about the project in one place. A project brief is a dynamic document that will change over time as we learn more things.

Project description:

Overall project Need: Whats the background, problem or purpose for the project?

Goal: Whats the goal or desired outcome(short or long term)?

Success Criteria: What measurables is in the delivery or process? Define success.

Deliveries: Describe concrete deliveries during and by the end of the project.

Action Plan: What tasks, phases, deadlines or milestones is in the project? (Map in list / timeline)

Target Group: Description and analysis of the target group of the project (Who is the project for?)

Stakeholders: Key people, roles, organizing, contact info and routines

Team: RACI (responsible, accountable, consulting, informing), information about the team, roles, organizing, contact info and routines

Resources: Available and necessary resources; budget, venues, equipment, people etc.

Risk: Factors and insecurities that can affect the project

Possibilities: Ideas and possibilities in relation to trends and surrounding context

Future Leaders 2020/21 High Level Strategy project In Asana always map the full projects in the sub projects. When you have an overview there think about the high level and what is most important to communicate into the Future Leaders 2020/21 Strategy project. On each task in the sub project you would like to show in multiple projects click the + icon next to the project and add the other project you would like this task to show up in. Then choose which section it should show in to organise it the best.

Asana Project levels - 3 Levels maxIn asana we can create infinite levels of sub tasks / projects. But we are going to keep it to maximum three levels to not loose tasks and overview in the system. Meaning within any project / area of responsibility on the left side of Asana we can create tasks / projects. Within those tasks / projects we can create sub-tasks. And if we click that sub tasks we can create a sub-sub task. And this is the last level we go to.

Aim: Organise sub sub-tasks into relevant "projects" on the first level. This way we can easier gather together relevant sub-tasks and get a cleaner overview. Also it makes it easier to choose which 1 level projects that can be shared on the Future Leaders 2020/21 High level strategy project for everyone to understand the overview. Think of organising tasks as organising your house. Toothbrush goes to the bathroom on the shelf. Knives go to the kitchen in the drawer, instead of lying on the kitchen counter etc.

Asana FL NGO / AS We are using asana a little-bit different in the NGO and AS Teams. In the AS team each asana project is a "project". In the NGO team we are using it more like areas of responsibility or "departments" with more "projects" within them. In a way we should think of the NGO areas of responsibility as having 4 levels. We gather the projects within areas of responsibility instead of having separate projects for them on the side.

RACI - Accountable On the left side of Asana we see all the "projects" we have in the loop. If you click one of these projects and click the "i" on top of Asana you see the project owner. In RACI language this means the Accountable person. The accountable person is the final accountable for following up the responsible people in the project. Meaning if a "deadline" is not reached its the Accountable persons(Project owner in Asana) that is ultimately responsible. This does not mean that the person is responsible for doing the task, but is accountable for it being done by someone that is responsible for that task. This can also be thought of as the project coordinator.

RACI - Responsible The power of Asana is that every task can have a responsible person. If a responsible person is not mapped on a task the task wont happen. Always map a responsible person!

RACI - Consult / Inform In the project / task description everywhere on Asana write who needs to be consultet or informed. This can also be set up as sub-tasks to make it even more actionable. e.g "Update CC´s when this is done on next cc meeting"

No Ideas in Asana Asana is a project collaboration tool where we coordinate our collective will. There is a difference between an idea and implementing an idea. Having ideas are simple, implementing them is hard. We only want ideas that will be implemented in asana. Loose ideas have to be stored elsewhere. This way we know that everything that is in Asana is important to act upon and will be given the proper time / focus to implement

Always assign Responsible / Time All projects, tasks and sub-tasks need to have a responsible person AND time mapped out. Or else the task will fall through either because no one is responsible for the task or because the responsbile person wont see it on their My Tasks overview.

Favourites We have alot of projects but not everyone is relevant for you. A recommendation is to favourite the projects / areas of responsibiliy your part of as favourite to see only the projects on the top that you are most focused on. You do this by either clicking a project and click the star next to the project name on the top or by click the three dots next to the project on the asana sidebar and then click mark as favourite.

Inbox and Notifications Asana is a social media information system. And it will give you what you want. If you go through all the asana projects you can click on the teammembers icons on the top right of any projects. Here you can click manage notifications and decide what you want to be notified by. This will help you only recieve relevant notifications in your inbox which can be used kind of like your email inbox. This way you can get updates on whats going with the projects / tasks your part of. You can also un- / subscribe to tasks by clicking a task and at the bottom click the + sign or x sign on yourself on the collaborators field to get notifications about this task.

Here you will find a template for how to use Asana the best way together. Its a good starting point to align on similar conventions of using the tools to avoid confusion on the platform. If you find better ways. Please share them!

Tasks Etiquette:

  • Assigning tasks to others

    • Dos:

      • Provide a clear context in the task name and description

      • Provide a realistic and reasonable due date

      • Hypertext relevant tasks or projects

      • Add task followers to keep your team informed (similar to a cc-line)

      • View a teammate’s My Tasks to see how your task has been prioritized

    • Dont's:

      • Assign an entire list of tasks without descriptions or realistic due dates

      • Create reminder tasks or comments without checking the assignee’s My Tasks view

    • Decide as a team:

      • How will your team prioritize goals and objectives?

      • Where will you communicate those priorities?

      • How to handle escalations and decisions made in Asana?

      • What are the naming conventions we use for projects and tasks? This is important in situations where there’s a repeatable workflow

  • Updating tasks assigned to you

    • Dos:

      • Re-assign the task back to the creator and write a comment on why you can’t complete the task

      • Change the due date and write a comment for when you can finish the task

      • Re-assign to the person who should be accountable for the task

      • @ mention another person to ask if they’d be the best person to handle the task

      • Mark as duplicate if there is already a task that captures the request

    • Don'ts:

      • Ignore tasks assigned to you

      • Reassign blindly to others

      • Delete the task without communicating with the task creator

    • Decide as a team:

      • How to cover for out of offices and vacations?

      • Where to track your out of office calendar?

      • When to use a subtask to collaborate and when to reassign the parent task

      • How to acknowledge that you have seen and prioritized a task for the task creator. Comments? Hearts? My Tasks priority?

  • Assigning Subtasks

    • Dos:

      • Ensure the assignee has context from the parent tasks or in the task description

    • Dont's:

      • Bury subtasks under too many levels

    • Decide as a team:

      • How many levels of subtasks is too many?

      • When to use tasks and subtasks when using templates

  • Using task or project templates

    • Dos:

      • Clearly indicate when a task is a template in the task name

      • Provide a description of what the template is for and how your teammates should use it

      • Ensure templates are updated as processes are refined

      • Be sure to always create a copy of the template so that you don’t overwrite it with your changes

    • Dont's:

      • Let templates go stale and out-of-date

      • Create duplicate template names

      • Update a template that someone else owns or creates without their input

    • Decide as a team:

      • Where to organize templates so everyone has access

      • When to use task templates and when to use project templates

      • Who will be responsible for maintaining templates

Meeting Etiquette:

  • Organizing Meetings

    • Dos:

      • Create a project for your meeting

      • Create sections for goals, agenda topics, and action items

      • Add attendees as project members

      • Multihome tasks into the project agenda to propose discussion topics based on current work

      • Heart other topics that your teammates have proposed

    • Don'ts:

      • Create a new project for each meeting, instead use the same project for recurring meetings

    • Decide as a team:

      • Meeting roles and responsibilities including an owner of the Asana project to prioritize agenda topics and a facilitator to take notes and add follow ups

      • For large teams, decide who should be adding agenda topics

  • During Meetings

    • Dos:

      • Create a task to capture notes for each held meeting

      • Use Hypertext in the notes to reference what projects and tasks have been discussed

      • Create tasks for action items that arise during the meeting and ensure each action item has an assignee and due date

    • Dont's:

      • Mark tasks complete if there are still open discussion points

      • Mark tasks complete that are multi-homed from other actionable projects, instead remove them from the agenda project after they have been discussed

    • Decide as a team:

    • What to include in meeting notes and what to distribute as comments in agenda tasks

Project Owner Responsibilities:

  • Creating new projects

  • Dos:

    • Update the project name and description with goals and objectives

    • Use sections to delineate phases or categories of tasks

    • Add teammates that are working on the project as members

  • Dont's:

    • Leave project owner, description, and due date blank

    • Add team members before providing context and structure to the project

    • Create too many levels of subtasks. It can be convenient for the project creator, but challenging for your teammates

  • Decide as a team:

    • Which other projects are relevant and can be referenced via hypertext in the description

    • What projects should all team members follow

    • Which notification settings do people in the project prefer based on their involvement in the project

    • Which projects should be created as private based on confidentiality requirements

  • Maintaining projects

    • Dos:

      • Prioritize and manage new tasks as they are created

      • Update the project status regularly

      • Filter burn up chart to focus on actionable items

      • Merge duplicate tasks when appropriate

      • Ensure tasks have assignees and due dates

      • Follow up on overdue tasks through comments

    • Dont's:

      • Mark tasks complete if your intention is to delete

    • Decide as a team:

      • When and how frequently project owners will update the project status

      • Decide the naming convention for similar types of projects (e.g. ideas, feedback, sprints, templates)

  • Project Status Updates

    • The Project Owner or dedicated teammate should send regular project status updates from the Progress View of your project.

      • Status updates provide clarity for your team and cross functional teams about how the project is moving forward.

      • Set the color of your progress update to indicate the progress of the project.

      • The Project Owner will receive reminder tasks to update the project status each week.

    • Asana tip: Add projects to your Dashboard to see a high level view of your most important projects in one place.

    • Decide as a team:

      • When and how frequently project owners will update the project status

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