Good Project Management is essential to a successful business.
Having solid systems in place may seem to be a given for the successful entrepreneur, but we all know that’s easier said than done. Especially if the systems involve learning new tools.
One of our favorite Project Management tools is Asana. Asana is a web and mobile app designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work, and we are here for it!
Best practices for Asana Project Management
💬 Start a project conversation to kick off projects, discuss tasks, or brainstorm ideas
Many of us are using email to update other team members of project ideas and progress. Using Asana’s Communication functionality is a great way to exchange messages — without blowing up your email inbox AND with the advantage of having a record of everyone’s communication in one place for later reference.
👀 Observe what’s happening in real time
Use milestones to organize the big stages: see the number of tasks that are complete, incomplete, or overdue. Leave comments to confirm you’ve seen it, ask questions, or give updates. Use @mentionsto ping team members.
Use tasks to represent specific actionable steps or to-do’s. They also store important reference information in a project (like the original proposal or client reports) so they’re easy to find. Remember, the goal is to standardize how your team receives work requests. As a result, nothing falls through the cracks.
Tip: Make task names specific and action-based so it’s clear what you need to do. Be sure to assign it to someone. Tasks have only one assignee so there’s no confusion about who’s responsible for the work. And add a due date.
👩💻 Engage with the tool for real results
This is where people lose momentum – they set up the project but don’t go any further than that. The magic happens in consistent use.
- Review deadlines. We try to set realistic due dates for our tasks as soon as they are known, or with our best guess so they’re on the radar. Most importantly, if something shifts, deadlines must be adjusted.
- Update the tasks. Projects often morph. Think through the changes, list and assign the new to-dos, stop work on an irrelevant tasks.
- Comment on a task to ask questions and offer information and insight. Keep everyone informed. And therefore reduce meetings!
- Check your Asana inbox to see what has been updated and if anything new has been assigned. Don’t drop the ball.
- Mark the task Complete when it’s done, so everyone knows the status
- Attach files and images, too so people can easily see what you are referring to.
Tip: To manage a project effectively, assign a Project Owner who will stay on top of the overall progress. Often times people get caught up in the work and forget to check-in or review the big picture.
This is where the Project Owner steps in – to check in with people, update the tool, add notes and comments on your behalf, alert team members of changes, etc. Assistants are GREAT at this!
💲💲The best part is that Asana is Free and has lots of features. You will grow into the functionality as you move forward:
- Break a task into subtasks if multiple people need to contribute to its completion.
- Set task dependencies so work happens in the right order, at the right time.
- Add collaborators to a task (it’s like CCing them.) They will receive notifications about any activity on the task.
- Link with Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box to make it easy to attach files from the tools you already use.
- Use additional integration for almost all the other essential applications you are already using. (We love Harvest and Instagantt.)
Want Help? Using a task management tool is an Assistant’s Super Power!
Contact us today.