How Swedbyte helps teams adopt Asana using the Asana Way of Change

Asana Way of Change in theory 

To help your team adopt a new project management tool, Asana have analyzed what the most successful teams have in common, channeled the expertise of their Customer Success Managers, and incorporated proven change management strategies called “Asana Way of Change”. It includes 6 steps to set up for success:

Define your why

Before inviting your team to Asana, make sure you have a compelling reason for using it. To help you do it, answer the following questions: Which goals will Asana help you achieve? What will be possible in the future that isn’t now? 

Then identify the pain points that brought you to Asana and that will resonate with your team. For example, if working with different teams is difficult for you or handoffs are messy between teammates, complex collaboration can be identified as your pain point. Next, write your “Why Asana” statement. 

Use this structure: “[Team/Organization name] uses Asana to manage [these projects and processes] to alleviate [these pain points] so that we can accomplish [these goals].” 

Discover your now

With a clear reason for why your team will use Asana, now you can decide which workflow, process, or project you want to try out first. A workflow is the process or set of steps you take to get things done, like producing a video or launching a new product. Workflow management is all about building and tracking these processes.

The specific workflow you try depends on your team, but aim to pick something that involves communication between multiple stakeholders and has clear goals, deliverables, or a time-bound duration.

Design your first workflow

Make sure to survey your team about how long it currently takes them to complete work, where they’re getting stuck, and the problems they’d like to solve. That way, you can see Asana’s impact and if it’s solving those problems.

Invite a small group of teammates to play around with Asana to get familiar with features and recommended best practices. Asana is flexible, so don’t be afraid to try things even if they’re not “perfect.”

When you’re ready, invite your whole team and host an Asana kickoff meeting to cover the information from step one and introduce them to Asana and your first workflow.

Enable your team and celebrate wins

Share Asana Lessons (15 minutes) to help teammates learn the basics and encourage them to join an Asana Basics Training Webinar (60 minutes) to work with a live trainer and get their questions answered with other customers.

Get set up for success

Once your team is up and running, continue enforcing your conventions and make Asana the single source of truth for answering any questions related to the processes you’ve built. You’ll also want to create a plan for onboarding new teammates so they can get up to speed quickly. 

Measure & expand your use

After using Asana for a month or two, reflect back on what you wrote in section one, and revisit the team baseline you surveyed them about in section two to see how you’re tracking. Ask your team:

  • Did we accomplish our original goal?
  • Are new processes running smoothly?
  • How long does it take to do the same work compared to before?
  • How effective is Asana relative to our expectations? Has it solved the problems we hoped it would?

If you’ve been successful and completed your timeline, communicate your wins and progress to your executive sponsors and stakeholders. You can also start adding more processes, projects, and workflows to Asana if you haven’t already.

Asana Way of Change in practice 

Our specialists regularly undergo Asana’s training. Their knowledge of the Asana Way of Change methodology and quality of support rivals that of Asana’s internal teams. This is what we rely on when onboarding new customers. To demonstrate in detail how this change strategy works in practice, we spoke with a Serbian company engaged in delivering integrated solutions for marking and labeling. Our onboarding consultant Valeriya Riabets guided them throughout the whole process of Asana implementation.

Define your why & Discover your now

Before the first step – Define your why – sales specialists analyzed the client’s needs and, based on this, offered a suitable package offer. Further, before the deployment of Asana, Valeriya uploaded an implementation project with all the steps according to the methodology right to the client’s account. Thus, they had the opportunity to carefully familiarize themselves with the upcoming actions.

Finally, Valeriya scheduled a discovery meeting that combined the first two steps: Define your why and Discover your now. First, she introduced the onboarding project to the employees. Then, together with the managers, they determined the main goals that the company should achieve through the implementation of Asana, and identified the following pain points:

  • In certain cases, it is difficult for the company’s management to formulate exactly what needs to be done. Because of this, mutual understanding in the teams is disrupted, since employees do not always understand the essence of the tasks or their importance, and can sometimes forget about the deadlines.
  • Meetings are one of the main ways of communication in the company. Check-ins take place once a week and much time and effort is spent on them and their coordination.
  • It is necessary to maintain a healthy corporate culture during team growth.
  • Difficulties arise in the interaction of departments. The company has many teams that have to collaborate on a large number of tasks. Employees often do not know the status of work in the neighboring department, which slows down work and causes dissatisfaction.

Next, Valeriya helped the management to formulate the Asana statement and attach to it metrics, by which it would then be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of work in the tool. Together, they also named an internal team that will implement and communicate the tool to the staff.

In addition, at the very first meeting, the teams determined which processes would be carried out in Asana, and which more specific and production-related workflows would be better kept in separate tools. At the same time, the company immediately decided on a philosophy around the tool: they want Asana to include the maximum number of workflows so that it becomes a platform for each employee.

Lastly, Valeriya determined how they would carry on with the workflow design. Since there are many departments in the company, all of which are interested in switching to Asana, Valeriya felt that it would be strange to give preference to only one department, and ignore the rest. Therefore, before the next step – Design your first workflow – Valeriya asked the heads of departments to write down what processes they would like to see in Asana. Before the next meeting, Valeriya got acquainted with the background and figured out on what basis these processes could be formalized in Asana.

Design your first workflow

On the second call, Valeriya and the team leaders met to discuss what the organization’s processes would look like in Asana. Previously, Valeriya grouped them into certain categories: for example, recruitment pipeline and sales pipeline, new packaging development or new product development, knowledge database or employee database. She showed how such projects might look and what templates are suitable for them, noted what should be paid attention, and answered all questions. After that, managers could already build projects on their own and train their employees.

Enable your team

The next step was the Basic Webinar, where all team members learned the simplest of working in Asana including how to create tasks and how to keep team updated. As a result of the webinar, they created a test project, where all employees could practice their Asana skills. After the webinar, they had to properly set up their workspace: customize “My Tasks” and fill out their profile. So they were prepared for the full-fledged start in Asana.

Get set up for success

Further, the company began independent work in Asana. If they had any questions, Valeriya was always ready to help. After everyone learned how to work in Asana, the management removed the test project. Gradually, employees were told what processes were being transferred to the task tracker, for example, from a certain date, they had to submit applications through Asana, on another day the meeting agenda was transferred there, and so on.

Measure & expand your use

The team has yet to evaluate Asana’s impact on the company’s processes: a call with Valeriya to discuss the results is scheduled for February. But even now, according to the account statistics, it is clear how well Asana has integrated into their work: more than 300 projects and 3000 tasks have been created, and the number of users has exceeded 60. In addition, Valeriya has already received a response on each of the pain points:

  • Asana helps to correctly formulate tasks. The very structure of the task in Asana (name, brief description, deadline and assignee) does not imply a large text, this allows managers to put their thoughts in order and transparently convey their requirements to employees
  • Previously, the company spent a lot of time in meetings, as this was the only way to find out what was happening in each of the teams and what the status of the work was. Now there is no need to spend so much time on meetings, because all the information is already in Asana.
  • To maintain a good working atmosphere, the teams created a project in which employees can anonymously collect feedback through forms. So communication between superiors and subordinates has become more transparent. In addition, thanks to Asana, everyone can see who is doing what by when, this relieves tension in the team. It has also become more convenient to reward employees, since now the management can see which particular employee was responsible for a certain part of the project.
  • Now colleagues are always aware of the task status and the work goes seamlessly. In addition to the fact that this information is displayed in Asana, employees have set up notifications that they receive in the mail if a task is completed or its status has changed.


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