Asana Projects, Teams, and Portfolios

Projects

Most of the time when you are looking at Asana tasks they will be in the context of a project. Projects allow you to organize and structure tasks, view tasks in different ways, add messages and other metadata, define project workflows, and create automations. They are very powerful and flexible.

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The full project team should be assigned to each project they are participating in. The project Overview lists all members, and you can add roles for each person, which is helpful. You can also add a blurb to describe the project, and link to related project documentation in Notion, Drive, etc.

Weekly Updates

Per our PM

guidelines, we provide a weekly report for every project every week. There are two sides: Internal and External. The internal weekly updates can be easily generated in Asana using their status update feature. Our standard templates include settings to general the weekly report in our style (Overview, Last week we... etc)

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Currently we only have internal team access to Asana so these status updates are only for the internal team.

A best-practices approach to weekly updates in Asana is:

  • Do a full sweep of the project tasks to make sure that all the statuses are up to date
  • Create an internal status update using the Asana weekly status tool.
  • Use that as the basis of a weekly update to send to the client, by email or their preferred communication method.

Client Access

We are still formalizing our approach to client access in Asana, but two features are easy to add to any project now:

Asana also has public links for projects which show a high-level view of what the tasks in the project are, and the overall schedule. They can’t see the conversation on individual todos. This is a great thing to provide clients.

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Asana also supports Forms. These are custom-built web forms that automatically create a ticket in the Asana project. This is ideal for retainer clients who have frequent requests. Our templates automatically include a client request form:

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These automatically feed into the Asana project.

Teams

Teams are how we organize our projects. Each team represents a client. All Asana teams should be “public” to Cantilever, so any internal team member can join any team

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Team Communication

Teams have their own Message board and calendar. This can be helpful for aligning the whole team around general updates, such as account-level changes.

Portfolios

Portfolios are a separate way to organize projects and view them at a high level. They can be used to view a full “pipeline” of projects across a specific client or company department, see the combined schedule for multiple projects at a glance, and add notes and weekly updates to the overall suite of projects rather than individual ones.

Portfolios can be used at the discretion of project managers. You may like to have a portfolio for a specific set of projects you are tracking personally, or may want to use them for client reporting across multiple projects for one client.

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