Annual Asana Clean-up & Close-out!

Hi, friends!

We’re finishing up our annual strategic planning this week, which for me kicks off action planning for my team. We take our company goals, our team internal initiatives, and our campaigns and create asana plans that span at least the first half of the year.

We also do one really important thing between strategic planning and action planning - our annual Asana Clean-up and Close-out party. :champagne:

Asana is an amazing tool. I find the more I get sucked into the amazingness, the more it’s my first idea when we have a new idea. Get everything into Asana. Which is great - because nothing gets lost! But, sometimes it does get a little messy. We’ve got projects that never really materialized, projects we’re using as trackers that need cleanup, projects that we actually finished but missed closing out and archiving properly.

This week, we’re tackling:

:broom: Project Clean-up:
We go through the active projects in our team and sort them into three buckets:

  1. Active
  2. Archive
  3. Clean-up or Assess

The Active list we leave alone. Archive gets handled by the respective project owners. And the Clean-up or Assess list is an agenda item in our next team meeting. Depending on the project, we’ll also discuss ways or processes to keep it cleaner.

:bucket: Template Clean-up
We have a LOT of templates, and we use them constantly. However, sometimes a template or two (or five) will seem like a good idea at the time, but then doesn’t wind up as good in practice. Or we notice we’re constantly tweaking one or two. Or we realize we’re only using 50% of the functionality and automation power we could be. This year, we also implemented TEMPLATES 2.0 for a few of our templates - but not all! To be kind to our future selves, we’re:

  1. Getting rid of templates we don’t use
  2. Converting Templates 1.0 to 2.0
  3. Assessing existing templates for further functionality
  4. Identifying templates that would be useful or make our lives easier

:medal_sports: Goal Clean-up & Close-out
We did a lot of work on cascading goals this year - and the first time we do a thing is usually not the best time we do a thing. The improvements to GOALS is noticeable, especially with the roll-out of Reporting.

  1. We’re taking the time to properly close out 2022 Goals, with accurate status updates
  2. We’re setting up our 2023 Company, Team, and Individual Goals from our strategic planning
  3. We’re making sure each Goal has either portfolios or projects - if we have a goal that does not, we’re definitely not going to reach it!
  4. We’re setting up a Team Goals reporting dashboard with monthly reminders to make sure we stay on track.

:ballot_box_with_check: Process Check
Sometimes, we’re so stuck in the doing of our work that we forget to take a minute to look at the bigger picture. We’re a small team, that isn’t going to get bigger in terms of size. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get bigger in terms of expectations, work deliverables, or results. So the only way to accomplish more with the same amount of people, is tons of unpaid overtime.

KIDDING. That’s a terrible idea. We have to create time. Since we are not magicians or wizards, this all comes down to processes and workflows. After we’ve cleaned everything up, we have both 1:1 conversations and team workshops to talk about:

  • What work we wind up avoiding
  • What work is harder than we think it should be
  • Where we feel like we waste time
  • Where we feel like we have roadblocks to achieving our goals

Look, there are a lot of answers to those questions that can’t be solved by Asana, but when there is a challenge Asana can solve, we take it - either by creating new custom fields, processes, or WORKFLOWS.

That’s what we’re doing this week! Does anyone else have any end-of-year processes they have in place?

3 Likes

Excellent, timely, valuable, thoughtful (and funny!) post, @Laura_Johnson1!!

Thanks for taking the time to write that up. Impressive.

Larry