Asana and Office 365

Hi,

My company will migrate from the Google suite to the Microsoft Office 365 suite, so I am testing the integration of Asana with Office 365 tools.

Outlook
Integration is possible and works well with the plug-in.

Teams
There are two possible connections:

  • one that allows to have a view of the task list in Teams, but from Teams we can do almost nothing without returning to Asana
  • one that allows to receive in Teams notifications of completed tasks, created tasks, … but we can not install it without getting error messages.

=> Those connections do not seem to be updated for a long time, @Marie is an update planned?

Sharepoint
Unless I’m mistaken, there is only a connection with OneDrive but not with Sharepoint.

In summary, I am interested in any feedback on the integration of Asana with Office 365 suite:

  • best practices,
  • difficulties encountered,
  • how to manage files,
  • how not to duplicate information and lose information, …
  • where conversations should be managed

Thank you
Julien

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Hi @Julien_RENAUD and thanks for the mention! Yes, we’re still working with Microsoft on improving our Teams integration; I’ll make sure to keep you posted as soon as I have an update to share.

Could you tell me (or our support team) more about the error message you’re getting?

I would also advise you to take a look at these integrations built by Microsoft, looks like they could be useful to integrate Asana with Sharepoint (Integrating MS SharePoint with Asana)

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My main difficulty is not being able to attach files from SharePoint libraries or Teams/Groups. It would be possible if only Asana would update to a newer version of the OneDrive file picker. It’s been requested here but hasn’t gotten any significant feedback from the Asana team. Office 365 seems to be pretty low on their priorities list compared to other competing web apps such as Wrike or Trello who have had this feature for some time.

Right now I make do with pasting SharePoint links into comments. It’s less than ideal.

Thank you @James_Schlackman1 for your feedback.

To copy the Sharepoint links seems to be the solution while waiting for an evolution of the integration with Microsoft.

Do you also use Teams? In which tools do you communicate between Asana & Teams? What bothers me is to have 2 channels of communication because it is possible to communicate under Teams and also under Asana.

We use Teams, but not extensively. We are using it primarily for knowledge management rather than general communication at the moment, not least because it still has a long way to go to meet feature parity with Skype for Business. As such, discussion on projects and tasks is taking place in Asana.

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Thank you James for your feedback :slight_smile:

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Hi @Katie_Reynolds

As I read in one of your posts that you use Microsoft Teams, then I allow me to add you to this discussion :wink:

I am very interested in your feedback on the parallel use of Asana and Teams.

My company will soon be moving to Office 365. We will have Teams, so I’m a beta tester and I have to test the uses of Asana and Teams.

If you have time to answer the next few questions then it would be great :slight_smile:
@James_Schlackman1 already gave me some advices :+1: , and having several ideas and opinions could be useful for all of us I guess.

  • Do you use the Asana / Teams connector? On our side it does not work, and I have already read equivalent comments from other users
  • Do you use communication channels in Teams? This in my opinion multiplies the channels of discussion because it is already possible to communicate in Asana even if it’s not instant messaging … How do you do it? I’m afraid that people come to talk about tasks in Teams and that we lose info doing so.
  • To manage a project, what is your best practice? We plan to create the project under Asana and have all the talks under Asana (as it’s possible to block channel creation under Teams). Teams would then be used only for discussions outside the project (via “Conversations”), without creating a channel.
  • Do you use Planner, which is well integrated with Teams but much less efficient than Asana?

I still have other questions but it’s already a lot to start :wink:
In summary, I have for the moment a rather mixed opinion (even rather negative) on the use of Teams in parallel with Asana, because I find that it will lead to confusion in the current state of the two tools.

Looking forward to discover other points of view :slight_smile:

Julien,

We evaluated Planner when we looked at Asana several months ago. We like Asana better. It was more flexible, light, and easy to use across a variety of technological ability levels.

As for Teams, we tested the integration, but didn’t like how it would only import one project. We have a lot of little projects that we work on throughout our team. We’ve broken up the work in Teams though and created channels about the different work we do (i.e. Survey, Compliance Reporting, General Topics, and we have a rotating topic channel based on the newest initiative or integration, for example Asana Implementation). Since we have several spaces in Asana for projects that fall within each of those topic channels we don’t integrate.

As for communication, if there is conversation around tasks or projects that has been happening within Asana. If there is more general communication about issues or headsup about something, a tip or trick that we found that discussion is happening within Teams in the different channels. We are new to Asana and Teams so we are still figuring out what our usage and norms are in those spaces as well.

Let me know how the switch to Teams goes. I would be interested to hear a follow-up in the future.

I hope that helps,
Katie

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@Katie_Reynolds @Julien_RENAUD, We too are beginning this Teams + Asana journey, and I’m glad to have found others discussing this (and the challenges it creates)! We are early into our Teams rollout, with just a few groups using it. I have been struggling to find the relationship between Asana and Teams. Some of our Departments use Asana just to manage high level Monthly, Quarterly, and yearly initiatives (Rockefeller habits). These groups don’t have much trouble adopting Teams, because Asana is used for more high level updates and back and forth conversations don’t typically happen there. However, the groups that use Asana for everything (daily tasks), Teams has been harder to integrate. The best bet so far is to push the idea that all task related comments/conversation belong in Asana. Everything else (like something you would have sent an email for), belongs in Teams. Sometimes that’s easier said than done – it is difficult to decide what belongs where.
Some misc comments:

  • I found this thread looking for any information on integrating Sharepoint document libraries (Teams documents) with Asana. This would be huge. I think one of the reasons we’re unable to truly unlock the power of Asana is because the lack of file management. I’m really hoping Asana is close to integrating with Sharepoint and Teams for file management.
  • Regarding the Asana connector in teams – it is definitely lackluster. It maybe a little useful for our groups that use Asana only for high level initiatives. But since you can’t interact with the tasks it has limited value, and we don’t even bother for groups that live in Asana.
  • I see what you’re saying about avoiding channels for projects, but in some situations they have value. Remember that a channel gets a new folder for documents to be separated, and its own set of tabs. Plus users can follow/unfollow channels they’re interested in. Having too many different threads in one “general” channel can make too much noise and hurt adoption.
  • I will say that Planner is slightly better than it was when it originally was released, but it is nowhere near Asana with task management.
  • Start small and try things. Launch just a few projects with MS Teams and see how things go. Get some feed back from users once they “get it”, and find out if more channels would help, or if you need to change something. We’ve recreated Teams many times trying to understand the best organization for us.
  • We have run into problems with pulling data from Asana projects with more than 1000 tasks. If you’re having any integration issues I would check the size of your project.
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Thanks Eric! I think you’re spot on with everything you said there. We found almost exactly the same with our group as we roll out both Asana and Teams.

Have a great weekend!
Katie

Thank you @Eric_Hepinstall for your very detailed answer :slight_smile:
Concerning Sharepoint, you can copy the sharepoint link of a file into a task and it works quite well, although a real integration would be better.
Again thank you for your advices :+1:

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Hey everyone,
We are testing the Teams integration, but I am missing some features. For example, board projects cannot be integrated (only lists will show), and within lists, the headers are not displayed, but appear as regular tasks.
@Marie, are there any news or timelines for the integration improvements?

Hi @Marie-Luise_Martin :wave:t3:

Welcome to the Forum and thanks for reaching out! This integration was built by Microsoft, so we actually don’t have the handle to develop it further on our hand. With that said, we’re recording all your feedback and will make sure to forward them to our contacts in Microsoft :slight_smile:

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@Marie-Luise_Martin sounds like you’re experiencing some of the issues I laid out here: Office 365 Connector for MS Teams

I wish integration with Teams was on-par with Slack in terms of real-time notifications in the absence of a dedicated desktop application from Asana.

Would also love better integration with OneDrive to easily pull in an editable / shared version (link to online version would be fine) of the document vs. attaching an “offline” copy. Having search functionality in the pop-up for OneDrive would be helpful as well as access to other Sharepoint sites especially for teams like Marketing where everything is stored in a separate Office365 Sharepoint site/folder rather than personal OneDrive folders.

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@Ben_Brenner, I definitely second the need for a OneDrive option to link to other documents than those saved in personal folders. This would be a highly appreciated feature for us, as we have been looking for ways to link to team folders.
A (not very elegant) workaround for us:

  1. In OneDrive (browser-based or local synchro), copy the link to the folder you want to refer to in Asana (make sure to choose the correct permission option for access to the folder)
  2. in Asana, insert the link into the task description or add a comment to the task with the link.
  3. Other users clicking on the link will see the OneDrive folder opening in a new browser tab.
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Hi Marie
I would also love the ability to view Asana boards within teams.
Thanks

Hi @Ben_Brenner @Marie-Luise_Martin @Julien_RENAUD , thanks for your feedback regarding OneDrive and Sharepoint. We recently upgraded the OneDrive file selector to be able to attach/link to files stored in Sharepoint team sites/team libraries. You can do this by selecting the OneDrive option when attaching a file, logging in with your Sharepoint online credentials, and selecting a team site/library in the file browser.

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Hi @TonyC
Great news! I’ve just tried and it works well :slight_smile:
It would be interesting to rename “OneDrive” to “OneDrive / Sharepoint” so that it is more intuitive that the connection is also possible with Sharepoint.

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@Julien_RENAUD Which browser have you tried it on?

Thanks,
Katie

@Katie_Reynolds I’m using Chrome