Complex businesses can't use Asana?

We all love Asana for its ability to help teams organize, track, and manage their work.
But what are its limits?

For example, imagine you are trying to build out Asana as the backbone of a large land surveying company. :wink:

The organization consists of a complex network of remote teams performing work –

  • Field operations personnel traveling to building sites with equipment
  • 3D modeling staff working on digital files using desktop app’s
  • Sales and marketing employees interested in leveraging all types of content
  • Management trying to coordinate employee utilization and prevent rework or missed shots
  • Owners looking to understand various financial levers as the firm grows
  • General & admin workers looking to keep the machine running smoothly

I could see Asana working well for one of these teams. I could see a couple of them working together. But is it impossible for the entire company to run on Asana as its core operating system???

I’m talking true frictionless operations.

Project solicitation – Proposal submission – Project management (Scheduling, Field work, Digital work, QC) – Project delivery – Payment
…with key touchpoints integrated into CS and S&M platforms to outstanding ensure customer experiences every step of the way.

I’d love to get insight from productivity experts @paulminors @michael_crema and also those just starting to feel like pro’s. :smiley:



If you haven’t watched Unveiling the Future of Asana • Asana, then I recommend it because I think it helps answer your questions.

A large organization benefits from a mission-control app with the wide coverage Asana already offers. I don’t believe there’s a better choice for this than Asana. It’s prudent to use Asana wherever it helps–and I think it can potentially help in nearly all of your scenarios–and over time reach that full vision.

Asana (the company) uses Asana (the product) extensively. Maybe an employee can weigh in here. As a non-Asana-employee who’s kept up for over eight years with Asana’s workstyle (they’ve “open-sourced” many of their company-wide work methods over years of blog entries and other material). I’ve learned a lot and share it with my clients.

The more an organization uses Asana, and more widely it implements its workflows for different purposes in Asana, the more valuable it becomes due to economies of scale. While some workflows don’t belong in Asana (e. g., the integrations you mention), I like to envision or prototype in Asana any potential reasonable usage because it only takes a few minutes or hour or two to see a functioning example of what it could be. Then one decides if the 80% solution in Asana is preferable to the standalone app. Since the 80% solution comes with the power of the Asana search bar to get to this information integrated along with everything else also in Asana, and the high-value, built-in features like comment threads that come in very handy in many workflows, it often can be a better choice than the standalone option even missing some targeted advanced features of custom apps.

I see Asana as widely-applicable organization-wide for:

  • work tracking/management, avoiding work about work (actionable work)
  • custom workflows, mini “apps,” and pipeline projects (actionable work)
  • information (all types) repository (reference info; non-actionable work)

Hope that helps,



I would say that within a very large organization, the vast majority of the work does not involve everyone but rather small or medium teams. Which is perfect in Asana. So if you see a large organization as just a collection of teams then Asana seems like the perfect tool!

However you are right for things involving everyone. I am not sure there are ways to add everyone as a collaborator of a task for example or as project or team members, you still need to do it by hand…

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@JaredCurtis - to me the main limitation isn’t fundamentally the size of the organization, but the type or work/Project can become an issue.

Where we most struggle is when it comes to things like document storage when dealing with CAD and larger files that can’t easily be stored in most cloud solutions. Then we get into things like RFIs, Submittals - not to mention the things you’re talking about on the Sales workflow side.

IMO, Asana will not be a solution for all the things you’re talking about, and even in the straight-forward area of Task Management, it’s possible that something made for your industry would provide better solutions.

Not trying to dissuade you - but I know the pain we have had which is based on our industry.


Basically, ASANA is the go to app to manage your META work. everything that you do remains in your organization, but the emails you send to every other person to bring in the loop and all the meta work you do with emails, slack and other messengers, ASANA combines them into one actionable work. I slightly agree with @Joel_Charles here, that many of the work fundamental to your industry might not be resonate with ASANA. But as far as Task Management and Team management goes, I haven’t found a better product than this.

I have tried trello, basecamp, slack and other team management apps, but no one touches bases with ASANA.