@Marie - Thanks for your response. Could I respectfully share three reasons that I feel strongly that this was a significantly damaging change for thousands of teams?
1. Feedback from a small portion of users (while happy users were silent) (I know we discussed this – but I’m hoping to share here an additional perspective)
I understand and respect that you had many sources of feedback saying that it was confusing. However, to @Przemek’s point, obviously the tens or hundreds of thousands for whom the reports were working well … those people (including me and more than 300 people I’ve personally set this report up with) wouldn’t have been vocal about this recently because it was working as expected. So, @Marie, I want to suggest, respectfully, that making a change, without warning or widespread testing, based only on complaints from people for whom it wasn’t working well, is hazardous because they don’t necessarily represent your majority of users.
Let’s say, for example, this is the breakdown of how people felt about seeing overdue tasks in their “Due in the next X days” custom report:
5,000 people were hypothetically confused, hated it, and complained vocally.
400,000 don’t use that feature or don’t know about it and don’t care
900,000 use the feature lightly and appreciate it. These people don’t say anything because there’s nothing to say. It’s working as expected.
100,000 use the feature heavily and it’s absolutely crucial to their workflows across their teams through their whole company. They don’t speak up or submit tickets or post on the forum about it, because there’s nothing to say… it’s working as expected.
In that hypothetical scenario, the only people you hear from before making this fundamental reporting change were the 5,000 who were upset and confused. You didn’t hear from the 900,000 who use it lightly or the 100,000 who rely heavily on the feature. I suspect and hope I’m wrong on how this was vetted and tested among those who opposed the change; but if my explanation is right, it illustrates why the approach seems so faulty.
I know there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes beyond just counting number of support tickets and forum posts… but my point is that the decision can’t properly be made assuming that the complainers represent the majority.
2. This change actually damages Asana’s core purpose: i.e. CLARITY on WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN
As a separate point, in my mind, and in Asana’s marketing messaging, Asana helps teams answer the question of WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN. Getting down to the details, here’s what that looks like:
- A manager needs to know what tasks are high priority and in each teammember’s queue. High priority would naturally include things that are overdue, due today, and due in X days (very soon). A report, including all team members, sorted by assignee, with filters for “Incomplete” and “Due in the next 7 days” used to provide this insight. However now → there is literally no view, anywhere in Asana, for a manager to get this type of visibility without customizing the report filters every. single. day.
- An individual needs this same type of insight for themselves. They could use My Tasks, except it has two fundamental problems… (1) no ability to see/include global custom fields, which reports does do and my tasks does not; and (2) there’s no zero-effort way to only show urgent tasks (overdue and due soon) – yes, it has the “Upcoming” section, but getting value there requires constant sorting from the “recently assigned” section – it’s too unwieldy. And so, again, there is now no place anywhere in Asana for a user to see a focused list of what’s urgent – meaning overdue and due soon (unless of course they create a report that they have to customize and modify every single day).
3. It represents a disruption of customer trust
Asana is not a cheap tool. Teams spend a lot of money on the licenses but FAR MORE money on employee time and consulting expenses to get their organizations strategically set up and onboarded and fully implemented. My “full implementation” clients pay between $5K and $20K for an implementation, depending on the level of involvement. You mentioned that you can’t please everyone and every change will inevitably break the workflow of some teams. I fully understand that that is unavoidable. However, as part of customer trust and loyalty, they need to know you understand the impact of change and that you’ll provide tools to help them navigate change with minimal destructive loss to their companies. We, as consultants, are of course here to help, but, if nobody has any warning, then there’s absolutely no way to prevent or prepare for the hazards caused by the change.
If I had known a week or two in advance, I could have prepared some workarounds to send out to everyone I’ve ever provided reports training for and I could have helped them adjust their workflows. Instead, I was immediately hit with concerned and angry messages from managers and front-line employees saying that they had lost their visibility on any urgent overdue tasks and begging to know if I knew anything about what was going on and if I could please help them. I had appointments and couldn’t drop everything to help, so managers were in a panic, and I was in a mad rush that night, most of the night, trying to come up with solutions, make videos, and notify everyone. That’s absolute mayhem and havoc and definitely puts people on edge about Asana. The whole thing, while still a poor change in my opinion, could have been a smooth process if Asana had provided some notice, at the very least to the “Asana Together” community so that we could support our clients and teams through the transition.
And so, @Marie, I hope you know what a huge fan I am of all that you do (and that I’m the one who started the “Gratitude Post” that apparently I need to keep resurfacing to help remind people of a place to thank you for all you and your colleagues do). I hope you know I’m not angry at you and I know Asana, just like all of us, goes through growing pains. This is a rotten one. I hope that the three points I outlined will help explain why this was not a minor thing in my world or for my clients and why it is still a big problem and why I’m begging them to reconsider or to provide a simple “Toggle” in the search criteria to allow for viewing overdue tasks in addition to “due soon” tasks.
I took time to write out this lengthy post to help explain why I personally feel so strongly that this was a really serious change for thousands of teams.
At it’s core, it eliminates the ability for managers and for an individual employees to have a focused view of WHO is doing WHAT by WHEN smoothly. It breaks the core messaging and value of Asana.
Thanks so much for what you do. I sincerely hope you’ll share my begging plea with the right people who need to hear it and who make these decisions. Sincere thanks for taking the time to read and consider my thoughts and others here.
P.S. I promise I won’t just keep posting longer replies. I just needed to clarify the specifics in full so that I could make sure my reasoning was understood and that my clients’ feedback was represented clearly.