How do you control/restrict your employees?

(Forum Leaders did you know about this alias? :stuck_out_tongue: )

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Hi @Bastien_Siebman - I did not know about this! Very cool :slightly_smiling_face:

@Vítek_Prchal - I have recently started with Asana and attempting to implement with my team. We also have users that we prefer have limited access. I am the Project Manager, so have control over task and project assignments. Private projects and/or portfolios work well, as you can invite only those people performing the work as full editors. Others, outside your organization, or those that don’t need to make changes, can be comment only.

Initially, you can update your settings to receive notifications on all changes to projects, so there are no surprises. Once you are comfortable with your teams’ knowledge, identify some team leaders. Then begin delegating some of the oversight work to them. Trust me, you will not want to receive notifications on everything for very long! :grimacing:

I realize it is a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but the more you work with Asana the more useful you will find the program.

Best of luck!

Hello @Vítek_Prchal! :wave:

To address you desire for more use case specific implementation, make sure to check out the Use Case section of the forums here. There are tons of great posts with advice on how to use Asana in different ways and for different companies. Also, using the search feature on the forums is another useful way to see if anyone else has made a post about a topic your interested in learning more about. This has saved me a lot of time in the past by reading through the posts of others instead of fiddling with Asana and trying to figure out best practices on my own.

Also, you probably have come across it before but just in case you haven’t, the Asana Guide is a treasure trove of fantastics information! One section you might find useful is the Ways to Use Asana section.

Lastly, I think @Bastien_Siebman gave great advice about asking specific questions on the forum. If you cant find anything that already addresses your question on the forum or on the guide then post it on here! It’s rare that forum posts don’t get replies so I can all but guarantee that you will get some great answers to your questions if you post them on here!

Hopefully this helps you but if there is more we can do let us know!

Cheers!
Matt

Hi Bastien, It would be really great to have functionality where you can have “comment only” for top level tasks on a project board, but still allow task assignees to update, revise, or add sub tasks to their assigned tasks only. When a task assignee updates, revises, or adds sub tasks the owner of the board would automatically get notified. As Vitek says, it is either way too restricted or way too open. I don’t want to rely on everyone being trained properly. If Asana had this functionality, task owners would have a “light touch” and be easy to train. The top level project manager should own the project, and task owners own their tasks. Is Asana working on this? If not you should.

Thanks, Scott

I don’t know, they don’t communicate publicly on roadmaps. I agree the permissions might not be granular enough. But if they would, the tool would be harder to use as well…

Thanks Bastien. Are Ambassadors and Forum Leaders affiliated with Asana or independent? How does Asana get feedback from the user community to improve their product?

Agree, as you said. I don’t expect anything like that tho. This is the exact same situation I’m having with google shared drives. Those roles are either way too restricted or allowed to do everything. Guess it’s just too big of a niche to be cared about.

Hey, thanks for you reply.
I’m going through those materials slowly. They help somehow. Espicially 2017/18 seems to be the Asana gold era. :slight_smile:

It’s a bit surprising that app like asana doesn’t have any clear description of its generall frame, phylosophy or best case studies easily available.

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We are independent, but we talk with Asana every month and get access to insights about the roadmap for example.

They read the forum :slight_smile:

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No I did not…

Thanks Bastien. I disagree that have a third option “can edit assigned tasks” would make using Asana harder. I would use it all the time. When I have a project with many different people assigned tasks, I don’t want task owners messing with the the top level board and adding or deleting tasks, but I want them owning the tasks they are assigned. If they want something added or deleted they can do that through the board owner. Please suggest this when talking with the folks from Asana.

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Hey @Vítek_Prchal,

I can kind of understand the concerns you are having :slight_smile: When we started using Asana in our company years ago and I helped with the set-up and monitoring I was concerned about this too. I am kind of a bit of a freak when it comes to organizing things and want to ensure everything is done properly.

How our system works at the moment:

  • Before giving team members access to key projects such as let’s say “Main Marketing Project” I would highly recommend that they get familiar with Asana as much as possible. Asana has many great guides online + on top of that I created specific videos about our Asana set-up and structures since every company handles processes differently.

  • I also gave everybody their own project so they can test out various things. Now with the improved “My Task” function, this might not be needed anymore. Yet so far I always felt this has been great for team members, also because one of the main rules everybody knew was that “A task not in Asana does not exist”, same for “A task not added to a project is no properly created task”

Now, why did we put so much emphasis on this? Because if somebody ads a task only to their task list and it does not exist in any project then nobody else was able to see the task, except for the task followers.

  • Whoever joins our team has a coordinator by their side. Not only to provide guidance for their tasks but also Asana guidance. Now, these coordinators are trained for everything related to Asana and if they have any concerns or questions they would come to me in our case.

  • The coordinators would then have notifications enabled for all the projects they are responsible for.

Reason: This way for every single task that is added to Asana they can make sure:

-that the task title is proper (we don’t want short task titles such as “attend to sheet”, a task title has
to explain what it is about in order to also locate it super easy via search, especially when other team members are trying to locate something or checking to see whether a task with the same topic exists already)
-that the task is added to the correct project
-that the task has a detailed description of what needs to be done
-that the task has the relevant followers added
-that the task is assigned and has a due date added as well

  • When the coordinators spot something that should be changed they would update the task accordingly and notify the relevant team member.
    This is done as long as the team member is familiar with everything and detailed monitoring is no longer needed
    Then the coordinator would disable the notifications for some projects but leave them on for to key projects they are monitoring and responsible for.

  • Then for certain processes, we have task leaders who report to the coordinator. For these tasks, the task leader is responsible for monitoring and updating accordingly. They would also monitor other team members involved to ensure Asana is used accordingly.

  • I am also sending monthly newsletters to our team with updates covering our projects and also Asana tips and tricks and new features.

  • On top of that, I am also in a group chat with all coordinators where I regularly share reminders, usage tips related to coordination which include Asana as well. So let’s say I spot a serious error I would point that out there and I would do the same if I spot a really well set up task. This way they get constant reminders which are important to ensure things are running smoothly

So far this structure has worked out quite well to be honest. Sometimes I would just do some random checks to ensure everything is okay.

Also in Asana you can always see when somebody changes the due date, description, etc so in the worst case you can change things back.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

I am not saying this specific request would, I am saying the millions of requests would if Asana said yes to everything :slight_smile:

I agree that having some more granular permission control would be a great thing. We’ve run into problems with a user taking it upon himself to change due dates when they don’t suit him. (Yes, I know this is totally a training issue but it would be nice to know that important dates are locked down and can’t be changed without a supervisor knowing.)

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I like the system of having a project manager responsible for the editing / updating the specific project - all other users are comment only. This is easy to set up.

Individuals are responsible for their own task management beyond that.

I believe that if someone has been assigned a task and due date then if they need that changed this is a comment back to the assigner rather than to take it upon themselves to change the project parameters.

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Yep, that makes sense. I also almost got to this setup.

Sadly, … We are working with a lot of complex tasks where information needs to be organized. Subtasking is super useful, to just divide tasks into smaller bits while keeping projects tidy.

I thought of a solution, but from here it only goes downhill. Dividing information into several places and makes asana rather messy.

@Andrea_Mayer

Great insights into how you company onboards new starters… Thanks…

Jason.

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Hey @Vítek_Prchal,

some more thoughts from me:

In the end, nobody is perfect meaning there will always be team members less organized than others. And also not everybody has the same strengths. Meaning you could have an excellent marketing person coming up with a ton of ideas and all are in his head but he might not be that good in structuring all into proper steps and need help with Asana to organize things.

I have experienced this many times. Hence why for new team members we also ask them to take a personality test to find out more about their strengths and weaknesses so we can create an ideal work environment for all.

Now that does not mean that several people won’t have to use Asana it just means nobody can be good at everything. So if somebody is excellent at marketing but needs help with organizing and pushing things through to execute we would rather assign a marketing assistant or a PM to work by their side and ensure things are being done organized instead of just replacing this person for example.

Basic rules everybody has to learn and apply but some people are just very “special cases” I would say that, no matter how much you try, just won’t be able to organize tasks in Asana the way the company might envision.

Not sure how your structure is set up in detail but for me, it always plays a key role to have coordinators responsible for whole projects and teams to ensure that everything is set up nicely and super organized.
Yes might seem like some extra work but to be honest, in the long run, it isn’t because the more organized things are from the start the easier moving forward when you need to pull reports, etc
And then over time things will just fall into place and people apply things automatically.

And as long as key people in the company lead by example in terms of how tasks are created, etc then this will make the whole process much easier.

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I feel the same as you. I actually had a call with our rep at asana to discuss this very thing.
As much as they say “its fine”, or “you should train your people” No. It is a product that is geared toward large teams, and there are many alternatives out there that have those features. In fact asana is often poked fun at for being late to the game as far as features go.
The problem I see is, the balance between simplicity, and functionality.
The simplicity of asana is significant better than other options for those who are not tech savvy, but some functionality should still be available to those who are capable, and at a minimum the management.
There really should be team manager roles, and super admin roles.
The more granular control the managers have, the less complicated it has to be for employees.
Asana is what my team is used to, and even though its one of the most expensive options, out there, it still has simplicity, and some functions that make it difficult to switch from.
From what I’ve heard, there is some stuff in the works. good luck.

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Wow. I think this is a very good discussion on restricting the team members of doing few things like changing the date and putting coordinators on top of them to monitor things.

Let me share my two cents.

I came from a traditional Project Management Background and then learnt the ropes of Agile Methodology.

Traditional Project Management point of view is what this thread’s pressing concern. Restrict employees to only a set few things, allow them to provide comments. The Project Manager or Coordinator would go ahead and change the dates and other critical items after having discussions with team members.

In Agile Methodology, the Team members to empowered to OWN their tasks and keep them public in a project. They could change the date or any other critical task details, provided it is in their Current SPRINT. They don’t have to ask their Project Manager / Scrum Master to ask for permission.
Like wise, if a Team mate is absent or ill, another team member could take over the task of Absent / ill Team member and S/he won’t be asking / informing Project Manager / Scrum Master. S/he would be updating ASANA, and notifications would be sent to Project Manager / Scrum Master accordingly.

ASANA is built basically on the philosophy of Agile Methodology. It allows for the Team members to change nearly all the fields of tasks, provided if they are in their Project, no matter if it is assigned to them. They could freely comment, change the task critical fields and all the accountability, responsibility rests with the TEAM, Not Individual, like in Traditional Project Management.

So if someone would be coming from a Traditional Project Management Background, they would be in Hard Waters. They would feel, that, hey, this isn’t fair. Everybody can change whatever the hell they want, and nobody will answer anything. They might have to use the method of adding in Coordinators, and adding Notifications which will make their Management way more difficult, but doable.

Once again, I think they are left with either adding in personnel who could coordinate more, manage more, or change people, change culture (which is a very hard thing to do, but worth every minute) and live with what Facebook, SLACK and other Agile companies are benefiting from.

Let me know if you want to build a Bridge between Traditional Project Management and Agile Methodology, and want to solve your organizational problems using ASANA.


Salman, Khwaja.

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