Master project management basics

As discussed in the Master project management basics course, it can be helpful to develop team conventions around creating and assigning new tasks. Share your experience to the questions below with others to accelerate their learning.

Does it feel strange and foreign to assign a task to someone? If so, what conventions has your team set to help normalize the assignment of tasks across the team?

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Team huddle prior to task assignment

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That’s great @Linda6! Many of our customers find that a team huddle or kickoff meeting to set some conventions before they start assigning tasks in Asana is useful to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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In the Asana ecosystem, I don’t think it would fee odd to assign a task to another team member. It’s just the nature of getting things done.

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@Jonathan_Gaby It’s wonderful to hear that when working in Asana, assigning tasks is part of the equation to know who is doing what by when. As you said, it’s a part of getting things done. Do you know that you can assign copies of tasks to multiple teammates to get even more done quickly?

For many teams, this way of working may feel foreign or uncomfortable. It can require a pretty significant change in the way they are currently working. And it can take some thoughtful change management to ensure the team adopts the Asana way of working.

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I do not feel strange at all assigning tasks to team members. I have to remember to use a verb to start off the task name.

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In my project scenario it’s a good idea to set a rule for new tasks, let me explain why: - I’m writing a new task that says “Review the final document”. This task will contain sub tasks that says things like: “Check the grammar”, “Check the technical content”, “Send an e-mail to the document owner”. While another team member will create tasks like “Send a e-mail”, while it is a part of a biggest task. In other words I think it is important to set the task level before create it.

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@Gabriel_Melo that is a fantastic point. Setting conventions around how you will organize or “level” work in Asana is important. You can check out this conversation in the forum to see how others have approached the question of whether work should be a task or a subtask.

It doesn’t feel strange nor foreign to assign a task to someone because I know the importance of having a project completed on time and having team players involved with the process.

I’ve head team meetings where I describe the next event details and leaders are selected for key positions. My leaders then assign their teams to complete tasks.

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@Ozzie Discussing roles and responsibilities in person in advance of assigning out tasks can be a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and bought in. If you’re interested in learning more about balancing the “right amount” of communication, check out this article!

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Because I am usually the implementer of many tasks, it sometimes feels strange to assign tasks to others. However, I have to see it as a communication tool for what is needed more than an assignment. I personally like begin given tasks with well defined descriptions. It helps me prioritize and be productive. So I have to hope that is true for those to whom I assign a task.

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@Paula_Holsberry a well defined task description is definitely helpful in communicating what you need from others. And it can often help ease any tension that you feel around assigning work to others. @mentioning other related projects or tasks in your task description is a great way to offer more context and clearly communicate with your teammates.

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As a Manager, I think it’s important to be able to delegate - otherwise YOU become the bottleneck!

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@Aerlie_Wildy Absolutely, you make a great point. As a manager the knowing when to delegate is very important. If you’re interested in reading more about other management best practices, take a look at this issue of Asana’s Wavelength.

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For my teams, each person is able to create tasks as we think of them for relevant projects, but we don’t assign tasks. Rather, we have daily meetings where we review how work is going and what is on deck. If someone is available for more work it has clearly been communicated what is the next highest priority and people are able to self-select into what item they are able to work on next.

Due dates, details, timelines are all posted within the task or project, we just don’t assign people to them.

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Thanks for sharing @Christina_Weiberg! It sounds like your team takes a really collaborative approach to triaging work. There are a lot aspects of your process that align with an agile framework for tackling work. Have you considered using a board project view to track work in your backlog?

Hi @Maggie_Coffin, thanks for your comment!

I’m actually an Agile Coach/ScrumMaster, so we definitely use the board :slight_smile:

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Never feels odd to assign a task to someone else. I work with a team of freelancers. We created a standard on our team that we assign to the next day, with a note about the FINAL due date in the task description, that way each team member can re-assign the due date based on their other work commitments and time away from the office and they are not having to look to engage about the timeline as often (when it hits their inbox) and THEY control when it rises on their task list so they have more control over the WHEN. This works great for us.

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@Amy_Kazor thanks for sharing! Making sure that everyone on your team is on the same page about how you are going to use a tool like Asana is essential. Sounds like your team has been able to set conventions that are effective for you. Check out this article for other tips around setting conventions with your team.