One big team vs individual departmental teams

My full-service ad agency’s structure is common: accounts, media, creative, digital, admin/billing. My question is what team structure do companies with similar departments utilize? We have lots of cross-departmental collaboration and communication with someone from each department touching a project at the same time or at some point during the project life. Would it be easier to have one Agency team where all client projects live and work is organized with custom fields for which department the task is for, etc.? Perhaps then departmental teams for interdepartmental projects? If you have any thoughts or examples of how your entire company uses Asana when cross-departmental work is involved, please share!


In my company each departement has a team within Asana with the projects the departement owns. If needed collaborators from other teams can be added to specific projects. This way they will have access only to those projects.

A project becomes a team in Asana only if it involves many collaborators from too many different teams. This way you can easily separates tasks if needed by creating several projects that will be visible by all team members. And you have several level of communications : the whole team, only 1 project.
This is very useful when you have a very big project with different types of activities.


Hi @Caity_Rose - Here at Asana we do something similar to @Julien_RENAUD. Our “Teams” in the Asana app represent our teams/departments at the company. As Community Manager I work cross functionally on a regular basis. We’ll create tasks and projects in a certain Asana Team depending on who is running point on the project. For your client work, I recommend that you create a project for each client. If you need to create multiple projects for a given client you could use naming conventions that include client name. Example project names for clients “J.Doe” and “M.Smith” could be:

  • [J.Doe] Billing
  • [J.Doe] January Campaign
  • [M.Smith] Fall Video
  • [M.Smith] Billing

Let us know if you have any follow up questions :slight_smile:


Hey @Caity_Rose - I too work at a full ad agency. We went with a different approach then Julien and Alexis above. We created “Teams” based around the clients.

Often times we will have Analytics, Creative and Media for one client. By creating a team we have 3 separate “projects” for XXX Analytics, XXX Creative and XXX Media. This allows us to invite the client as a guest into Asana as well.

We also have Department Teams but those are less client-focused and more based on internal best practices and ways to better the internal team.

Hope this helped!


Hi @Caity_Rose

I work for a company that develops qualifications for the education sector. Like @Julien_RENAUD and @Alexis, we’ve set up separate teams but we collaborate by inviting relevant colleagues to projects and assigning them specific tasks. For example, my team is Product Development. We’re quite a big one, made up of almost 60 people, and that includes sub-teams that have slightly different responsibilities as part of the development process. Then there’s the Assessment Design team, who work closely with us when we actually start writing a qualification. I set up a development project (we have our own templates for those), then invite an Assessment Design colleague to join it, and they have full access to that individual project.

The advantages of having separate teams are:

  • everyone doesn’t have their sidebar flooded with irrelevant projects
  • we can grant access only to specific projects
  • teams can have different subscription levels - ours is Premium, because we use all of the features, where some other teams only need free access.

Good luck with setting things up! Post an update and let us know how it goes.


Regarding subscription levels, does adding someone from a ‘Free’ team to a ‘Premium’ Team’s project take up one of your Premium Team’s available seats? We’re having trouble with reaching our seat limit because other people within the company are being added to a project and taking up a seat.

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Hi @Amber_Baumer

In short; yes. If you are inviting folks from other teams to collaborate on projects in a Team that is covered by a premium plan, then they will take up a premium seat there. Think of it this way, if folks are enjoying premium features, then they occupy a seat in this premium plan. The only way to get free guests, is if you select a premium plan that covers your whole Organization.

Hope this clarifies things a bit more!

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Hi Mark,
Does that mean that your projects are client names and the tasks within that client are your projects?
Or do you have actual projects under a team where the client name is part of the naming convention?

Project (as a task?)


Client name - Project

Hi Thomas

We’re structured as:


The project represents a product development, rather than a client. So, each development sits within our wider development team, with individuals from other teams invited as guests. Although we’ve had to seriously cut back on that since the change in pricing structure, which meant that any guests in our projects took up a seat in our Premium plan. The consequence is that we’re a lot more insular now. Asana works very well for us as a large team, but we can’t really use it across teams, unless our whole company adopts it.

It’s a shame, really.

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This is informative.

We are trying to figure out the best way to represent our org. We have departments with 2 other tiers of sub groups, and also similarly set up in different countries. Collaboration is necessary across multiple departments and countries.

We were trying to err on not having too many teams and just portfolios but if we get to granular with portfolios then it is my understanding that we will minimize some reporting elements.