Turning More Employees into Regular Asana Users

I work at a medium-sized nonprofit with about 50+ employees. One of the challenges we face is getting everyone on board with Asana. We are a media-oriented organization, and the two departments that create media content (Media Production and Creative Services) are strongly on board with Asana. Others departments (Development, Administration, others) use it for this and that. And other departments barely use it at all.

Within the last year we’ve had more users engage with the Asana app, and it seems to be gaining traction slowly. Some of the things done so far include:

  1. Providing free training events in-house. These have been well-liked by those who attended them. (But some of the people who really should be there always seem to be missing!)
  2. Creating an on-boarding Asana template project, which walks users through the process of getting started.
  3. Creating an Asana-themed discussion group. We use Workplace, but this could be done on Slack or whatever platform your organization uses.

We’ve had good results from the above efforts, but there is still room to grow. I would love to hear what others have been doing to help users with on-boarding and with transitioning to habitual use.

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@MPrewitt thank you for raising this, it’s an issue I am also facing and trying to be proactive about.

My nonprofit is around 150 employees, based around the world. We’re just beginning to introduce Asana to the organization. Based on past experience (and frankly past failures trying to introduce org-wide systems), my organization’s leadership made the decision to require that Asana be used by all of our US-based staff (around 40 people) and are then making it optional for staff based in other countries (with the caveat that if a country team is interested in using Asana then the the entire team would need to adopt it). Clearly communicating the why behind this decision has been helpful so far in preparing our US staff for the transition to Asana. In the past when systems were not a requirement there was confusion about who is using what when, so we’re trying to avoid that this time around.

In addition to the things you’ve done so far (which are great and things I’m doing as well!), I’m planning to:

  • Meet with each team/department following my first Asana training to help them identify the types of projects to create in Asana and how they want to use Asana as a team (getting to some team conventions).

  • Cultivate a group of “asana champions”, ideally one person from each department who I’ll engage with more regularly and who will be responsible for encouraging their team’s adoption of Asana. This will also hopefully make org-wide adoption easier for me to manage if I’m in contact with 10 people rather than 150.

  • Meet with resistant staff one-on-one. There’s a handful of people who I know will be especially tough to convince (the post-it and pen/paper people) that I’m planning to meet with one-on-one to sit with them as they add tasks and projects into Asana. This individualized attention and support will allow them the space to voice any concerns to me while for them hopefully underscoring the value my organization is putting on adopting Asana.

  • Lastly, I think one of the most critical things to do to successfully transition the organization to Asana is to get leadership on board. Although my organization made the decision to adopt Asana, some of our key leadership are some of the worst when it comes to adopting systems and technology. They have committed to using it, but I know it’ll take a lot of my time to get them to be active users. If I can get our CEO to stop emailing staff requests and instead put it in Asana it will be a huge motivator for others to do as well.

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Thanks for sharing @MPrewitt!

You’ve done all the right things in making training opportunities and support widely available, leveraging our trainings template and fostering an Asana centered discussion group are all critical pieces of the tech adoption puzzle. While it may feel feel like you’re running into speed bumps in the adoption of Asana across your whole organization, I think you’re actually in a quite advantageous place!

@Mia_Velasco, these are all star recommendations! I’d love to just add a couple recommendations rooted in Kotter’s change management principals that I think @MPrewitt (plus others who find their way here) will find helpful!

The fact that you have key, incredibly cross-functional teams operational and engaged in Asana is actually a very strong place to be in. Piggy backing off of on of Mia’s recommendations, building a guiding coalition of champions across your organizations, comprised of members (with a diverse set of skills) across all teams in your org is critical. These champions are your voice across the organization with the ability to guide & steer progress, speak to the unique challenges they are facing in the path to progress not to mention bubble up the successes they are seeing for others in your team to learn from (:point_left: more on this in a little bit!).

It is also key to define what success with Asana looks like; for you, your teams and your organization as a whole. What pain points exist because Asana isn’t adopted org wide? What does success look like for you as a leader; for your colleagues as a team; for all your staff in general? What challenges have been solved within teams that have adopted Asana- how have they become more efficient, agile and collaborative in ways that have transformed the way that they work?

  • Freely communicate the progress made toward your vision of success, by showcasing the short term wins. Shine a spotlight on them and encourage the continued journey toward change that reassures folks who are resistant, that a better way to work exists. Encourages teams that are embracing change that their work & successes are seen, valued and contribute to the greater success and impact you’re seeking to make.

  • Create a “Staff” team in Asana, for employee comms and content that you would otherwise send “company wide” emails with. In this team, use the team conversation to share info org wide, without ever sending another email again. Stick to a cadence of once a month and use this opportunity to bubble up wins by teams who are successfully completing projects in Asana. Double up your impact by getting an executive sponsor to be the one congratulating cases of progress for all your org to see. Use the opportunity to share those insights of success & help spread the word of how their work (and the clarity around it) has improved. This will help build a sense of momentum, centered in positive reinforcement, that is incredibly powerful.

I also encourage all eligible nonprofits who have joined the Asana for Nonprofits program who are facing similar challenges as you, to take advantage of Asana Advisors that have been trained in change management. Request a 1 hour consultation with them for some additional customized guidance. I’m going to highlight a few of our Advisors below, though there are many others you can lean on for help in your digital transformation journey.

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Have you thought of also doing an on-demand training as a webinar, so folks can also do it at their own time and pace?

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The first training was recorded, but the video quality was really poor. (It was too compressed and pixelated, so it was hard to see the text in the app screens.)

But this suggestion made me think about it some more. It could be worthwhile to record multiple short videos (aiming at 2-3 minutes long), each dealing with a specific issue that coworkers are finding difficult. Then it would be easy to forward them a link to a bite-sized video dealing with the specific topic they need help with. It would also be easier to create them, since it could be done in short blocks of time.

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Hi everyone,

I was already involved in a similar discussion on the forum, and maybe you can find some additionnal advices or ideas in those posts:

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@Julien_RENAUD, these are great! :muscle:
Thanks so much for sharing & surfacing those resources here!

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