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Micromanagers like to know everything that happens in the workplace, but they often seem overbearing, and their approach can lead to workplace conflict. No one likes the feeling of someone constantly looking over their shoulder while they’re working.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that micromanagers love using Asana and its approach to managing work across an entire organisation. 

We firmly believe that Micromanagement can be turned into a positive when using Asana. The beauty of using a work management tool is that you can see everything happening in real-time yet still keeping a comfortable distance from suffocating your employees.

What is micromanaging?

In its simplest form, Micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes and controls work, often reminding and chasing subordinates or employees. It’s often thought of as an intrusive and damaging management style that allows little room for workplace creativity while displaying a lack of trust or freedom for employees. 

How to deal with a micromanager?

The best way to deal with a micromanager usually involves staying one step ahead of their concerns while being transparent with communication and overly cautious with deadlines. Often there’s a need to manage upwards, set goals, understand expectations and establish standards while creating the illusion of control. However, with Asana, it might be that a lot of these issues can fall by the wayside, especially when you implement a culture of “If it’s not in Asana, it doesn’t exist”. 

How can you use Asana for positive Micromanagement?

When using Asana as a micromanager, you need to have some discipline, and if you’re not careful, you can quickly end up buried under notifications and tasks. If you’re trying to see everything, notification fatigue sets in, and you can’t keep up.

However, fear not. Here are our top tips for getting comfortable with Micromanagement within Asana.

  1. Don’t follow everything. That might seem obvious, but Asana will naturally give you lots of updates to read through. Previously you might have read and followed all of the emails chains, but with Asana, tasks are flying around left, right and centre. Jobs that happened quietly now appear as tasks and subtasks. Processes that used to take up time are currently working away in the background through custom rules and forms. The reality is that you can’t follow everything that’s happening in real-time, despite your instincts to do so. 

  2. Use saved searches. Asana has powerful search features spanning tasks, projects, portfolios, files and messages. What makes the search even more impressive is that results can get saved as a report which will live in your navigation sidebar. For example, you could run a search for urgent tasks that have an approaching due date. Or a personal favourite of the micromanager is a report of tasks specifically assigned to someone that tends to drop the ball. By building a solid set of reports about the things or people that matter to you means you’ll never have to trawl through projects or notifications for the answers.

  3. Use existing reports. Asana comes with some pretty decent pre-built reports. You can also find these in your sidebar navigation and include Tasks I’ve Assigned to Others and Tasks I’ve Created, which is an excellent way of following up on work you’ve assigned.

  4. Get comfortable with follow up tasks. You will see many task notifications in your Inbox, and Asana will allow you to create a follow-up task so that you can keep tabs on the important stuff. Micromanagers love this feature as it means you can remove yourself from the task collaborators and avoid getting every single task update but still know when to follow up.

  5. Leave conversations and ask to be brought in when needed. Leaving conversations is an essential tip for micromanagers who are using Asana. You need to trust your team to know when to involve you, so remove yourself from the collaborators when you answer a message within a task. It’s also worth reminding your staff to bring you back in with a mention whenever they need your help.

  6. Dashboard your way to success. Micromanagers can now take full advantage of Asana’s new universal reporting features. With some planning, you can easily create charts showing who is working on what projects and create performance charts tied to an individual’s work. Tie this to the workload view in a Portfolio, and you’ll also be able to see who is getting overworked or where tasks have been unscheduled.

  7. Tie work back to the goals and keep everyone on track. It’s no good being a micromanager if the projects you’re trying to keep on top of don’t have a clear purpose for achieving a business goal. The Asana goals feature makes sure you can roll up all of your projects and portfolios to make sure they contribute to achieving your organisation’s broader goals. 

There you have it. If you’ve got a habit of being a micromanager but want to take a gentler approach to keep tabs on your team’s work, you must try Asana. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive your team will be and how easy it is to manage work from a distance.

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