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What is Asana Workflows?

By Danielle Cross | March 28, 2022

Asana Workflow

Using Asana for work is more efficient in a day and age when all participants work remotely and need to remain consistent. The work in the workflow management tool lets you build and track processes seamlessly. You can create workflows with Asana and monitor the status of your projects with the tool: keeping track of what your team does with Asana and streamline processes.

If you want to know how to build a workflow in Asana, it’s important to set the foundation so that your workflow functions properly. Let’s start with the basics.

What is a workflow? 

In Asana, we refer to workflows as the end-to-end processes that help teams meet their goals by connecting the right people to the right data at the right time. Once you set up a workflow you can organise information in an understandable and repeatable way. 

An effective workflow has seven steps, arranged across three stages—planning, execution, and review:

  • Planning: 
  1. Ideation and information gathering
  2. Request intake
  3. Prioritisation and resourcing
  • Execution:
  1. Development and review
  2. Progress tracking
  • Review:
  1. Approval
  2. Reporting

Why are Workflows Important?

Workflows are very useful at the team and department level. They can provide the clarity your team needs in order to hit their goals faster. 

You can build an effective workflow for a time-sensitive task with an end goal such as marketing campaigns, client or employee onboarding programs, and procurement. But workflows work equally well for recurring processes and evergreen work—like content calendars, IT requests, and bug tracking.

Every workflow is unique, but all workflows use the same building blocks. These basic components are flexible and fit any team or organisation’s needs. The critical part is mapping your business-critical processes to create structure in your organisation. When you do that, there is clarity in the next step or on who is driving which piece of the project. Eliminating that uncertainty is groundbreaking.

What are the Building blocks of an Asana workflow?

Organisation

Organisations connect all the employees at your company using Asana in a single space based on your company's shared email domain.

Teams

Within the Organisation, you and your colleagues split into teams to collaborate on your projects and tasks. Every user in your organisation is part of at least one team but can be part of multiple teams.

Projects

Projects allow you to organise all of the tasks related to a specific initiative, goal, or big piece of work. Within projects, you’ll use sections to organise your tasks.

Tasks

Tasks are the basic unit of action in Asana.

Subtasks

Use subtasks to break up the work of a task into smaller parts or to help divide up the work among multiple people.

Comments

Comment on a task to ask questions, provide extra information, or offer insights.

When do you need a workflow?

Workflows are truly powerful at the team and department level. When done right, workflows provide the clarity your team needs in order to hit their goals faster. 

You can build an effective workflow for a time-based initiative with an end goal—think marketing campaigns, new employee onboarding programs, and procurement—as well as for recurring processes and evergreen work—like content calendars, IT requests, and bug tracking.

What are the Benefits of Workflows?

When it is well-defined, a workflow facilitates repeatable processes and is a key driver for growth. With an effective workflow, you can eliminate unrelated work, ease miscommunication, increase clarity, and boost engagement. Working with a project management tool like Asana will save you a ton of time and stress in the future.

Real-time visibility

Real-time, actionable insights can help organisations to increase team efficiency. Getting these insights can be difficult though—so that’s where workflows come in.

An effective workflow connects people to the right information at the right time. This level of connection increases visibility within and across projects—so everyone on your team knows exactly who’s doing what by when and why it matters. In particular, this level of visibility helps organisations:

  • Gain real-time, actionable insights to increase team efficiency
  • Accurately plan, resource, and scale work up or down as necessary
  • Keep executive and cross-functional stakeholders up to date on project progress
  • Reduce delays and produce higher-quality deliverables
  • Get a bird’s-eye view of your project’s process in order to understand, pinpoint, and diagnose issues

Alignment within and between cross-functional teams

Clear, defined workflows empower cross-functional clarity and context across multiple teams that work remotely. When you have a network of connected projects or tools, you enable cross-functional teams to see the how and why behind the work that’s being done. 

Good work management tools allow you to define and share workflows, no matter what team you’re on. This creates a single source of truth for all work and data, breaking down silos between teams to empower more effortless collaboration. Plus, connecting individual initiatives to larger-scale company workflows gives team members a clear view of the work that’s most important. By making this clear to all team members, everyone can focus on the highest priority work that drives the most impact.

Increased operational efficiency

Workflows codify processes through work request intake forms, business process automation, and templated projects. By connecting the right people to the right data, you improve efficiency and productivity. An effective workflow eliminates work about work to increase team velocity. When your team has clarity, they can focus on the work that matters most to drive the most impact. Not to mention that increasing transparency with integrations between business tools can reduce context switching. 

How to Start with Asana Workflows?

Most workflows will require you to give project members edit permissions to enable them to take action on their own tasks. This gives them a level of flexibility so they manage the part of the workflow that is relevant to their task. You can start with comment only permissions in the cases where a project needs to be publicly viewable by many stakeholders who are not responsible for any of the tasks. Asana workflows can be edited as many times as you need to prevent accidental or unnecessary changes to sensitive information. 

Find out about the new Workflow Builder from Asana here: https://asana.com/product/workflow-builder

Watch Asana - What is a Workflow video below: 

 

Asana Workflow

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