A client’s enthusiasm for their prospective project energizes our team. And so does the challenge of helping them overcome their obstacles to meeting their goals. Working as a team toward the delivery of great products and services to our clients is tremendously rewarding, when everyone’s strengths are recognized and channeled towards the work each person loves to do and does well. The results are fantastic and people are happier than ever. My world of business operations and project management boils down to two things, tools and the fuel that energizes them.
With any project, visual management is key. And when your team is rarely in the same physical space, then a virtual project management workspace, like Asana, can make all the difference in the world. Tasks need to be assigned and managed to deadlines so client expectations are met. What gets displayed and measured gets done! The team depends on each team member to do their part, and at a glance each person knows what they are responsible for and can support each other with great communication. Asana enables us to set boundaries and hold each other accountable.
Imagine the scenario of publishing 100 social media posts each month. Let’s break down the areas of expertise, tasks, and talents needed to do this and do it well for 6 different clients. There are three distinct skill sets required and as many as 15 main tasks involved just to create one quality social post.
Strategy - What is the client’s intention and purpose of their social media presence, taking into account their vision and goals? They develop relationships, network, meet with clients and stakeholders, gather data and research, develop strategy, write proposals, and understand industry trends.
Talents - This individual must think strategically, market, problem solve, lead, and communicator with excellence.
Project Management and Administrative Support - Plan the work. Work the plan. They observe and anticipate the needs of the team. These individuals must facilitate client communications, set appointments, organize details, document tasks and notes, proofread, monitor performance, report to client, create processes and standards, research and apply tools.
Talents - These individuals maintain attention to detail, is organized, prompt, problem solver, observant, diplomatic, and a great communicator.
Creative Content Creation - We’re sharing a story with the audience. Know. Feel. Do. These individuals must do onsite photography, create graphics, write post copy to match visuals, tell stories and convey necessary details, monitoring conversations and engaging with the audience.
Talents - These individuals excel at graphic design, photography, creative content, thinking outside of the box, storytelling, marketing, and communication.
Asana is so feature-rich that it gives you a lot of flexibility to structure your projects and tasks that best meet the preferences of the team and each individual. But this also means your initial approach will be trial and error. The Unleashed team started with the free version of Asana, which served the team well for 6 months. As our clients’ needs evolved and our team grew, it made sense to invest in a paid plan, giving us access to more features.
We have made it a practice to agree on a project structure, frequently evaluating if it is working, and making adjustments as we go.
With Asana, Unleashed Consultants, divvies out the portions and eats the elephant one bite at a time. What each team member loves about Asana speaks to the strengths each of us brings to the team. Asana fits the bill for Unleashed Consultants and is crucial to serving our clients.
This is what each Unleashed team member loves about Asana.
Kim says, “One task can reside in multiple projects, so each can be organized differently based on each team member’s focus and needs. For example, the client project manager needs to see all of the tasks for the client, organized by various criteria. They want to view the big picture.”
The photographer/social media manager’s talent is storytelling. She wants to see all planned social media posts for all of their clients. She directs her creative energy toward one client (or column, as you can see below) at a time. It is inspiring when her photographs show up in our tasks. We think to ourselves, “We couldn’t do that, but we can arrange everything to make it possible for her to be at that moment to take that photo.”
Megan says, “As the owner of a business, it's vital that I know what's going on without needing to micromanage my team. Once we figured out how to best use Asana (it did take a few months!), it has made my organization much faster, more flexible, and more focused. Each of my team members does what they do best. Using Asana means that I can concentrate on strategy, while Kim focuses on productivity and details. Each of us can organize all of our projects, both individually and as a team.. I don't wake up in the middle of the night anymore afraid that we dropped the ball or forgot an important detail. I can check into Asana on my mobile app and see the status of each project. It also allows me to go on vacation and take time off because I can check in once a day, answer any questions my team has, and be on my way. There’s no more going through hundreds of emails that aren't pertinent for me.”
Pam says, “I’m a visual organizer. I have endless handwritten lists that are always changing. I love Asana because it gives me a quick visual of what needs to be done, and it’s flexible enough to quickly arrange (and rearrange) to meet my needs that day.”
“Plus, I love the feeling of marking each task complete...because sometimes a unicorn goes flying by on a rainbow to celebrate. No, really! We all need a little magic in our day!”
Breann says, “My favorite thing about Asana is that it not only has a list of the tasks that need to be completed, but I can also see very quickly any recent comments on jobs I've been assigned. It makes working from 1,300+ miles away so easy and organized!
Yessel says, “I love using Asana because makes it so easy to search for something when you need it! Just type in what you're looking for and refine the search by the person it was assigned to or date range.”
The Unleashed Consultants team keeps it real and hold each accountable to getting the work done for our clients. We joke, “It’s like magic.” But in reality the magic is in the right team, the right tools, and the fuel that drives us. Together we plan the work and work the plan.
What would magic feel like for your organization, school or small business?
Kim Lampe - Process Manager/General Chaos Coordinator