05/13/2024

Asana Review from a Project Manager’s Perspective

Recently, Love and Science has been on the search for the best PMO system to keep everything organized. We currently use Basecamp for client communication, task lists, and project organization. However, we have not been satisfied with the lack of options Basecamp offers, so we are testing out some of the most popular project management apps. Through research and alignment on what we wanted most out of a system, we decided to try both Asana and ClickUp to see which would work best for our company. 

This is my quick summary of what I thought about Asana after the trial.

Our Feature Wish List

First, let me outline some of the most important features our company is looking for:

  • Task management
  • Project timelines
  • Gantt Charts
  • Collaboration with Clients
  • App integration (Google Calendar, Slack)

Asana Pros & Cons

To test out our Asana trial, we moved three new clients into the system. Here are my first impressions.

Pros:

  • Tasks are dependent on one another. Asana gives you the ability to set up a workflow with tasks since you can make them “dependent” on other tasks being completed. This adds a sense of automation to task management.
  • Task Organization. A huge pro for myself was being able to drag and prioritize individuals’ tasks. This helped me plan daily to-do lists and which ones took precedence over the others.
  • Project Timelines. Asana has a few different project views you can choose from with each project. There is a timeline view that shows each task and its duration. This view will also show which tasks are dependent on one another. This is helpful for visual learners.
  • Workflow feature. I will be honest; I didn’t fully understand how to set up the workflow feature in Asana. If I had, I think it could’ve been useful to our company’s needs. I believe there are multiple uses you can choose for the workflow which may have been why I struggled with it so much.
  • Customer Support. Someone reached out to me from Asana to ask how I was liking it and if I had any questions about the system. She also asked what I specifically was looking for. She then continued to set up a working session for us to learn how to best use Asana. This was really helpful, and I’m grateful I had someone to reach out to that was reliable.

Cons:

  • Gantt Chart. Asana didn’t have an all-project Gantt chart that showed everything, the most important features we were looking for, so it would’ve made a big difference in the experience. Some apps allowed you to integrate Gantt charts, but that felt like it may just result in double the work.
  • Task collaboration. Our team will use task comments to collaborate on projects or assignments. Asana only allows for one person to be assigned a task so it makes it hard for task collaboration and communication. This was my biggest con from Asana.
  • Client Collaboration. Asana isn’t the best platform for having clients involved in the projects. They could be assigned specific tasks, but there wasn’t a space for overall communication.
  • Docs and Files. Asana seemed to lack an organized space for docs and files. There was the ability to add files to a specific task, but there wasn’t a space to keep files and docs pertaining to the projects for easy access.

Overall, Asana seems like a great project management system, but it didn’t have all the features my team was looking for. I think it would be great for teams who may not need as much collaboration capability and are strictly focused on project planning. I look forward to trying out ClickUp and will give another review for that.

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