The philosophy of the Asana system. 4 principles of work in the system

Surely many have heard of Asana's project management system. Dustin Moskowitz, formerly known as the co-founder of Facebook, has attracted multimillion-dollar investments for his project.

In early 2013, when we all again frantically tried to escape from the clumsy Bitrix 24 and Megaplan. I tested Asana and said: “Well, what did investors find in this project? There is nothing here! ”However, over time, I realized: like any legendary system, Asana has its own philosophy, its own DAO, without which the casket will not open.

Today I will talk about four basic principles of working in Asana, which will make you take a look at this tool in a new way and make it a secret weapon of your effective work.

1. The principle of recording areas of concentration


When working at Bitrix 24 and Megaplan, it always seemed to me that I was terribly inefficient. There were a lot of global tasks and projects, however, nobody knew what subproblems, micro-affairs and deals the project was divided into. That is, I do something all day, but I can’t close the task globally.

The fact is that the time allocated to work is limited, and consists of attention spans in different areas of action. Each action area is part of the most likely and beneficial, according to the team, path to achieving the goal. Sometimes concentration on the zone of action can lead to the achievement of several goals, sometimes it does not lead to the achievement of the goal at all and is false. One way or another, the whole day consists of small zones of concentration. If we cannot fix these zones in writing, then it seems that we are marking time and doing nothing.

In "Megaplan" and others like it there is no functionality that will allow you to flexibly set dozens of small tasks per day. “Asana” is based on the principle that any task is a multitude of areas of concentration of attention and zones of action. The system provides functionality for fleeting task setting and regrouping them into larger projects.

2. The principle of evaluating the effectiveness of "from the hill"


Asana - a checklist of the affairs of different people gathered in one team to solve a certain range of problems. Initially, it is assumed that people gathered in this team are sane and able to organize their time. That is, Asana is not a task setting system with requests for a change in the deadline of the director, a rigid system for checking the quality of execution, etc. Because in the design work, there is simply no time to check each piece of the completed task and microtask. The project involves a sequence of completing interrelated tasks, and if you spend time verifying the implementation, the sequence should either be suspended or ignore such verification. It is assumed that the quality of the completion of the task is ensured by the rules from above, and not by “wiping the pop” of employees by the manager from below,

Asana has many tools for evaluating employee performance, called “From the Hill.” You can see the number of closed tasks, the hours worked for a particular task. Of course, many will say that in the same Megaplan there is a similar functionality, but:
a) to write off the time spent in the comments, after the work is done is a trash;
b) it’s very difficult without explaining to 1000 small sub-tasks to explain to the manager why you wrote off 40 hours per week for the “Maintaining an Advertising Campaign” task.

Therefore, maybe there is BDSM who paint their day at Megaplan or Bitrix 24, but my natural laziness made me look for other systems.

3. The principle of structuring employment


In heavy domestic CRMs, most often there are two levels of nesting of activity areas - tasks and deeds. This approach allows us to relate to the tasks of the first level more vaguely from the point of view of planning, because where to put all the uncertainty of our lives? And setting micro-tasks and subtasks is not cost-effective in terms of time resources: all the gain from planning will eat up time for setting goals. The tasks remain the “project” part of the area of ​​attention, that is, the vagueness of the intervals of activity, the foggy start of work, blurred milestones, etc.

However, there are things in Megaplan, and they could fully satisfy the need for crushing tasks, if in practice any business could not turn into a task, that is, split into new small areas of activity. And if you place the newly arriving, “dependent” affairs on the same level, that is, in the parent task, we will get a loss of connectivity and consistency. So, in Megaplan, the structure of tasks and subtasks does not allow you to plan daily attention spans, and affairs do not have hierarchical coherence.

Let's get back to Asana. Here, the number of levels of dependence is limited only by common sense. In my opinion, this can not be more than 3-4 levels, otherwise the highest tasks are most likely projects. This structure allows you to hierarchically divide tasks into small areas of activity, and moreover, give pieces of this activity to other team members.

4. The principle of blindness


Do you have tasks with the mental label “We need to do it, but it seems not urgent”? I have dozens of them. Such small reminders that you plan a lot, but do not have time. In the “rigid” planning systems, and any domestic system according to my criteria is rigid, you do not have the opportunity to see the task, but not notice. An unfortunate controller will come running and ask: “Ay-yay, how is that, Victor? Why is the task uncovered? ”

“Asan” has a tool for planning the day, it is available on the My Tasks page. Its basic principle is the division of all assigned tasks into three groups. It was this principle that changed my approach to planning the day and week. It very accurately, in my opinion, reflects the limitations of our attention and time resources. In Asana, all tasks can be divided into Today’s, Deferred, Lasting, and New. It looks something like this:



Tasks that you do not plan to complete in the near future, but don’t want to close, you can reset to “Deferred” and remember about them only when you want to. All tasks that you plan to close today are sent to the Today block. Thus, an eternal heap of unclosed cases does not drag you. You form a natural “wastebasket” where you send unimportant things.

When you consider the Asana system as a business glider, be sure to refresh these four basic principles. Without them, Asana would seem too simple, chaotic and uncontrollable system. But believe me, this is gold, also with 12 free licenses.

Have a nice work.

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