A while back, I wrote about how I found a project management software called ASANA and something we were going to start using called ‘Start Sheets’. You can read about how we got started with ASANA here: Getting Myself and My Team Organized
As I stated in my original post, the challenge we were having was we couldn’t stay on top of what was being requested. The bigger challenge was the requests were coming in from so many different ways and people, to anyone on my team, so it was difficult to know where to start attempting to try and manage it all. Here is what we had:
Requests were coming in from everywhere and to everyone. On top of that, my team didn’t have a good way of managing what was being asked of them, so even if the requests were manageable, there wasn’t a good way to look at all of them in a high level to know what was really going on.
The other item I discussed in the previous blog post was Start Sheets. The idea here was to ask the questions that needed to be asked, so we could get to work on what needed to be done. This seemed to be a good idea, but the problem here was having this ‘sheet’ with you at all times or the questions readily available to be asked. So, we had software that seemed to be easily useable and understandable, but now the challenge was getting the info into ASANA.
After doing a bit more reasearch I found that I could connect Wufoo, an online form builder, and ASANA. Once the online form was filled out on Wufoo, the form would simply load into ASANA, and it was ready to be processed. We call it the Media Request Form. I’d be more than happy to show it to you if you like, so just ask.
Here is how our new system works. When a request comes in, it gets entered into our Media Request Form or MRF. When the form is submitted it get’s emailed to the person that requested it and to an email list for my department. It also loads directly into ASANA into a project called “New Media Request”. At this point, everyone in my department can see the request. The requested then gets assigned to the appropriate person for the project to be completed.
This system is much like a funnel. When you pour a liquid from a container with a large opening into another container with a small opening, you’ll end up with a mess. When you add a funnel, now that liquid is channeled into the smaller container and nothing is spilled. This is much like how our system works. When all of these requests come from the larger container (all the other departments in the organization) and get submitted to the smaller container (our department) there’s no mess.
Now, obviously there is always an exception to the rule, but here’s the nice thing about ASANA. If something comes in last minute or something gets requested without using the request form, no problem, we add it into ASANA and it’s now a part of the system. We really try our best to enter everything we can into ASANA using the Wufoo form for consistency sake. Because, you know, there’s power in consistency.
What are the ways you are managing the things you, your department, or organization are involved in? I’d love to know. If you’d like to know more about the details of ASANA or our request form, I’d love to share.