Asana from the inside out: A summary of episode 5 (April – August 2012)

At Asana, we don’t follow a traditional quarterly schedule. We’ve found that a set of big projects often demand more than three months of effort, so setting goals based on a quarterly rhythm seems artificially constrained. Instead of quarters, we have “episodes.” Each episode is architected around a set of Programs and “Key Results” (KRs) that we define before the episode begins and set out to achieve by the episode’s end. The length of each episode varies according to the scope of the projects within it.

Mindfulness and reflection are at the core of our values, so at the end of every episode, I take stock of what we accomplished across every function of the company. I look at the goals we hit and those that we didn’t. Then I write an “End Of Episode Summary” that I share with the entire team. We do these summaries at regular intervals to make sure the every team’s roadmaps are aligned with our top level goals. They also serve to communicate my beliefs about where we stand as a company, as well as what I think about the performance of the individual teams.

Today, for the first time, we are sharing an End of Episode Summary with the world. We have made some edits for clarity and redacted some sensitive sections, but this is otherwise the same document that I distributed internally two weeks ago. We are sharing this externally for three reasons:

  1. We want to help our customers and prospects understand how we make decisions about our product and company direction.
  2. We have spent a lot of time thinking about and building new kinds of organizational structures and want to share what we’ve learned.
  3. We believe that the more open we are about how we do things, the more feedback we can get to help us improve.

Read the End of Episode Summary for Episode 5 here.

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