Editor’s Note: This post is written by Lewis Leong, Project Manager for the marketing team at AppLovin as part of our guest author series.
I began my journey with AppLovin in 2017 as a Content Manager and during my short tenure, I’ve seen the company undergo massive growth. When I started, AppLovin was a platform for mobile developers to grow their apps. Today, we are one of the fastest-growing mobile gaming companies in the world.
To tell the new AppLovin story, we needed a new website. Instead of looking for an external agency, we decided to do everything in-house as our lean marketing team would be more agile. Our CMO, Katie Jansen approached me to ask if I would like to lead the project and transition to the team’s Project Manager. She said she recognized my strong attention to detail and organized approach and thought it’d translate well into a role that touched many teams. I jumped at the opportunity and dove into the website redesign project headfirst by building it in Asana. Asana made it easy for this junior project manager to quickly and effectively manage a project of this scope with a tight three-month timeline, culminating in a big press story.
If you’re looking to manage a large website redesign with Asana, here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Define stakeholders and milestones
One of the most important things to do for any project is to define the necessary stakeholders and Milestones. Without these defined, teams will not know who to go to for specific questions if something is blocking them from reaching a milestone.
Milestones are important to mark in Asana as they allow project managers like me to see when major events happen, and to take action by handing off tasks to the next person or team. Creating Milestones allows project managers to more effectively use the Timeline and Portfolio views.
Use Timeline View to get a bird’s eye view before starting
In the planning stage of a huge project like a website redesign, it’s invaluable to have a bird’s eye view of everything—Timeline View gives you just that. When building out a project, our team lists out every task in List View first, then we assign dates via the Timeline View to see where time can be taken or added, depending on the difficulty of each deliverable. It also helps manage expectations across the team and allows you to quickly adjust the timeline with your team during a kick-off call. The ability to drag start and end dates is extremely helpful, as well as being able to quickly mark a task as dependent on another.
Use dependencies to hand off tasks seamlessly
When working across teams, many team members are waiting for tasks to be completed before they can jump in. It’s tedious to remember verbal handoffs and that’s where task dependencies can help. Dependencies in Asana allow you to automate passing the baton to another team member. When a task is marked as dependent on another, the person waiting to jump in will get an automatic message in Asana telling them when they can begin work on a task.
Another best practice for handing off tasks is to drop the deliverable into the next person’s tasks and to ping them via Slack to let them know they can begin work. On our team, we do this with detailed comments and task descriptions to list out every resource we have ready so that the next person can hit the ground running. For example, we have extremely detailed hand-offs from design to development, giving our developers all the resources they need to complete the job without hunting for something.
Communicate with your team using Status updates
Communication is key when it comes to delivering work on a tight deadline. While we do a bulk of real-time communication in Slack, it’s crucial to communicate big updates across an entire team. While an email may work, Asana’s Status feature allows you to quickly mark a project as On Track, At Risk, or Off Track while providing fields to give context. The default sections for Status updates include:
- What we’ve accomplished
- What’s blocked
- Next steps
Teams also have the option to customize the Status update fields for their needs. For our team, we communicate via Status updates when there is a major milestone accomplished or something that’s blocked that needs everyone’s attention.
Use comments effectively
We use Asana’s comment features to communicate things that teams should know. We avoid getting into too many discussions in Asana’s comments to avoid long threads but use it to communicate quick updates, blockers, and for handing off deliverables.
💡Pro tip: Use the “Pin to top” feature in the comments section to highlight important messages from the team like deliverables and questions that need answering before you can proceed.
Use Asana’s app and integrations to keep your work connected
Project Managers need to stay on top of every little detail when it comes to huge projects like a website redesign. Thankfully, Asana makes it easy with its excellent mobile app and integrations with tons of other apps and services. Our team uses Slack, Gmail, and Google Drive integrations since our organization uses GSuite. Asana’s Slack app also allows you to quickly see and respond to comments happening across projects. Other notable integrations include Adobe Creative Cloud, which allows teams to view and act on Asana tasks right there in Photoshop, Illustrator, and other Adobe products.
What’s next for AppLovin
Since wrapping our big website project last summer, our entire company has adopted Asana as its project management tool of choice. This transition has made it easier than ever to communicate across teams, coordinate deliverables, and execute efficiently.