AMT uses the Asana.com platform for project management and task distribution.
We have a set of “best practices” so things don’t get crazy. This is a way of using Projects, Conversations, Tasks, Subtasks, and Tags so that we can easily pull reports and get overviews of projects.
Never-ending projects – Some asana projects are used to capture tasks that relate to running an area or program at AMT. Never-ending projects are good places to have:
- Reoccurring tasks (example: Cleaning the filters on the Honeywell)
- Development tasks (example: Adding a feature to the website)
Short Term Projects – Some asana projects have an end. Short term projects are good for:
- Special Events (Maker Faire, Pride, Etc)
- Special Build-Outs
Many high-level Asana projects are integrated into one of the various Slack channels. Whenever any activity happens on an Asana task in that project, a notice is sent to the integrated channel. For example, when a new task is created in the Kegerator Asana project, a notice is posted by the Asana user in the #kegerator channel so everyone interested in the Kegerator gets informed about it.
Tasks should be actionable. That means:
- the task title starts with a verb (find, fix, organize, build, clean, schedule)
- an action can be taken physically to complete the task
For example, “Bandsaw in the metal shop” is not actionable.
Instead, say “Replace blade on Bandsaw in the metal shop”.
- The description is used to specify details about the task like where new blades are, or if new blades need to be purchased, etc.
- Tasks should have as few dependencies as possible.
The two types of tasks: When making tasks there are two types of task, tasks you make expecting others to help or take on the task and tasks you make for yourself to help you complete a project or fulfill duties you have taken on.
1. Tasks for Others or Teams
- If you’re making a task that someone else can do, make sure there is enough information in it for someone else to figure it out.
For example, if the task is for them to specify the wangdoodle, make sure you specify the location of the wangdoodle (its asset number is good too), the location of the specification tools, and the specification process if it isn’t INCREDIBLY obvious
- Be conservative with what is obvious, people have very different contexts and come at things from very different angles. We often have newbies also who may not have your knowledge of the org contributing to the space
- Include a deadline… while it may or may not be met, it give people an idea about the urgent
- Include any dependencies… Example: Specification requires that the specifier arrive from amazon but should be here by the 15th
2. Tasks for yourself
- *If you’re making a task for yourself, make sure to assign it to yourself.
If you finish a task please check it off. It is super important to check it off. Really important. A lean mean task list makes tasks more accessible and easier to complete for the group.
- All the guidelines of tasks apply to subtasks
- Never make subtasks of subtasks. Never. Dark places and chaos will ensue.
We use tags on tasks and subtask so that we can filter things to get specific reports or so we can easily rate priority
- MM-YY Priority – These are the priority tasks for the month. The stuff that keeps things running. Not everything can be a priority task as resources are finite.
- MM-YY Priority 2 – These are tier two tasks for the month.
- MCP – Eligible for the Member Contribution Portal
- MCA – Eligible and requested for Monster Corps Assignment. Please note using this tag does not guarantee Monster Corps resource availability.
- No Training Needed – No training is needed to complete this task either because it is very straight forward or there is how to documentation available
- Training Needed – These tasks require special skills or training or both.
- Kick-off Meeting Required – This is usually specific to project-based tasks.
- $$ = Requires Spending
- Wiki Me = Needs documentation of some sort to be added to the wiki
- (Monster Corps Member Name here) = A Monster Corp member’s task list. Only the Monster Corps coordinator can assign tasks in partnership with Monter Corps members.
- Comments are a great way to ask task questions and give answers.
- Updates that show movement on the project prior to completion are awesome, especially on a complex project.
- Comments will come through to the Slack channel where the particular project is integrated so questions are highly visible, and get answered quickly.
We have a lot of stuff to do! Some of the stuff gets done, some just doesn’t. That’s OK. If you did do the task, be sure to mark it complete, this is a highly satisfying box to check. If a task is stagnant for a long time, it is subject to ZOMBIFICATION and may be marked as such and deleted or marked complete, even though it wasn’t actually done.
What is not suitable for listing in asana
- Wish lists (try a google doc)
- Un-approved build plans
- Idea documentation
- Project Documentation (the wiki is where this belongs)
How to access the Ace Monster Toys asana.com workspace
We have a limited number of asana seats per year. The first 15 are free and it is cost-prohibitive at this time to purchase more.
We have one generic shared account set up for members. This shared account will allow you to see everything going on but not to edit it. Login on the main website to get credentials: https://www.acemonstertoys.org/amt-handshake/
If you are or become a board member, tool steward or officer you may get an invite. The Secretary will invite you. If you are a volunteer program member the volunteer coordinator will send you access information. We only have 15 seats at any given time, because Asana won’t give us a free nonprofit account (sadface), so people who use it lightly need to share credentials.
If you are just highly interested in engaging and getting tasks assigned to you (because you rock), use the Transparency credentials, listed on the [https://www.acemonstertoys.org/amt-handshake/ main site Handshake page] (member-only page, log in to see it).
Who uses asana
- Board Members
- Tool Stewards
- Volunteer Program Members
- Highly interested members
- Any member can view