Organizations of every size and industry are losing countless hours to work about work. As a result, people end up spending 60% of their time on work coordination instead of the strategic, skilled job they were hired to do. Asana is a leading work management platform for teams that helps millions of people across the globe focus on the work that counts. One of the secrets behind their success is their community, Asana Together. Started in 2019, it provides a way for Asana to engage with and support people at every stage of their work management journey. Asana Together was recently honored as CMX's Best Support and Customer Success Community in 2021 and the community managers at Asana are masters at scale, having hosted over 200 events in the last year.
And Asana Together isn’t just recognized by other community leaders: Asana’s executive team, all the way up to the CEO, champions the power of community and sees it as a competitive advantage. "The executive team’s support lets me and my team create really amazing experiences for the people who are part of our program," said Joshua Zerkel, Head of Global Engagement Marketing at Asana.
Zerkel and team designed Asana Together across a host of channels and programs so there would be something for everyone, regardless of where and how they prefer to connect. Members can network with Asana experts and other customers in forums, at live events, in Slack, and more, all under one comprehensive umbrella. "We designed all of these channels to work together so that we can connect people in many ways across all of the platforms we have," said Zerkel.
As their community expanded across multiple channels, programs, and regions, the Asana team lacked an equally-advanced tool to tie it all together. No team wants to spend hours each week manually stitching together information across systems and dealing with incomplete data. "We were able to do the work that was in front of us, but we weren't able to see around corners and do more with what was actually already in our program," said Zerkel. In addition to a tool that could provide potential insights and opportunities, the team wanted something that could allow team members to spend more time and effort making an impact for community members.
Using Common Room, Asana was able to move from manually calculating (and at times estimating) key performance metrics across channels to having on-demand, automated reports they can share and act on with confidence. Common Room also gives them a view of holistic trends from across their community in one place—like overall activity and engagement rate—which they can then drill down into based on specific regions or platforms when needed. "Common Room has helped us not just connect the dots, but really make sense of what’s going on in our program so we can do our very best job to meet the needs of our members," said Zerkel.
By having this reporting available in Common Room, the team can now direct their efforts in a more data-driven, contextually-relevant way. Common Room allows them to:
"It’s the first tool that doesn't add more work to the mix," said Zerkel. "It actually pulls things together in one central spot and is the one place my team can go to see what's happening in the program, rather than going to each one of our different tools. Above all, it saves our team the time and frustration of having to pull data and then manually make sense of it."
Asana’s Ambassador program is a key component of their community and ties directly to business impact. There are over 2,000 Ambassadors across the globe who share best practices, host or attend events, and access ongoing product education. Ambassadors often lead the charge for evangelizing Asana at their organizations so more team members can better communicate, collaborate, and coordinate work. The insights the Asana community team has access to in Common Room are central to delivering and increasing the business impact of the Ambassador program. Common Room makes it easier for the community team to find and engage with potential Ambassadors to help them and their teams get the most value out of Asana.
Common Room also allows the community team to partner more closely with other teams at Asana like customer success and product management. By connecting them with Ambassadors, these teams can hear direct feedback from Asana’s most engaged users, leading to improved product features and success strategies.
Kimberlea Buczeke, Program Manager, Global Community Engagement and Retention, and her team love that their job allows them to spread their time across different areas of the community. They could be in the forums helping people with product questions, building educational presentations, researching a new tool to engage the community, or attending webinars with influential community leaders to learn from their experiences—but proving the value of these engagements through the old reporting process ate into this high-value, community-building work.
"At its best, community is the fun stuff, the 'warm fuzzies.' We love that, but we’re able to bring that fun forward because we have data-driven knowledge that it has a strong impact," said Buczeke. "Collecting and analyzing that data previously came with the unfortunate tradeoff of less time for direct member engagement." Now with Common Room, the reporting is available in a fraction of the time. The team estimates they’ll save 100+ hours annually in manual data reporting and analysis. That’s 100+ hours that can go back into direct member engagement, program development, and innovation.
Further, the depth of the data the Asana Community team has access to with Common Room has improved the way they report out to the business. "Our monthly reports are available to everyone at our company," said Zerkel. "We want everyone to see how the community is thriving. The story that we’re telling because of what Common Room lets us do is much more cohesive and inline with how the rest of the business tells their portion of the story., It allows us to report in ways that we couldn't before, and that are much more meaningful. Common Room shows the value of our program in a vastly improved way."
With Common Room, the global Asana team now has access to rich data to help them understand what’s working and where to invest to deliver on their mission of empowering customers all around the world to connect, grow, and learn. For example, they can easily identify which programs or initiatives are leading to increases in community enrollment or engagement. And they’ve been able to unlock more insights into how their local efforts are performing in real time. It allows them to make more informed decisions about where to spend their time. With Common Room, they were able to prioritize engagement activities they didn’t realize were having such a strong impact and drive people into the resource center inside of Asana.
With Common Room in their toolbox, Zerkel is excited for what’s possible in 2022. "I think we are honestly just scratching the surface of what we can do with Common Room. I'm looking forward to having even more data that helps back decisions so that we can build the most effective community strategy and create the best program for our customers."