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Project Management Tips

Internally, we use Asana to manage our projects and in some cases, we invite our clients to join those projects to create a more collaborative environment when we're working on a complex or ongoing set of tasks.  Asana is a great tool, SUPER easy to use and this guide is to help clients that are joining us to use it well.  Here are the rules of the project management road:

RULE 1)  Prioritization - Tasks in the P1 section are the highest priority - these are critical issues.  No more than 2 or 3 tasks should be in this section.   Issues in the P2 section are the next highest priority, no more than 10 entries should be in this section.  P3 comes next (no limit on tasks), and P4 are tasks that you want to circle back to at a later point in time..  Tasks should also be rank ordered inside those priority groups with the highest priority items at the top.


RULE 2) Labeling the task properly -  When creating the task make the title specific but no overly long - add specific details.  If you created the task there should never be a comment added, all the feedback needed for the task should be in the description.  Comments are for ongoing communication and should never be populated when you first create the task, that information should always be in the description.  Here's an example:



RULE 3)  Keep communications in Asana -  Use Asana as the core means of communication.  If possible skip emails, phone conversations should ONLY supplement Asana.  Anything discussed on the phone needs to find it's way in Asana if it's new information.  If it's not in Asana it doesn't exist.


RULE 4)  CRITICAL:  Tasks must be atomic and specific.  If you're having an issue with say, customer loyalty where you can't figure out why points are not accumulating for purchases customers are making AND points are not printing out on the receipt - it's tempting to make one task and mention both of these issues.   While these both relate to the loyalty app and they both relate to points these are two separate and distinct issues that are not, strictly speaking, related most likely.

It can't be stressed enough, for the team to make progress on tasks you must create ONE TASK in Asana for ONE TASK.


RULE 5)  Documentation is key - Here are some tips:
  • Provide us with step by step instructions on how to replicate the issue.  Include screenshots.  If pictures/screenshots are worth a thousand words, videos are worth 10,000 words.  Jing is a free tool that makes it easy to record your screen.  If you use it we are 100% confident the work you want done will get done faster: https://www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html
  • ALWAYS provide examples - instead of saying "Wine isn't discounting properly" say Wine isn't discounting properly, if you ring up item 12345678 it rings up at $10, it should ring up at $9.
  • Additionally, it's very helpful to tell us what the app IS DOING right now and additionally WHAT YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE DOING in the task description (example above).
  • As often as possible, provide links to the related information if you're working in the back office.  In the example above relating to a discounted wine, provide a link to that product's back office record AND a link to the discount scheme you set up that is not working as expected.

CONCLUSION

If you follow these 5 rules your Cloud Retailer project will definitely go a lot smoother and you'll sharpen your project management skills in the process.  Thanks!
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