When Can You Expect a Return from Your Work Management Tool?


One of the most common questions we get from our clients is, "When can I expect a return on this tool?" 

It's a complicated question to answer because every business has a unique situation and a unique use case for each tool. When it comes to work management tools like Asana, there are a number of clear monetary benefits: Time savings, more efficient workflows, less duplication of efforts, and improved collaboration are just a few.

But it does beg the question… If you had to put a number to it, what is the ROI of a work management tool?

Well, thanks to a recent study done by the International Data Corporation that covers the business value of Asana, we now have some clear numbers to look at. (And wow, do they look good!)

In this post, we're going to take a look at some of the findings from this study and compare them with our own experience to give you an idea of how much your team stands to gain by implementing a work management tool like Asana.

The Reader's Digest Version

Looking for the Reader's Digest version? Here are all the numbers you need to know from this recent study.

On average, teams implementing Asana can expect:

  • A 437% three-year ROI, which equates to benefits worth $341,700 per 100 daily Asana users per year
  • 70% more time for creative and innovative work (the equivalent of a full workday per week!)
  • 34% less time on administrative tasks
  • 33% less time on emails
  • 55% less time searching for information to complete their work
  • A 35% reduction in busy work (the equivalent of six fewer hours per week!)

If those numbers don't show you why it's worth investing in a work management tool like Asana, maybe some of these less tangible benefits might open your eyes to the value of these powerful tools.

These are the five greatest benefits reported by the recent IDC study, but they're also benefits that we see everyday with our clients and internally at Leverage, as our own team uses Asana.

But keep in mind that these benefits can only be realized when Asana is set up and used correctly. As we always say, "It's not the tool, it's how you use it!"

1. Visibility and transparency

One of the greatest benefits of work management tools is their ability to provide visibility and transparency around everyone's work. This means that managers can keep track of their team's progress without micromanaging, and everyone can easily see what their fellow team members are working on without bothering them.

This also helps to alleviate what we refer to as "The Scavenger Hunt"—the classic situation where workers end up spending more time looking for information they need than actually completing their most important work. Need to find some information on a project that someone else is working on? It's in Asana!

2. Clear prioritization

At the end of the day, most business leaders just want to know that work is getting done by the right person, in the right order, on time, and without duplicating efforts. A work management tool like Asana can provide that, when set up and used correctly.

One of the IDC survey respondents summed it up perfectly: “With Asana we’re able to understand highest priority tasks versus not-so-high priority tasks and dependencies ... So when we’re talking about completing a task, we understand what are the other things that need to happen for that to be completed.”

The end result is that everyone on your team knows the highest priority tasks they should be working on at any given time, and what's coming next. This is something that occurs almost by default when using a work management tool, but is difficult and time-intensive to replicate without.

3. More projects completed on time

Everyone has had to push a deadline back for one reason or another, but when it happens consistently it can hold an entire organization back. So, what's the solution? Or, better yet, what's the underlying problem?

Missed deadlines are usually a result of inefficient workflows, uncoordinated efforts, improper planning, and unbalanced workloads. Work management tools offer solutions to all of those problems, and the result is that projects are completed faster and more likely to be delivered on time.

And the numbers back this up. The IDC found that the average number of weeks spent on each project dropped a full week from 7.5 to 6.5 weeks with Asana, a 13% improvement in the speed with which projects are completed. Respondents also reported that 84% of their projects were delivered on-time with Asana, up from 62% without.

4. Less "work about work"

In their own study on the Anatomy of Work, Asana found that the average knowledge worker spends 60% of their time on what they refer to as "work about work." This is all of the annoying administrative work required to actually get things done, like communicating about tasks, hunting down documents, and managing shifting priorities. Essentially, it's everything outside of the actual work required to complete the task at hand.

That's a huge problem, and it's one that many workers are familiar with. Lowering the time spent on administrative tasks and busy work can free up significant bandwidth to focus on work that will actually move the business forward, and in our experience, work management tools can make that happen.

Once again, the numbers from this recent study back it up: Respondents spent 34% less time on administrative tasks, 55% less time searching for information, 35% less time on busy work, and 33% less time on email after implementing and using Asana.

Just think about what your team could accomplish with all that extra time... 

5. Fewer meetings

How many of your meetings are focused around planning out work, managing priorities, and dealing with changes or issues related to projects? If you're like most organizations, these types of meetings occur often and take up significant time. In fact, these meetings are one of the biggest contributors to the "work about work" phenomenon.

With a work management tool, most of these meetings no longer need to occur. Planning out projects, managing priorities, and communicating about work can all happen asynchronously within the tool itself. Team members can get answers to questions, send updates, and find the information they need to complete tasks all within the tool—and all on their own time, without distracting others.

In their study, the IDC found that one organization in particular was able to cut out 50% of their daily meetings and communications by using Asana. And not only that, work management tools can also increase the effectiveness of meetings by providing easy access to all of the information required to run a meeting, make decisions, and plan out next steps.

The Leverage Asana Membership

Did you know that Leverage is a Certified Asana Partner? That means we're perfectly equipped to train teams on the best ways to implement, optimize, and use Asana to further their business goals and improve the way they work.

Whether you've never used Asana or you currently use it and want to get the most out of it, The Leverage Asana Membership provides guided training, group calls, lectures, and 1-on-1 support for all things Asana related. 

If you want to start realizing some of the benefits outlined in this post, it's the perfect place to start. Click here to learn more and sign up today.

Published: Sep 23, 2021
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