How Asana helped CityFibre’s marketing team boost productivity

Not happy with its patchwork of collaboration tools, CityFibre’s marketing team spearheaded the search for a work management platform and landed on Asana.

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Asana

In contrast to companies that found themselves having to downsize during the COVID-19 pandemic, CityFibre found itself growing exponentially. At the start of 2020, it had already expanded its network to 12 cities with plans to build in a further 30 more during the coming year.

This level of growth meant it soon became clear to CityFibre’s Victoria Sanches, marketing operations manager, and Liz Dean, senior marketing manager, that the team needed a better way of managing cross-team communications and guarantee the scalability of its marketing activities.

Finding the right solution

Previously, CityFibre’s communication strategy relied on a number of disparate tools employees had to switch between depending on their need. “We mostly used Teams as a chat functionality,” Sanches said. “We also used email, Basecamp, and we had one tool that we used for specific creative projects, but we realized that we needed a little bit more of a structure across different processes.”

Sanches led the search for a new platform, talking to the different teams to better understand their needs and challenges. Having narrowed potential tools down to six options, she compared what each offered against the company’s list of requirements — and chose Asana. (The others CityFibre considered were Trello, Breeze, Meistertask, Microsoft Planner, Monday.com, and the already-in-use Basecamp.)

She cited two features that were key in reaching that decision: integration with Office 365 – already being used by all CityFibre workers – and the ability for individuals to manage their own tasks.

In January 2020, members of the corporate and consumer marketing teams started a month-long test of the platform. Once satisfied with the functionality Asana offered, the company decided to move all existing projects off CityFibre’s legacy platforms and the team soon started testing Asana with some of the external PR agencies they work with.

According to Dean, working with agencies, such as collaborating about which social channels press releases needed to be shared on, had in the past involved a lot of manual processes.

“Asana has enabled that process flow to happen," she said. "All someone needs to do is assign [a project] as 'published' and then once that’s gone through the PR agency, a notification goes through to the social media agency to say, 'This has gone live, push it out.

"It’s given us better collaboration across our agencies and just brought everyone closer together,” she said.

Visibility equals productivity

The improved flow of information between teams also benefited CityFibre internally, improving visibility across a growing team that was becoming increasingly remote — even before the pandemic hit.

“My team has employees as far north as Inverness and as far south as Bournemouth, so we were already in this semi-remote way of working prior to COVID,” Dean said. “[Previously], it was a case of having Teams chats where people would say, “What's going on with this, What's going on with that?' but then you'd go back through your emails and find out someone got missed off the chain [and] didn’t get the update.”

As more companies start to open up again, more of Dean's CityFibre colleagues are back out in the field and can continue to keep up to date with work using the Asana mobile app. (With the marketing team continuing to grow, Asana is also now part of the onboarding process; new hires are giving training on it and encouraged to take part in the ambassador programme.)

For Sanches, being unable to flag someone down in the office to get a project update has reinforced the importance of having proper collaboration tools in place. Because her team is cross-functional, improved visibility into the stages of a project and a more structued way of working have delivered benefits.

“I think, in general, it’s allowed us to stop doing work about work and just actually focus on delivering things instead of trying to find information and manually putting it into some kind of structure,” she said.

It's also allowed new employees to hit the ground running, as they can immediately see what teams are working on and what stage projects are at.

CityFibre now has licenses for about 70 employees, and while Asana has primarily been used for CityFibre’s marketing efforts, Sanches plans to tout its benefits to the whole company.

“We're not saying that Asana is the right fit for all of the departments, because our requirements are definitely different from the others," she said. "Our plan is to make sure that the business understands the benefits of having this type of structure across the teams.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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