Using portfolios to track and report on work

Portfolios are groups of projects. They provide a centralized and birds-eye view of a collection of projects and a comprehensive solution for managing multiple projects efficiently.  

Portfolios offer easy visibility, allowing you to quickly assess various projects' status, progress, and priority without delving into each separately. You’ll find various ideas and suggestions below to help you get the most out of portfolios in Asana.

Grouping related projects together

You can use portfolios like a folder to keep groups of related projects in one place. Click on the star icon beside the portfolio name to add it to your Starred items, making it accessible from the sidebar and easy to find in the future. 

 

Portfolio use case examples

  • Financial year - keep all projects for one financial year together. Creating an FY portfolio containing all FY-related projects is a great way to check project progress for that financial year at a glance. You can easily see the status of each project and can quickly identify projects that are on track or may be at risk.
  • Team-specific use cases - create portfolios for specific teams. For example, a Marketing Campaigns portfolio which is home to all projects related to marketing campaigns. This is a great way to keep everything related to the campaign in one place.
  • Individual use cases - if you are working on several individual projects, create a portfolio to find them and easily track their progress. Create a “Project work” portfolio to keep your independent projects together. Remember, projects can be part of multiple portfolios at the same time.
  • Q4 priorities - grouping projects relating to goals and priorities for the next quarter is beneficial when it comes to reporting on those projects and setting goals.
  • Reference portfolio - If you have many reference projects that you need to refer back to, you can group them in a reference portfolio, meaning you can find them easily whenever you need to refer back to them.
  • Master project - Sometimes, various departments collaborate on one big project. You can use a portfolio like a master project in this case, adding individual projects to track and manage each team’s contribution and keep an eye on progress across the board.

Tracking and communicating progress

Tracking progress

Portfolios offer a visual representation of project progress. You can track status, task progress percentages, and other key metrics for each project within the portfolio. This helps identify bottlenecks and ensures that projects stay on schedule.

Portfolio dashboards

The Dashboard tab of your portfolio allows you to view your team’s progress using charts. Portfolio charts automatically populate when you click on the Dashboard tab; these charts are pre-set to get you started but can be customized as needed. Dashboards are automatically updated every time you click on the tab or reload the page, ensuring you always view the most up-to-date information. 

When you open the Dashboard tab, you’ll see the task count cards at the top. This gives you a quick overview of the portfolio's complete, incomplete, overdue, and total number of tasks.

You can add new charts to your dashboard by following the steps outlined here. Adding a chart to report on the status of the projects in your portfolio lets you quickly view the number of projects on track and those at risk.

Reporting

Users can report on portfolios by creating charts based on portfolio metadata within universal reporting.

You can create new charts to report on your portfolio by following the steps here. There are several reporting options available for portfolios. For example, you can customize the X-Axis groupings by specific portfolio, portfolio owner, portfolio status, and custom field. You can customize the Y-Axis groupings by portfolio count and numerical custom fields. 

You can use filters to customize your portfolio charts. You can filter by portfolio status, owners, date, and custom fields.

Communication and collaboration

Portfolios facilitate collaboration by providing a shared space for team members and stakeholders, enhancing transparency and communication. Portfolio members can quickly get updates, share information, and collaborate on tasks within projects that they have access to.

Using portfolios saves time on individual project reporting and status updates. Instead of creating separate reports for each project, portfolios provide a consolidated view that can be shared with stakeholders.

Portoflio status.png

As portfolios allow you to see the progress of multiple projects at a glance, you can quickly identify projects on track and those at risk. The screenshot shows that the Editorial Calendar project is on track, but the Product Launch Campaign Tracker is at risk.

Communicating progress with status updates


The portfolio Progress tab gives an in-depth snapshot into the status of any portfolio you’re working on. Create rich, repeatable, actionable status updates and share your work with key stakeholders. Learn more about creating status updates here.

Aligning portfolios with company goals

Strategic Planning

With Asana portfolios, you can align projects with strategic goals and objectives. This helps ensure all efforts are directed towards achieving broader organizational or personal milestones. You can easily track how each project contributes to the bigger picture. 

Portfolios - connected goals.png

You can view goals that are directly related to projects within your portfolio from the Connected goals field in the portfolio list view. Click into the Connected goals field to add more connected goals and show how your portfolio projects directly contribute to company goals.

Portfolios vs. projects vs teams

Portfolio Project  Team
A collection of related projects - create a portfolio if you want a holistic view of all your important projects in one place. Portfolios can be used in several ways, e.g., all projects specific to one financial year or quarter, reference projects, etc. Create a project for specific initiatives that involve several tasks like a campaign, launch/event, or an editorial calendar/pipeline. Teams are subsets of people in your organization who collaborate on projects with each other. Each team has its members, team admins, projects, messages, and calendars. Organizations may be divided up into teams based on different departments (e.g., Marketing, IT, Design)

Additional resources

  • Learn more about using projects and portfolios to manage work here.
  • Learn how to monitor initiatives and resources using portfolios with our Asana Academy course.
  • Attend our on-demand Gaining insight with reporting training session to learn how to track the progress of work and report on it.

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