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Project management vendor Asana brings AI to Work Graph

The project management platform vendor brings 'smart' tools to its work efficiency monitoring tool to unearth specific problems and identify concrete ways teams can solve them.

Asana is weaving generative AI into Work Graph, its data model for work management organization, to bring workflow insights to customers faster.

The project management platform vendor on Tuesday released and unveiled a series of new capabilities to help businesses generate content and also extract more information about project management efficiency.

Bringing AI to Work Graph

The aim of Work Graph technology is to capture patterns in and information about work processes within an organizations.

By merging Work Graph with generative AI, Asana can potentially sharpen its work pattern capture capabilities, said Chris Marsh, an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

"Rather than just making individual task management more efficient, [AI] should give a boost to how work can be conceived of, planned and managed," Marsh said.

Generative AI is an apt addition to Asana's toolbox because it can better unearth specific problems and determine concrete ways in which teams can address them, he added.

"The [Work] Graph has needed AI to make it tangibly useful and many of the things Asana is announcing show that it is ready to play a more prominent role in Asana's overall value proposition," Marsh said.

Status updates and project blockers

Asana also unveiled a few generative AI tools to help teams create more accurate status updates and identify steps to stay on track.

Asana's Smart Status uses real-time work data to pinpoint possible risks and roadblocks the project team could face in pursuit of the goal. Similarly, another new tool named Smart Answers lets users type questions for specific insights about projects' progress and determine the best next steps.

Smart Answers can also help project managers identify where their assistance would be most useful by reducing the need for emails or text messages with team members that could lead to micromanaging, Asana chief product officer Alex Hood said. Instead, project managers can ask the data directly.

"You can interrogate the underlying project data or portfolio and get good answers," Hood said.

Smart Status and Smart Answers will be generally available next month, Hood said.

Asana's Smart Answers generative AI tool providing answers to user's question about a project's status.
Asana's generative AI Smart Answers tool can quickly answer questions about projects' roadblocks and next best steps.

Text generation and summarization

In addition, the vendor released some new generative AI tools that are now generally available. These tools mainly focus on text generation.

One tool, Smart Editor, helps users draft content with a particular tone, with prompt descriptors that range from polite or direct to concise or detailed.

Another tool, Smart Summaries, collects the most essentials details from comments, key tasks and task descriptions and compiles them for quicker interpretation. In the future, Asana also plans to extend this capability to video calls by applying the tool to call transcripts.

Entering an AI-heavy market

Many project management vendors of all sizes are incorporating generative AI into their offerings. Asana must make intentional decisions about how they wield AI will be helpful to customers, Marsh said, especially as generative AI technology is still in its relative infancy.

Rather than just making individual task management more efficient, [AI] should give a boost to how work can be conceived of, planned and managed.
Chris MarshAnalyst, S&P Global

"They need to begin to show more strategic kinds of implementation from their larger enterprise customers," Marsh said of Asana.

He observed that many project management vendors have had to redirect their efforts toward enterprise customers because other markets are becoming too crowded.

For example, Smartsheet last month unveiled scalable offerings and released its own generative AI capabilities. Other project management platform vendors include Wrike, Trello and

"With the lower end of the market beginning to look saturated and the middle more competitive, the focus from Asana and its core competition has had to shift to the enterprise," Marsh said. "Strategic implementations there -- where the benefit from its investments in its Graph infrastructure and AI -- now needs to become more visible."

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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