Project Management and Collaboration

Asana links up with Harvest so workers can track time spent on tasks

Employees who organize and prioritize their work with Asana's task management software will now be able to track the time they spend on each project assignment.

The capability is provided through an integration with Harvest's time-tracking software and comes in response to requests from Asana customers, Asana said on Wednesday.

To activate the integration, individuals or teams must be subscribed to both products, which are software-as-a-service applications, and choose the "enable Harvest" option in the Asana settings.

Users will then see a timer icon in the Asana interface and be able to turn on Harvest to measure their productivity, populate time sheets, generate reports or fill out invoices.

The enhancement is the latest from Asana, a hot startup founded in 2009 that has raised almost US$40 million in venture funding and that, somewhat contrary to the breathless enthusiasm for enterprise social collaboration, maintains that the key to workplace productivity lies in the less sexy realm of task management.

In May, Asana, whose application until then worked with teams of hundreds of people, made a big push toward the enterprise, adding features like broader projects visibility for business managers and employees, and stronger IT administration controls.

With those improvements, the company said it would begin pitching the application to companies and teams with thousands of users.

One of Asana's co-founders is Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook co-founder.

Alan Lepofsky, a Constellation Research analyst, said that in order to be successful, social task management products like Asana's must integrate with the tools people use to do their jobs.

"Having either native or integrated time recording, resource management and invoicing helps elevate a project from just simple task assignments and status dashboards," Lepofsky said via email.

He noted that several vendors have this capability today, and that Harvest itself has been integrated with other social task management products. "It's great to see Asana being added to that list," he said.

Asana is free for teams of up to 15 members, and fee-based for larger teams. For example, it costs $800 per month for a 100-member team.

Meanwhile, the Harvest application is sold in three versions, including the top one called Business, which costs $99 per month for 10 users, with the option of adding an unlimited number of users at $10 each per month. The Business edition is licensed for use with unlimited clients, projects and invoicing, and features timesheet approval. Harvest also offers prospective customers a free trial.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.


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