Wrike and Asana are two of the heavyweight champions in the project management software arena. Project management software, as the name suggests, is designed to help you manage projects from start through to completion.
- The breakdown of the project into component tasks, with a clear means of communicating this project breakdown to your team.
- The allocations of tasks to team members, providing enough information to empower that team member to make best efforts to complete it successfully.
- A means of making team members accountable for deadlines and quality of work complete.
- A calendar that helps you keep to your schedule and reminds you when an important event is approaching.
- A means of formally communicating and sharing ideas within the team and a means of quick communication, where a simple question can be answered.
- A central repository for files and documents, stored in a way that makes it easy to source what you need when you need it.
- A place where you can collaborate on documents with the team, without the need to meet up and work together in person.
- Integration with other business tools, which helps to draw all your applications under one umbrella.
So, to test which is the better platform, Asana or Wrike, you should judge how well the platforms address these core needs of the project manager.
Here is the battle: Wrike v Asana, to see which is best at these core functions.
What Features Does Wrike Offer?
Wrike is a California-based software company. They describe their platform as a “real-time work management software”, pitching the product beyond the limited remit of project management to the broader idea of managing general workload.
The point of the platform is to enable a team, which may work remotely, to work efficiently and effectively – so offering a return on the investment in time and money saved through collaboration through the platform. This is the pitch. What is the reality of what Wrike offers?
Wrike offers 7 core functions. These functions are called create, plan, collaborate, report, customize, integrate and security. They also offer excellent customer support but this is less a function that a service!
When creating your project, you need to gather all the necessary information to be able to complete the task. Here Wrike excels with the use of Dynamic Request Form.
Dynamic sounds like a sales description but in fact, this is more than just a place to input information. This form can be made available to future or present clients. They input their needs into the form, selecting from pre-set options and offering general information.
This is excellent, as this information does not then need to be inputted again by anyone else. However, it is then possible for a manager to set up automated workflow, where certain selections trigger the allocation of assignees – people expected to complete the work created by this request.
The ability to create your project or workflow is also helped by the offer of a flexible file structure. The work needing to be completed can be broken down into small blocks as projects, folders, tasks, and subtasks – depending on your needs.
The relevant information can then be uploaded into as many of these areas as needed, making sure people get the documentation needed to complete the work.
Planning for the project can happen in real-time through the live editing and file management options. You can work on documents together and edit, whilst keeping track of the versions of files being created. There are also integrations offered to Google Docs and Dropbox too, to help with file sharing.
Planning is also helped with the use of the Gantt chart, which helps you to map out a visual timeline for the project schedule and set dependencies. This helps colleagues see how the whole project pans out and what part their contribution plays in meeting the final deadline. This is also a way of allocating resources and keeping track of performance.
There is a calendar in Wrike that helps you set up to-do lists and remain up=-to-date on what needs to be complete. You can organize your work in your area under headings such as Today, This Week or This Month, to help you prioritize and keep on top of what needs to be done.
Communication is made simple in the platform by an @mention function, which means you send an instant message to the person named. Each colleague on the platform has their own personal dashboard, called My Work, and when mentioned in a comment this message will appear directly in this area. You can also share documents with people outside the company, including consultants and clients.
All the work done in Wrike is shown up in a live activity stream, which helps you track what progress is being made. As well as this you can use the report templates to produce customizable documentation demonstrating the work completed and that left to do.
Most things in Wrike are customisable – with the option to add in fields, change the dashboard, group people into users – therefore, offering you the option to shape the platform in the way you want it to work for you.
Wrike is free to use for 5 users and in this offers a simple, shared task list suitable for small teams. Up to 15 users are around $10 per month with limited access to tools, whilst business use is up to $35 and beyond.
What Features Does Asana Offer?
Asana is free to use in its basic form – which still allows you to set up unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. It also allows up to 15 users, though the dashboards and search facilities are basic.
Premium use is $10 per member per month. Corporate memberships allow you to customise the platform with your own logo and there are additional admin options and support from Asana. This comes at a bespoke price point.
Your dashboard is set up with cards that include tasks that are not yet started, those in progress and those that have been completed. These sections and columns on your dashboard are customisable – so you can organize your workflow as you see fit. This means the dashboard could easily be used as a Kanban workflow tool.
There are pre-made templates to make this easier if needed. In these cards, it is possible to attach documents and to comment, keeping ideas about specific tasks or parts of the project within the same card. People can be allocated to cards as you see fit.
Each card has a progress at a glance option, where you can see how many tasks have been completed and how much is left to do. This also publicises the deadline for the project.
There is a chat option, which is organized into threads. These communications can be liked, similar to in Facebook and commented on. These conversations can then be turned into actionable tasks that can be scheduled on the calendar, without having to go to a different part of the platform.
There are also team pages, where a group project can be shared and tracked. The inbox is also smarter than your average email. You can set it so that you receive only the messages that are relevant to you, filtering out any irrelevant mail that would clutter your inbox.
In the premium platform, there is the option to set up a to-do list, with time allocated, priority and person allocated to complete the task. This simple list format is clear for all to see and makes simple work of helping all see what needs to be done and by when.
The tasks can also be viewed in a calendar. Any files attached to cards can be viewed and searched for in a gallery view, which shows attachments related to projects.
Overall: Wrike v Asana
Wrike and Asana have a lot in common. The ability to allocate tasks to individuals and to communicate effectively with colleagues. Both have calendar functions and the ability to customise the platform for use in the way you need it.
Wrike favours a Gantt chart and Asana uses Kanban cards. Wrike has some added extras – such as real-time editing and proofing, the automation of workflow, and the chance to invite clients to view work on the platform.
Asana offers a much easier to use interface, which is largely intuitive as it mimics a lot of other platforms that people would use every day.
Wrike on the face of it looks more expensive but the per-user premium option from Asana could soon become very expensive.
Many would say a small team could easily manage with the free version, with no need to upgrade. However, Wrike seems to offer advanced features at a much more reasonable cost.
Therefore, in this head to head – if you are looking for the simplicity of use and free to use for basic use – then choose Asana. For everyone else, Wrike seems to be the way to go.
If you’re interested in other project management software, check our guide to the best project management software to use.