Switched from Asana to Kaiten to streamline and automate the back office. Case “Yoga Academy”

Switched from Asana to Kaiten to streamline and automate the back office. Case “Yoga Academy”

Asana abruptly left Russia without leaving enough time for its users to find alternative solutions. We have what we have. But it is easier to follow trodden paths than to pave them yourself. That’s why we decided to share the story of a company that switched from Asana to Kaiten early. Perhaps their experience will help you make a choice.

This is a case study of the back office of the Yoga Academy online school. HR specialists, lawyers, IT support, accounting processes more than 240 applications every month, and with the help of Kaiten, they were able to automate routine processes and increase the speed of processing tasks.

A few words about the company

“Academy of Yoga” is the leading online platform for learning hatha yoga in Russia. The company has more than 100 employees in 4 key offices:

  • Product – is engaged in the development of courses and conducting research.

  • Educational – responsible for the entire educational path of the student, from purchasing a course to graduation and assistance in employment.

  • Commercial – manages sales, analytics, traffic, creative and design.

  • Back office – provides product support, including legal, IT and HR aspects.

The back office acts as an operational accounting center, providing technical support to the company and coordination of work between departments. About 15 types of tasks with a wide range of services are processed here.

Problem: inefficient application processing

Without an automation system, it is almost impossible to cope with the enormous volume of daily requests. The traditional approach of creating multiple Excel spreadsheets and Google Forms for each task category was time-consuming.

Take, for example, the process of paying bills in the accounting department, where up to 20 applications are received every day. Imagine that each employee goes directly to the accountant with a request to pay the bill. This system of work will lead to chaos: the specialist risks being overloaded with requests and getting lost among documents.

Also with applications for hiring new employees that come from the management.
Each such request goes through the stages of agreement and creation of a candidate’s profile, followed by processing, which includes adaptation with HR, entering salary information and providing access to internal systems.

The back office can accumulate more than two hundred such requests per month.

Processing them manually creates a mess: performers waste their time and energy, there is no clear structure of tasks, requests are mixed up and can be lost. Therefore, without a special application processing system, the workflow is simply impossible.

We fixed the processes in Asana, but we had to look for an alternative

All departments, including the back office, worked on sprints in Asana. The service did a great job with automation: for example, comments were automatically attached to a task when an executor was assigned.

However, as early as 2022, in the wake of the departure of foreign companies, the Yoga Academy decided to play it safe and switch to Russian software in advance. Although Asana was still operating in Russia at that time, the prerequisites for blocking were already in place then.

Important criteria of the new service were:

  • high moving speed;

  • the possibility of painless transfer of current processes;

  • quick mastering of a new system;

  • the interface should be intuitive;

  • payment in rubles and acceptable service cost.

At first, the choice fell on Bitrix24, which offered a wide range of functions, but its interface seemed complicated and inconvenient. As a result, the team settled on Kaiten, as it seemed the most understandable and similar to Asana.

I was able to figure it out in just one day. Anna Yehorova, ex-HR of the Yoga Academy

The migration to Kaiten took the back office about a week, including the migration of all processes. The team organized the workspaces and transferred the tasks of each department, creating both general and specialized boards for different departments.

Yoga Academy back office space in Kaiten

The training office also quickly adapted to the new system, transferring all its tasks, and the commercial department limited itself to transferring only the main pulls and sprints.

Yoga Academy training office space in Kaiten

Visualization and automation of back office processes in Kaiten

During the transition to the new system, the company decided to completely update the approach to maintaining applications and automate routine processes, because Kaiten had special tools that allowed it to be done.

First, the back office team conducted preliminary preparation:

  • conducted a survey of employees about existing work processes;

  • visualized all operations, their detailed description and sequence of actions in the form of a mind map;

  • tasks were divided into categories depending on the type of applications;

  • created separate Kaiten boards for each application category, visualizing each stage of work on them;

  • responsible persons were identified for each stage of task performance.

Service desk for work with applications

The company’s back office is essentially a service department. Kaiten is, in turn, a service solution. Using a special Service desk module, the company has set up application services of various types: from hiring personnel to accounting for vacations, payments, and compiling documentation.

This is what the services for accepting different categories of applications look like

When the application is submitted to work, an automatic chain is started for this process, which requires additional intervention and control from the employee at each stage. The task itself moves along the given chain, generating corresponding subtasks in the necessary columns, ensuring a smooth transition from one stage to another.

Application form filling out template. It contains all the fields to be filled in by the customer.

It is enough to fill out the application template once and run according to the specified route. This allows each employee to be aware of their duties and observe the process of completing tasks on the board without unnecessary actions, including automatic attachment of checklists and comments.

Thus, each division of the back office has access to its tasks, sequentially processes them according to the level of its competence and passes them on down the chain.

Let’s consider the step-by-step process of registering a new employee as an example:

  1. The employer sends an application with details of the vacancy.

  2. The application is sent to the back office to the “Recruitment” board, where it awaits processing.

  3. After joining, a checklist of necessary steps is automatically attached to the application.

  4. Performers are identified and relevant comments are added.

  5. After the hiring process is complete, the task moves to the Done status.

  6. Next, the task is transformed into the “Registration” column, where specific items of the checklist are attached to each responsible person, including tasks from HR, accounting to IT.

  7. Each department does its part of the work and marks the completion.

  8. At the end of the registration process, a final mark is entered in the checklist.

An example of an application for hiring an employee

Checklist to the card with the employment application. It lists all those responsible for each item.

A child task for entering an employee into the payroll table, which is created automatically

The system itself prompts who should perform what and when. Heads of areas, looking at the boards, can immediately see the current status of each application. And performers can receive messages that the task is ready for work in a special Telegram bot.

Results of moving from Asana to Kaiten

The Yoga Academy back office team especially appreciated the opportunity to combine several boards with different processes at once in Kaiten spaces. This allows you to quickly track the status of all tasks, see priorities and urgency. You don’t have to switch from one board to another, trying to gather scattered information together.

Back office workspace. Several boards with different processes are located on one screen

Already after 1 month of working in the new service, the Yoga Academy back office was able to automate 244 processes using Kaiten, including:

  • 46 inquiries regarding HR operational tasks;

  • 76 auxiliary HR operational tasks;

  • 62 operational tasks for the financial department;

  • 16 tasks for the IT department;

  • 40 requests for operational tasks to the financial department;

  • 4 requests to the IT department.

With Kaiten, teams can keep all information in one place, manage tasks efficiently, and set up unlimited automated processes.

If you’re looking for an Asana counterpart, you can protest Kaiten is free – try all the functions of the service within 14 days.

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