A better Dashboard for high level overview

dashboard

#1

Dear Community and dear Asana,

This is my first post, so please excuse any rookie community mistakes.

I have been using Asana for a couple of months, and are trying to migrate my team into Asana.

We are a small trade organization, so we have lots of different projects in many different areas, both short and long term projects. Ie. we are not a “production” company, so our needs might be different than some other users.

I think the “task” management features are great, and that is what Asana is built for. But we would like to use Asana also for the strategic and overall planning of our teams and projects. That means we would like to be able to get a high level view off all the projects, with simple/advanced, abilities to sort/filter, and the ability to “drill down” in individual projects in meetings. So each week when the whole company is assembled we can get a high level view of all the projects across teams, to review the status of each project.

My concrete proposal is as follows.

  1. Make it possible to have a “team” dashboard or a “company” dashboard, ie. a dashboard that is not linked to a specific user, but are controlled by an admin or team leader or something. Make the “rules” for adding projects and other administrative features customizable.

  2. Make it possible to view the dashboard as a list as an alternative to the “boards” view. This is the first important step. A list creates a much more compact and better view.

  3. Make it possible to customize the “columns” in the list view. This would resemble the view that you are able to create by customizing the google sheets export, but it would be very helpful to have that “inside” Asana, so you are able to interact with the projects and task “as you go”.

  4. Make it possible to group the list by teams, by person and so on.

1-4 is the most basic overview, but would help a lot of teams/small companies to get a much better high-level overview. The next level could be:

  1. Make it possible to “expand” each individual project level by level to show the underlying task, and sub-tasks

A very nice addition, but one that requires some serious work:

  1. Make it possible to view the expanded task’s in a “timeline”/Gantt chart view. That would be completely freaking awesome. Instagantt is nice, but it would be very nice to have it inside asana.

Let me know if anybody want me to try and illustrate the above in a drawing.

I would love to hear feedback on the above ideas. Am i missing something? What could make it even better?

Thank you in advance!

Kind regards
Peter
Denmark


Section Headings on Dashboard?
Objectives and Key Results (OKR): How to implement the #1 goal setting framework in Asana
Dashboard - Add new View option
Dashboard Display of Tasks for Multiple Projects
Would like to tag a project
More Project Organization
More Project Organization
Request: Project Priority
Team Dashboard for Program level
Collapse/Summary feature for sections
More robust Project Management and Dashboard
The Future of Asana: Co-founder Justin Rosenstein shares our vision
Team Dashboard for Program level
Team Dashboard for Program level
Put projects in folders
A different dashboard for every group I work with, and a dashboard for the team
"Later" section under MyTasks seems to be broken (grouped by Project but projects listed in RANDOM order?)
Leveraging Asana for high-level project summary, with many teams in a department, how to leverage Asana?
Multiple dashboards
What Asana integrations do you need?
#3

@Peter_Skjoldager thank you for posting and congrats on your first community post! We’re happy to have you.

Thank you for outlining your ideas in such detail. I’ll be happy to take your feedback to my team.

Now, I have a few follow up questions and interim solutions for you. First, I am assuming that you have used the existing Dashboards feature already, correct? Just want to be sure. :slight_smile:

Regarding a company dashboard - what are you doing for a company dashboard today? Are you using any existing system for this? At Asana we keep the company on the same page through company-wide projects and specifically, a company objectives project. This way we’re able to use the Progress feature to see a “dashboard” of how we’re tracking on company projects.

Here’s a possible solution for you that addresses the desire for a list view, expanding for more information, and dividing into sections. You could creating a “Company Progress” project. Each task in the Company Progress project could be multi homed in multiple projects (ex. one task lives in the Company Progress, Marketing, and Product Roadmap projects). Then, when you want to “expand” for more information, you can click into each task and examine relevant subtasks. You could also use sections (a task followed by a colon, ex. “Marketing:”) in your Company Progress project to divide the list by teams.

Please let me know what you think of these options and if you have any questions. I’m happy to help and explore these ideas with you in more detail.


#4

Hi @Alexis,
Thank you. I really enjoy using asana. So i just want to contribute to making it even greater.

We are using the dashboard :slight_smile: . As team leader, i add all the projects my team is working on in my dashboard, also the projects that i am not the owner of. We then use the google export feature to create a list of all the projects, to create a high-level overview of the projects, their status (both text and color). We then use that list as our starting point for our weekly meetings. Since we have about 30-40 different projects in our team, we had to subdivide our organizational team into 4-5 “teams” in Asana.

That is how we use the dashboard. I understand, and appreciate the ability to export it to a spreadsheet. But i could also see the value added in the ability to get the overview from within asana, since you would then have direct acces to the projects and task, while our team reviews the projects.

My point about the “company dashboard” is that i would like to have my own dashboard with the projects i am the owner of, and a separate “team” or company dashboard where all the team projects lives. (its not all projects that we want to show on the “team” dashboard) Does it make sense?

Your answer, made me remember another “feature” i think would be helpfull. The ability to “group” projects together, fx across teams or within “teams”. Ie. a “level” above projects, but across/below “teams”. This could fx be made with project tags. In general i think Asana would benefit from being able to “tag” projects, with information, like priority.

This leads me to your answer, about how you guys at Asana does it. To me it sounds like that you are using a “workaround”. In your setup the same “project” lives in two places:

  1. In The “company objectives” project, where it lives as a task.
  2. As a “normal” project, where the “multi homed” task also lives.

If i understand your setup correctly.

So fx if a project owner updates the status of a project, how is that reflected in your “company objectives” report. In our setup that would be updated in our google sheets export. And it is that overview i want to have inside Asana.

In your setup would it not be a more “logical” view if the “tasks” in your company objectives report were actually the real projects? Do you understand what i mean?

Group of projects: Company progress report
Project section: team 1
project 1 - name / “status” / “color” / owner / deadline
project 2

Project section: team 2
project 1
project 2

Sorry for the long text.


Tagging a Project & Top Level Project Review
Recommended reporting integration?
#5

Thanks for being so thoughtful about your comments, @Peter_Skjoldager. We’re so glad you enjoy using Asana. :slight_smile:

It sounds like the Google export features is working well for you. In fact, you’re giving me some ideas about new ways I could manage my work.

I do hear what you’re saying about the company dashboard. It sounds logical. I’ve shared that feedback with my team. I like the project tag idea - how do you think you’d use it? Also, this new taxonomy you propose is interesting. I wonder how that relationship between teams, projects, and “project groups” would be in practice. Would it make things more complicated or add clarity? I suppose it would depend on the user.

As you inferred, if a project owner updates the status of a project, it doesn’t (necessarily) get updated in our company objectives project. So, yes that’s where your suggestion comes in.

You have an interesting perspective on this, thank you!


#6

I completely understand where @Peter_Skjoldager is coming from. It’s somewhat similar to my request before where we wanted a project which can contain other projects.


#7

Thank your for your answer @Alexis and @Allen.

There are at least three different suggestions in play here, my prioritised list is as follows, with more details included:

  1. The dashboard view as a list, with project information in columns. It would probably look something like my illustration of the group of projects above. i.e…
  • Company/team dashboard (the ability to create multiple dashboards is also welcome)
    –Team 1 (different grouping options like “team” or by “project tag” (ability to create “custom fields/tags” for projects
    — Projects (different sorting options within groups)
    ---- Tasks (different sorting options within projects)
    -----subtask
    ----…
    —…
    Team 2

Does the above make sense?

  1. In the above i mention “custom fields/tags for projects”, this is something i think could be very helpfull. This would in someway eliminate the need for “project groups” since a tag/field could be the defining element of such a group. does it make sense?
    The fields/tag could fx be “priority” or “Company objective / strategic goal” or “subject” ie. a subject can go across teams. The ability to add several of the custom fields would be awesome (like for tasks)

  2. Ability to add projects to another projects task list. @Allen thats precisely what is was talking about. I am not sure how to do it in real life, as @Alexis is mentioning it might get complicated. But i think the idea comes from the notion that some projects are a subproject of a bigger project (i get that you could just “move down” a level, but that does not always make sense, because Asana is built around the “task” level ie. “my task” view etc.) where you would want some part of the bigger projects to be handled as projects and some parts as individual tasks.

OK, sorry for another long post. My point is the most important feature for me is the ability to view the dashboard as a list with columns i can customise like the google export and the second most important is the ability to use “custom fields” for projects.

Love some more feedback!

Please enjoy the weekend all.


Custom Fields At A Project Level - Not Task
#8

For the project within a project, what we did was we created a main task for each project (with similar name) and we added all the main tasks into another project. For project status, we use the comments section in the main tasks instead of the built in project status.


#9

+1 I also mentioned it on a few occasions (not here). That would be the first and most important step to easily implement OKR capability to asana.


#10

Not exactly what you are looking for, but maybe it helps: to see how everyone on my team is advancing with their tasks, I discovered Kaizana. It helps me above all to find stalled tasks…


#11

Thank you for the contributions. We are also using Instagantt. And for our use i think Instagantt can provide some of the things we think are missing in Asana in regards to the “high-level view” presented above. I have been discussing this with @danielguajardok, and he tells me he is considering things, like sub-groups, and sync with “status”, “owner” and “status color”.

If any of you guys are also using instagantt to get a better “high-level” view of your projects i would love to hear about it, and how you combine Asana and Instagantt.


#12

Hi all! This is quite a thread and I found myself bringing up this need for shared dashboards just a few days ago to Alexis actually, so the need is definitely present.

I think the best work around right now for me is just casting my dashboard when we discuss project progress, but even then it’s not great because I manage projects across a lot of different teams.

I saw this mentioned in another thread somewhere and haven’t really looked at it heavily as I’m not sure if it’s still in development, but Sprintboards seems like it’s something really great for the execs/leadership members of our companies who just need a snapshot of a project all in one place. Of course, it’s just one project that I can tell so doesn’t solve the dashboard problem.

I’ve been poking around other options for reporting as well, found this site Weekdone. Honestly, the site and blog was such a turn off that I don’t think I can look into it further, but it might be worth your time.


#14

@Peter_Skjoldager Happy to talk about this! I want to make sure this thread doesn’t go off topic, so I’m going to turn your post into a new thread. I think folks will be interested in talking about this, so better to have a new thread than to have this relatively hidden. :slight_smile:


#15

Future of Asana topic redirected to thread here Future of Asana


#16

@Peter_Skjoldager, I have to say… you literally said everything I wanted to say, so thank you! Our team would utilize every example you laid out. In fact, I am really the only user left it Asana as my team wants to move on to a better “high level” solution. That’s what brought me here. I’ve been heavily using Asana for about 2 years now and did not even know this existed! Glad to see I’m not the only one that sees the potential for management buy-in if there were more features that enabled them to see the info at a glance and sort of “peek into” parts of projects without leaving the dashboard.

Excellent stuff! I would love to connect with you to learn more about how your team uses Asana.

Also, @Alexis, I’m a visual person. Can you share some screenshots of examples of ways Asana uses Asana?


#17

@Dan_Olson this sounds like a great idea for a new thread! Would you mind creating a new thread on the topic of how Asana uses Asana? I’ll be happy to share screenshots and hopefully get some of my colleagues involved too. :clap:


#18

@Peter_Skjoldager. Holy crap dude I didn’t see this thread until now but this is EXACTLY what I was trying to get at with my post this past month:

I recently left Trello (after YEARS) and now call myself an “Asana Guy” but the ONLY thing that is driving me insane about my new Asana account is there’s no “big picture” visuals with associated metrics. I found another local company called BetterWorks that from what I can tell has everyone beat on this front (Big Picture Visualization, OKR’s, Alignment, etc) but as a task managment platform they suck so that’s why I’m sticking with Asana and just hoping they eventually add those unique feature that BetterWorks excels at. Here’s a screen shot from their site:

In the my previous thread I linked too someone posted a video of how a company called Springest uses hacks/workarounds to solve this problem but ultimately it’s not a fix/solution. So for now we just have to wait on the Asana peep’s to dial this feature in because once they do they’ll dominate the world!!! :slight_smile:

Best,
Coach Sam


#19

Thanks for the feedback @Sam_Leahey. I really like the setup that is shown in the picture. My boss just today told me to consider how to get a better sense of the connection between strategic goals and our actual projects. I will take a look at the Springest video and consider if i can use their methods or maybe instagantt.

I think the features i have described above combined with a graphical view like the one show above would be very nice.

I agree that if Asana includes features for this they will have a very strong product.


#20

For sure Pete. Here’s an epic video of EXACTLY we need Asana to copy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlYKcztWJUE.

Asana copied Trello board feature and that made me leave Trello and come to them :wink: Now I just need Asana to copy BetterWorks idea (I’m not a BW user) and then you and I will be in full domination mode Peter! :slight_smile:

I guess I plan should be to keep harassing Ms.@Alexis until she makes Dustin Moskovitz add the feature! Haha


#21

I really want to get to full domination mode now! :slight_smile:


#22

Fact. Ok our secret plan is to harass @Alexis about it then! Don’t tell her though! :slight_smile: