Ability to assign Project Roles when converting a task to a project using a template

I’m on the “make this happen Asana, pretty please” bandwagon… but in the meantime… we work around it like this below. (BTW, this is a small part of a larger workflow but I’m trying to keep it short here). It’s not perfect, but works for us and I hope this helps someone! :slight_smile:

PART 1 - Intake/request project. Nothing groundbreaking here, but lays the foundation for the next piece.

  • either a form or an API-call from our CRM platform (Dynamics) when an opportunity is awarded, which creates a new task, with a few CF’s (Custom Fields) specific things like region, vertical, etc (to match our line of business teams).
  • in here, rules alert the corresponding manager to review the new project for assignments.
  • This is where the People CF’s for each “Core Team Project Role” is assigned. In our case that’s only three roles, needed for kickoff. Other functional teams/roles will get engaged later on in the project lifecycle…
  • The assignee = Project Manager, almost always - so that person gets added twice as the asignee and the PM people field (maybe not necessary for you).
  • the other people fields, should get added as collaborators to this task as well (you’ll see why on the next part).

PART 2 - leveraging the task information/fields for the project.
On the previous part, the screenshot shows a CF called “Project Workflow status”. We use this to trigger the “convert task to project” rule, from a template, as many of you are doing.

The benefit of adding those people CF’s - make sure they are GLOBAL CF’s - for the “assignments” in the previous step (and adding these users as collaborators), is that once the task is converted to a project, the project will inherit these CF’s when in a portfolio, AND they will be added as members of the project. So, “they know” not only that they have been assigned, but also to what role.

PART 3 - this is where the “project roles” workaround happens.
Our standard template (used when converting task to a project) has a Global CF that calls out which task is the responsibility of which “role” by default. similar to what you would do dynamically on the template editor on the “assignee” field for each task.
We simply called it " Task Owner Role"
We use this in combination with filters and saved views* to help each member to filter by, multi-select and bulk-assign themselves or each other at the beginning or throughout the project.
[* note that unfortunately, project views cannot be saved with a template :frowning: )

It’s not the prettiest, but when we were comparing and deciding between manually creating projects from a template to be able to use “Project Roles” vs leveraging a more data-integrated workflow, we opted for sacrificing some convenience and assigning tasks this way… :slight_smile:

I hope this helps someone out there!


Oh, that’s interesting! I’ve tested this and it looks like you do need to add people as collaborators when you’re adding them in a field in the task, for which you will get a prompt when you add them:

Otherwise, they won’t get added to the project.

Also, for the field not to be disabled the project needs to be added to a portfolio that has this specific custom field.

Anyway, interesting puzzle pieces. @A.Ortiz Thank you for sharing your process here!

1 Like

That’s correct! and another “trick” is that this prompt only appears in the “task window”, not when updating the field in list view, for example (sigh…).

Ooooh that’s interesting! I had not experienced that… Out of curiosity, I just did a little test and I found that, while the CF’s are not visible on the portfolio, they are indeed present in the “Project Custom Fields”, when I open the Project details tab, and they just need to be added to the portfolio from the existing Global Custom Fields.

For example, I setup a project manually in the “Project Request” project, and triggered the same rule, BUT to a different portfolio that did not have those CF’s in place:

Perhaps you experience different results, in which case I’d be curious why, so we can ALL learn some tricks and/or potential troubleshooting traps :slight_smile:

Thanks for the collaboration.

1 Like

I’ve spent countless hours building workflows in Asana where a form creates an “assignment” task, that task is then assigned by rules to our Project Manager, the PM changes the assignment, triggering rules run to automatically convert the task to a project using a project template.

That all works wonderfully.

However, once the project has been created, tasks cannot be automatically assigned within that newly created project, despite having created project roles. What? There isn’t even a rule to automatically assign tasks to the project owner. As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no way to automate task assignments with this workflow. All of my hours of work are wasted if I can’t do this very simple thing.

This is such a simple fix, Asana. Please get it done, or please provide an explanation as to why it hasn’t been done. If you can assign roles during a manual project creation, why can’t you assign roles with a form or through a task-to-project conversion? Why can’t you assign roles after project creation?

This is quite literally a deal-breaker for our team. If I can’t automate task assignments, I’ll be looking for another project management platform. This is beyond unacceptable.

1 Like

That piece is indeed missing, that’s why we usually suggest our clients to NOT convert through a rule, but instead create a task for someone, an assistant for example, saying “Convert task to project with correct roles” and then they fill in the roles.

The above advice is usually working because you have at most one new project per day, so automating only saves a few minutes a week, not hours.