Adding time length to tasks (for Timeline)

^^^^ Yes, as a project manager, I need to be able to type in only a few things to automatically build a project timeline: Task Name, duration, dependency.

This would allow one to auto-build a schedule with the start date of the task being the end date of the ‘dependent on’ task and the end date being calculated automatically using the duration of the task.

The idea being, if the end date of a predecessor moves, the start date of the dependent task automatically moves based on the new end date of the predecessor. also, the end date of the dependent task automatically gets updated (calculated: end date = start date + duration).

Otherwise, when a predecessor task moves out, each person responsible for ‘dependent on’ tasks must move their start dates manually…

This is a reallllly big deal for those of us who are used to using MS Project and is a key reason I still don’t use Asana for my project management unless forced to do so… Please confirm if my understanding is right - that there is no ability to auto schedule based on predecessor end date and duration.

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You perfectly described why the timeline feature is not yet fully tempting for project management professionals.
I’ll add also another important aspect : the ressources levelling. The ability to add a team members to tasks taking into consideration the effort estimated, but also the availability of the person.

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Well said, @Jeremy_Manning. It does seem like Asana has some long-term plans related to this but I wouldn’t expect changes anytime soon.

Todd Cavanaugh
Training & Consulting for Asana

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Please set up a duration feature, Asana! This is KEY in being project timelines with a Gantt chart.

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  • 1 This is an important feature for project management.
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This. I upgraded to Premium for custom fields and the Timeline feature, but without being able to manage resource allocation and task duration, this feature is pretty… but not at all useful for project management.

Maybe for high-level project schedules, but not complex projects.

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I fully agree. I’ve just moved to a new company that’s using Asana to aggregate projects however I’m surprised that there’s no logic to the project templates in regard to setting task durations. There’s no scale to using templates that have tasks within that don’t auto adjust to the project’s due date. I came from a company using workfront and this feature was 100% the reason we chose workfront over other tools like Asana. Now I’m stuck in Asana’s world until this feature is added. Please implement this feature soon.

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I too will not be able to use this software without “Duration” being integrated with a task.

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FYI I’ve built a solution integrated completely within Asana which provides exactly this functionality. Now in beta, and you’re invited to help test it! Please see this thread for more info:

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Yes absolutely agree. Would be amazing to see this feature.

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I integrate Asana with my Google Calendar. It is great to see some specific project tasks appear there (for example, I track my English classes). What I need is to be able to set the time to each task/subtask, to make it appear in my calendar not just as an entry, but as a time-specific entry.

Would greatly appreciate such an upgrade.

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There seems to be some confusion here between start and end dates and automation, which I call waterfalling.

Asana’s timeline works with start and end dates. Dependencies will add pretty arrows to let you know that one task relies on completion of another. But what it will not do is move a dependent task to start AFTER the end date of the task upon which it depends.

This gets especially confusing when you start changing start/end dates for critical tasks that have dependents which might now have start dates BEFORE the critical task upon which those other tasks depend.

That’s where waterfalling comes in. Apps that can auto-waterfall have code sets that recognize the parent task and move dependent tasks to start AFTER the parent task is completed.

There is good and bad to this. For one, it assumes that dependent tasks can’t start until parent tasks are done. That is not always the case.

I would image the folks at asana had those conversations and kept the dependency independent of start and end dates, which, in my opinion, allows more flexibility. It takes more movement of tasks, but this is not hard work to do.

Apps like liquidplanner allow flowing waterfall automation, but they are extremely complicated to use and have wayyy too many settings to get right on each task. In my opinion, you start suffering from settings burn out on tasks and lose focus.

I basically create my Gantt Charts in Smartsheets and then “redo” them in Asana using the appropriate dates.
But that means that when there is a delay, I can’t just slide the date and have dependents move also. I have to work my way through the whole thing again

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Agree. Would really like to see this feature. Use case: I’d create a ‘Template’ project once for a repeated series of related tasks like creating a newsletter etc. Then I’d just drop it onto the timeline and shift the start date to wherever I’d like it with drafting, editing, review, graphics, and layout durations all remaining constant. This would save an enormous amount of time vs. individually scheduling each task.

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HI Adam, I too am using both SMartsheets and Asana and it’s definitely a pain when “redoing” them in Asana. May I ask, why are you not just using smartsheet?

Lack of support for time length in tasks is a complete show-stopper for my team.

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Long time IT project manager here, first time Asana user.

My company is looking at moving all our project management to Asana, I’ve volunteered to build a few projects and templates using Asana, but I’ve run into this topic’s massive issue first up.

Stupid new user question: what is the point of Asana if you can’t assign duration and dependencies on tasks?

Is this really meant for non-project management or non-IT professionals who don’t have any idea of how long tasks will take or how each tasks impacts other tasks and really just want a nice to-do list?

Am I missing the point entirely of this tool?

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Update: found this article showing some detail on using the gantt chart, but basically, if you want a waterfall approach, stick with MS Project, if you want an Agile approach, Asana has the capability: https://asana.com/guide/examples/project-management/project-management

This topic doesn’t seem to have any traction since Nov 2019. Can anyone answer at least the question of; are Asana working towards adding in a Start Time & End Time for each task?

Currently this is our biggest pain point in our company.

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I’d really like to see native task duration. Seems would help with time tracking, even the plugins. And it’s a more natural when setting up some of these auto-shifting tasks for dependencies: You shouldn’t need to put in the planned dates, just durations, then the auto-shifting will take care of things on its own.

Eager to see movement on this as it’s clearly desired, and also getting largely ignored!

Thanks