Approvals Subtasks Comments to be added directly to main task

Here is a feature I think would be helpful for some of the work we do:

Currently, a task is created and at some point, custom field is changed to X.
When X is selected, an approval subtask is created.

So far good, all works well when the approval is approved.
It starts to get messy when the approval is rejected or further changes are requested.

What currently happens is the ease of adding comments to the approval subtask, which creates a separate chain of conversation - 2 layers in the project.

What I would find useful is the ability to ensure that when an approval status is changed, for the approver to be directed to add their comments directly to the main parent task.

Now, I totally understand subtasks and their structure. But perhaps for approvals, it would make the flow of the conversation in the parent task so easy to follow and all in one place.

Thoughts?

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your feedback @Rashad_Issa! I agree that it’s better to have the conversation in one task only so everyone is in the loop. I can’t think of a workaround for this at the moment but adding @ambforumleader and @pforumleader here in case anyone has suggestions!

1 Like

was playing around with the triggers on comments - no luck so far.

2 Likes

Hey @Rashad_Issa ,

It depends on the use case, but if you are going to use rules to create approval subtasks, then it could contain some predefined instruction in that approval subtask’s description, such as “Please place your comment in the parent task, by clicking on it’s title, above this subtask’s title”.

Additionally, you could use a dropdown custom field as a ‘button’ to create further approval subtasks for further rounds of review/approvals. Let’s say this field is called ‘Create…’ and the options are ‘Approval by PM’ or ‘Approval by Director’, then each selection would add another approval task, and then the final action of the rule would be to clear the dropdown choice (back to blank, so it functions as a button).

Alternatively, you could avoid using subtask approvals completely, by simply using a dropdown field, in the parent task, with choices for each approval stage. Then, you could use rules that would assign the task to various assignees as it progresses through the review/approval cycle - I call this method ‘pass-the-task-around’. Your log for this would all be consolidated into the parent task’s activity log for ‘who approved what and when’ etc. I think @lpb has a good article on this method but I can’t seem to find it.

3 Likes

Hey hey @Richard_Sather

Thanks for the detailed comment. All your workarounds are very valid and I use them all in different workflows at the moment.

We tried this and it does not work in practice, because from a usability stand point, it is not intuitive to approve and then go one task up to add a comment. Hence my feedback.

The custom field scenario is used in other workflows. For this particular one, I need the approval task as it is easier to reference for compliance purposes.

Having Asana allow this approach would be welcomed though.

2 Likes

What’s the reason you use an approval subtask and not convert the task itself into an approval task?

2 Likes

I’m not sure which post that is, but @Rashad_Issa likely knows the alternatives already, which you did a good job of enumerating.

I feel your pain, Rashad, but not sure how Asana could implement this in a way that wouldn’t be seen as a non-standard one-off solution. But maybe someone will have a brainstorm!

3 Likes

There is a requirement that once the approval is done 3 other steps need to place. Once all of these subtasks are done, the task is completed and reported to compliance.

So if you’d use the main task for approval itself would be approved - which would indicate the task is done - whilst there is still work to be done.

Did I get that right?

I see this is a tricky one to tackle. I was thinking perhaps create a rule that would comment (“@commenter this is a sub-task, please comment in parent task.”) upon commenting on the approval task. It’s a bit convoluted, since the sub-task would need to be added to the project before the rule will act on it. And you’d need to identify the sub-task this rule should act on.

1 Like