Are projects without deadlines anti-patterns?

Our organisation has come across a problem. We have been using asana quite well, utilising projects as permanent fixtures within teams. For example, our sales team would have a ‘hubspot upkeep’ project with tasks in there that contain tweaks we need to make to our CRM.

Now, though, we want to start using goals. Our definition of success is having our employees know that the tasks they do within projects directly contribute to the success of the company. Keeping our CRM hygiene is a boring task, but if it can be attributed to an ‘increase sales’ goal, which can be attributed to a ‘company revenue’ goal, that would be a great motivator for employees.

The only problem is that goal progress is a function of milestones or tasks completed within projects, and that can’t be measured if the projects are never completed, or don’t have a ‘finish date’ - they’re just used as task categorisation devices.

Any thoughts?

In your case your goal can’t be automatically linked to project progress because of the reasons you mention. I suggest building the appropriate dashboard in this project (e.g. number of completed tasks in the last month) and manually update the goal to reflect your progress.

What do you think?

PS: for a never-ending project like yours it is ok to not have a date


I think you should consider objectives/key results or goals/key performance indicators more like:

  • No more than n high priority tweaks open for longer than one week
  • No more than n other priority tweaks open for longer than n weeks
  • [more goals/measures based on throughput, satisfaction of the sales team with hubspot upkeep, etc.]

I’d definitely recommend this excellent resource for just this topic and related ones:

Hope that helps,


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