Assign multiple assignees on one task

I would really love to see two faces on those cards that were pair programmed. This is very basic to support our workflow and the workarounds suggested here just add more metawork.

Deliberatly forcing your users to have only one asignee won’t change their needs. You should let that desicion to your users rather than imposing a mental model.

1 Like

Doing my 30 days trial for a business of 8 people and I encountered this problem in the first 30 minutes. It’s impossible to run any project without assigning one task to two people. It’s back to Trello then.

1 Like

Hi @Alexis

Please see my own design here in this post:)

1 Like

Dear Asana,

As a project manager, I am using Smartsheet, ProjectPlace, Clarizen, Service Now and Asana and many other Project management online tools out there. Each of the platforms has their cons and pros.

I have been using Asana since the product was launched, and I like its simple UI and quick edit option without too much mouse clicks.

After posting my post here https://forum.asana.com/t/assigning-tasks-to-teams/11187/3 @Mark_Hudson recommended me to repost it as product feedback.

REQUEST FEATURE:

  1. Assigning Tasks to a team(s) or a group(s)
  2. Add team(s) or group(s) as collaborators

When I have a task, for example, a request to all my employees to “change their password” immediately.
Normally, everyone would follow the same old fashion way by creating an email and selecting an email group which includes the 5 people or more to ask their employees for changing their password. Then wait for the email from all 5 to get status updates…

But I want to throw away my old fashion way of working, I want to use Asana for controlling task instead. I would like to create a task and assign it to a team of 5 people. To save time i would do as follows:

  1. Create a group names GroupX in Asana (Right now there is no way to create contact or user group in Asana)
  2. Add all 5 people to the GroupX.

Please see the screenshot below for more details before reading further

  1. Create a task and assign it to a user or team leader who will be accountable for the task (see bullet A)
  2. Assign the same task to the GroupX (See Bullet B)
  • When one of the users has completely changed her or his password as required then this person will click to complete the same Asana task. But the task itself will not be marked as completed yet, because there are still 4 users left who have not marked the task as complete. The Task will have some kind of indicators which shows that 1 has complete, 4 still remain incomplete. (See Bullet C)

  • Once all the 5 users have marked their task as complete, then the task will be marked as 100% complete!

  • Each of the users will also see the same task in their MY TASK so they are responsible for following it up daily.

With the process mentioned above, I don’t have to copy/clone 5 tasks and assign them to 5 different people. If I have 100 people where I want them to change their password, then I have to create 100 tasks and assign to 100 of people which it’s wasted of time. I rather go back to the old fashion way and use the Task feature in Microsoft Outlok instead.

I believe that many of us are not only using Asana for working with project related, but we also work with daily operational tasks as well. Almost everything we do at work is related to a task or a project. We must have a better and faster way to communicate, control and follow up tasks than what Asana or other project tools can do right now.

If you Asana, let us create some kind of group or contact, and the possibility to assign a task to a team(s) or group(s), and also an option to add a team(s) or group(s) as collaborators. Well, then I believe you will definitely kill email for sure. You might change the way people communicate with each other via task management (See Bullet D).

I haven’t seen any other Task, Todo, or project management system out there offering users such a feature. So Asana, why don’t you be the first one who implements such a powerful feature for us? :):):slight_smile:

Regards
Kim

2019-01-10_16-08-56

3 Likes

@Kim_H thanks for sharing your design with us. I have gone ahead and merged your other post with this main thread to gather all feedback and ideas in one place, and to avoid creating duplicates in the Forum. Hope that’s ok!

1 Like

Thank you Marie,
Regards
Kim

1 Like

Seriously, this should be a feature. Multiple assignee’s teams. It’s a given that organisations run into situations this is useful, or rather inevitable. I do understand the ground thought of the ’ sole responsible’, but that may be on project level (and still) but tasks can be carried out by a group of people. And also, tasks unassigned would not be lingering around.

It would also enable to work in the principle of a worklist (work-pile). Pick a task from the box you can do.

Another case we run into is that we use instagantt and our PM likes to assign tasks to external individuals or teams. In the gantt chart it shows clear who is expected to act. However the externals do not get access (or are not bothered). Unless we also assign an internal, the task will not be picked up.

So in my opinion, Asana should let the organisations using Asana decide for themselves whether or not they will allow for multiple assignees. So, make it an option in the general settings for the admin, and/or make it optional on a per project base.

Hej, and if service-now can do it, surely Asana can too :wink:

1 Like

I like @Kim_H idea here, where each Team (which is already something that exists within Asana) could be tagged as collaborators. It would save from adding people individually, although if individuals are added properly to Teams AND Projects then some of the need for notifications can be addressed that way (and changing Notification Settings).

When it comes to Assigning a Task to a Team, this obviously gets to the larger philosophical question that has created more debate here than any other topic IMO. I’m one of those who aligns with Asana’s view of “One Task - One Assignee.” But you could merge these ideas and let users put a Team into the Assignee field but then have that just create individual Tasks for each person in that Team. It would basically just be a shortcut to create multiple matching tasks and assigning to each person already in a designated Asana Team.

2 Likes

We do most work in pairs, and due to that restriction, my developers’ timelines are mostly empty if I don’t copy tasks (which is ridiculous). If you want to insist on only one person responsible, why not just mark other people as “collaborators” or something? That would be a great addition and keep your philosophy intact. Beyond that, I couldn’t agree more with the echoed “let US decide” point of view. I neither see how that would weaken the product, nor how this would be a big technical challenge…

1 Like

I’m trying to push Asana to be used in the company I’m working in but the lack of multiple assignees in the tasks makes this software looks ridiculous to people I’m trying to convince, which is a shame.

I have read this thread and I understand the philosophy that one task needs one person responsible for it. I also understand that tasks should be split as much as possible leading most often than not to one assignee.

Unfortunately, there is a difference between the person responsible for the task and the idea of assignment. Here is a short list of task areas where multiple people could be assigned to a task while only one person is responsible for the task :

  • A call
  • A meeting
  • Pair programming
  • … Anything involving multiple people in one place to complete a specific task

If you look at this thread, a lot of people are just using workarounds as I do which is incredibly frustrating and should alert Asana to the fact their vision is just making their software harder to use to some of their users.

Now I can understand that Asana thinks they’re making the life of their users better more often than not by making the tasks moving on with this sense of responsibility involved by the “one user one assignee” philosophy.

Except for the fact that some cases actually need multiple assignees, more importantly, and as mentioned a lot in this thread, why not just explain your philosophy with tips into the software and just let people decide by giving them the feature?

If I haven’t understood Asana correctly, can you please explain to me how to do a task representing a meeting with 10 team members? All of them need to have this into their calendar and the task should display easily the fact that those team members should attend the meeting? Please don’t tell me to create 9 subtasks if I need to reset the dates 9 times.

Regards,
Math.

For me a meeting is a project, that will generate several tasks for the attendees.

The only task for the attendees is to attend the meeting most of the time. Mostly to have their point of view or discuss something. The idea to create a project for every daily meeting seems like a workaround to me. Especially if you don’t have the portfolios option.

Now meetings are often a subtask in my case. For example today, I had a task which is “export some data for a company”. A subtask has been created to attend a meeting with the client where 3 people of the team needed to be present to understand his needs. How would you create the meeting on Asana? I would personally create a subtask with the 3 team members as assignees.

@Mathieu_Urstein , In case it might help until a better solution is implemented for “All of them need to have this into their calendar and the task should display easily the fact that those team members should attend the meeting”

were you aware of:

https://asana.com/guide/help/tasks/people#gl-assign-copies

This works for subtasks too, as you requested (the example shows tasks), so if you make a meeting subtask as you described in your last post and you give that a recurring due date to reflect the meeting dates, then descend into it, you can use Assign Copies there to create multiple subtasks in one fell swoop–you can either assign to a whole Team at once by Team Name or multiple individuals. All subtasks (siblings to this subtask actually) get created for you at once. It’s true that you now have duplicate info, so if the meeting date/time changes you have to deal with that. It might be quickest, then, to delete all those and regenerate a new set, which would properly trigger a notification to all of the change.

This is not offered as a solution, just a workaround, but it seems like the easiest workaround and much faster and less error-prone than other current alternatives.

Larry

2 Likes

Thank you, Larry. Indeed I know this workaround, but it’s still a workaround, unfortunately. It’s time-consuming and discouraging. We hope to see an update into Asana (the reason why I’m posting here).

So, why are you trying to force this into Asana? When you could easily create a calendar event on your calendar and invite everyone. Then only the people who need to do tasks before the meeting get tasks assigned in Asana.

Also, as a rule of thumb, never use subtasks (except to hide templated tasks that you will drag over to real tasks later). In this situation if you need a meeting with tasks surrounding it, make a Section titled the meeting and date then put the tasks for everyone underneath. Side note, you could do this and put dates and have every single person here if you want thus accomplishing what you originally wanted. If its all the same task. Set one up, then duplicate it under the same section in the project.

I’ve said this many times but I’ll keep doing it since this is a shift in a lot of people’s thinking. Asana has an INBOX. USE IT. You do NOT need multiple people on one task. Just set a task, add collaborators, they will be notified of any comments, changes, etc. If you HAVE to have a dated task that’s exactly the same, see above. You could even mark complete the tasks to show who attended and who didn’t.

Lastly, if a task will change hands multiple times THAT’S OK! When one person finishes their part, they can change it to the next person in line and even change the title of the same task slightly if needed. Update the comments, and description and set a new due date. If the PM wants do this instead that’s fine… you would be following the task and the moment they are done, they send a comment, you see it in your INBOX and you update everything… when you change the date and person it will show up in everyone’s Asana INBOX and that person will know to start.

P.S. what @lpb said is not “time consuming and discouraging”. It’s insanely quick once you do it a couple times. And deleting tasks is fast too. Also you can change multiple task dates at once. Select all then change due date.

1 Like

Matthew, I’m not forcing it, I’m giving use cases and opinions, as many users on this thread, why I’d like this feature.

Yes sure, but the reason we use such software is to do more. Asana tasks can do a whole lot more than my calendar events. Your argument is pretty much: If this software doesn’t fit your needs, while it probably could, then use another one.
Just saying that the multiple assignees would solve my problem while not generating problems to other users if there is an assignees policy into Asana settings.

Your methodologies, your opinions. This is another discussion.

Yes, that’s what Larry proposed to me. I don’t like duplicates because:

  • They break the single source of truth rule as a modification/comment to the original task is not displayed to the copies
  • They take forever to be created (up to 5 minutes to the point Asana send you a mail to tell you when it’s done)
  • It unnecessarily clutters your boards with tasks which the only purpose is to assign someone
  • It’s not the purpose of a duplicate. You do this to assign someone because you can’t on the original task.
  • This is not making sense to any of our employees.

Well, I guess you assume I don’t know this feature. I do. It doesn’t solve the calendar problem.

Yes, we do this often, It doesn’t solve the multiple assignees problem.

Deleting tasks is fast but duplicating them is terribly slow. First, it writes: “… is being copied…”, then: " the task is still being copied, you will receive a mail when it’s done". You can wait a long time. But really the problem is not even the duration, I have listed them above.

2 Likes

Hi, we have recently started using Asana and I’ve read all the comments in this thread. Considering this dates back to Mar 17 (and longer in other threads), I don’t understand why this is still being debated. I agree (to a point) with the philosophy that one person should be responsible for a task; however, this just isn’t plausible or suitable for a wide variety of situations. It would be far more beneficial for this feature to be added so that the users, who pay good money for the service, have the choice to adopt the philosophy as relevant to their own environment. Surely there is enough user feedback to now warrant this feature without the need for arduous and counterproductive workarounds?! Thank you to those who suggest helpful ways around this, it’s genuinely appreciated, but the demand is clearly there for the feature. Asana admin, can you clarify if this feature is even being considered/in development? Apologies if I’ve missed it somewhere in the thread - it’s quite long! Thank you in advance.

No because it would make the software more complex, would require a lot of engineers to develop, maintain and improve, and we would not see other features because of this.
Asana, stay true to your vision! Developing a software is making millions of choices, and that is really really hard! If someone wants multiple assignees, they can use another software, Asana does not have to meet everyone’s expectations :slight_smile:

Considering this dates back to Mar 17, I don’t understand why people are still hoping for this :grimacing: Clearly Asana has no plan for this.

2 Likes

Thank you for your reply Bastien. Everyone has the right to an opinion/question but I found the abrupt nature of your reply a bit inappropriate, not to mention condescending.

As mentioned in my post, I understand the ‘vision’ of Asana. Your comment relating to ‘not seeing other features’ should the point in question be addressed - that relates to your opinion as to which features are important. How are the new features you would like to see more important that the multiple assignees? Also, all new features ‘require a lot of engineers to develop, maintain and improve’ but again, this is not being argued as it is a matter of opinion and need relating to each individual/company. It is impossible for you or I (or anyone else for that matter) to question the value of a feature request unless you have specific knowledge of the workflow involved in a company/team and the accompanying benefits of such a feature.

I too, empathise with companies as we are all aware developing software is ‘making millions of choices’ but my question remains to Asana, it would be appreciated if they could clarify as to whether the feature is considered for/in development as if not, then it may well prompt people to look for alternative software. I agree with you, it is not about meeting everyone’s expectations as it is an impossible task, but it is about providing a service that is responsive and adaptive to an overall vision as well as customer base. If it’s not an option, no problem at all, but clarification would be most welcome.

1 Like

I believe their silence on the matter is an answer :slight_smile:
Sorry if my answer seemed condescending, it was not intentional!

1 Like