This is where we started as a team, but after realizing that subtasks don’t appear in workload it just didn’t work for us.
All of those subtasks are still actionable items, and if I can’t see the total number of actionable items in a day/week, it’s very easy for an individual to be assigned more tasks than they have capacity for in any given time frame.
Respectfully, I advise clients to work with, not against, Asana so long as they’re using it.
It would be nice if Asana offered multiple assignments but they don’t and it appears unlikely they will, or certainly not imminently.
Subtasks have pros and cons:
but outlawing their use removes the best solution for both multiple assignment (including “Assign Duplicates” feature with subtasks; see other posts I’ve made on that if interested), and the workload (and other) workaround of multihoming the subtask into a (hidden) section in the parent project.
My workshop video in the linked post above may help with more complex workflows like you have, if you’re sticking with Asana, along with the other workaround posts related to the above.
Do you use rules at all? I can see a rule where your designer completes it and then you have a rule to create tasks for the other people to review the design… if only one person needs to do something, I could see having a project or section “unassigned work” that people then can go in and find something to do or a manager or PM can assign it as needed.
It’s things like this that I talk about at conferences and webinars - Tech companies oblivious to the market.
It’s 2022 - your “ethos” around how to use your product is why it will ultimately fail (or get sold to a company and buried as an internal product).
Your Mission is to: “Help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.”
But that’s not really the case, is it? If you’re dictating what their best practices should be based on your ethos, are you really enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly? Or are you enabling the world’s teams to work together under a common ethos?
^ Those are very different. I highly suggest reviewing your Mission before making technical decisions - this one doesn’t line up.
Honestly this a huge area of concern as I review Asana as a potential avenue of work management for my team. I try and run through scenarios for every software I review and for Asana the one I most often get stumped on is how many instances where I need to assign multiple employees to one actionable item. I understand that assigning each individual to subtasks or duplicating tasks are possible solutions, but they should be POSSIBLE solutions not the only one.
Fairly concerning to see a company who’s entire purpose is to inspire creative collaboration roadblocking their customers from…creatively collaborating. I want to assign co-workers to a single task and I have yet to see a reason from Asana for why I shouldn’t be able to that can’t be summed up with “because WE don’t like that”.
Using subtasks and duplicates may be Asana the company’s favorite method of collaboration, but for many of us it is not, and it should be a CHOICE not a roadblock.
I wanted to add in a comment on this issue as well. We are also a small team, and would like to occasionally assign multiple people to one task. This would help us as we host workshops and trainings that sometimes are co-taught by multiple people. While the subtasks are dolled out to individuals, it would be very helpful if the overarching task of the training could be assigned to multiple people.
We are also seeing this as a hold back for people to ‘buy’ into using the software. It is hard to justify paying for something that doesn’t quite fit our team or County.
We are in Fiscal and although we love the idea of getting more organized by using Asana, we are finding it time consuming to find our niche within the program.
We have lists set up right now but some tasks have subtasks that are assigned to multiple different users so we cannot ‘assign’ tasks to just one person. When users want to use the board view, because they are more comfortable with this layout, it does not show them tasks (if filtered to see just assigned to them) that have subtasks assigned to them. These tasks that do not have anyone assigned to them is lost. Some of our tasks have 50 + subtasks that are assigned to 6 or 7 different people.
This would clear up a lot of issues with the filtering problems we are seeing on the board view.
Your subtasks are not showing up because the tasks are not assigned to the same people. We are in the same situation. We have a tasks that needs to be done for 55 departments ad the 55 departments are split between 7 people. Since we cannot assign the task to all 7 people the subtasks are lost when they filter the project.
I would think they would understand that this is fixable.
We have milestones set in projects to indicate delivery date. It would be good to be able to assign more than one person to this Asana card so we can see it in WOrkload view in Portfolios for every person.
When looking at what people are working on, it would be really helpful to have the deadline milestones so that when we’re shuffling work about, we’re not cutting it too fine or missing deadlines.
100% agree with most of what is being said on this thread. We only started using Asana, we are a 50+ employees company, and every day we have tasks like Workshops that need to be done by each project member. And yes duplicating the task is the wrong workaround as it totally disconnects the work from each other on one required outcome.
Now, I have found two workarounds that can be useful.
Create subtasks: In my example of a workshop, everybody has to come up with some ideas already. I create a single task that is allocated to the project leader and inside I create as many subtasks as i have members in my projects. They all share that same “look for ideas” subtasks.
I am also testing Collaborators. I have created a custom field named Collaborators Role where I put the type of specialists required on the task (multi-select drop list). This field auto-populates the field collaborator (using the new People field functionality) and based on whoever is in that Collaborator field, it adds the task in each team member’s personal project. ( we use a unique project per employee to replace the “My tasks” view that is too limited compared to a project)
Hope it helps a bit. It does the trick for us but ASANA, no more workarounds, just give people the freedom to do it if they want to! That is so BASIC.
With the new introduction of customizable fields to “My Tasks” is it, in your opinion, still more beneficial for your team to utilize a personal project to replace this functionality? I am trying to decide if I want to move my team to using rules and personal projects to field their new task entries into this instead.
I hate to effectively negate an entire tab; but if this provides better avenues for my team to organize their tasks then I would prefer to do that even if it requires more set-up.
I wanted to see if you have found you prefer one method over the other, when it comes to subtasks vs. Collaborators as well. I hesitate to utilize subtasks since these do not populate in workload view; however I do not believe the people field does either.
Hello Austin, thanks for your interest in “my/our” workarounds. I got really surprised by the new updates in My Task and I got my hopes high again. If the view offers more options and gets closer to the Project view, it still lacks important things like the Timeline. We will keep using Project per team and per team member until Asana upgrades, even more, either my tasks and/or finally decide to give the option to display subtasks.
I know it’s a shame to ignore My tasks and I’m sure a lot of people have enough information there but it just doesn’t work for us with our processes and size. If you are worried about having too many projects per team member and having to maintain all those projects and rules, I feel you. We actually don’t do it manually but instead, use MAKE which allows us to automate the team and team member view. MAKE is like ZAPIER. We went a bit far with that integration, to be honest, and I’m not sure if you need to make it that advanced but basically. We have one single template for the Team and one for Team Member. The automation look at a list of employees (Project) that contains names, detail, function, role, client responsibility etc The automation look at this list every now and then to check if there are new employees or if one has been removed. Then creates or remove that team member. All the rules that we would have done in asana, we are doing with MAKE in projects that contain the label Team Member (TM to make it short). it allows us to move projects between people, change the section (due today, tomorrow etc), remove a task from a project if no more assigned, and a bunch of stuff. That is being done on all team members and team projects live. So if we want to change a rule, we do it in MAKE and it applies to the 50 employees and 7 teams directly. It’s a huge time saving. Hope that point makes sense. To make it short, yes it’s still a good option to create dedicated projects instead of using my tasks and you can either go for full automation or just do it manually (each team member maintaining their own rules)
So far, I personally prefer subtasks. It’s visible in your board view ( for each person assigned to a sub task) It is not visible in the timeline or workload but when we have multiple people working on something it’s usually a workshop and doesn’t require complex time management. Collaborator is also good solution there is no wrong or right here as the result is pretty similar. The only thing that makes me go for Subtasks is I believe/really hope Asana is gonna show sub-tasks in every view eventually.
It really sounds like many people want to be able to assign a task to a team, rather than to a person. But this is kind of already the case for every unassigned task in a single project.
The current Asana setup works great for us where tasks come into a project and are unassigned, because everyone on that team knows that they need to scan through the list of new tasks and put their name next to the tasks they can take on. I don’t need to be assigned to a bunch of tasks in order to be able to see what needs to be done - they’re all just listed in the project anyway.
For all the people who have multiple people doing the same job, you can just create a search for incomplete tasks due in the next 3 days in projects X, Y and Z, and save this search. At some point you need to actually plan your day and figure out how much you can actually get done in that time period, and that’s the point at which you add your own name to the task. Otherwise anyone else is free to pick up unassigned tasks.
I like that it keeps one person accountable to complete that task. It’s easy to add collaborators or break a task into subtasks and assign those, often faster/cleaner than assigning copies.
With multiple people assigned to one task, things often get overlooked assuming someone else did it.
As a creative agency, we frequently have multiple people doing the same task at once. Ex: design a thing (ex: logo). There’s not a more granular task - they just all need to have design options available by a date. How do we reconcile this with Asana’s position on only one individual bearing responsibility for a task?
How would you assume someone else did it if it is not completed? Subtasks are comically underdeveloped and collaborators work fine, but explaining three different ways to “assign” a single task, to new Asana members is just a pain and an easy way to lose them.
As a creative director, I assign the project to myself, I’m the lead. Then I invite people to collaborate or set up a team. Finally, I create subtasks. In this instance project XYZ logo with the Logo team. Brief is in there. Then subtasks, Jeff: 20 options, Julie: 20 options, Jax, 20 options. Now they are each accountable for their part, they can mark it as complete when done and I’m ultimately accountable for the project. This works for me, I completely understand it doesn’t work for everyone.