Can you please explain this? I haven’t found anything in Asana that would be considered a team. The teams that projects fall under don’t seem to be selectable in the assign person area. What am I missing?
What I personally think Asana needs to add, which I think would help everyone to some extent, is the concept of a task owner and task helper (master task, slave task for lack of a better term). I’m running into this issue almost daily now, the issue of not being able to assign multiple people to a task. But again, I really don’t need multiple people assigned from the standpoint of completing the task, but I need the task to show up in all their My Tasks lists.
I’ll give you a few examples:
I created a project dedicated to our government meetings we cover, support, televise. Each meeting has anywhere from 3 - 8 people involved in some way. But only one person needs to be responsible for completing the task. We assign a producer/director who is responsible for completing the task, they would be the assignee. But the other 2 - 7 people still need to see this task in their list, because they are all responsible for some piece of it, but we don’t need that piece broken out. We just want to report on the meeting itself. And the way it shows up in their My Tasks lists, can be as simple as a normal task, but it won’t have the ability to be completed. Once the master task is completed, it will ripple complete all the others.
So in other words… this slave/helper task isn’t real. Changes can’t be made to it from the slave/helper side. The comments section would be in-sync for all master and slave tasks. so if someone posted a comment on a slave, it would ripple to the other slaves and master task.
Same with time… if time is reported (using 3rd party offerings), anything reported on the slave task, would actually go to the master task.
It could be a user preference how the slave tasks act once the master task is completed… my personal opinion is to remove the slave tasks… making them essentially disappear from the system. But I guess, they could be moved to the completed task area.
The reason I don’t like them moving to the completed task area is I’m trying to reduce task bloat.
So the advantages are:
- Only need to create one task, and no matter how many slave/helper tasks are assigned, they are all synced to the master task. So the slave tasks can’t be changed on their end, only comments can be added, which are synced with all master and slave tasks. Having one task to deal with, creates a way more efficient system if changes are needed. If I need to say change an item… I don’t have to search for all the copies and then mass change them. I can just change the master, and it will ripple change to the slaves.
- Saves on tasks… so it won’t bloat the database, or the completed items list.
- Can be used for management as a reminder of something they may want to attend or provide more oversight.
Another example would be people all doing the same task. I have my system setup where a deliverable is the task container. It may contain zero tasks if none are required, but it may also contain 10 - 30 tasks. Most of those task will be assigned to the producer doing the project. However, that producer will have pieces of the project that others help on. Specifically a production shoot. One shoot day could have as many as 10 of our staff people on it… all doing different positions on the crew. But we don’t need that level of reporting, I only need one task that says “Production Day/Shoot” and all of the team associated with it can put their time on that task. BTW, this is how we do it now, and use EverHour for the time tracking, and it works. But where Asana falls short for us, the crew has to seek out this task rather than it showing up in their task list. And if I assign it to them, then I have 10 copies to keep track of. Not very efficient.
So again, I think getting away from the idea that multiple people will be assigned as task owners who can complete the task, and moving more toward a slave/helper task that syncs with a master task is a much better method in my opinion.
You need to assign a copy, and type the Team name, see https://blog.asana.com/2015/12/assign-copies-of-a-task/ for more details
Oh, that’s weird that you have to assign it to someone first before the team option is available. Related question, is there a way to give people access to a team, without them being considered part of the team.
We have a structure that looks like:
I have the division director on the teams, but I would never want them to receive team tasks, is there a way to do that?
You wouldn’t need to do that in order to use the “copy” feature Bastien is talking about - in addition to typing in a team name, you can also type in the names of individual users to create/assign copies to them.
Thanks Bastien, I misunderstood the “assign copy” part. I thought you meant I needed to assign it to someone first.
but I see it works just by picking assign copies. Thanks!!!
Thanks Phil, I need to stop writing things when I’m tired!
The issue I have with the team copies, is I have people on each team that are supervisors, that would never need to receive the tasks. So I think the question could be asked in two ways:
- Can you limit individual team members from receiving “team tasks” when we use the assign copies feature?
- Can people (supervisors) be a part of the team without being in the team?
So if I have a couple of supervisors (manager, division director) who needs access to the teams, but would never receive tasks (especially mass copied tasks using the assign copies feature), is there a way to do that? I think I have to give people access to the team for them to see everything right?
There’s no “exclude” or “everyone but Fred” capability; specifying individual user names when copying would be the only way to accomplish what you’re asking.
No, there’s no partway-in option; you’re either in the team or not.
Not necessarily; you can add someone as a member of a project without them being a part of the team which houses that project.
A user can also access a project without being added as a member of it IF the project is “Public to the team” AND the team is “Public to the organization” (that latter setting requires a paid subscription).
I think it would improve flexibility to add this feature. After-all, if a task needs to be done by two people, if we assign it to one person, that means that person needs to run around the other one to get the task done and other person might say it’s not assigned to me.
This recently came up for us and I have to admit I’m torn. I like the idea of limiting to a single party, but in cases where someone needs to get feedback from a group of individuals (some of which use asana and others who don’t), it is a fair problem to address
The issue I have w multiple assignees is how do you know when someone has done their part? Does the person remove themselves from the task? How does anyone know who is responsible for marking the task complete? The idea that people should read comments to know the status is killing me - that’s exactly why I want a proper project mgmt system.
We’ll be discussing internally, but my gut says we might resort to having someone make their own subtasks for anything they’re asked to do via an @mention, along w a status change that says “For Review” so it’s clear to eveyoe that they should look in the comments to see who is on the hook.
My 2 cents:
If you have a task that multiple people are working on… then surely the task can be broken down (not into subtasks of a bigger task because subtasks suck… but into smaller tasks each assigned respectively).
If there is a task that get’s passed back and forth, that’s easy… just have the first person complete their part, then assign it to the new person, updating the due date each time and @mention whomever else needs to know about it in comments
The beauty of @mentioning and/or adding followers of a task under the comment box means that when you update that task, ALL followers get notified in their Asana inbox. If you aren’t using the inbox feature you’re doing it wrong. This effectively lets everyone know where the task is currently at without having to go to the project/task to see if it’s been updated
To take this a step further, if you pay for Asana you can make tasks dependent on other tasks which again will notify the dependent task person when the original task is complete in their Asana Inbox
If there needs to be a multiple people working simultaneously toward a single task… create a Section inside your project and VERY SPECIFICALLY detail what each person is doing via tasks under that section (still dont need multiple people on a task for this)
If you’re saying right now “yeah but sometimes multiple people are working on the same exact thing” to that I say BS. Its pretty much IMPOSSIBLE for two people to be working on the exact same thing at the exact same time. And even if it is possible, you, as a project manager should figure out who is good at what part inside of that one thing and break it out into smaller tasks that each person will do simultaneously. Then give it a start date/end date/time
I think 99% of the people here who have an issue with single person tasks have too general of tasks.
Here’s an example:
3 people working inside of a google doc simultaneously to get a report done by a certain date. You could make one task that says “Complete Report” and assign 3 people to it… or you could do it the right way and create the following…
Section Google Doc Report:
1 task 1st section (person 1 - faster than other 2 people)
1 task 2nd section (person 2 - better at visual/aesthetics)
1 task 3rd section (person 3 - slower but also more technically inclined)
1 task proofread (person 1)
1 task make it look nice (person 2)
1 task print, share file and submit to superior for review via email and slack when all other tasks are done (person 3)
Set due dates/times as needed
We often tackle a lot of projects and tasks in pairs, as a way to encourage conversation on how a task should be completed.
At the moment, the workaround is that I assign a task to the “primary” engineer who will be responsible for getting it done, but I add a follower to whomever is the “secondary” engineer.
This doesn’t make me want this feature any less though! Two people CAN own a task together - we engineer using this philosophy in our team, its just not reflected in Asana, which is a shame.
Thank you for expressing this so clearly. That’s exactly how I feel about it.
Why not just add a collaborators option. 1 assignee is owner. others have the task on lists and receive alerts, etc?
Great idea Scott… I’ve just read the “Why only one assignee” and it states… " But this decision is intended to help your team get more done. A big part of getting results as a team lies in each team member having accountability for the work they are doing. Without having a clear, single task owner, much of that accountability is lost and consequently, the completion of a task hangs in the balance."…
Your idea of having Task Collaborators is a great option… it also means that the Task is added to everyone’s diary (assuming they’ve got the Asana Outlook Calendar sync’d). Currently I have create the task and then manually recreate an appointment in Outlook inviting everyone into it… Its bloody slow and invariably, someone gets missed and doesn’t turn up to the meeting or they’re unaware of the deadline that everyone has responsibility of meeting?!
In addition to this… In Trello we are can assign Members and we have a custom field called TASK OWNER… this makes it very clear who is responsible for the task and the Task is synchronised to everyone’s Calendar so they all know what needs to be done when!?
Our company needs this feature as well!
This needs to become a thing. A small team has been trialing Asana out and are expanding it out to other teams. This issue is becoming a big problem in the Marketing Ops team. We have multiple people that cover things and back each other up. We need to know what is going on. Very frustrated you can only have one assigned person. This is the reason I am pushing hard for us not to go with Asana as our project management tool.
I’d like to agree with this… it’s a bit strange that Asana wants to impose some gobbledegook marketing philosophy mumbo jumbo on it’s end users, who clearly know how they want to run their own teams… I for one and perfectly capable of deciding for myself and my team if it’s useful and relevant to have multiple assignees on a task.
So, please, make this a thing.