Auto Assign Tasks

Hello!

I am currently creating a project template for our onboarding team. When the project lead creates a project, she wants to save time by automatically assigning a range of tasks to different people. The overall project is divided amongst 3 teams in terms tasks. The teams will always carry out the same tasks in every project, what changes is the availability of personnel in each team. So depending on who is free when the project is made, the Project lead will assign a particular person to carry out all their team’s tasks.

Is there a way that this can be automated? So rather than our Lead having to re-enter a team’s assignee 10 times for every team, she could automate it. Ideally, she could manually enter each team’s project lead, and then that would auto-assign that person’s name to their team’s task.

What is the best way to go about achieving this? Asana rules, Zapier or Flowsana?

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Hi @Jonty_Wilkinson and welcome to the forum!

Personally I’m not quite clear on your goal - are you wanting an automated way of assigning the best team member (i.e. someone who is free at the time) to each task, or an automated way of assigning tasks to the appropriate team lead?

Initially you said:

so I thought you were wanting it to figure out who in the appropriate team is free and assign that person.

But then you said:

which sounds like you’re wanting to auto-assign the team’s lead (assuming that’s what you mean by “that person’s name”).

I’m also not quite following what you mean by

but that’s probably just part of my general uncertainty about what you’re wanting.

So if you could clarify exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish, that’d be great!

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Sorry for not being clear. Probably better if I explain exactly what currently happens (FYI, our company uses Asana to on-board car parks):

  1. The head of on-boarding will use Asana to create an on-boarding project.
  2. She will use one of 4 templates.
  3. The on-boarding project will always only concern 3 teams (finance, on-boarding, operations)
  4. Once a template is selected, the head of on-boarding will then manually enter in one member from each team to complete their team’s tasks.
    (She will personally contact each person to workout who is best placed to complete all the tasks.)

My question is, can we automate the way she assigns these set tasks. One way I think we could do it: she could fill out a task at the start, which says "Finance - Person A, On-boarding - Person B, Operations - Person C. Then all tasks for for finance will automatically be assigned to Person A, all tasks for on-boarding will be assigned to Person B, and all tasks for Operations will be assigned to person C.

Does this make more sense?

Hi @Jonty_Wilkinson,

Yes, that makes sense, thanks!

Asana doesn’t provide any automated way to do exactly what you’re wanting. I tried to think of a way you could use rules (either Asana’s rules or the rules capability in my Flowsana integration :slight_smile:) to accomplish something close to it but I couldn’t come up with any ideas that would be better or more efficient than doing it “manually”. My thought of how to do it manually is:

Create a dropdown custom field called “Team” which identifies which team performs a task. In the templates, assign that field to each task as appropriate.

Then each time you create a project from a template, in the resulting project use the Asana view’s Filter capability to filter just the tasks for “Finance”. Multi-select all of those Finance tasks and set the assignee to the Finance team member who you’ve identified will be doing this project’s tasks. Then repeat that process for he other two teams. While this is a “manual” approach, you’ll only have to do it 3 times (once for each team) and only one time when you first create the project.

Maybe others here will think of some other approach; that’s what I came up with!

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Hi @Jonty_Wilkinson,

I can expend on @Phil_Seeman’s suggestion. You can use a Rule here to automate this. You’ll still need to manually set each Team filter, but you can create a Rule that will assign every task to Person-A based on the assignment of the Team Filter. (Eg the Rule would under ‘field updated’ and you could choose Team changed; then the action would be ‘assign task’ to Person-A).

Also, if it’s the same person each time, you can set your assignees in the templates and when you use the template, the work is automatically assigned as well.

Hope this helps!

I considered a rule-based approach like this - the problem is that you’d have to specify the assignee name in the rule action, but that doesn’t work for @Jonty_Wilkinson’s use case because the assignee changes from project to project, right?

Aside from Jonty’s use case where it’s not the same person each time, also I personally wouldn’t use this approach because the assignee tasks in the templates will appear in peoples’ My Tasks lists due to that aspect of Asana’s behavior, even though they’re not “real” tasks yet.

Good points! We’ve run into the issue with assigning tasks in templates as well… wish they would get rid of that!

Regardless, there are ways to speed up @Jonty_Wilkinson’s process for sure, but nothing will completely automate it.

Maybe I am over-simplifying this but if you set up a template with some sort of placeholder person (“Finance”), (“Onboarding”), etc, then when the template is created, filter the tasks to one of the placeholders and complete a replace for all tasks assigned to that person. You would need to do it three times for each new project but it should streamline it a bit.

Hi @Randy_Eickhoff and welcome to the forum,

No I don’t think you’re oversimplifying it at all, really! Your suggestion is very similar to mine above, the only difference being I suggested using a custom field to identify the team for each task, whereas you’re opting to use the Assignee field to identify the team.

Your approach is simpler in that it avoids having to create a new custom field. I would argue that mine is “cleaner” in that you’re not having to create extra “fake” placeholder users; but either option would work!

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