Automatically calculate duration to tasks based on dependencies

In Microsoft Project, you can add duration to a task. This is often the only thing known when planning. When used with dependencies, the dependent task is automatically added to the timeline with start data equal to the dependency’s end date. Its end date is then calculated based from the start data plus duration.

Asana doesn’t offer this functionality. I can only set up start date and end date. How am I supposed to know start or end date for a task with four preceding dependencies?

Until you add this functionality, Asana is useless as a project planning tool for us.

Jan

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Hi @Jan_Horcicka, welcome to the Asana Community Forum and thanks for sharing your feedback with us. As it stands, it’s currently not possible to automatically add duration to tasks based on a number of preceding dependencies. I will let you know in this thread if this is something we plan to implement in the future!

cc @ambforumleader @pforumleader in case anyone know a workaround for this! Thank you :pray:t4:

Hello Emily,

I didn’t ask to automatically add duration to a task.

I want to be able to add the duration to task manually (in days). Then, I would like Asana to automatically calculate task’s due date with a simple formula due_date = start_date + duration.
The start date should be equal to the last dependency’s due date.

Please let me know if anything is not clear.

Jan

2 Likes

Thanks for clarifying, @Jan_Horcicka! I updated the title so it explains the request better.

Hi @Jan_Horcicka,

@Phil_Seeman has created a solution for this, Flowsana. Here is some documentation to see if this is a possible solution for you. Phil may be better to chime in here, as well.

2 Likes

Hi @Jan_Horcicka and @Emily_Roman!

So I don’t know of a way to do what @Jan_Horcicka is asking here as you are creating a brand new project manually but there is a way to do something like this using a Custom Project Template. There is a full posting about it here: Now rolling out to Asana users—schedule projects with custom templates

The jist of it is this:

  1. You create a Project template with a set due date or start date (this can be completely arbitrary which date you choose as it wont matter in the end).

  2. You then create all the tasks with all the dependencies in place and assign the due dates for the tasks that align with the Project start date or due date that you set. (for example, we use this feature for planning tradeshows at my company. We set the due date of the project template as the first day of the show and then backwards plan all of the tasks from that date. So for shipping our booth we set that as 7 calendar days before the start of the show, etc)

  3. Once you have your project template set up, you create a new project using the template and when you set the start date or due date of the project (based on what you chose in your template) Asana automatically sets all of the due dates for the tasks based on that date. (So if the show date is 8 Dec then the shipping the booth task automatically set’s its due date as 1 Dec)

This may not be very useful to you depending on how you are using Asana but if you have a standard repeatable workflow that you will use over and over again this is a fantastic feature. I look forward to see what others have to say on this topic as possible work arounds!

Cheers,
Matt

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Thank you so much for these tips @Christine_Bolton and @Matt_Dickinson :star:

Hello all and thank you for fast responses.

The Dynamic Duration-Based Workflow suggested by Christine seems to be the right solution. However it falls under the domain of Flowsana. When I get to the account creation page, it says that the account is free only for 30 days. Is this something that is related to Asana and falls under the same payment plan?

Hi @Jan_Horcicka,

Flowsana is a separate product from Asana; it’s an integration I built to add additional capabilities to Asana beyond what it provides natively. It’s my livelihood so there is a charge to use it beyond the 30-day trial. :slight_smile:

Have there been any recent developments on this topic? Like OP (Jan) mentioned, being able to say, “start this task on this date and have it last for 10 days (minus weekends)” and then have that drive dependent tasks would be hugely beneficial and powerful. So far, that’s the main feature that’s missing from this that would get me to use it instead of Microsoft Project (which is overkill in many situations). I tried clicking on the link that Christine provided for Flowsana, but the link seems to be broken. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sorry - we moved to a new Help system and that link didn’t get updated! It’s fixed now.

Here it is again for convenience:
Here is some documentation

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Thanks so much for the quick reply!