Building a Team Kanban Project

Hey y’all,

I had a couple people reach out in the Asana Together Slack after a comment I made about my Asana setup that has a Team Kanban Project. I figured I would put it here for the whole world to see.

TLDR :
I multi-home every Task into a Team Kanban Project and use rules to mirror the status/sections in both Projects.

Alright so, I have a team of 15 with Designers, Developers, Leads, and PMs building small web-apps.
They are loving Asana, but the Team Leads were feeling like they needed to see their team’s work all at once, particularly the dev team which was also managing git branches and merges.
The Advanced Search was nice, but only spits out all Tasks in a list, so it was limited.
And Workload was nice also, but didn’t show the Tasks in line with the other Tasks in the same Project for different Team Members well enough.
Their request of me was to make an empty project that sucks in all of the other Project’s tasks and allows any user to move their tasks from left to right in a Kanban flow, while mimicking that flow change in that Task’s respective Project.
And so I did! It works like a shadow, or marionette Project where all of the Tasks get multihomed into a Team Kanban Project. In this way a team member can update their Tasks from either the Team Project, the actual Project, or from My Tasks (via the Custom Field Status) and that Task flows in all places to the right spot.

The Setup :

  1. A Template Project with Sections representing Status
  2. A Task Status Custom Field to mirror the Sections
  3. Rules that change the Task Status to match the Section when a task is moved
  4. Rules that move a Task to the corresponding Section when the Task Status is changed
  5. A Rule that adds Tasks to the Team Kanban Project when they’re created

Benefits :

  1. During Standups, the cross-functional teams can see the progress of all work simultaneously.
  2. Great for smaller teams with quick tasks in several disciplines all happening at the same time in the same project. (eg. designers making comps while devs are standing up a server)
  3. Team Leads can see their team member’s tasks flow, and make adjustments right away
  4. Radiates the right information whether the team members use the Project view, Kanban with their filter, or from My Tasks (where they just update the Task Status)

Drawbacks :

  1. Limited opportunities to scale or flex process. This setup pigeon-holes your team into only one type of flow for projects. The more complex or dynamic your team’s needs are, the less valuable this setup can be.
  2. Limits a new team’s understanding of Asana. My new people only understand the monster I’ve created, so they think the limits are Asana’s and not mine.
  3. The Workload does a great job of not duplicating the hours for the Team Kanban and the actual Projects, but that many duplicate swim-lanes makes it unreadable. This forced us to make a Portfolio of just the Team Kanban Project to get the capacity picture
  4. Because you can’t change the order Rules get triggered in Asana, any Task created in ant Section/Status triggers a cascade of Rules that forces them to the first Section/Status (in our case To Do)

What does everyone think? It’s certainly not for everyone, and has flaws. But my team loves it, and are willing to make me suffer the drawbacks while they enjoy the benefits :grin: :heart:

Thanks for putting this together @Luke_Glitzer :raised_hands: :tada: