Client THEN Project hierarchy?


Hello! First time poster and current trial user of Asana here. Like many creative agencies we struggle with finding a PM software that checks all the boxes. We’re currently using Paymo and have found their lack of robustness in Reporting and the inability to share GANTT charts to be deal breakers.

Because we have many returning clients, one thing that is important to us is that we be able to have a Client THEN Project hierarchy, which I haven’t quite figured out the best way to do in Asana. What is a standard practice when it comes to this need? Because we run 20 - 25 projects at one, having a top level “Client” bin in the hierarchy is helpful in managing the workload and metrics over time.

Would I need to use Portfolios to accomplish this? Any input is appreciated, thanks in advance!


Hi @Wes_Kennison!

I would say Portfolios would probably be the best way to group your projects by client. That’s definitely one of the use cases that Asana envisioned for them.

There is a hierarchical level, Teams, which sits above Projects in an organization, so that would be another option; although in terms of nomenclature it’s probably a bit off to think of a client as a Team, unless you happen to have distinct separate internal teams, one per client.

I’d advise trying it with Portfolios and with Teams, and compare those approaches to see which best fits your needs.

Others here will probably chime in as well!


Hi, I’m trying to do something similar.

We made Projects for each client first. And we have Account/Project Managers review each client’s current project status on the daily.

But many functions within each client project belongs to a department. For us, the departments are “Accounts Receivable”, “Accounts Payable”, “Compliance”, etc. So we label each department as a project also and tag every task in both projects (Client project and department project). To distinguish client projects from department projects, we put an underscore in front of each department project. For Example: _Accounts Receivable

So it looks like this:

_Accounts Payable
_Accounts Receivable
Client 1
Client 2
Client 3

Anyone else doing this? I haven’t tried Teams, but that may help. I tried a simple test and a task can be shared between the Team and the Client Project, that’s good. Maybe it will help. At end of day, we need a complete multi-dimensional tracking by both Client and Department/Team. Each task needs to appear in both sections.

The problems are:

a) We don’t know if all tasks are in both a client project and department project without scanning through all of them manually. Perhaps there is a report we can create to see if tasks have less than 2 projects?

b) We actually add “many” client projects to a single department task if it is the same task for every client. For example, we have to file taxes for a bunch of clients. So we call it “Taxes” and assign it not just to the “_Tax” department but also to the Client 1, Client 2, Client 3, etc projects. So there are a lot of tags! Probably not the best way, but we did it so that we did not have to replicate the task so many times which takes up a lot of space (we use subtasks within that task instead).

So is it better to use Teams instead of multi-dimensional project mapping (Clients & _Departments) in one master team?