Consulting with External Clients in Asana

Really great suggestions here. I would add a few tips I use when working with larger clients that may or may not apply:

  1. Instead of trying to manage client company permissions within a project by splitting them up as members and guests, I’d set them all up as guests, and create 2 separate client projects. One as the “working project” which is open to all members of the client’s company needing access to the project (where all the tactical work gets done), and a 2nd project set up as a “management project” which you can use for more sensitive info such as legal docs, financial transactions, etc.

  2. As @James_Carl suggested, I would definitely color code each project so you can quickly separate and visualize which projects have client visibility, which ones have management visibility, and which ones are private to your company. This goes a long way in preventing mistakes, like posting confidential info in the wrong project.

  3. If you decide to use multiple projects for each client, for example manager and working projects for both your company and the client company (which would be 4 projects/client) it’s helpful to create some sort of standardized labeling for project names. (in addition to the color coding) so everyone can easily tell them apart.

Hope this helps.

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Hi,
as a consultant I have different client projects managed in ASANA. In my next meeting with a client, I would like to track the results directly in ASANA, but I do not want the client to see my other projects, clients.
How can I do that?
I have more than one project with this (client) team, so hiding the sidebar is not an option, since when changing the project, the whole sidebar reappers and shows the other clients/teams/projects.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Thomas

Hi @Thomas_Pohl - I’m going to take the liberty of adding your question to an existing thread on this topic. We have lots of consultants who use Asana and participate in our Community here, so there are lots of people here who can help!

As a first step I recommend that you visit the posts in this thread (the thread your post is merging to) Consulting with External Clients in Asana.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts @Amy_Mitchell, @Sebastian_Paasch, and others :slight_smile:

There’s no setting in Asana, but there are workarounds:

Option 1: Leave the sidebar open on each Asana browser tab/window you’re displaying to the client so you can navigate, but scroll the sidebar vertically such that the client’s team appears at the top. Drag and drop another innocuous or even a dummy team/projects immediately below this client the client’s team and expand both teams to show team conversations/calendar/projects enough to fill the vertical area of the sidebar, thereby hiding the other clients. Just don’t scroll the sidebar up or down during the client work.

Option 2: Add to Favorites all the client’s projects that are ok to be seen and drag and drop them so they’re contiguous. Scroll to that region vertically and add more innocuous or dummy projects if needed to fill the remaining area to “hide” other content.

Option 3: Although you said it was not an option for you to hide the sidebar, I often work that way and navigate project-to-project by autocompleting project names in the search bar; it can be faster than using the sidebar, allows you to reclaim more real estate, and hides the other clients (just make sure autocomplete doesn’t reveal them!).

Re “when changing the project the whole sidebar reappears…”; my experience is that this only happens when I shift-click or ctrl-click to open a new tab/window. Instead, only use existing windows with Options 1 and 2 where you’ve pre-scrolled vertically to the sidebar area you’re ok having the client see. With Option 3, you can use the existing window, or you can ctrl-click or shift-click a project in the suggestion list and freely open a new window, since in this case the sidebar is closed, and the new window inherits the current window’s sidebar hide/show setting.

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Thank you @lpb. I will try your suggestions.

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@Thomas_Pohl Just saw your question, so sorry for the late reply. This is how I’d personally handle this. I’d just create a new internal company login using a unique email address on your domain that you have access to. Then you can share only the client’s projects with that new user, and use that login when meeting with your client.

The downside is that it’ll use up a paid seat if you’re on a premium plan, but you could reuse that same login for multiple clients by revoking access to the current client’s projects and then giving access to new ones for future clients.

So did we decide if each a client should get their own Team, invite clients to that team and list the projects under that OR just have a single Team (Projects), have a naming convention for each project that includes the client name and project and invite clients to each project?

I’m leaning more towards the former, seems a lot cleaner and makes the project names more readable too.

PS. One question though - are custom fields and tags shared across teams?

I echo the concerns about accidentally assigning tasks to guests who don’t belong in certain projects. We have an employee Dan and I am about to add a client Dan as a guest and want to avoid this at all costs. My idea (which I’m not sure how to implement) is to have the Guest account set up with a specific name that has a prefix to designate their company name (i.e., “NSM Dan”). It seems you can only specify the email address when adding a guest, so I’m not sure if I have any control over the guest name. I certainly don’t have the ability to change other people’s names in my organization and while I don’t mind asking the client to set up his name in a specific way, it seems like there should be an easier way to do this. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Just to answer my own question, I’m going with a team per customer for now.

I’m not expecting to have hundreds of customers (is there a limit on the number of teams?)

Another way would be to just have projects with the customer code pre-pended with a company kanban in a Project Management team that collates all tasks across all projects.

What would make this loads easier is to be able to order task by project name.

That way I can have a client only project board ordered by project name. Otherwise we have to name space every single task which is silly.

Also what would be good is to have secondary sorting -

Sort by Project Name (descending) then by Priority (ascending).

How is everyone handling guests seeing each other’s names in the dropdown option when they use the mention feature?

I am using the Asana Free version. I want to avoid cluttering by side panel with creating one team per client since I only invite clients at the project level.

Here is my setup:

  • I have one team called “Client Work Access”.
  • Individual client projects are housed under this team.
  • Each client is invited at the project level only to their own projects.

Problem

  • The added client is automatically showing as a member of my team under “Members with access to specific projects.”

  • Client A can see Client B’s full email address in the dropdown field when they use the mention feature even though they are not part of the same project nor are they are team members.

Per @Marie’s response in this thread, two guests can see each other if they belong to the same team.

I am confused about the bold part of the below excerpt from the guest permissions guide.

“If two people are seeing each other as a “Private User”, they are both Guests. If Guests see this, that means they are not working in either the same team, project or task together; this is to ensure that if you’re working with clients, they cannot see one another’s names unless you want them to. Once they are both following the same task or working in the same project or team, their names will be displayed for one another.”

Questions

  • Does the private user only show if an external client is a project member only AND not part of a team that houses all of my other client’s projects? Should a private user be seeing other guest’s email and have the ability to mention them?

In the scenario where My organization and I are 5 persons, and we decide to go Premium. Can we just pay for 5 seats? and then start adding clients as guests without any further cost?

Yes, that’s right. Guests will not be charged.

Great information and thank you all for posting the various options to get clients involved in each project. We have been onboard now for a couple months and already see the value of Asana in managing our projects and work plan. A question that I think I know the answer to but will ask anyway:

We currently have 40 ongoing client projects and I would expect that to grow as we hit our busy season. There are definitely opportunities to assign certain tasks to a client as part of the information gathering process. I think it would become prohibitive to double the number of projects by setting up a separate project for each client that only has their tasks in it. Currently, when I assign a guest to follow a task, I find that they can view all the tasks in the project (which there is no need nor do I really want them to see all the work we are doing behind the scenes).

The question: is there a way to limit a guest’s view to only their tasks rather than the entire project?

@Randy_Eickhoff, Re:

Yes, you can limit a Guest’s view to only those tasks to which they are assigned or appear as Collaborators (Collaborators) for. Perhaps your guest is a member of the project right now and that’s why they have access to more? If so, remove them from the project membership (also from team membership).

For more info:

Hope that helps,

Larry

Thanks Larry. It does. We tried to test this before and must have been adding them to the project rather than the individual tasks. Still need to evaluate how it the process will work but nice to know the functionality is there.

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Hello- Great thread here! I currently design boards in Asana for clients, optimizing their workflows. I do not work always work within the boards do PM. Often, I need to hand it off to the client at the end. Usually, I work within their organization as a guest but I would love to be able to stay in my own space and work.

My question is if I create a project in my own workspace and then invite the client as a guest. When the design is complete, can’t I make them the owner and wouldn’t it then transfer to their workspace/organization?

This seems so easy but I know there has been a ton of convo about the handoff in the forum. Will my idea not work and why?

Thanks-
Sara

HI @hellosaraflowers. Unfortunately it won’t work. Projects are tied to the workspace/org they are created in, and can’t be transferred across. Thus your client will be the project owner only in your workspace.

This thread has been so helpful! Thank you all!

Last year, my team and I have been tracking projects using Asana (for internal team) and sharing bunch of Google Doc and Google Sheets with our clients. I am really hoping to transition into a more uniform process where my team and our clients can track the project using just Asana. I have already created a project template that I plan on duplicating for each client. I absolutely love the Timeline and Progress sections and I think my clients will do too.

We currently have Business organization and the way I have it set up now is I have created a Team called “Clients” and then creating a template for each client and adding him/her as project member. This will allow the client to see the Timeline and Progress sections of the project as well as accessing the Conversations, Board and other features within a project. Doing this will also allow each client to only view his/her own project.

The problem I came across is I cannot hide individual tasks that are only applicable to my team within each project. Is there a way to share a project with a client but limiting the type of tasks they can see?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Hi @Ann_Lopez. Unfortunately you can’t have a task within a project that is private to only select project members. You can have a private task that is not associated with a project (private to only the task collaborators). In your case, you obviously don’t want the latter.

One option would be to have “client x - internal” project which is worked only by your team and then duplicate the key tasks or milestones for “client x - viewed” project. Since tasks can be assigned to multiple projects (up to 20), this would allow you to update both projects key tasks at the same time and allow private tasks or conversations to happen internally.

Here is a few past discussions around this similar topic. Hope it helps. Private task with shared project - workaround . and Professional services firms: how have you set up Asana to balance internal vs external communications with clients?

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