Create a task that is a summary task with the start and end date of all tasks

Hi, apols if this is an obvious one but I can’t seem to find the answer in forum.

Can I create a task that basically takes the start date of the first task and the end date of the last task? I want to have a summary task which I can then share on another project to show management who don’t care about individual tasks. I thought Sections might do this but can’t work it out.

It really sounds obvious but I’ve probably not searched it correctly so any help appreciated.

Can you elaborate more on what management wants to see out of this summary task? I believe this can only be a manual process but I think a Favorite Advanced Search could give you the raw data to manually maintain the task. But what is that task going to look like, a group of tasks started on this date and are projected or were suppose to be completed on the end date of the latest task? What is your aggregator, project? custom field or what.

Hi James. Our projects are broken into swim lanes for teams. So one team would have:
Task 1 - 1/2 - 3/2
Task 2 3/2 - 10/2
Task 3 5/2 - 12/2

What I want is a overarching task that shows a start of 1/2 to 12/2. Basically a task shows when the work starts and ends for a team. Does that make sense?

I think what you want is a Gantt Chart. If you search for that, you may have better luck.

I don’t know how well Asana does Gantt Charts, I am familiar with them from other contexts.

Good luck.

Hey @August_Mohr Not so much a gantt chart but a summary task.

How about sub tasks with the master holding the date range?

Hi @Jon_Townsend We don’t use subtasks much as they don’t display on the gantt

I do a similar thing for myself, but I don’t think there’s a way to automate it. You might look into Flowsana if automation is important (but I haven’t used it so I’m not sure how it works). If you use Sections for your swim lanes, you can set a start and end date for that Section item and then add it to the project that management is looking at. It’ll show up as a project full of sections, but it’ll allow you to display the swim lane relationships in Timeline.

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Thanks @Russel_Fogg I’ve not tried that. Quite curious on how this will work :smile:

No problem @Khalid_Sharif.
Also, I’m not sure how many projects/swim lanes you’re dealing with, but if it helps your set-up, I actually have a separate, private project called “Project List” where I keep track of all of my other projects. I use it to keep track of start/end dates of projects (to be able to view resource allocation and avoid overloading our teams), but I also use it for my own status updates and notes about things that I need to check in or follow up with. This way I can keep track of my questions and concerns about projects without embarrassing or overwhelming team members. I can also keep track of things that I need to do to support the projects (e.g. discussions with senior management, roadblocks that need to be cleared, etc). However, for your purposes of sharing with the management, you might just keep it to the list of projects or swim lanes and use the comments for status updates.
Hope this helps!

And with the change in section structure coming soon, my original suggestion of using Sections as tasks that have start/end dates may not be possible in the future. See the thread below for more info, but the basic idea is that all projects will be structured like Boards (i.e. tasks will be assigned a Section as though they were in a column on a board). I suspect the task features of Sections will disappear at that point, so it may not be a good idea to depend on my first suggestion.

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Thanks @Russel_Fogg - Do we know when they are being released?

I’m not sure. It looks like they’re in the process of planning the implementation, so it seems immanent. But as you’ll see by the updated post I’ve linked below, there is something called a “separator”. It appears to be task-based (meaning it can be assigned, given a due date, etc), but I can’t tell if that’s just how they’re referring to the “old” sections during the transition or if it’s part of the new data model.
However, I’m not a coder, so I can’t follow the conversation about the underlying data fields. I’m just peeking in as our organization’s superuser to get ahead of developments.

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Thanks again @Russel_Fogg

Looks like this new feature will solve your problem without needing a workaround (and make my job WAY easier)! As long as management can see the project, they will be able to see the new milestones in the progress view along with the burn down and status updates.