“. . . obviously amazing” says Bastien Siebman (so what if he’s the host and a participant?)
“I will have to [. . .] watch!!” says Phil Seeman (who we paid)
“I shall waste no time in watching it” says Larry Berger (who is me)
Actual excerpt from the end of this Subtasks Summit discussion:
Bastien: “Did you think we could talk for 30 minutes about subtasks?”
Larry: [Laughing] “We could talk…but I don’t think anyone could listen!”
I actually did listen and was pleasantly surprised. There’s useful, comprehensive content here for subtasks sufferers and supporters alike.
I recommend you change the YouTube Settings Playback Speed to 1.5x (or more). There was a glitch in my mic signal path so my voice is slowed and deepened and speeding up improves it (and is like automatically shortening your dentist appointment).
Really glad this popped up as I was browsing for a solution on something else and just had to come back to it.
Great little discussion and I definitely did listen to all 35mins of it. Much of it mirrored some thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks as we’ve been overhauling how our team uses Asana.
My previous barrier to entry on sub-tasks was the accessibility for setting up really seems to drop down a level (quite fitting!) Sub-sections - or Separators as I discovered from your video - were a complete unknown to me until I stumbled on the shortcut halfway through an Asana YouTube video and they really changed the way we use Subtasks. Thank you for Tab-X by the way!
Have primarily been generating them from templates/rules (Thanks Flowsana!) for tackling tasks that are repetitive but need to be actioned and tracked across different tasks/projects. Then within these subtasks we’ve housed our SOPs. Instead of having to track down some tucked away folder somewhere, the assignee can drop into the subtask description for a reminder on how to action. This keeps it hidden away until needed. Progressive disclosure!
You hit the nail on the two real barriers in our current subtask usage:
Not being able to trigger rules as a response to all subtasks being completed under a task, be it completing the top-level task, changing a custom field, moving to a different section, generating a new wave of subtasks, etc. I tried messing around with Milestones to use in place of separators but just couldn’t get it to fly.
The subtasks not being part of the project in which they sit. I guess this is how they’re designated as subtasks and not just recognised as tasks on the project board. It’s been making getting at the meta-data a hassle (trying to track completion dates on subtasks, etc) and the easiest way for an overview is simply to assign them all again to a separate section or even project.
Great discussion anyway and hope us deviant sub taskers get some love in the upcoming updates. Will keep an eye out for your next one.
So did I! Very interesting use cases and approaches, a must-watch for all who use subtasks extensively.
I too advise clients to use them lightly, more like a personal checklist for the assignee of the parent task, avoiding to assignee others to subtasks due to the reasons mentioned like not showing up in Workload (although subtasks in timeline seem to be almost solved!
One thing that you may have included (perhaps not available at the time of recording) is that you can click & drag a subtask from the task details pane into the project list view, which literally promotes a subtask into a task whilst also ‘moving’ it into the project. And you can actually do the reverse too!
is what happens to Asana when you do this, but it surprisingly works!
Progress is slowly being made to resolve the issues we see as a result of subtasks not being natively part of the project in which they live. I am hopeful that the enhancements being made (subtasks appearance on timeline view, etc.) will lead into a more streamlined flow for subtask use cases.
Personally, I love using subtasks. I see tasks as a main deliverable and subtasks as a the supporting actions for those deliverables with sub-sub-tasks acting as “approval” tasks (thanks to the handy ‘mark for approval’ task type). Subtasks being seen as part of the project would make this workflow so much cleaner.
I would also love to see more customization in subtasks on task templates, but that may be a stretch
Oh, I love subtasks. I would have the inception of subtasks if there weren’t all the barriers of loading subtasks to multiple projects and the lack of color coding in some features. Improvements have been made over the years with subtasks. So, I use both.