Do subtask assignees get notifications for updates to the parent task?

I would like to understand how it is possible to ensure team collaboration within a task if a task can only be assigned to a single assignee instead of multiple ones.

Let me show you what I mean by this with a use case.

In my line of work my teams work in Trello and when I have to send a task to a group of people (in my case I am talking about editors from different languages working on a piece of content that has to be check in their own language) I proceed as follows:

  1. Create a card
  2. Add all the members
  3. Add start and end date
  4. Add tags
  5. Add description

Before the task has to be performed I might change the due date as I might have experienced some delays with a previous task (=card) or maybe before the task starts I add a Drive link to the document that has to be worked on…
All these actions equals to a series of notifications that will be sent to each and every member of the card (=task). In this way everybody will be notified about a delay, or that the document is ready for reviewing, for instance.

In Asana, as far as I can see, you can assign a task to only 1 assignee and unfortunately only that assignee will be receiving notifications regarding all these amends within the task that I have previously explained.

This is limiting team collaboration, cause even if I add subtasks to that parent tasks and I add 1 assignee per subtasks, all those update notifications that the assignee will receive in the parent tasks will not be forwarded to the others.

And here is my questions: How to ensure team collaboration within a task?

My solution would be to have multiple assignees for a task or at least to add another field called, say, “Watchers” (like in JIRA) that will be on the same level of the “main” assignee and will ensure that all changes to that task (due date change or a GDrive file addition for example) will be always notified to everybody present in that task. In this cases I see team collaboration: everybody receives notifications and, if in doubt, they can make use of the internal chat of the task to express their concerns.

What do you reckon? Is there maybe a feature to do this that I am not aware of? Cause this point is critical in how we work in my company.

Thanks in advance for your help.

The assignee in Asana is the assignee in Jira, and the watchers in Jira are the collaborators in Asana. Is it enough in your case?

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Hi @Bastien_Siebman, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately Collaborators cannot receive all the notifications that Assignees receive when things are changed within the ticket (change of due date, addition of a file from GDrive and so on…) like Members in Trello would, for instance. To be honest I am not sure for Watchers in JIRA.

In my previous message I was talking about Watchers in JIRA only to try to suggest a new role within a task where these people in the “new role” would be put on the same level of an Assignee (and so receiving all kinds of notifications within the task).

I was checking around some posts and I understand that probably in Asana the decision to have 1 Assignee only per task was made to make only one person accountable for that one task. It is a decision that I do not share, to be honest, but I would like to suggest, at least, since I am not the only one who is struggling with this, to keep the accountability for that task to that one assignee, but to make collaborators able to receive all kinds of notifications within that task they are in (and maybe give them the chance to opt-out with a toogle within the task).

Does it make sense?

You are making me doubt. In my mind, the assignee and the collaborators received exactly the same notifications… Maybe @lpb knows, Larry what do you think?

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Since in my company we are trying out Asana to see if it might be a good fit for us, I am working on my first project in Asana and I am testing a couple of things. Basically I am the project manager that created the project and is assigning all the tasks to my editors and external freelancers.

In order to understand permissions, what can be displayed as a member with editing permission, a member as a comment permission or as a collaborator I also created a mock-up email (like my alter-ego) to use it as a test: let’s call this “fake person” John.

These pasts weeks I assigned to John a task as an assignee, and then as a collaborator and so on… and realised that notifications differs depending on whether you are the one or the other, for example. I am also sending tickets to the Costumer Service of Asana and one of them confirmed that

“the collaborator will not receive a notification when the Due Date has been changed”

And I can tell you for sure that the collaborator won’t even receive a notifications when a file from GDrive will be added to the task.

This is rally a bummer, cause in a way it goes against team collaboration and if I may, the name collaborator should imply team collaboration… Do you get my surprise when I discovered it? I really hope there is a workaround for this that I am not aware of, because as it is right now, this (non)feature is very disappointing.

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@Rebecca_McGrath do you have somewhere the list of things an assignee gets notified about, and same thing for collaborators? thanks

Hi folks :wave:t2:

Collaborators and Assignees do receive notifications for the same actions (listed Inbox | Product guide • Asana)

@Emanuele_Tonetti, I’ve taken a look at your Support ticket and can see that our Support team have confirmed the following “People you are assigning subtasks are not automatically added as collaborators to the parent tasks. They will be not notified if the parent task due date changes. They will only be notified if someone else changes the due date for the subtasks.”

I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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Hi @Rebecca_McGrath probably there was a misunderstanding, then.

Can you explain to me how I can create a task where multiple people can work together within that task and can receive the same amount of notification as the assignee for that given task? The only way I thought possible was to add collaborators in subtasks of that parent task, but as the Support team answered, they cannot receive important notifications like due date changes, for example. To give you the full picture I would like the following to happens, like in Trello.

In my line of work my teams work in Trello and when I have to send a task to a group of people (in my case I am talking about editors from different languages working on a piece of content that has to be check in their own language) I proceed as follows:

  1. Create a card (=task)
  2. Add all the members (=people, whether they are Asana collaborators or Asana members)
  3. Add start and end date
  4. Add tags
  5. Add description

Before the task has to be performed I might change the due date as I might have experienced some delays with a previous task (=card) or maybe before the task starts I add a Drive link to the document that has to be worked on…
All these actions equals to a series of notifications that will be sent to each and every member of the card (=task). In this way everybody will be notified about a delay, or that the document is ready for reviewing, for instance.

Thanks in advance!

@Emanuele_Tonetti and @Bastien_Siebman,

See Inbox | Product guide • Asana and Email notifications | Product guide • Asana for Asana Inbox notifications and Email notifications, respectively.

Asana’s model is to attempt, for better or worse, to show you only what you must know, which appears different than the way you describe Trello. I advise clients to bear in mind this approach and always add a comment like “Changed due date” or “Added key info in Desc and Subtasks” to trigger a notification to collaborators when warranted.

In your example, I’d add all editors as collaborators in the main task and comment there as described above, and also assign a subtask to each editor for them to mark complete when done. And if you all deem the collaborators need to know when that happens, have them add a comment at that time to the main task: “<editorname/language> done”.

Hope that helps,

Larry

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Thanks, so to clarify for everyone reading, the collaborators do get notified about an attachment upload for example, but in @Emanuele_Tonetti case, he was expecting that to work with subtasks and parent task.

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Hi Larry. Thanks for the clarification. Just to make sure I understood correctly, by adding my editors as collaborators in the main task you mean adding them in that field marked in the screenshot, which is placed at the bottom of the task, right? And if I want to notify any due date change or the addition of a document to the task, my only option is to comment within the task, is that correct?
Screenshot 2021-06-02 at 14.10.30

@Bastien_Siebman But when collaborators are not set as an assignee in a give task, they will not receive this kinds of notifications, correct?

They would get them, as per Email notifications | Product guide • Asana says

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Yes, that’s right, @Emanuele_Tonetti. Do all the above for the main task (not in the individual subtasks).

Thanks for the correction, @Bastien_Siebman, that attachments do trigger a notification. (Correction to your correction: That notification appears in Asana Inbox too, not just email (if you have that turned on). So I amended my earlier post to use the common of example of a comment like “Added key info in Desc and Subtasks”.

Thanks,

Larry

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Good to know! One last question now that we are on the same page. And so also due date changes should be notified to collaborators in the main task along with attachments in the main task, correct?

@Emanuele_Tonetti,

Attachments to a task will generate a notification to all collaborators of that task.

Due date changes to a task will only notify the assignee, not collaborators, so the changer should add a “Due date changed” comment to trigger a notification.

It can be a best practice to use comments in the parent task to trigger notifications about key changes with subtasks which themselves never generate notifications in parent tasks (though might generate notifications to their collaborators of the subtask per the same rules of what triggers a notification).

Larry

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Thanks @lpb!

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They do, I do this all the time. If you add all the team members to the Collaborators section, everyone will get the info. Also, make sure under their personal profile they have it checked to get these types of messages, and this will resolve your issue!

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