Estimation of a task = sum of estimates of all subtask

The efforts of a task should be ideally equal to the total efforts of all the subtasks within that task. For instance TaskA has 5 subtasks each of which takes an hour to accomplish, then the total effort for TaskA has to be 5 and this should be automatically updated. Currently Asana allows us to add estimates for both tasks and sub tasks. This would duplicate the efforts in metrics or dashboards.

Also when the column for the efforts is added within the project, the summation of estimates includes both task and subtask estimates which will duplicate the total efforts.

In case a task doesn’t have subtasks, this can be ignored.


I think the reality is a bit more complex, and I can see many cases where we don’t want the subtasks to be summed into their parent… This is a complex topic :sweat_smile:

That may be true.
This being said, I can see only benefits of having it as an option for those of us who would like to see the subtasks summed up into their parent.

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Any option makes the tool more complex: to use, to explain, to test, to document…

Hi Bastien,

I agree that subtasks need to be calculates automatically for the parent tasks. So you can see effort as well as the completion date. Especially for sequential subtasks. If we don’t want to sum subtasks into parent, instead of creating subtasks we can always create a tasks with relation to the other task. I do understand dev required for this but this is critical feature for all project management tools. This also prevent creating rogue subtasks (eg going beyond deadline of the parent task) and help project be on track.
I strongly suggest this need to be considered as priority dev effort for Asana.

For us, the use of subtasks has one reason: to isolate the complexity of a project outside the top view of that project. For this, we divide the project in main tasks, each of them having subtasks added to them. Then, we allocated capacity for each subtask.
Would be ideal if that capacity - and the timeline - is automatically addded to the parent task. Otherwise, we need to do this work manually as the capacity is not considered by the workload when it is in the subtasks only (which is another strange behaviour of Asana).
So, for this use case, would be nice to either have the capacity sumed to the parent’s level, or to have the subtasks’ capacity considered into the workload.

I usually challenge my clients quite a bit on this part. Your work is complex, and I don’t believe hiding the complexity “under the carpet” (in subtasks) is a good thing. There are other ways to make a project look less intimidating: sections, sections close by default, default filters…

If I follow your reasoning you end up with simply a list of topics and don’t see anything: no overdue tasks, no assignees nothing. I am almost certain subtasks were created to be used this way, this is of course my personal opinion, but I am not surprised the tool doesn’t “work” in this case for you.

Or, we could just move to MS Project. I am a bit tired by your useless answers. Why would Asana move a finger to address the clients’ issues, when they can simply criticize the way their customers work.

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I just want to clarify that I do not work for Asana, I only share my personal point of view.

I am sorry you feel that way. Moving to a different tool is definitely a solution to solve some issues, but you will likely find other issues there :person_shrugging: I think that’s close to impossible to have a super powerful tool with an easy adoption. I believe Asana is powerful and at the same time easy to adopt. MSProject is super powerful, and most basic users hate it…