Help to see subtasks

subtask
#1

Hello,
We’ve been using Asana for a few years now, actually and the one constant stumbling block is being able to see ALL subtasks NO MATTER which team member created it. I’ve been thinking that maybe we are not using Asana the most efficient way.

We have four people that answer the phone or respond to emails that come in.

  1. Team member adds new task to Asana
  2. Team member adds comments about what they did. Maybe sent an email or sent a proposal or whatever.
  3. Team member then adds a subtask with a due date as the date to follow up. This is sometimes created for another team member. Maybe Team member 1 took a phone call, but Team Member 2 should follow up in a couple of days.

So far so good… But as the manager, how do I see what the latest subtask is for EVERYONE !!!

Specific example… Team Member took a call last Wednesday and scheduled a follow-up for herself Today. However, the client called yesterday. As a manager, I can’t see the task, I can’t see that the team member was already working on the proposal and it would go out today, etc…

Is there a better way?

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#2

Hi @miles welcome to the community.

The answer/solution probably depends on exactly how your team and your projects are structured. Assuming that the problem you had in your specific example was that you couldn’t see the interactions that your team had, had with the client, so you went ahead and did something that was already underway. So to help answer here is one way of going about it.

If you a small number of clients that have lost of different interactions that you want to track. Then setup a Project for each Client. Then have a different Section for each key interaction with the client, the each task in that section can be assigned to someone who is doing the activity and with a relevant due date. So in your example you would have;
Project: Client 1
Section: Calls
Section: eMails
Section: Follow Up
Section: Proposals

The call that came in Wednesday may look like this;
Task Name - Phone Call 10:15am 12th April - Re New Proposal
Description - Person who took the Call: Team Member 1
Overview of what the call was about: Blah Blah rang re.
Subtasks:

  • Followup Call re Proposal (Assigned to Team Member, and Due Date of 17th.)
  • Develop Proposal (Assigned to Team Member x, and Due Date of 21st)

Each of the subtasks can then be multi home back into the Client Project under the relevant sections.

Then when you took the call from the client you can go to there project, see all the future actions that are under way, Follow up Calls, Proposals etc and also what was discussed and agreed during the previous call.

You can apply the same above principal if you choose to have a Client as a Single Task, the only problem is that a SubTask can only belong to one Task. So you can have Sub Tasks under the call task but just notes of what was agreed and @ references to the new subtasks.

Have a look at these community articles about CRM solutions;

Hope this helps…

I personally use the one Task per person method.

Jason.

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#3

Thanks Jason,
So after a little more research the problem seems to be that I’m not added as a follower of every task. In fact, if there was a way that every time a task was created, the entire team was automatically added as followers than I “think” each team member could see everything.

However, to be clear and elaborate as you seem to understand. We apparently are just using “tasks” and not using Projects at all. When a call comes in, a task gets created and whomever adds the task has to add everyone as followers. I’m thinking this is NOT how we should be doing it based on your example above.

We are a Catering Company. Asana serves as the initial “are these people even going to be a client” step. We use another piece of software specifically for Catering for actually creating menus, proposals and all that. Technically we “could” use that software for the CRM but only one of every 4 contacts actually even gets to the status of “possible client” and entered into the system.

We use Asana as the intial contact point. No matter where the client comes from, they get entered into Asana. Many (way too many) times all we have is “I’m planning a wedding” and an email address or phone number. No dates, menus, what planet they plan on having it on, nothing. So enter Asana… Once it’s determined that the contact will potentially be a client, we close the task in Asana as everything we need at that point is in the other system. Three out of four contacts end in “they can’t afford us”, “we’re already booked that day”, “they never responded back to our attempts to contact them” etc. etc… This allows us to not clog up the other system with a bunch of contacts that will never be looked at again.

If I read your example correctly, we should create a “Project” for each contact rather than just a “task” that isn’t assigned to a Project. Once it’s a Project, anyone who is on the project sees all the tasks of that project ?

If I have made a correct assumption that we should be creating projects and adding tasks to the project rather than just creating tasks with subtasks… does everyone always need to be added to a project when it’s created to see the tasks within?

One final note… our workflow is very linear. Contact happens, reply to contact, contact replies (this could happen a few times) and then one of two things happens. A proposal is sent and we await response (subtask to followup) or… the task is closed because of any number of reasons they won’t be using us.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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#4

Okay @miles glad I could help.

Based on what you have described I would probably change what I suggested.

Will write something up and get back to you ASAP. So don’t go radically changing how you do things just yet… :slight_smile:

Jason.

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#5

Thanks so much…

Just so you have all the info… in re-reading what I wrote, the current “issue” it two fold.

  1. Anyone needs to be able to see what the last task or interaction was because…
  2. Anyone needs to be able to respond.

Example one I gave in the first message. Had I known that the Team member was working on the task, I could have just sent a note to the client saying… “Hey, you should have a proposal first thing in the morning” but instead I had to text the team member after she was home for the day and then she had to log in to remember what she did, then email me to let me know she was working on it… so I could send a note to the client…

Another example would be where I catch a phone call that the potential client has gone a different direction. It would be nice to go in and close the Task/Project whatever it is, in Asana at that point so no one follows up because they got to work the next day before I got a chance to tell them they client moved on.

Again… thanks for the assist here.

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#6

@miles

I am starting with the assumption that you don’t have a Premium Subscription so don’t have access to “Custom Fields”.

So here is my updated suggestion based on what you have outlined so far;

Setup the following

Projects;

Prospects – This hold tasks for each prospect/potential client.

Prospect_Template – This project will hold some template Tasks that your team members will use when a new prospect calls or emails in.

Followups – This Project will be used to hold the Sub Tasks associated with Following up the Prospects.

Proposals – This Project will be used to hold the Sub Tasks associated with creating the proposals for each Prospect.

Closed – This is an optional project you could move the prospect to this project and put it in a relevant section based on why they are no longer a prospect, eg successful transferred to your other system, too expensive, date not available. The other option is just to complete the task in the Prospect Project.

Add the right members of the team to the above projects as members and make sure you setup the notifications properly to ensure that the right people are notified when tasks are updated. Suggest you make yourself a member of all project and get notified whenever a new tasks is added.

Conventions & Definitions:

You will need to define what information you need your team members to always try and capture when a new prospect contacts them.

Naming conventions for how your Tasks will be named for each prospect, followups and proposals so that it is easily identifiable when you look at the Projects. eg First Name Last Name. each Prospect to have a subtask of the initial call/email with the date and time as the Name.

Ownership and Assignment rules, do you assign a prospect to a specific person or is just the actions associated with the prospect that are assigned.

Use of Emojis and or Tags, to visual represent the prospects. I must confess this is the part I do struggle with but I can definitely see the value in using emojis etc.

Workflow:

Define a workflow that your team will use for each new Prospect. How a prospect moves through the different phases, how you find the latest information on what is happening with a prospect etc.
I would probably run a bit of a brain storming session with the team to try and work through some scenarios, as this may influence your project structure etc.

So with all of this in mind and using some of your scenarios as a guide, here is how I would see this working;

Prospect Calls, emails in.

Step 1:

Team member duplicates the New Prospect Tasks that is in your Prospects_Template for this Prospect and completes all of the information defined above. That tasks is then added to the “Prospects” project, and removed from the Prospects_Template project.

Step 2:

Sub Tasks are then added to that Tasks relating to Followups and Proposals using the above definied standards. Those Tasks are then Multi-Home into the other Projects (Tab + P) suggest you have some sections in those project like “Next Two Days”, “Next Five Days”, “Next Week”. Someone will need to own review this project and moving the tasks into the correct sections as you go. Or potentially use Priority or Value or Likelihood to help categories or prioritise those tasks.

Assignees and Due Dates are set based on what has been agreed.

Prospect Calls back;

So how does @Miles or one of the other team know what is happening if the prospects calls back;

Step 1:

The Prospect project can be sorted by Alphabetic order so you can quickly find the Prospect and then based on what you agreed up front to always capture you will see what was said in the initial call, all of the past, present and future followup sub tasks will be visible and anyone can see what additional commentary has been made.

You will be able to see when the next Follow up call is due and if the Proposal is underway and who it is assigned to. You or team members can then adjust the due dates or make commentary based on what the new interaction with the prospect is.

What is Happening and when;

Now using the Followup and Proposal Proejcts you will now get a view of the work that the team now have. Eg. How many followups are needed to be done, are they all being assigned to one person, is someone not doing there followups etc.

Proposals, how many are on the go at the moment who is doing them etc.

Anyone needs to be able to see what the last task or interact was.

Yes they can because each prospect has just 1 main task with the relevant subtasks which detail the interactions with the prospect.

Anyone needs to be able to respond.

Yes because they have the information they can respond and update the task with the comment, change dates etc. The tasks owner will be notified of those changes so they are aware.

Hopefully the above is helpful…

If you do have premium subscriptions you can then utilise Custom Fields to potentially replace some of the projects and make it easy to report on, track or identify where the Prospects are at.

Regards

Jason.

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#7

I think I still might have some questions, but let me play with this.

The thing I’m not clear on is creating separate projects for the same client and how they stay linked together. Maybe I’ll see that when I try it.

Thanks for your time. It’s gonna a take a minute to absorb this.

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#8

@miles
To keep them linked together you use “Multi-Homing” which is expained in this article.

Here are a few screen shots to show you what I mean;

The below shows you the Prospects Project with two Prospects. With the relevant Subtask regarding the actions.

This one show similar view but notice that a Followup Subtasks has been completed but it is still visible so you can keep a track.

Now in the Followup Project you have;
Just the two Incomplete FollowUp Tasks assigned to “Be” and one of them is overdue. Which is the same “SubTasks” as show in the Above Prospects view of Miles.

Now this is that actual Subtasks for that Followup. As you can see below the “Mark Complete” button is the Project “Prospects” and the Task “Miles”.

In the Proposal Project you have the same view;

Hope this helps you visualise how it would work. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions in the Community there is always someone able to help out…

Jason.

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