How can I build Workback schedules based on deadlines?


Hi. I would like to be able to use Asana for planning projects and we are currently test-driving it. Our projects have a common set of tasks that need to be done at roughly the same time in the project life-cycle. We can predict these tasks based on a single deadline.

IE, our project launch is on September 5. We have 25 tasks that need to happen at various stages before that; 12 weeks out, 10 weeks out, 1 week out, the day of, etc. At some point we might move that launch date, in which case all of those tasks would reflect that change.

I want to be able to set this single date and create all of these dependant tasks and assign them to people. Can I do this using Asana?

(I found this post that hints that it’s possible, but it doesn’t explain how to build the workback schedule).


There’s no way currently to make the due date of a task dependent on another task. Dependent tasks just provide a notice when the parent task has been completed, but the due date doesn’t change.

In the example you cited from Asana, they’re just suggesting section headers with time periods. Sections are essentially just tasks with larger fonts. Their names are entered with free text and aren’t actually associated with time.

(One thing that is special about section headers is that if a project has sections, you can move tasks between the sections with a pop-up menu to the right of the project name inside the right pane for the task, instead of having to drag the task between sections.)


Well, I definitely vote for this feature. Being able to set a milestone and then create tasks that are back-dated from that would be extremely useful for project management.


OK, I’m still trying to work around this. Here’s a new question. Is there any way to highlight a task in the list of tasks, or flag one as being a milestone? That would be very helpful.


@Ian_Russell I recommend that you use custom fields if you’re on Premium Asana or tags if you’re on Free Asana. You can use a custom field or a tag to mark something as a milestone and then use advanced search to find those tasks easily.