How to use approval subtask to trigger main task changes?

Hi all, I’m looking to create a rule for the following use case:

I have an approval subtask. When it is marked as approved, I want Asana to automatically change a custom field in the main task and create a subtask (under the main task, not the approval subtask).

Is there a way that I can do this with Asana’s current setup? I am having trouble finding any answers in forums. The closest I’ve gotten is setting up the rule to generate a subtask UNDER the approval task, but I don’t want multiple layers of subtasks. I want an approval to generate another subtask under the main task.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Hi @Mary_Murphy1 , welcome to the forum :wave:

Unfortunately, currently, this is not something you can natively do in Asana - a rule actioned on a subtask cannot affect it’s parent task.

A workaround that may work for you is to try to create a rule to run on the parent task, that ‘when all subtasks are complete’ (i.e. the one and only approval subtask, or all subtasks before the approval, are also, all complete) then update the task’s custom field and also create another subtask - that could actually work for you.

Alternatively, a last resort could be that once the subtask is complete, to have the rule to add a comment, addressing it to the rule triggerer (use a + variable) explaining to them in the comment to carry out that actions you require, such as update the field in the parent task and add a new subtask etc.

Perhaps others have other alternatives too…?

Hi Richard, thank you for your quick response! I’ll test out the workaround and see if that does the trick.

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While this might be of value, it would let you see a difference between an Approval task that’s marked as Approved vs. Rejected; both will satisfy the “All subtasks complete” trigger.

I think the only current way to manage this is to not use Approval subtasks but make your own single-select custom field for Approvals/Phases and rules around it, because then you don’t get into the situation of parent/subtask limitations with rules. (You can still add subtasks in actions if helpful, though, of course.)



Indeed, good point @lpb, even a rejected approval would be considered as a completed subtask. :confused:

And using custom field instead of approval subtasks is definitely a good approach and is a much better alternative in certain cases, if not most!

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