Mark all subtasks complete before allowing tasks to be marked complete

We use subtasks a lot in my team, they really help manage a process. But we’ve found they cause issue, particularly under recurring tasks, when users get lazy and don’t mark the subtask as done before they mark the main task as done. We end up with “orphaned” subtasks floating around in the list of incomplete tasks.

The other issue is that allowing users to mark the main task as done before the subtasks are complete makes tracking a full project difficult. For example, if raising an invoice for a job is one subtask but it’s not marked as complete, it’s not obvious that a potentially crucial step in the process has been left out.

I haven’t seen a way to do this currently, so perhaps you can consider a future feature where we can block users from marking a task as complete until every subtask is marked complete. Personally, this would save me a huge amount of frustration at users who are lazy and less interested in doing things “properly”.

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Agreed! We are evaluating Asana and identified this as an issue almost immediately. The parent task can be marked completed, even if the subtasks are not. That can pose some serious issues, especially if there are dependencies tied to the subtasks that are then assumed to be completed.

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Hi there,

I am just wondering if there was any movement on this feature for Asana? I am struggling with the same issue as Alexander where a task may be complete to a certain point, but smaller tasks are left unfinished due to a tasks being marked complete. It would be nice to only complete a main tasks once all subtasks are complete as well.

Maybe there are other teams out there manaing their business differently and subtasks are never used?

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We also have this problem.

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same problem for us too, would love a workaround!

Agree that this is problem for us as well. Any update from Asana on this?

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And another. Also makes for exporting tasks frustrating.
Is there a way to search for all subtasks marked incomplete where the main task is marked complete? That would be a nice intermediary step

Agreed! We are evaluating Asana and identified this as an issue almost immediately. The parent task can be marked completed, even if the subtasks are not. That can pose some serious issues, especially if there are dependencies tied to the subtasks that are then assumed to be completed.

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Good Day

We would like to be notified as soon as this issue has been resolved it is a necessity for our project management.

Sincerely,
Genevieve

Parent tasks should not be able to be marked completed while subtasks are not.

Hi @Edda. Just flagging this post to possibly merge with this one:

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Hey @sara.brown, thank you for your great feedback and welcome to the Asana Forum!

I have merged your request with an existing thread on this topic to maximize visibility, please feel free to leave a vote for this thread if you would like!

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In another topic thread, I proposed an alternate workflow for this situation: Mark subtasks complete when completing parent task. In short, it’s an attempt to solve the same problem, but rather than forcing a sequence, it empowers the user to check off all the subtasks at once (if desired).

In the first reply in that thread, I added some suggestions to improve the behavior described in my original post — namely, a confirmation to make sure users are aware that they are completing multiple subtasks at once. Would be interested in any feedback, yay or nay, on the approach described in that thread (please make those comments there, not here).

I actually prefer the variation quoted below on this topic.
I like to use a visual representation of project (boards). When there are sub tasks or even level 2 subtasks in a main task its easy to overlook when you have additional subtasks to take care of before you complete your task as intended.

In other words , its weird to me when you create a task with subtask(s) while you can undermine the whole purpose of a subtask by completing the main task.

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I’d really like to know if this feedback, approaching 2 years old, is anywhere on Asana’s development roadmap.

Alternatively, i’d be interested in learning how Asana prevents some of the issues expressed here and in similar threads around subtasks for their own internal use case… How do you make sure tasks aren’t marked complete with subtasks not closed out?

Not even with reports it is possible to know which tasks in a project have unfinished subtasks.

This is a big hole in there where a lot of subtasks get lost. Even worse if you forget to manually add a subtask to a project (you will almost never find it)

@Asana, what should we do? Or what can you do? (this request is 2 years old and is elemental)

The current easy solution is to use the Reporting engine of Bridge24 for Asana. Click on any project, include both incomplete and completed tasks, then generate a report that include subtasks with indentation (up to 5 levels). You will be able to identify which tasks are still incomplete under your completed tasks.

I think it’s ok to allow a parent task to be completed while there are pending child tasks. There are times when the child task for instance is merely a follow-up task. An example that I come across frequently is when raising an invoice. Once the invoice is done and sent, I need a subtask for follow-up. The invoicing task is going to be marked as done, but it’s follow-up task is going to be open until payment is received. As long as the subtask has a due date it remains visible outside of the parent task.

I do agree, however, that there is a need to recognize incomplete subtasks. One way to to do this could be adding an indicator next to the parent task that alerts the user to the fact that there are pending subtasks.