@Marquis_Murray and I have a combined experience of 20 years with using Asana and hundreds of clients helped. But we might not agree on everything and we thought it would be interesting for others to see how we align or not on important topics.
And subtasks are such a hot topic. Pick two random consultants and they will probably have a different opinion on anything related to subtasks. One question I get over and over again: how many subtasks is too much subtasks? Should you limit the number of subtasks per tasks? Marquis and I are sharing our visions.
Marquis “I recommend a limit”
I recommend limiting the number of levels of subtasks to one or two. Creating too many levels of subtasks can unnecessarily complicate your project and make it time-consuming for team members to navigate. In the list or board view, embedded subtasks can be seen while subtasks beyond that are hidden. My team keeps it simple by limiting subtasks to one or two levels.
Adding too many levels of subtasks can also make it difficult to track the progress of the main task. Asana has recently updated how subtasks are used and visualized within timelines and workload, so my recommendation may change in the future. However, at this time, I suggest limiting subtasks to one or two levels for simplicity’s sake.
Bastien “No rule of thumb, but don’t be afraid to turn your task into a project”
For a long time, I thought we could define some kind of a universal limit. Something along the lines of “above 15 subtasks is too many”. I even embedded this limit into a reporting tool we created. The reality is obviously more complicated that this. After talking with many clients and other consultants, Larry Berger being the main one, I realized I couldn’t be so bold.
That being said, the topic of subtasks is a complicated one, but I am sure of something: you are usually better off working in a project above a “certain” number of subtasks. For a lot of reason: it is more confortable and gives you access to more features. But working in a project means that you either lose the ability to “organize” this project amongst other tasks, or you still need to have a task, even though its subtasks went elsewhere. In this scenario, the action “Convert task to project” is a perfect candidate: you get your project to work from but the initial task is still there, it even has a special design, making everything extra clear.
So no, you shouldn’t limit the number, but we need to make sure people are not afraid of creating a project when they have to!
Conclusion: what do YOU think?