New workflow automation solution is available

dependencies
automation
workflow

#1

Hi all,

I’ve developed an Asana integration, Flowsana, which provides easy workflow automation for your projects.

In short, it sets and maintains the dates for your project’s tasks as the state of the project changes, based on its knowledge of task dependencies and how long each task takes to perform.

How does it work? All you do is fill in a Duration custom field for each of your tasks, indicating how long that task will take to complete. Flowsana then works in the background, setting and adjusting the start and due dates for all tasks in the project as things change.

Note: Because it makes use of start dates and custom fields, Flowsana requires a paid Asana subscription (Premium, Business or Enterprise).

I’ll post more details shortly, but in a nutshell, Flowsana:

  • Sets each task’s due date based on the start date and duration.
  • Updates a task’s due date whenever the start date changes.
  • Sets the start/due dates of dependent tasks when tasks they depend on are completed (and optionally sets an assignee on a dependent task).
  • Adjusts the start/due dates of dependent tasks when tasks they depend on are updated.
  • Always calculates based on weekdays, skipping weekends.

In addition to the Duration field, you can also optionally use a Lag Time custom field when you need to define an offset between the ending time of one task and the starting time of a dependent task.

As a bonus, Flowsana will also set the start and due dates for all project tasks when you set an overall start date for the project - perfect for use when creating a new project from a template.

I’m looking for some initial beta testers. If you’re interested, please fill out this short form and I’ll be in touch!


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#2

That sounds amazing @Phil_Seeman, very excited to try it out!


#3

So it’s kinda like a smart gantt chart right? Very exciting indeed!


#4

DEFINITELY interested - filled out the form!

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#5

that all sounds cool – does it also update sub-tasks ?


#6

@Laura_Johnson Haha, thanks for the tangible expression of excitement, Laura!

@Marie Thanks, Marie, I’ll let you know when it’s a little farther along and see about having you and some of your colleagues kick the tires.

@Bastien_Siebman I guess you could say in terms of its outcome it’s kinda like a smart gantt chart, but I wouldn’t make that direct comparison because a gantt chart has its own UI whereas Flowsana works in the background with the existing Asana UI.


#7

Hi @Gasparo_Marsala,

In terms of sub-tasks, yes, Flowsana will update them if they are either attached to the project or if they are dependent tasks to tasks attached to the project.

So for example, if you make your dependent tasks be sub-tasks of the task they depend on, they’ll be updated/maintained by Flowsana.

I also have in mind a possible future feature: an option which could be turned on for a project called “Treat all sub-tasks as dependent tasks” which would do just what it says - you wouldn’t have to use the task dependency feature of Asana but rather would just use sub-tasks, and Flowsana would treat a sub-task as dependent on its parent. I haven’t fully thought this idea through yet to see if it really makes sense or if there are any pitfalls I haven’t thought of yet, but it’s on the possible road map.

Hope the above answers your question; let me know if not!


#8

Hey Phil:

Def think you are on the right track as failing to quickly update -'sub-task dependencies and time sinks’ on the greater project is where Asana starts to fall apart—

I think your “Treat all sub-tasks as dependent tasks” can be clarified with a little real world application…

looks like a great app is in the works —

Gasparo Marsala


#9

ANNOUNCING A NEW WORKFLOW TYPE

Above in this thread I described how Flowsana lets you build a dynamic or relative-date project, where you supply the task durations and Flowsana manages the dates. We’re calling this a “Dynamic Duration-Based Workflow”.

We’ve just created another new type of project workflow, one which is quite simple: change the due date of a task in the project, and Flowsana will automatically adjust the dates of all of its dependent tasks, and its subtasks if you choose that option.

We’re calling this the “Auto-Adjust DueDate-Based Workflow”.

By default it will auto-adjust dependent tasks. If you check the “Treat Subtasks as Dependent Tasks” option when putting a project under Flowsana control, it will also auto-adjust subtasks.

There’s no advance setup needed for this type of workflow: just put your desired project under Flowsana control, and from that point on, it will adjust dependent tasks (and subtasks if you choose) automatically as you adjust task due dates.

As mentioned above, Flowsana is in an early beta stage and we’re rolling it out to testers in phases. If you’re interested in testing, please fill out this short form and I’ll be in touch!