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!


Project Templates- Dynamic Due Dates (T+)
How to Add Duration to Tasks
How do I set Asana to automatically trigger due date creation upon completion of other tasks?
Is there a way to complete a task, and pass it on to someone (ie: for approval or additional steps)?
Adding time length to tasks (for Timeline)
Gantt Chart Help
Automatically push back dependent task dates
The ultimate guide for doing things with Asana
Timeline in Custom Template
Auto-complete tasks dragged to Done column
Auto populating project dates based on start date in template
Shift deadlines on time
Relative Due Dates
Automate adding tags to tasks
Auto email notification to someone outside project team once task is marked complete
Suggestion: "Anchor" tasks for project templates
How can I add time between multiple tasks instead of specific due dates in a template?
Template assigned tasks show up in My Tasks automatically?
Quickly find the task which is holding things up and reschedule all dependent tasks?
#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!


#10

I can’t jump into beta testing, but just expressing my interest here and would be very interested once your testing gets further along. Thanks.


#11

Hi @Phil_Seeman, very neat what you’re doing. Please let me know when you’re ready to let more people know about it and I’d be happy to write a review at https://asanatraining.com/blog/.


#12

@Jill_Schoff
Thanks for your interest, Jill! Stay tuned here in the forum, will let folks know when it’s out of testing.

@Todd_Cavanaugh
Todd, that would be awesome, thanks! I’ll reach out to you at the appropriate time.


#13

Has this been released yet? I would love to start utilizing it ASAP!


#14

Not quite yet; the plan is to release it later this month. Stay tuned here - I’ll announce it here for sure. (There is actually a third workflow type coming within the next few days, now in final testing, which I’ll also announce here!)


#15

@Phil_Seeman This is exactly what we would need in order to make Asana viable for our Project Management. I submitted the form, please let me know if there’s anything else we can do or any more information we can provide.


#16

Hi @Bryan_Nelson,

I have your form and will be sending you info tomorrow (Wed) on accessing the beta.

FYI I know you mentioned using Smartsheet and looking to switch to Asana; you may be interested to know that I modeled Flowsana’s Duration and Lag Time design specifically on Smartsheet. (Shhhh don’t tell them.) :slight_smile:


#17

Announcing a new workflow automation type: IF-THEN Rules!

I’ve just added the ability to create If-Then Rules in Flowsana to enable a whole new variety of automation possibilities.

It’s a little bit like Zapier for those familiar with that solution - but more fully-featured, and totally Asana-specific.

Here is the current set of Conditions (the “IF” part) and Actions (the “THEN” part) that are available:

Here are just a few examples of the types of things you can automate with If-Then Rules:

If a task is moved to the Completed column, mark it complete.

If a task is marked complete, move it to the Completed column.

If the Priority custom field is set to Urgent, assign the task to Mary Smith.

If it’s a new task, assign it to John Wilcox.
(FYI this provides the ability to automatically assign all new tasks in a project to you.)

If a task is tagged with the Active tag, add it to the Marketing Activities project.

If a task is moved to the Urgent Tasks column, set its Priority custom field to Pants On Fire.

And this is just the initial set of available Conditions and Actions; I envision adding more over time.

If-Then Rules are now available as part of the Flowsana beta. If you’re already a beta tester, you’ll see them on the screen where you add a new workflow. If you’re interested in beta testing but haven’t yet signed up, you can still do so by filling out this short form.

I look forward to hearing feedback from testers as you try out If-Then Rules!


IF-THEN Automation Rules now available
Automatic custom field value changes?
Automate adding tags to tasks
#18

That is very exciting!


#19

This sounds really powerful. Will the rules work across the organization and/or per Project?


#20

This sounds excellent, @Phil_Seeman. Clever, highly functional design. Bravo!!