New workflow automation solution is available

dependencies
automation
workflow

#21

Thanks, @Vince_Mustachio! The rules are project-specific; you select a project and then specify the rule to add for that project. One of the main reasons for that design is that the Asana API doesn’t provide a way to be notified of changes across an organization, only on a per-project basis.

I do, however, have a “Copy Rule” function on the planned product roadmap to make it easy to copy an existing rule to additional projects without having to rebuild it for each one (although it only takes a few seconds to build a rule!).


#22

Thanks, Larry! I initially considered a more open-ended rule-building approach like Zapier uses, but I know Zapier can be somewhat daunting with its complexity, so I opted instead for a more pre-built approach for its simplicity. As I just mentioned to Vince above, it literally takes just a few seconds and a handful of clicks to build a rule.


#23

Thanks for the response. Both a global rule and a per Project rule would be nice. But if I had to pick one, the granularity of a per Project rule would win.

Your plan for a copy rule function in the future, will be a nice addition.


#24

Great project @Phil_Seeman, nice implementation.

Any plans to make this available to free Asana users in future?
I see, you’re going towards what Butler did for Trello, and since I was one of their early users, would really like to try this If made available to all users.


#25

Phil, once Flowsana is out of beta, is it expected to be a free, freemium, or paid service?


#26

@D111, no plans to make Flowsana available for free Asana users at the moment - largely because it currently relies on the existence of start dates and custom fields for a bunch of its capabilities (which of course aren’t available on the free Asana plan). I would have to make a scaled-down version that provided a subset of capabilities for free Asana users. But “never say never” - it’s something I might consider in the future!


#27

@MPrewitt, once out of beta, it’ll be a paid service. No final decision on a price point yet but it’ll be based on the number of users in one’s Asana organization.


#28

Hi Phil,

Do you know when this will be rolled out?

Many thanks


#29

@adinailie
Stay tuned here, news on that is coming today.


#30

Hi all,

I’m happy to announce that Flowsana is now out of beta and has officially launched! You can read all about it in this forum post:


#31

Congrats @Phil_Seeman :raised_hands:t3:


#32

A very useful module, perfectly integrated with ASANA vision! It’s like ASANA on steroids :wink: Once you understand how it works, it’s addictive!
This is really a cool functionality! Keep up the good work!


#33

there was not form. you disabled it ? :open_mouth:


#34

Hi @CM1,

Sorry for any confusion - Flowsana is now out of beta and is released so the beta request form was no longer pertinent. You can read more here:


#35

@Phil_Seeman you have really outdone yourself on this. I believe these features will truely add value to anyone’s Asana experience - your vision is unmatched.

P.S. The move away from Zapier with the if-then rules is such a welcomed addition.


#36

Thanks so much for the kind words, @Jeffrey_Warren - really appreciated!


#37

Effing awesome! This is what I have been searching for with Asana.

If I am understanding this correctly, it works by the task that is assigned to a user. So a task unassigned does not change even if the task is edited using Flowsana, it only changes if it is assigned to an email that also has a Flowsana account. I use Sub-contractors for alot of the work, and don’t really “assign” them the task, so it seems like I’d need to create a dummy email address to assign the task to in Asana, and sign that dummy account up in Flowsana as well?

One feature request… if a task has multiple dependancies, it seems to choose just the closest dependency for it’s “Lag Time”. Is there a way to make the lag time different for each dependency?

For example, I run a construction company. Framing is dependent on foundations being completed. I also have two earlier tasks (schedule framer, order materials) which have different lag times. Scheduling I have 30 days before framing starts, materials ordered 1 week before framing starts, (framing has a lag of 2 days from foundations) if my permit is delayed, delaying foundations, delaying framing, it doesn’t appear to “drag” these other 2 dependents along with this change, but rather it extends those “lag times” (even though there’s no defined lag time there). Perhaps I need to set things up more linearly to make it work with Flowsana.

It also doesn’t appear that my tasks are resizable in the timeline anymore… I resize one, and it bounces back to the number of days Flowsana has entered, rather than adjusting that number to work with what I dragged (I have it set up as “Dynamic Duration Based” format). Bug or intended? It appears to allow me to still drag handles in Asana if set up as Auto-Adjust Due Date Based format.

I understand this is a new thing, just out of Beta, and still being worked on, I am just expressing my real-world case where it could be improved. Honestly, it’s a bit of a shame that this work around isn’t just a part of the software… thank you for filling this feature gap.


#38

Hi @Russell_Anderson,

Thanks for the nice feedback, much appreciated!

I’m not exactly following you here; it works for all tasks within a project that’s under Flowsana control. It doesn’t matter whether a task is assigned or not. But I may be missing your point here; can you elaborate a bit more or perhaps give a specific example?

The change should flow down through all dependents. What data element(s) are you changing to tell Asana/Flowsana that the permit has been delayed?

Intended; this is discussed in the documentation here:

It’s important to remember that for projects under control of this workflow type, you should not manually adjust the due dates of tasks. Due dates are maintained using the start date and duration, so if you manually change a due date, it will get overwritten based on the rules explained here. If you need a due date to be changed, you should do that by adjusting the duration for that task (and optionally the lag time of a previous dependency task).

HOWEVER, having said that, I recognize that’s a limitation and I’ve had requests to change it. So I’m evaluating it and am most likely going to be enhancing the Dynamic Duration-Based Workflow so that you can in fact adjust the start/due dates of tasks directly. What Flowsana would do in those cases is adjust the Duration and/or Lag Time values appropriately to match the date change you made. Does that make sense?


#39

Hi Phil…

I did some more testing after I posted, and noticed it didn’t matter who the task was assigned too… it was just slow to respond and I wondered if it meant I needed it linked to an actual account, so I linked it, and it snapped in place, making me think it was because of my change, but it was just the delay that happens. Is this delay being improved? Or is it a limitation of the method you’re using to work around?

As for the adjustments… these adjustments do great at adjusting things downstream… but if one of those downstream items is attached to an item upstream and that item is not attached to anything else, it doesn’t get dragged along with the downstream item, if that makes sense.

Maybe images will help:


Here is a simplified structure of my problem.

I move A:


B moves, but C doesn’t because it’s “lag” is based on the closer element of D. But lets say that B is “Ordering Materials” which needs to be done 5 days before C so they are on site on time.

Let say I move A again:

This time B and C move, as expected. However D is not dragged with C… which is how I’d like it to do. Maybe I need to set up my system more lineally. Or maybe I am asking for too many options to be in place, making it too complicated or bloated. Maybe Asana/Flowsana is not the right system to use.

I hope this helps clear up what issues I am having. Thanks again!


#40

Yes and yes. :slight_smile: Yes, the delay is partly due to the fact that external integrations have to rely on the Asana API to function, and there’s a certain lag inherent in that process. And yes, the delay is being improved and will continue to be. In fact I’m currently working on some changes to the Auto-Adjust Workflow which will include a modest performance improvement, maybe around 15% faster. And I’m absolutely committed to continuing to improve that over time.

In terms of your scenario (and thanks for the screenshots, they help immensely in understanding your situation)… You’ve diagnosed the situation exactly right: in the first case Item C doesn’t move because Item D is closer; and in the second case, Item D doesn’t move because no task that it’s dependent on has moved.

Microsoft Project and Smartsheet (two apps that I used in part as models for Flowsana) handle these scenarios by the use of a “lag time” variable that you can use to tie two tasks together; in your case, you would specify a lag time of 5 days between Items B and C, and 1 day between Items D and C. These apps can do this because they both contain a data element that represents the relationship or linkage between each pair-of-tasks-dependency. But Asana doesn’t have such an object, so there’s no way in the Asana user interface for you to specify this lag time value. So at the moment I’m stuck in terms of not being able to provide this functionality. But your use case is a valid one, and I’m still mulling over how Flowsana might be able to accommodate it.