Resource Management

productivity
tasks

#1

I am wondering if there are any plans to incorporate a better way to plan resource/team member management as it relates to projects and tasks. For example, I’d love to be able to see how much time is spoken for for each employee based on his/her assigned tasks for the week. I think if each task had an associated amount of time assigned to it, and then it was assigned to a team member I could generate a report to see who’s overloaded and who’s light for the week and I’d LOVE that! I know there are some apps that can integrate with Asana that do this, but rather than pay for another app, it’d be great if Asana could make this happen! Thank you!


PLanning my working hours in Asana for my colleguages
#2

Hi @Falon_Peters - Thanks for this post!

I’m a User Experience Researcher here at Asana and I’d love to dig into more about your resource management needs as this is something we are currently thinking about in our product. If you think you’d like to talk to me more about this and see some new design concepts we’ve been thinking about, can you fill out this form with more information and I’ll follow-up with you from there.

Thank you!
Christa


#3

Hi @Christa, it’s good to hear that you’re thinking about this as a new feature for Asana.

I completely agree with @Falon_Peters - having a better UI to view the overall loading/spare capacity of team members on a daily/weekly/monthly basis would be great. I’m a mechanical engineer that works in a 5-10 member design team - we’re responsible for a number of different projects at the same time and often task swap between projects to juggle competing priorities.

Being able to view a team member’s tasks is already a great step in the right direction in terms of resource management but it’s not very use friendly in terms of getting a quick overview of loading (currently and into the future) - a more graphical representation of all team members’ loading in the same UI would be very useful.

The other higher level view that would be extremely valuable is a gantt style project overview that higher level managers can use to plan/view progress on projects. I’ve tried using the timeline feature but found it to be more suited for projects with only a few tasks. Because we deal with large machines/projects with hundreds of tasks/subtasks the current timeline view becomes very cluttered and hard to manage/view. I’ve been experimenting with instagantt (for project overview and resource management overview) and this provides the right level of detail.

In summary: Asana is a fantastic tool to capture all the micro-level tasks/actions/conversations and it’s very strong in this regard. If we can get the ability to “zoom out” to a higher level (less detail, simplified task/project representations) while maintaining a link to all the nested micro-level tasks that would be amazing! We’re currently using a combination of spreadsheets, teamgantt and gut feel to do the higher level management which isnt’ linked/integrated with the reality on the ground (all the tasks captured in the asana projects) so there is a disconnect between team members that work on individual tasks and managers that allocate/accept new work.

Please let me know if I can contribute with more feedback/comments on this - the Asana staff seems responsive to user demands and I know you’ll not only be solving my problem if you can add this set of features :slight_smile:


#4

Hi @Christa . Does it sound like the soon-to-be-introduced “Workload” feature in the Business tier would be a solution for this question?

Thank you,
Olive


#5

Hi @Olive, it does sound like the workload feature will address a lot of these areas - the update on the new workload feature is what prompted me to write the comment.

The other half of the issue it ensuring high-level visibility of the actual project status. The tasks themselves are typically too granular to get an overall sense of progress and potential bottlenecks.

Our upper management/sales team need to know what design/manufacturing resource loading looks like to determine quotes/lead times for new machine systems.

There is a project progress tab but it doesn’t have enough information - only the number of tasks completed/outstanding. This is fine if all tasks are equally large/important and not part of a critical path but this is not the case in our application. Instagantt provides about the right level of detail to make these higher level decisions.

The downside of instagantt is that you need to pay for a seperate software subscription and setting up the project work lists a way that enables easy viewing on instagantt requires some more work.

If Asana can combine elements of the workload feature with a “management” level view that would be amazing.

Another major bonus would be time tracking and time estimates of tasks. I know harvest can be used as a plugin to address this area but this also requires an additional subscription costs and work to integrate them.

It would be amazing if Asana can create a 3 component system that integrates the following:

  1. Resource loading
  2. High level project status & critical path views
  3. Task time estimates/tracking

@Christa, can you give us some feedback on the items above and if there are plans in place to introduce these features? Have these items been raised by other users as well?

We’d be keen to help beta-test or provide extra feedback if that would be useful for you.


#6

I agree. Attached is a screenshot of a kind or resource management solution I created in Mac numbers to help with visualizing what resources (team members vs sub-contractors) are available and/or assigned for my construction company. The next level would be the ability to drill-down in each cell for detail. I believe there’s a need in resource management for various different viewing levels with different degrees of detail.


#7

That looks like a pretty neat system @Bill_Doerrfeld ! :slight_smile:
Instagantt is a pretty neat tool too if you ever want to explore it - it has a resource management section that tallies up all the hours assigned to a single person over multiple tasks/projects.

We’re an engineering firm that needs to handle the sales, design, procurement, manufacturing and commissioning phases of projects - find a workflow/resource management solution that is suitable for all the different departments and working styles is quite a challenge.

In our application we have a need to ensure that the sales/management team have an accurate picture of what work we’re already committed to and what the critical path this - this determines what new projects we can accept and what costs/lead times need to be negotiated.


#8

Thanks. With that solution is there any way to visualize see what team or person might be assigned to a particular task/milestone? Does it provide the ability to group tasks into milestones/stages?

What would be idea if Asana sections could be applied as milestone/stages with group assignments and show ONLY said sections in a multi-project timeline view. I see no use for Asana portfolios as there’s no enough info from which to schedule. So, I think Asana needs to explore the concept of multiple projects visualized within a single timeline. And, the workaround of multi-homing projects to a Master Schedule timeline is just too klunky. Thanks for chiming in.


#9

I agree with all of the above. I’ve just introduced Asana into our agency and am also keen to see a resourcing tool to help me plan resources on a daily/weekly and longer term view. I’ve added a custom field to each task which shows estimated hrs which relates back to our quote. So I would also like a capacity view where after assigning tasks, I can then see if team members are over or under capacity based on the hours assigned to each task. I also still use a google sheet to show projects assigned in a more visual form as the creatives relate to this as opposed to looking at a list. I like the addition of being able to sort a timeline in Asana to view by assignee, as this goes further to show the tasks in a visual form. If this could represent the actual estimated hrs, it would be a visual way of seeing where there’s capacity across the team. If we could also capture time sheets, that would be the dream! Again the estimated hrs could may form a pre-populated time report that could be adjusted to show actual time spent. Again another thing that designers don’t like, so any way to make time capture easier would be great and I’m sure popular with other Asana users. I’d be happy to beta test too.


#10

I had this same problem. I was excited by Asana’s new “resource management” feature, but I am not sure it was going to help me. I own a brewery and was trying to track non-human resources. In this case fermentation tanks. Each of my Asana projects is associated with a unique tank or tanks and there is absolutely no way to see if they as assets are underutilized or have projects (beers) overlapping.

I struggled with this problem for hours, but did find an elegant solution.

We also use instagantt, and in that program, I created a “folder” or group of projects that represents each fermentation tank. All I have to do is add the project to the speciofic tank’s group/folder and now I can easily see in Instagantt if there is any overlap that might occur and correct for it.

I wish I could have alerts about potential overlapping or create dependencies between projects within the group. I do not believe this is possible. At the very least it is much better than nothing and free!


#11

When are you planning to release this new ‘resource management’ feature? We are very interested to see how it is going to work and if it would suits our needs on managing human resources within our projects.
Looking forward to hearing from you.


#12

Yes, I’m thinking I can get our org to switch to Asana once the resourcing is implemented. Any updated ETA? Latest I heard was spring 2019. Here’s hoping that’s ‘early spring’!


#13

Hi @Evan_Heckert and welcome to the Forum!

I don’t have info to share just yet, but I’d recommend keeping a close eye on our #community-forum-announcements section :slight_smile:


#14

Just putting it out there that at minimum, I’d like to assign ‘out/off’ days for resources, so if I assign them a task that starts or is due over those dates, it alerts me.