I’m normally on Premium but I’m trialing Business to see if I can get help with automatically assigning tasks & due dates but I’m having trouble.
I’m in a mortgage broking business where the process and tasks are always the same, we use the same project template in the ‘teams’ area every time we have a deal on and the staff always do the same tasks in the same order and the due date can always be back dated from an end date of 22 days from when we started (4 days to Stage A, another 3 to Stage B etc. - though this will need to be able to be manually changed when issues arise)
There are quite a few tasks in the project and we can often have many projects on the go at the one time and the most important thing is that each task cannot be done until the previous task has been marked as complete. So while I could assign all the tasks at the start I would prefer that the team don’t have the tasks showing in ‘My Tasks’ until it’s actually time for them to do the step otherwise they would have hundreds of tasks assigned but not actually be ready to complete them if that makes sense. I would like to set a rule that after a task is complete, then the next step is automatically assigned to the right person and then and only then it appears in there ‘My Tasks’ list. However, it seems the rules can’t be different for each task and only work on a Project level? It seems that the rules apply to every task which doesn’t help as that means I can only set a rule to assign tasks to one specific person after a task has been marked as complete and I have a few different people that are each responsible for their own areas. Anyone have any ideas? Thank you!
Summary answer: you can accomplish some of what you want via Asana, or all of what you want using the Flowsana integration (full disclosure: I’m the author of Flowsana).
You can accomplish that in Asana by having the dates for all project tasks properly assigned in the template - by properly assigned I mean that it doesn’t matter what the actual calendar dates are, all tasks just need to be correctly dated in relation to each other - then when you create a new project from that template, Asana will prompt you for a project due date. When you put in the due date, Asana will adjust all project dates in the new project so they work backward from your entered project due date, using the relation of the dates in the template to each other to set the dates in the new project. You’ll also want to set up all appropriate task dependencies in the template.
Or, you can use the Dynamic Duration workflow in Flowsana. In that case, you don’t enter any calendar dates at all in the template; rather, Flowsana adds a field called “Duration” and you enter the number of days (or weeks or months) that each task takes into the Duration field. Then when you tell Flowsana to create a new project from that template, it uses the Duration of each task, along with the dependency structure you’ve set up, to assign appropriate dates for all project tasks.
You can accomplish this in Asana by making sure that when you change a task’s date to adjust it, you do that in the Timeline view. When you change a date in that view, Asana will look for dependent tasks which would conflict with (i.e. overlap with) the new date you set, and it will push back any conflicting dependencies appropriately so they no longer conflict.
Or Flowsana will handle these changes for you. The two differences in using Flowsana are (1) you can change dates in any view - it doesn’t have to be the Timeline view - and (2) Flowsana adjusts all dependent tasks appropriately, not just those which conflict/overlap.
Yes, this is a limitation of Asana’s behavior and, as you’ve discovered, there’s no rule-based solution available for it. Lots of folks want to see this limitation addressed, and you can add for vote for that here:
If you read through that thread, you’ll also find a few workarounds for this issue.
Having said that, Flowsana also has a solution for this issue - a feature created specifically to solve it. Along with the “Duration” field mentioned above, Flowsana also adds a field called “Assign To”. What you do is enter an Asana username into this field, instead of actually assigning the task. Then when that task’s dependency is marked complete, Flowsana will automatically assign the task to the username in the “Assign To” field. That way, the task only shows up on the person’s My Tasks list when the task can actually be performed.