See quantitative progress of large number of projects

I want to view the progress of a large number of projects. I’ve tried two options so far, but neither are satisfactory.

First, I created a portfolio. That provides a nice view listing all my projects. I can clearly see the status of all of them and the project dates. However, I don’t like the Task Progress. The percent of tasks completed doesn’t reflect what I want to measure.

The metric I like is the kind provided in Goals. I get to define the metric and set it manually. Thus, I created a goal for each project. For example, we have a project called “Contract A” and a goal called “Fulfill contract A successfully”. However, now there is redundancy. Both the project and goal have a status. Should I set both to the same value always, or ignore one? Neither is good.

What I want is for projects to have a metric like goals do. Then:

  • In Portfolios, show that metric instead of the pre-defined Task Progress, and/or
  • In Goals, let a sub-goal be a project itself.

I am wondering if seeing progress in terms of milestones would not fit your use case? If yes, portfolios have the option to show progress based on milestones (see dropdown next to the filters)

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Thank you for pointing this out. I didn’t notice that I could switch progress type in a portfolio. That is some help since we do measure progress on some of our projects with milestones. However, some projects have other kinds of metrics.

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For tracking projects in portfolios, you can use either Status, Custom Fields, or both, as you find helpful. You can implement metrics in any, albeit not precisely like Asana implements Goals metrics. Milestones, too, can be markers to tick off along the way.

Regarding the duplication question, I think that might stem from a misuse of Goals. If you read about OKR or other Goal frameworks, I don’t think they intend to correspond 1:1 with projects.

Goals are outcomes with measures–SMART or better yet, SMARTIE measures.

Projects are work which you can track as mentioned above.

Although projects carry out goals and Asana allows you to associate projects to goals for this reason, making a project a sub-goal of a larger goal is not their recommendation, I don’t think, and leads to your duplication issue.

I hope that might help, though perhaps you’ve considered all this already and ruled it out, in which case, ignore!



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For tracking projects in portfolios, you can use either Status, Custom Fields, or both, as you find helpful.

Thank you. I hadn’t noticed that I can add custom fields in a portfolio. I can try that.

I don’t think [goals] intend to correspond 1:1 with projects.

Right, I need to understand this better. I suppose that is the reason for Asana’s choice, but so far “finish a project” sounds like a perfectly good goal to me. Not sure why it shouldn’t be.

Asana allows you to associate projects to goals

This association consists merely of displaying links from goals to projects and vice versa. I feel goals and work should be tied together in a more essential way. For example, if we finish all of our projects, some goal should be achieved. That’s a lot like the definition of KRs. If all of the key results of an objective are completed, then the objective is achieved. Just some thoughts. I surely have more to practice and learn.



Thanks for the thoughtful comments, and I agree and hope that Asana can further integrate/automate goals and projects to allow some of the capabilities you mention.