I’m really struggling to find a way to set up Asana for construction projects. Everything I’ve tried just gets very complicated and overwhelming.
At present I have separate projects for every lead that comes into the pipeline, that we set-up from a ‘LEADS’ template with all the tasks required to get it to the point of going to contract within the template. We have a birds eye view of all the separate lead projects through portfolios.
We do much the same for when the lead becomes an actual project. We have a ‘PROJECT MANAGEMENT’ template that we transfer all the information from the ‘LEAD’ project into, and track overall progress through in portfolios.
This all sounds ok on paper but in reality it makes for a very confusing and overwhelming way of doing things.
I’d also like to automate some of this stuff with workflows (or something!) but it just seems too much. The way I’ve seen workflows work is with simple kanban boards like ‘Waiting, In Progress, Finalising, Completion’ with all the different ‘projects’ as tasks that move through that workflow - not with the way I’ve currently got it set-up for a separate project for each lead and construction job.
Does anyone else use Asana for construction management? Do you have any better ideas? Even anyone with any great suggestions of how to make a complicated thing less complicate?
One simplification I use with clients is to treat a lead (or equivalent potential for something) as a task not a project. So you could have a task template with subtasks instead of a project with tasks. That will eliminate many projects and a portfolio. (The portfolio replacement should be handled with different views in the same single leads project of tasks, an maybe with different custom fields if needed.
It’s not until that lead becomes a full-fledged thing that it should need a project. You can convert a task into a project, from a project template, (that can even be done with a rule when trigged by a section change or phase/status custom field change. The lead task can be reopened and multi-homed into the new project to persist the history there.
More generally, I did a workshop, with the Asana Education team collaborating, that may help you with useful, yet generic, workflow guidance:
Beyond that, it’s through consulting engagements that I can deliver greater value with the ability to collaborate with clients to really understand their processes and interactively explore the ways map Asana to them to deliver the greatest value.
Thank you so much for your advice! This sounds like a practical solution. I’ll definitely be watching this video. One question - can you sort subtasks into ‘completed’ and ‘not completed’? This is one thing that has stopped me from setting leads as tasks as it seems that you manually need to do this and I could imagine my team of tradies finding it one step too far!
It’s true that you have to do that manually, but an easier approach is to keep the “Incomplete” task filter set (Save for everyone). Then, when you click the expand arrow in the main tasks list view, those completed subtasks will be completely hidden, just like completed top-level tasks are hidden. (It would apply to the task detail pane, though.) I wish there were more options there, but between multi-select and doing manually, or this filter, it allows you use tasks instead of project which I think is a bigger win and makes it worthwhile!
I am not involved in the construction industry.
I am in the field of mechanical manufacturing.
However, I believe my approach can be considered insightful.
I engage in the following practices:
Forming teams specifically for solicitation purposes.
1.1. Within these teams, I create a diverse range of solicitation projects. In our organization, we categorize our clients into different sections. Each project is created as a task within these sections, assign smaller tasks as subtasks. For slightly larger projects, designate them as their own sections.
1.2. For clients with a notable number of projects, I establish dedicated solicitation projects for them.
Establishing teams for contracts.
2.1. I organize projects on a contractual basis, once the solicitation has been successfully converted.
2.2. I consolidate relevant projects (by client and by assigned group) in a portfolio.