The best way to build a project using Workflow

Since asana published the workflow feature, I was very pleased. I did few tests on it and checked to see if I would create a new project for all my incoming work tasks using the workflow.

So far so good. But if you want to really create efficiencies within your team, this feature goes beyond that.

To start with, here is what workflow can actually do:

  • You start by creating a project

  • Select build a workflow instead of create tasks immediately

  • The workflow builder will guide you through the set up process taking into consideration:

Forms you want to build
Section you want to have
Automations you want to create

While this is neat, if you really want to make the most of this feature, remember that asana is project management tool that enables you to improve the way you work. And this is when :bulb: moment happened. The best way to use the workflow feature is when you engage with your team and you agree with them in that collaborative meeting on how they think they will be the most productive. Let the workflow be the creation of all and not just one.

Here are some pointers to help you achieve a successful workshop with your team:

  • Is everyone accessing the project internal on asana or do you have external users?

  • What is the project aimed at? managing workloads? customer requests? development? or the project aimed for providing a service? the answer to that determines whether you will use the Kanban approach (board view) or the list view, and it will help you think with your team about the stages of the work required

  • Are the roles clearly defined? If a new task is created, who will pick the request up? And then, are the stages designed in accordance to different teams? or can anyone pic any task from any stage?

  • Do you have service level agreements (SLAs) that you need to abide by? and yes even if your project is internal, you should have internal SLAs to provide support to your internal customers. This will help you set automation to trigger due dates to respond

And the list of questions carry on. You need to think on what status updates (if any) and what reporting is required from this? Work with your team so they are all aware of what this the business requirement. This is important because it will allow you to create custom fields aimed at gathering information for tasks that can be later reported on within the project dashboard and the reporting tool.

And my final thoughts is that for this to be a wholesome feature, I would really like the workflow to offer me the option to create or add a portfolio from the workflow builder as well as link the project to a goal.

Have you tried the workflow yet? Did you use it with the team while building your project from scratch? You can find out more directly from asana’s guide on here: What is Process Flow and How Can You Visualize it? [2022] • Asana

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Absolutely agree @Rashad_Issa! :clap:t4: We have also shared some info about this here: What is Process Flow and How Can You Visualize it? • Asana

Thanks for sharing this great tip!

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Thanks Emily! That is a good shoutout! I edited the post and included the guide directly into the tip!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Workflow is an interesting feature, definitely goes in the right direction. However, a lot of projects (actually most of them according to me) are not set up around tasks moving from sections to sections.

Workflow will become really powerful when custom fields will be usable.

And hopefully it can benefit from new features, for now this is a nice way of showing things that are available elsewhere (which is still nice especially for new users).

Thanks @Rashad_Issa !

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For some reason I’m struggling to find information about Workflow in the Asana Help and Community Forum. My main question is, when it moves from section to section, does the task get reassigned from person to person rather than marking it complete? That seems confusing to me, and I can guarantee people on my team would check it off by habit, which seems like it would mess up the workflow…

@Wendy_Allen,

I just went to How to use Asana, Asana tutorials, onboarding tips, and team use cases | Product guide • Asana Product Guide and typed in the search at the top “Workflow” and this was the first result:

You may also want to search about Rules which is what Workflow is trying to simplify in its interface.

In Workflow, you decide what action occurs when a task is moved to a different section.

In Rules, you can decide other triggers besides “moved to section” as well as the actions.

Hope that helps,

Larry

I saw that article too as the first result, but it didn’t answer my question.

Hello @Wendy_Allen

Sorry you are not finding the information you are looking for.
I hope I understood your question correctly - I will share with this case, and please let me know if this is correct:

You have a project with three sections: planning, executing, reviewing. Joe is responsible to plan, Rashad is responsible to execute, and Wendy should review.

A request came into the project.
Task 1 is now moved into planning section and Joe starts working on it.
Joe finishes his planning and it is time to move it to the section Executing.

Joe wants to move Task 1 from planning to executing section. Upon doing so, he wants the task to be automatically assigned to Rashad. Please note that Joe does not need to mark the task complete.

Does workflow help in the above scenario? Yes. You can build a rule that when a task is moved to a section, have it assigned to person x.

Does this help?

I have been using Asana to manage incoming department request much like a ticket system but as project tasks. The rule based workflow is amazing. I have built very complex rules to run due date assignment, status assignment, auto-comments, and auto-completes.

BUT, and this is a very big BUT, Asana maxes the rules at 50. This seriously limits use case. I CANNOT COMPLETE full automation of a very brilliant use case that would be phenomenal for my organization to achieve with this limit.

Is there any way around this?

Hello @Brandi_Miller1

So pleased to hear you are enjoying the use of workflows.
You are right currently, the max limit for rules is 50. Hopefully asana will continue to work on increasing this limit.

In the meantime, I believe @Phil_Seeman might have a solution.