Tips for Agile in Asana

As one of Asana’s Customer Success Managers, I’ve heard of multiple customers running agile processes in Asana and wanted to share my top tips I’ve learned from them.

1. Manage your product backlog in a List project (example below)

  • Epics = sections
  • User stories = tasks
  • Priority, estimated time, etc = custom fields

2. Create a fresh Board project for each sprint - Boards layout • Asana (example below)

There’s more info around sprint planning in our Guide, Sprint planning with Asana | Product guide • Asana, but I’d love to hear how you all are running your agile processes in Asana! :slight_smile:


Thanks @Shannon_McNeil. Great examples of how Asana can work.

This is actually really helpful. However, we face a challenge where we have 3 levels to track:

>>>>> Tasks

For our firm, stories capture what is necessary from a client perspective, but then our developers really dive down to create technical tasks (build this, develop that function, add this table, etc) in order to deliver the story. And both duration estimates and status tracking (scrum board) are done at the Task level, not the Story level. Given this situation, do you have any suggestions for how we might structure this in Asana to accommodate this methodology?

Thanks, any suggestions would be most appreciated!!


@Matthew_Oates — I’d recommend structuring your epics, stories, and tasks as follows.
Holler if it seems like the below recommendations won’t suit your needs, though!

  • EPICS — Capture in color-coded, drop-down Custom Fields since you probably have a handful of Epics — Custom Fields • Asana

  • STORIES — Capture as sections

  • TASKS — Capture as tasks under the section / story in which they serve with the appropriate EPIC Custom Field noted.

I’d also utilize Custom Fields for estimated time and task status.


Simple and brilliant! That will work!


:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Yes! This way completely works for our sprints management. and I highly recommend you to use Instagantt to manage estimation hours for each tasks and workloads for each assigners. Don’t worry, you don’t need to register all members who joined to asana projects, just enough only for ones who want to adjust schedules of tasks, and you can share public snapshots in Instagantt.

I think asana with Instagantt is better than JIRA. more quick operation, cheaper cost of project management and cheaper actually


Hi Mizuho, Is it possible to use Asana with Instagantt even if I am not able to specify start dates for tasks in Asana because what we have is the free version?

Yes you can :slight_smile:
End dates will synchronize with Asana, and in Instagantt you will be able to specify a start date, even if you have the free version of Asana.


Thanks for your response. Have you been using Asana for Agile Scrum
(backlog, sprints etc…)?

The reason I asked if you are using Asana for your Agile Scrum development
projects is I wanted to get tips from you on the easiest way to produce
burn down charts if what you have is a free version of Asana.

1 Like

You can use the dashboards but they are burnup charts, not burndown. Nevertheless they can be useful for sprint. In free version you can display no more than 3 charts at the same time.

Are you including bugs as tasks in the product backlog?

In there is a discussion on Defects - How Defects should be handled in Scrum? |

In this discussion, there is this statement:

How to handle Defects found within a sprint : The process may vary from team to team. However, please remember “At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be ‘Done’, which means it must be in usable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of ‘Done’.”. If you know of any obvious defects in PBI you have completed in a sprint, will you consider it as “done” & release it? I think not, but that depends on your DoD. If DoD has set some quality goal, you can’t reduce it within sprint. Hence if that PBI doesn’t meet the quality goal set in DoD (because of associated defect) than it should be considered incomplete & returned to PB for re-prioritization & re-estimation.**

So based on the statement above, bugs must be part of the sprint and therefore would not be in a separate project as described here:

We’ve developed an add-on for Asana that provides burndown charts for Scrum sprints. There’s a more information (including tutorial video) available at the Burndown chart for Asana page.

Hi, thank you for your ideas!

I am on trial to see if we can use this idea to much our process.

I have an issue with Sections, we need to give custom fields on our Stories (e.g. Value, rough estimate etc). But I am not able to see these fields on the Asana list (for sections)

is there a way to see these values?


Hi Mike -
I’d recommend having your stories be tasks and then using custom fields for your stages, values, and estimates. You can then sort your project by these custom fields for a more dynamic way to view your List project. No need for sections with custom fields groupings!

We are managing the Agile process in Asana successfully. Very similar to your suggestion. One thing we did is the custom plugin for Chrome to calculate points and tasks (it is free and open sourced)

@Shannon_McNeil - I am setting up a scrum board and wanted to see if anything changed since your original post (which was excellent). Can any newer features be applied? Anything else you’ve seen that works well for this application? For example, can portfolios now be used with this application? Also, is there a good way to tie epics to OKRs (other than labels or custom fields?). Thanks!

Hi @Mike_DiPietro one feature that has been added that is useful. Is that you can have notifications sent on change of value in custom fields. Be that status, points etc.