Tips for Agile in Asana

@Mike_DiPietro - I agree with Jason’s recommendation on notifications when custom fields change status. Love this functionality!

We also recently launched Portfolios on our Business tier, which provides a way to track Epics as a Portfolio and create more layers of organizing Epics > Features > Stories > Tasks in Asana. Here’s more on our proposed set-up for this -

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How are you able to view what I ‘presume’ are your custom fields (Backlog, In progress, On Hold) as collapse/expand ‘sections’. I presumed you did this by sorting by custom fields, but when I try that, I do NOT get any collapse/expand interface as I see in your screenshot with the ‘down arrow’ icons (see attached screenshot). Am I missing something? How can I get that UI functionality?

Thanks for your help.


Hi @AjD - Sprint 01, 02, etc are milestones, not custom fields.
If you sort your project by your Task Status custom field, you will see the option to collapse the tasks bucketed by each custom field -

Thanks for the response Shannon. My screenshot was a bad example, since I am playing with several options at the same time. In that screenshot I have…

  • Sprint Number Milestones.
  • Sprint Number Sections.
  • Sprint Number (SprintID) Custom Fields.

They’re all going on at the same time because each has a potential benefit to the overall flow. I ‘wish’ the Sections or Milestones could offer the benefits of both, but currently they do not, so I use each for the following reasons…

  • Sprint Number Milestones: to allow for Progress and Portfolio to provide Exec-level summary of how the project is going.
  • Sprint Number Sections: to allow for easy add/remove of a Task (Story) from a Backlog project to a specific Sprint Number in this Sprints project.
  • Sprint Number (SprintID) Custom Fields (text field): these will ONLY be used if they allow for collapse of the custom field numbers when sorted by the ‘SprintID’ custom field. So far, that does not seem to work.

In the screenshot I uploaded, the Sprints Project is sorted by the ‘SprintID’ custom field, not the Milestone or Section, yet… it does not result in collapsible SprintIDs. I presume I’m doing something wrong?

I think I might have figured this out. Asana does not allow collapsible custom fields UNLESS the custom field is a ‘Drop Down’ type. Text and Number custom fields do not provide a collapsible control when sorted by the custom field.

My testing shows this to be the case, but I would be happy to hear if someone was able to get a Text custom field to produce a collapsible control when sorted by that custom field.

You’re right, @AjD. Only drop-down custom fields are collapsible in the project view.

@Vlad_Korobov does this add-on still work with the GUI changes to headers? I’m unable to see the results within Chrome with the extension installed. Any support that you can offer here?

Where would you house the complete body of work? For me, the Epic would contain the complete body of work, and the tasks below would be the parceled out stories that comprise it. In this method, the Section title can contain no data, so… everyone would have to carry a mental note of the full body of work of the epic, and work against it as they perform the task duties. Further, and I’ve just run in to this, but when looking at the board view, especially when you divorce the board columns and sections (how do you do that btw) there is no connection of the epic to the task (story).

How would someone know you’re working on “Bed Frame” when addressing “Connect bed sides with bed end” and not another Epic of “Toddler Bed Frame” for example? Would need some naming conventions added in to the stories to compensate. I want to like this but these three things make it seem untenable in reality:

  1. Section header carries no data to contain body of work for Epic

  2. How do you in a single project divorce the section names in a List and the Board headers in the board… could just be ignorance on my part here… I really like that though if it’s a thing.

  3. Keeping the story to epic relationship obvious in the board view.

Would love to hear thoughts/workarounds, etc.

We are trying a differente aproach:

Sections as progress stages (backlog, progress, done…)
Main tasks as Themes/Epics/Areas.
Sub-tasks as tasks.
Comments/description with the list of User Stories and Personas.

This way works for us because we are still in the design stage.
When it goes to developers they will use their own management method, probably JIRA.