Why add a "done" column in board view when you can filter by task completeness?

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#1

Right now I have a “to do”, “doing”, and “done” columns in my project board as they were recommended to me.

As the title states, why might it be suggested to have a “done” column when you can filter the board view to show “complete”, “incomplete”, and “all” tasks?


#2

Adjunct to that - would be great if there were a standard “done” column for all project boards with an associated workflow that marked tasks complete when they are moved into the “done” column!


#3

But why have a done column when you can filter on “incomplete” tasks to filter out “complete” or done tasks?


#4

Have either of you [@Laura_Johnson @Barnett_Williams1] looked into Blockspring? It can do what you are asking for, but it does take some basic scripting knowledge. They do have good tutorials though.


#5

I think part of this could be chalked up to the somewhat-unique nature of Boards and how some teams choose to use them. For example, I’ve worked with teams who define “Done” and “Complete” differently, so there’s some value in continuing to show tasks that are Done, but not yet Complete (bug tracking comes to mind).

A lot of teams also like to progress a task through all the Columns from left-to-right, and it could be a bit weird to have Complete tasks in the “Doing” Column.

All that being said, there’s no right or wrong way to do it, so if it just adds confusion for you to have Incomplete Done tasks, I would say that you could probably just remove that last column, and Complete the task instead!


#6

I just want to say I completely agree with you. It’s pointless. All of my reports count completed tasks by whether or not they have a date in the ‘Completed At’ column. This only occurs when the task has been marked as complete, not when it’s been dragged to an extra column at the end of a board. In fact, when we first started using boards and tried having a ‘done’ column, people would often drag a task there and forget to mark it as complete.

Each to their own, but I see no reason to add more clicks or drags to the process.


#7

Hey Mark, thanks for your reply. Can you give some detail as to how you set up your boards and their views? Are your columns based on status “to do”, “doing”, “done” etc. or based on task type “finance”, “legal”, “client task” etc.? And is your default view to show all tasks or only those are are incomplete?

Thanks


#8

Hi Barnett. We only have one major project that’s set up in a board, which is our team operational plan for the forthcoming year. Because it’s a big project, with lots of tasks grouped into key objectives, we’ve gone for a slightly different approach. Instead of having ‘to do’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’, our columns each represent a key objective. Then we use a dropdown custom field to indicate the task’s status - ‘Not yet started’ (set when the task is created) and ‘In progress’.

When a team member is assigned a task, they change the dropdown status to ‘In progress’ and add start/due dates. When they’ve done the task, they just mark it as complete. Our default view is to show incomplete tasks only, but as you said, we can always filter if we need to look back. I also have the project synced to Google Sheets, which then feeds into a Power BI report. That way, I always have an up-to-date overview of the tasks’ status and how many have been completed so far.

I definitely recommend using custom fields over columns to track status. At least, it works for us.


#9

I love this dropdown idea for status. This is great. Thanks.

Would you care to share an example of your google spreadsheet powered by Asana? I may want to implement something like this.


#10

One last thing regarding custom field and status: You mentioned you have a ‘Not Yet Started’ and a ‘In Progress’ status. Are these all of the statuses or is there a ‘Done’ status of sorts?

In other words, once completed, does a task have a status of ‘In Progress’ even when checked off as complete or is there another status?


#11

No problem. I’m glad that approach is useful to you. The Google sheet thing is something you have to request from Asana. If you get in touch with your customer success person, they’ll be able to sort it out. This adds a ‘Sync to Google Sheets’ option to export:

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Once you’ve set that up, you can create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, then paste in the share link, and the data will be imported and synced - the sync is almost instant in some of the tests I’ve done. It syncs all of the same information that you’d get from exporting as a CSV.

A warning, however: Google Sync is an experimental and unsupported feature, so if it starts glitching, you’re pretty much on your own. It’s also truncated at 250 rows, so you wouldn’t be able to export an enormous project. The one we currently export contains 91 tasks and 96 subtasks, which equates to 188 rows.

In answer to your question about status, there’s no third dropdown option. When a task is completed, it still has the ‘In Progress’ status, but the fact that it has been marked as complete indicates that it’s done. In the Power BI report, my ‘In progress’ count is filtered for all tasks with ‘Completed At’ blank. So I’m only counting tasks that are in progress and have no completion date.

What I’d really love is an inbuilt, Asana-powered reporting system, similar to Power BI, but without having to leave Asana itself. Maybe someday. :slight_smile:


#12

There are multiple ways to skin a cat and it depends on your preferences, how you want have your board and if you are the only board user IMHO.
A column “Done” is much more satisfying when you work in a Scrum project and you can drag the item to be done. Sounds silly?
What I wouldn’t like to see is too much of automation. It can work for 50% of the users but it would not work for the other 50%. And! It also depends on your definition of “Done”. Maybe a work task is finished but the accompanied admin isn’t finished yet. In other words: It’s done, and doesn’t block the “doing” column anymore, but it isn’t completed yet.

I think this is one of the great things of ASANA. You can work as you like and how it makes sense for you.


#13

Agree that each company/department will use Asana to suit their own internal processes and workflows - but then, that’s the beauty of the platform - its flexibility.

We do use a ‘complete’ board, where I as manager can inspect the task and ensure that all the sub-tasks have indeed been completed before I then mark as complete.

We go one step further - we have an “Archive” project that we assign the task to once complete! Keeps them separate from the ‘live’ projects and boards.


#14

I have changed my board to reflect something similar to your archived project. I have an “archived” column that I drag any task that does not need to be completed. I do this for record purposes.

On this note, I would love a tag to be auto-assigned per column.


#15

It is a convenience and motivating piece of feedback. Most kanban tools work like that. What I would advocate is to be able to tie the moving into the Done lane to an implicit “Mark Complete”. At present I need to do that in two steps. This is mostly about visual feedback to the user as in “what has been done recently?”. I don’t need to apply a filter - I can immediately see it when I open the board. Efficiency!


#16

Simply comes down to workflow. Having a archive/done column allows you keep tasks open until someone can follow up on them for review. Or have them completed in one steady stream in a column other than spread across multiple columns, especially when there are more than 5 or 6+ columns where you have to side scroll to see them all in completed only view. For simple to do list projects just completing an item where it is is fine. But often there will be teams that need a notification sent out to the team when something is moved into a final column but needs to be marked complete at another time.


#17

Yes Frank yes!!!


#18

I can just create a report for “completed tasks” on a specific project instead.


#19

Hello, a task marked as completed by the assignee might not be considered as such by the assignee manager. This is a common pratice that completed task be reviewed by someone else, thus the need not to hide these completed tasks.