workloads and subtasks

@Emily_Roman any news on this update? I have voted in the thread linked and it seems like this has been an ongoing problem for several years with no action on Asana’s side to address. This is severely limited the efficiency of my team and has rendered workloads (a function that I would like to take advantage of) as essentially useless.

(And yes, I know that I can add all subtasks to my project, but what is the point of having subtasks if that is the fix? It makes projects messy and inefficient)

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Hi @Emily_Roman, following up on @Emily_August’s comment above in this thread here. We would really love to know whether Asana has plans to remedy this without the user having to add Subtasks to a Project.

For context: We have a small Brand Design team with many projects across multiple teams within a company (R&D, HR, Marketing, Sales, etc.) In order to better organize our work, we have projects named for each of those teams, and have demoted projects for those teams to tasks, with the actionable tasks for the project then demoted to subtasks. In order to maintain this level of organization, we’d like to keep those tasks as subtasks, rather than adding them back to the project where they re-populate as tasks.

Please let us know if there’s a fix in the works, thanks so much!

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Hi @Julia_Schaber and @Emily_August, and thanks for reaching out!

Our team is fully aware this is something we need to improve and while I don’t have an update to share at the moment, this is definitely on our radar.

My apologies for not being able to share update at this time, I’ll make sure to post an update in the main thread as soon as I have more details!

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I think this linked feature is more complicated or misleading as a solution. Ideally, the feature would give the ability to measure the budget of subtasks in workload without the necessity/messiness of adding it at the project level? Thanks Emily!

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Just adding to this thread as our example is similar and this lack of a feature is pretty crippling to the usability of workloads for us (and I’m sure others). We have Estimated Time as a custom field which allows us to make decisions around task assignment/project expectations. There are tasks that have subtasks with different team members assigned to each. Not having these “parent” tasks or the “child” subtasks show up in workloads is not only frustrating - but it overall useless.

Is there a plan to make this feature: “Show All Assigned tasks/subtasks” in workload? If this is just a request and not a part of the road map here? It would be helpful to know as we would need to find another solution to displaying/calculating actual bandwidth in our organization. Thank you.

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I just wanted to add my voice in support of some solution here. Our teams have top level tasks in projects, but assign cross-functional work in sub-tasks. Would love to be able to optionally use-sub tasks in the portfolio workload view, without separately adding them all to the parent project. Thanks!

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@Emily_Roman - I’m sincerely grateful for your work in moderating all these discussions.

I know you’ve stated several times that your team is aware of the problem. I am an Asana Certified Pro – full time. My Asana consulting is my entire, super full time career. So, the reason I feel so anxious about this is because it is an issue with every. single. client. They are always flabbergasted that Asana, after $180 million+ in VC funding, and now after an IPO, still has serious problems with very fundamental features like this.

It makes me anxious that there is absolutely no indication of when this will be addressed. It severly limits the usefulness of workload and timeline, paid features that simply are not helpful while this problem exists. The workaround is so messy and so time consuming that it becomes very frustrating every time a client interacts with the project. I’ve had two clients leave Asana because of it.

Is there any chance you could get some clarity from the team on when and how this will be handled? Even a very rought ETA? It’s been a problem for over three years (e.g. this problem of subtasks double duplicating when a template is used – problem from 2017 still exists today: Creating projects from template adds new project's subtasks back to template).

Will it be another 6 weeks? 6 months? 6 years?

I sincerely appreciate your help. I know it’s not easy for you to deal with questions when the answers are complex and the solutions are not up to you. But, any insight would be sincerely appreciated.

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In my opinion your mistake @Bry_ProjectKickstart is to frame this as a missing feature when I see it as an intentional design decisions. Having subtasks count in workload would be super weird for me. For example if a task A has subtasks B and C, then the person has 3 tasks in workload? In some cases B and C cover everything needed by A and sometimes not. I really believe the is a very complex issue, not a missing feature.

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@Bastien_Siebman
About subtasks and workloads
If you have subtasks B and C in task A and you are in charge of A, B, and C,
I want you to display those three in your workload.
Because, as A’s charge, I want to manage as A’s charge, whether B and C are in charge of others or myself.

I understand that is also the case, but then what Asana should do? Have a setting for each task? A setting for the workspace? And then if it’s global you are stuck with the same settings for all the tasks…

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@Bastien_Siebman - That’s a valid point… in some scenarios. In other scenarios, tracking the subtasks in workload, timeline, and calendar is essential.

Measuring workload by task count is only a fail-safe, plan B option. As we’ve both experienced, tasks vary so greatly in size (e.g. create marketing email campaign could be a 5-hour task while schedule social post could be a 20-minute task). So, utilizing time estimates is generally much more helpful for measuring team workload. And, if we are going to make proper use of managing team workload, any sizable task must be accounted for.

So, let’s imagine a very common scenario, one that I come across with most clients: a project driven by requests (from form submissions). Let’s say a marketing team has a project to track requests for creative assets for holiday promotions for each one of their 10 products. Every request requires graphics, copy, an email campaign, social posts, and a new amazon listing. It involves 8 tasks, 17 hours of labor, across 5 people. The brand manager is in charge of the overseeing the parent task, but the creatives (the employees) are each delegated 2 or 3 of the subtasks. The team processes 5-10 requests per week, each one requiring about that level of effort. So, obviously it wouldn’t make sense to have this all show up as workload on the parent task (because the brand manager’s job only requires about 1- 2 hours of involvement to give feedback and approve). And, it certainly wouldn’t make sense in my opinion to escalate each new task up to a project for every request (b/c of major project overload). But, we still need the workload to be tracked for those graphic designers and creatives.

So, what do we do?

Maybe the answer is a simple toggle at the parent task level that allows us to track the subtasks in workload, timeline, and calendar, or to ignore them.

Thoughts?

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I agree that your workflow makes a lot of sense and a workload including subtasks would be awesome.

Adding a toggle seems “simple” but that carries a lot of complexity in the code and clutters the interface. The product team is making choices every day to not add that specific toggle, and that entry in the menu, and that setting etc etc so that most people can have a clean interface. Some workflows re broken, but most users enjoy a clean interface :man_shrugging: tough situation!

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Not only the workload, but also the timeline and calendar display is necessary.

I just want to acknowledge that I know adding a “simple” toggle is very complex in terms of the code… I don’t mean to make it sound like they could do it in a weekend. I meant “simple” as in that might be a way to keep it simple visually and still address the need. Not simple as in easy to build.

@Bastien_Siebman - You sound like you are very comfortable with the way things are currently. Could you share some insight around how you handle and how you advise clients to handle the problem of not seeing subtasks in workload, calendar, or timeline?

I have one client that it is absolutely essential for, so we’ve set up task templates with all the subtasks already added to the project. Obviously, that then creates the issue of those subtasks now showing up twice in the task list (since they now show at the parent task level if they added to the same project). So, we send all the newly visible subtasks to a “Subtask Section” at the end of the project to keep them out of the way. (see example)

Is that the way you do as well? Or do you handle it differently?

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You could try to have the subtask repo be a separate project, added to the same portfolio? I could build a tool that multi homes any subtask into a subtask repo, that would help isn’t it?!

Not at all, I badly communicated my position. For me, you can either complain about missing features or adapt. Sometimes Asana is not the right tool for a client because the philosophy does not match their need! That is ok.

In the case of subtasks, I am not sure I would enjoy more the solutions discussed. I do not have any good solution in mind, so I trust the Product team to either decide to do nothing or find a clever solution. I don’t want to add to the “noise” by also complaining, I like to only complain if I believe there is a viable solution (this probably comes from the fact that I work full-time for a company building a SaaS product as well).

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Hi @Bry_ProjectKickstart, I do understand your concerns regarding the ability to automatically add associate subtasks to the project and see subtasks in Workload. Our team is aware that many other customers in this forum share your concerns. Unfortunately, I don’t have any substantial update to share with you today, but rest ensured that I will share any updates in the forum as soon as I have more details.

Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions, I’ll be more than happy to help!

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I am working on a list of workarounds for feature requests like this one: 🔥 Hottest feature requests and their workarounds

If you have fresh ideas, please share there!

Adding my voice to this too. Please can this be looked at? Currently convincing an agency to move to Asana from Teamwork. I know software can never be perfect but while there’s a workload view it’s only operating at 50% of its use for the user if the subtasks aren’t shown.

Re: the point about toggle vs simplifying user interface (Nov '20).
I’d happily swop the flying unicorns or notification boxes that pop up on the bottom left every time I make an edit, for a toggle button to give us the option to use this otherwise excellent programme to its capacity.

Hi @Roz1, welcome to the Asana Community Forum and thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us! We already have a thread in our #productfeedback category for this request, I recommend you to add your vote to support this feature: Ability to view assigned SUBTASKS in Portfolio>Workload. We’ll make sure to update the main thread as soon as we have any updates.