Assigning tasks to multiple people (rotating)


#1

I’ve searched the site and am still puzzled on how to assign repeating tasks to a rotating cast of people. A very simple example would be that we’ve created a task to water the plants in the office each week. We have 10 team members who would handle this task on any given week and I’d like to make it so that instead of assigning it to one the first week, and then going back and re-assigning it to another person the next week, it would automatically rotate through those 10 people over a 10 week time-span and then repeat.

This way I wouldn’t have to do any manual intervention and everyone would equally share the task throughout the year. Is this currently possible? If not, is this even a good use of Asana or would something like this best be managed outside of Asana?

Thanks!


#2

I think the easiest way to do this would be create a single task called Water the Plants. Then create your 10 sub-tasks one for each of the ten team members with re-occuring dates. This will automatically rotate your sub-tasks with-in the master task to Water the Plants.


#3

@JCarl 's suggestion is great, and you could also do the same rotation on the parent task level by creating the first 10 instances over the next 10 weeks, and then setting each one to repeat weekly, every 11 weeks on Wednesday (screenshot below)


#4

Does the parent date have any interaction with the sub-task date? or are they completely independent in all functions of Asana. Thanks


#5

Hi @JCarl - good question. Parent date and sub-task date are completely independent. This allows for people to create sub tasks that build up to a task being done.

For instance:
Task: Write blog post
Sub task: Draft 1
Sub task: Draft 2
Sub task: Draft 3

However, if you wanted sub tasks to repeat and/or repeat on the same day as the parent task, you could indeed set sub tasks to do so one-by-one.


#6

none of these solutions are perfect, they fail to take into account if someone misses their watering date then the plant dies and does not get watered on that date; I’m not saying I have a better solution, I’m just pointing out a fatal flaw. With Zapier and Knack you can do this somewhat creatively many ways; but with just Asana I’d have to think about it some more to create the perfect solution;

I think the more fun solution would be the last person who gets to the office has to water the plant ==> this way the plant always gets watered and you encourage everyone to get to the office early.

I am a problem solver. Most people just create more problems.


#7

I still can’t solve this problem. I keep asking myself “why the hell do 10 different people need to be responsible for 1 plant?” even though I know this question doesn’t really matter for the sake of the argument, but for some reason it does


#8

I think the proposed solution works just fine. The other 9 are followers on each task. If they do not see that the task is complete by the end of the day, then just water the plant. Not too complex. In addition, it would not be a great decision to have plants that can’t go one day without watering :wink:


#9

hey @JCarl – this would solve it

ability to assign tasks to teams

So that the SINGLE task is simultaneously assigned to ALL parties within that team, and the first person to complete the task completes it and unchecks/deletes the task from everyone else.

The only problem here-- in reality-- is that when you have a bunch of people responsible for 1 thing, then everyone expects someone else to do it and the task never gets done.

However, I do think TEAM assigning would be an easy and feasible feature, though not sure how useful it will actually be in practice if implemented.

Maybe Asana can add it as a “hack” first and see how that goes


#10

@mattpick I agree with @FATBOY on this one. Or perhaps, instead of the last person, have the first person to arrive do the watering of the plant. It should not be of any burden I think. Since it’s the start of one’s day, that person still has all the energy to do it. And watering plants is kind of therapeutic. :smiley:

If you really need to have the Asana task, then just have one task, leave it unassigned but set a periodic due date, and have the person who watered the plant complete the task.

In the end we’ll realize that we don’t have to put everything in Asana.


#11

Now regarding the rotating assignment of tasks, if you know how to code, then the best solution is to do the assignments via a custom application calling Asana API. Perhaps a script which runs during startup of your machine (or each of your machines) and checks the schedules (perhaps stored in a different project or task) and task completion. If recently completed, duplicate the task and assign it to the next responsible person (if same week then same person). This is a very rough algorithm and there are other better ones.


#12

@jallensantos @mattpick @FATBOY At this time we do not assign tasks to teams, but here’s an idea that I think will address your suggestions:

  • Create a task
  • Set the team as followers on the task / add these people individually
  • Create subtasks with each person’s name
  • Each person will check off their name when they’ve completed the task
  • As Kaitie mentions, set the task as repeating!