Benefit to putting multiple projects into one master Project in Asana?

subtasks
projects
tasks

#1

I work for a small architecture firm in NYC. Our team is new to Asana but I have worked with it for years in past companies. I’ve currently set up our projects in Asana as individual Projects and we were beginning to use. But recently we have a new project manager who wants to create one master Project for ALL our current projects, where each project is set up as a Task, and all tasks are Subtasks. From my experience, it’s better to use the platform as designed but he disagrees. We’re meeting to discuss the pros and cons of so I’ve been reading forums for hours trying to get all of the facts together but having a hard time finding specific answers. It seems to me that there could be issues down the road with our planned integrations with Harvest, Slack and Instagantt because our projects aren’t Projects. I also can’t find any benefits in doing it the way he suggested although he said he’s read forums where similar companies to ours use it in that way. Any information would be super helpful and appreciated. Thanks!


#2

Hi
According to my experience, you should have individuals projects.
Here are some reasons:

  • you keep different level of conversation
  • subtasks are not so easy to use: see To Subtask or not to Subtask
  • the My Tasks of the colalborators will be much clearer with individuals projects
  • you can use the Progress Update Status, you would lose it with one big project

I guess there are other reasons but these are the first I think of.


#3

This is fantastic Julien, thanks so much!


#4

If you use Instagantt, having separate projects allows you to have a gantt with only the tasks you’re interesting in. You can connect by Asana Project, then with one global project you would have all the tasks on the chart … not easy to manage … thus this is one more reason for individuals projects.

For me, having individuals projects is what ASANA is designed for.


#5

Exactly, I agree completely. Thanks for your help and this super useful info!


#6

Hey @kara_pugh

This is an interesting conversation piece because I can absolutely see how you and your Teams could benefit from this.

That said, I would definitely caution against doing so, in addition to all the points already referenced above, due to unintended consequences to your Asana experience; primarily, issues of performance.

If a single Project suddenly becomes home to hundreds or thousands of Tasks, it will take the system significantly longer to load each time you reach this main project page, lagging the system unnecessarily. Setting up your system this way would also get in the way of you being able to quickly copy this Project, gumming the system up unnecessarily.

Hope this helps you decide how to organize your Asana space :slight_smile:


#7

It helps so much thank you!


#8

We have our projects in separate projects. Works much better for the reasons mentioned above. But we also have a ‘roadmap’ project, that shows all the projects (as tasks) in a board format. This makes for a little duplication, but the board is good way to see the projects, and move them visually along from design to dev to testing.


#9

We use your proposed solution as the foundation for our law practice. We call them master projects and they are composed of sections. We multi-home tasks in each respective project there, where they progress through the stages of the process in a logical fashion. It helps to see your projects and status in the sequence from start to finish at a glance. Happy to further discuss outside this forum.


#10

Hi @kara_pugh I would strongly suggest keeping each client project in a separate Asana projects instead of in one project. I actually have a client who maxed out the number of tasks you can put into one project within Asana. (it was in the thousands, but not hard to do if everything is in one project.) This limit isn’t documented anywhere that I could find, but we contacted Asana support and there is a hard limit, and there seems to be no fix other than splitting the one project into multiple projects after the fact, which could cause a huge mess.

The other reason as mentioned above is that it can get very confusing once you start using sub-tasks vs top level tasks, and it’s really easy for items to fall through the cracks if the system isn’t structured correctly from the start.

Also, not seeing any tangible advantage to changing the structure from one that’s been working to one that he’s suggesting unless I’m missing something.


#11

Agreed, solve with Instagantt, gives you a nice masterview of several projects.


#12

I work for a small Architecture firm as well. We are still fairly new and figuring things out. I stumbled upon Asana and Instagantt and the more I read about them the more excited I get about what they can do.

This forum was helpful for me as I work through all of this.

Thanks!


#13

Deb, can you share how the roadmap project works? Do people have to update status in two places then? or does the board automatically update based on the status change in the project’s tasks?


#14

I’m afraid people have to update status in two places. On the roadmap, each project is a task, with the actual project URL in the task description. THere’s def no auto update, alas.


#15

Thanks for your response. Not what I was hoping for… but… that might be the best we can do for now.


#16

We employ a roadmap project whose tasks generally include the “finish” task from other projects being shared with the roadmap project. Thus, if the “finish” task of a project is generally something akin to “Finalize Part 3”, then once that final task is market complete, it will also be marked complete in the roadmap project.


#17

these comments make a lot of sense. similar to an architectural firm, where you would have 100s of homes (lot specific projects), we manufacture products (supplied & installed) so I have been debating the same thing. Which route to go for project titles. either a customer name, and then organize lots as tasks. or simply the lot “project title” and then task/subtask from there. based on this, would say it’s fine to have multiple project titles as that’s what search is for, along with tags, and custom filters. We used to use Producteev because it was free, and now that we’re ranging over 1000 projects, and the system has glitches i’d rather pay for a small price and have more and better features.


#18

We use subtasks for our Prospect board. Each new prospect is a task and there are subtasks to be done per prospect. If prospect turns into client a new project is created (from template) and that Prospect task is moved to the Client Project at the top under Client Info section.

We also have a Current Clients board project where each prospect task gets added to the Prospect column. We have different phases that client’s go through and its generally the same for each client. So each phase is a column. When the prospect task is moved into it’s client project it remains on the overall Current Client board and we just update the card’s column to the next phase.

The beauty of this is that you can actually do ALL of this from that single client info (prospect task) card without ever going to other boards. At the top of each task you can add to multiple boards but you can also use dropdown to move it between sections or columns.

Because of the way we have things set up, I can update this one task and it will be updated on the overall Current Client board since it’s “multi-homed” in both places. No need to update status in two different projects. Having said that, I get why your situation is a bit different since you are actually using your overall board as a “Roadmap”. I would still argue that having one task per project that has info in it and updating that would allow anyone looking at roadmap to see where each project is without much effort so duplication of updates seems like extra work.

Another great thing about this is that I can put a LOT of custom fields on my Current Client board that will ONLY show up on that one Client Info shared task in my Client Project. This allows us to not junk up the rest of our tasks in our Client project with custom fields that only apply to the “Client Info” task (which used to be the prospect task from our prospect project)

Wow, that sounded easier in my head. Sorry for any confusion lol.


How to group Projects per Customer
#19

We use Asana Projects as categories and use Asana Tasks for projects and tasks for several benefits:

  1. We can assign our projects to individuals
  2. We can apply tags to projects and projects can follow Kanban stages (our projects in this sense are probably more like features anyways, or products)
  3. We use task lists, not board view, for our Kanban because the task lists have much more functionality than the Kanban such as powerful filtering on custom fields, displaying tags with text, and values of all of the custom fields; and you can see more tasks on a screen at a time. I think some recent improvements on boards have made it closer to the functionality of task lists but task lists are still more powerful
  4. For the “current status” of a project, we are experimenting with pinning the comment with the current status
  5. We can fit all of our “projects” on a single timeline and view a single calendar

We haven’t run into the loading time issue yet for having so many Asana Tasks in a single Asana Project.


#20

I’d love to see some examples of how each of you are using asana to track multiple projects in a gantt chart view. I am helping my small architectural team figure out how to view the progress of multiple projects at once. I like the idea of a “Roadmap” - any more info: screenshots, setup process, etc. would be fantastic! I’m also wondering if you use dependencies for any of this to link the roadmap to the actual project?
thanks!