There are cases when adding more than one person to a task as assignee would be very handy.
That’s great feedback. Currently there is no way to assign multiple people to the same task, and this is by design to ensure there is always a directly responsible individual. You can read more about this decision here: https://blog.asana.com/2015/06/why-one-assignee/. You can always loop additional folks in as Task followers or in subtasks, but the intention is that there is always one person who is responsible for next steps on any given task.
We do also have an “Assign Copies” feature as a solution for times where you want multiple people to do the same task, but these are copies of the task and not the same task in itself. You can see more about this here: https://blog.asana.com/2015/12/assign-copies-of-a-task/.
Are there other cases where having more than one person responsible for the same task is crucial for your team?
Add more people to a task in a shared project
The current “design choice” to only limit tasks to one assignee is incredibly poor judgment. Why not leave that decision-making to the teams?
Almost every day there are things that we need to do together and we need multiple assignees so that it gets placed in each user’s Inbox. The thing that’s happening now is that these tasks get no assigned owner at all and are stuck in limbo. And no, we don’t WANT to assign the task to a single person.
The “make a duplicate” task could be useful for some, but not for us. It litters the project area with duplicates, not to mention that copying is SLOW. It takes like 10–15 seconds to copy a task? Ridiculous.
Some of these railroaded decisions by Asana is a good reason I feel that I’m constantly on the lookout for competing software.
And another thing regarding assigning tasks to multiple assignees via “copying task”. If the task already exists, and a team consisting of two people are assigned to the task via copying, after the copying “process”, there will actually be three duplicates of the task. One for each two assignees, and the original task.
So, there is three copies of what really should be one task for two assignees.
I get the point about one assigned person for a task. But I think I will describe our case and hopefully, someday you will make it more flexible.
We use boards and it is very useful to see who is working on what tasks. We do a lot of pair programming and two avatars on one task would make a big difference for us.
If it didn’t take 10 seconds to 10 minutes (literally, I truly don’t understand) to copy tasks, some of these workarounds would be more realistic.
Though, in this case, they don’t address the problem IMO either.
I occasionally would have a use for multiple assignees. On certain projects, we have multiple people working on the same function consecutively. We could potentially use the Assign Copies function, but as others mentioned, it clutters the project list when it is really the same task that multiple people are involved in.
Although I do agree with the point about having a directly responsible individual for each task. Perhaps having a Primary Assignee field with additional assignees on another field (Secondary or Auxiliary)? The person assigned as primary would be the DRI, while still allowing for putting the task on other’s My Task list.
Just jumping in here to give my two cents:
It’s an interesting move by Asana to restrict users to only letting users to assign a task to one person. However, I support this design decision.
It certainly may not be ideal for everyone, in which case, you should look at using another task management tool (although I feel most tools only let you assign to one person).
Asana gives you plenty of ways of working around this issue by assigning copies and creating subtasks. @Niklas you would only have two tasks 1) the original task assigned to one person and 2) a new task which you can assign to someone else. Creating copies can be slow but I believe Asana is prioritising performance this year, so expect this to get better.
I think it’s a smart move by Asana to force users to use the assign copy or subtask features as it will create more accountability in the team. Tasks assigned to two people are less likely to get completed. The person making the task just needs to give some thought to how to set up the task and subtasks. If you think about it, if a task is being worked on by two people, do they both genuinely do each part of the task (if so, is is productive having two people doing the exact same thing?)? Or does one person do a few parts and another does a few different parts? In which case, use subtasks to organise the work and make one person responsible for the parent task.
Again, I appreciate that this isn’t going to work for everyone and I don’t understand the nature of your work, so go ahead and find another tool if needed.
Hope this helps.
I understand the ‘rationale’; philosophically I would agree, but in all practicality it’s causing problems.
Consider the situation where several people can complete the same task and have equal co-ownership of it. Perhaps one person has “more ownership” of the task, philosophically, but in reality more people than one are accountable for things being done. And more importantly, people need to get an overview of all things that involve them. It doesn’t make sense to have copies of the task, if its completion is global for all involved people. Nor does it make sense for just one person to “own” the task if it’s not truly solely owned by that person. It forces the person to run around like Mother Hen to make sure it’s done (costing time, attention and effort), even though that person at one certain hour, session during the day, or even that particular workday, may not be the person to tend to it.
Currently, we simply don’t set any assignee to those tasks, because we don’t want to litter our workspace with duplicate tasks, and it’s not really fair to say that one person owns that task either.
Asana has a lot of bloat in its sidebar design, especially when you have a few teams with many tasks, and that makes it important to have a cohesive task Inbox/Personal page that can give overview of all tasks that can involve “person A”, even if that task is shared with other people.
The design decision to force only one assignee is too heavily railroaded to make practical sense for all real-world use cases, and the alternative to “copy tasks” is really not an alternative at all, but should just be considered for what it is at face value – copy a task, nothing more.
I think if we specify some solutions this might happen quicker. It might just be the case that Amana developers are busy working on something else and need some ideas to jump this forward. So here is an idea.
How about if there was an assign to multiple people option where you can enter the names of the people to assign the task on which then created subtasks for each person linked to the main one. If the main task owner wanted to see overall progress they can leave themselves on the main one. There would need to be a simple way for any subtasks assignee to see the overall progress of the task.
Is the task only going to be complete when all subtasks are complete? Or does the main task aligners have the ability to force overall complete by finishing the parent task?
I do support the one assignee for every task. Human behavior is very complex when a task is given to everyone. However I do agree that finding or building a feature that provide ways to know who in a group (even if they are simply followers of a task) has already finishes individually their duties or contribution in a certain task would be a great feature.
One way to do this is to agreed with followers that every time they click the heart it means they have completed that task. So clicking in the heart would give us a notion about how many and who have completed the task.
Maybe Asana developers could find just a way to provide a way to let followers to also show that they have completed the task (maybe having their names and closing task time stamp appearing highlighted in the log line inside the task history) but consider the official and definitive task closing when the task is closing by the assignee and appears green and bigger as it does today. It could eventually be a simple way to control who else has done his part in the task.
Hope this suggestion helps.
I understand Asana’s philosophy and agree that if multiple personnel are assigned to a task it could result in no one feeling they are responsible for completing it. However, if someone shirks responsibility as a co-owner of a given task, we can deal with that internally on a case by case basis.
There are definitely times when it makes sense to assign a single task to more than one individual. For instance, when we are prepping a pallet for a trade show, there are 3 of us that work together as a team to get the pallet loaded and shrink wrapped. Each of us should have this on our task list without resorting to work-arounds. The easier and more straightforward you can make any tool, the more widely it will be adopted.
Asana, whether you proceed with changes to task assignments or not, I want to thank you for letting all of us provide our feedback and suggestions in this open forum.
@Vaughn_Dewar funny you should ask - Asana currently has an assign copies feature. Click to assign the task and then select the people icon to the right.
This is helpful feedback. Thanks for sharing your input, everyone.
My thoughts on the topic. As community manager at Asana I use Asana each day to collaborate with my teammates. I have found the assign to one functionality to be extremely helpful for accountability when there are a lot of moving parts. From my experience, it’s easy to let things fall through the cracks and play the blame game when things fall behind if a task isn’t assigned to one person. That said, we hear you that it can be difficult to have only one assignee.
I don’t agree entirely with the “accountability” philosophy, although I understand it.
If you’re saying that one singular assignee is accountable for a task, then you are per definition saying that no-one else is accountable for it. Perhaps that isn’t what you’d like to convey, but mechanically, that’s what happens in Asana, because the assignee function is a mutually exclusive function.
This is not just a theoretical discussion, it presents practical problems. Assignment is also a way of communication, by letting people involved know about the task without having to comment, explain or have meetings about it. People need to know what’s going and how it affects them. One way of solving this is to create subtasks and add assignees to that, but the interface isn’t entirely conductive towards this. In the project overview panel, the sub-task assignees will not be displayed. I don’t know how it works on mobile. It’s also not always clear or possible to granularize all sub-tasks in a way that makes sense in abstraction level or fidelity.
I don’t think Asana should be in the business of railroading this particular function by relating to some research that says that human behaviour is complex or that tasks are less likely to get done. The inverse may also well be true, that tasks won’t get done if people don’t have enough awareness of them. It’s just better to leave it to the organizations to decide by themselves how they want to manage their teams – and even better, decide from task to task how that particular issue should be approached.
Still no update on this?
Why not leave project managers to choose if multiple assignees is good or not?
Implementation on the Asana would be quick, and will make happy many of us.
Hi @Martin_Andersen! We aren’t able to provide an update at this time, but we have noted your feedback and escalated it to our product team. I think you might be interested in reading this post about how we collect feedback from the Community
Personally, I agree with Asana’s philosophy of 1-assignee-1-task 100%. But I get that many users do not. My suggestion to those people would be to think through the actual use-case that is causing the issue, and typically it could be handled in a better way that more closely represent reality, such as using sub-tasks. I am the primary Asana support at our company and many managers have asked about assigning to multiples. In every case when I drill into what they’re trying to do, it has a better solution using other features.
An improvement could be made to the speed of duplicating tasks - that is a long process and sometimes prevents me from using it.
Absolutely! I strongly suggest ya’ll look into this- it would be very, very helpful
We would be in favor of allowing our teams to assign a task to one or many. In our world, we have multiple people doing the data and records management . . . and at any given time, one of them might be free to complete a project that is in the teams queue. Under the Asana model, where it HAS to be assigned to one person: The manager has to:
- Know if they are busy on a project OR
- Assign it one at random and hope they can get to it
OR IF WE COULD DECIDE HOW TO BEST MANAGE OUR TEAMS
- Be able to assign it to the data team and as soon as one of them is free, complete the task at hand.
Thanks . . but a one-size fits all approach doesn’t work . . if you want to be viable to multiple business models and types.
I would find it useful to be able to assign multiple team members to a single task, where it a task that e.g. people need to work together on or where several people need to be alerted/aware.