How to best lock Custom Fields in Asana and make some required


#1

Hi,

we know that one of Asana’s big benefits is, the transparency and that every task participant can change everything. Consequently, every task member has much responsibility and usually great responsibility has very positive effects on your team members. They feel more valuaed and get more creative and achieve more.

But let us assume you have a project for instance with the quarterly goals in objectives and Key Results form (more details about that in this forum post), and since the grade of achievement is used to determine the variable payment, some companies might want to make sure that no one can change the data.

I suggested to save the Key Results as Custom Field for various reasons. So has anyone a way/tool/add-on to prevent Custom Fields from being changed?

An intermediate solution I have is:

  1. Via API export the data of the project
  2. Every day automatically download the data again
  3. Check if data in Custom Field has changed give alarm
  4. Check who has changed the data

If this company would show their employees, that every change in the data is immediately recognized, perhaps no one would try anymore.

But from my point of view, this is just a workaround, it would be nice to lock a Custom Field or a task title sometimes.

Second topic is that I would like to make some Custom Fields required. Has anyone found a good way to do it?
What I am doing so far is, that I add an ® for required in the beginning of required Custom Fields and during the Asana Conventions workshops I educate everyone that if there is an ® the field has to be filled. Use Case is for instance, if you give feature requests to your IT department you have to estimate potential revenue/impact and costs savings.

What are your ideas and thoughts about that?

Best,
Sebastian


#2

Hi @Sebastian_Paasch,

I think that the biggest tool we users have regarding both of your concerns is: Asana Conventions. It is key to establish conventions for using Asana when a team first starts using the tool and to teach these conventions to each new user on a team . For example, here at Asana our CS team objectives live in projects that we all agree not to edit unless otherwise indicated. I manage a Community focused project that others do not edit without speaking to me first. It’s never too late to establish conventions!

However, if a team is concerned and feels conventions are not enough, here are a few suggestions:

  • Regarding custom fields from being changed:
    – Conventions that indicate that you don’t change custom fields for certain projects
    – A note in the project and/or task indicating that people must not alter a custom field or any other relevant information.
    – Make a duplicate project for yourself as a reference you can refer to if you suspect something has been altered.
    – Visit task editing history to see if anything has changed

  • Regarding required custom fields:
    – Indicate in the task and/or project that a custom field on a task must be filled out
    – Project owner monitors the project and its tasks, and follows up if a field hasn’t been filled out
    – Create a bot that leaves a comment on a task if a custom field hasn’t been filled out or needs to be reassigned.

A question for you, Sebastian – It seems like a lot to download data on a daily basis. Why do you believe this is necessary? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of using cloud software?


#3

Hello Alexis,

Just curious to understand why the Custom Fields features do not allow a field to be configured so that a user must populate it when creating a task. This seems to be a basic need so as to be able to configure an input field to be either optional or mandatory. I ask this question because during an evaluation of possible tools, this is one required tool feature and Asana seems to be lacking this basic need.

Is there a plan to add it in upcoming releases?

Regards,
Andy


#4

Hey @Andy_Gray

This is an interesting product opportunity I think our #productfeedback category would be the perfect place to post this request :slight_smile:


#5

Hey Alexis-- I’m just seeing this (even though it’s like, a year old) and I’m curious-- can you tell me how to create a bot that leaves a comment on a task, the way you’ve suggested?


#6

Hi @Avery_Bingham! I’m glad to hear you’re finding this thread helpful. I’m unable to speak to the specifics about how to create a bot - that would be a question for your developer team. That said, we do have quite a few developer resources that may help you get started :slight_smile: Take a look here: https://asana.com/guide/help/api/api


#7

Hi,
At the very least why can’t the comment history just simply have a system note made the same way in which a Due Date is changed or the subject is changed.