I can't figure out the best way to set up a project


#1

I have been going back and forth trying to figure out what’s the best way to setup a project. Should I include all possible tasks in the template… or should I have a task-free template, and then use another project (template) to pull task lists from?

I can’t wrap my mind around the best method, so I’m going to just share what we do and how we are organized, and what I’m thinking right now as a possible workflow.

We are a government communications department, we have roughly 10 teams. The primary teams are PR/Marketing, Video/TV, Graphics, Web, Social. We are on a special Asana plan, where our top level is the team level. We don’t have an organization level. Our PR team really wanted the “teams” to be our clients. So I started us down that road. We have roughly 30 departments.

For video, graphics, and web teams, we will use a Formstack request form (zapier connected) to create a “Request” task with all the information. This is auto-assigned to the team’s manager who must determine if the resources are available, and assign the deliverable.

This deliverable may have anywhere from 3 - 50 tasks required to get it done.

I couldn’t find a way to report on the project level, so I am thinking of having the team make one task that will be labeled as a PROJECT via custom field. This will allow us to run reports on how many projects we did for a particular client, or how many projects were done by a staff person.

So right now, I have essentially 3 tasks for basically one thing:
Project Task
Request Task
Deliverable Task

Now, the deliverable like I said, could have 3 - 50 sub-tasks. And if Sub-tasks reported correctly on timelines and calendars, I probably wouldn’t be asking these questions, but right now… it’s a pain to get things to work right. I don’t want 50 sub-tasks showing up in the task list. But it’s such a pain to promote them as you need them too. But right now, that’s pretty much what I’m banking on. So let’s say I have a bunch of sub-tasks.
ST-01
ST-02
ST-03
ST-04
ST…
ST-50

If the team member can’t or isn’t actively working on subtasks 3 - 50… I’ll leave them in the sub-task section and only promote 1 and 2 to the task list. This keeps things easier to read and look at.

Now… the deliverable, as well as some of the sub-tasks, will have an approval workflow… this could be a chain of 1 - 6 approvers.

So right now, I’m considering doing something like:
Approval 1
Approval 2
Approval 3
Etc.

And if the product fails any any one of the approval levels, then I will need to copy the last task that was completed before it went into approvals… say it was “edit video.” Then they re-edit the video, and turn it back in… now the approval chain starts over. This can be an iterative process… and increase the number of tasks by a lot.

So right now I have only talked about 3 primary tasks… Project, Request, Deliverable.

But that’s really just for one team. While the project would be 1 for all… the request could come for video/tv, Web, or Graphics… and each one would present another long task list process. And beyond those teams, we still have the other teams that may have a piece in this such as social media, translations, media relations, etc…

Finally, we have the tasks from PR/Marking, which also is a very long process map. This could be anywhere from 5 - 60 more tasks.

I have tried various way of storing the tasks for all the teams. Creating a project that stores all possible requested tasks, is too much… the system can take over 30 min to create a project with a bunch of tasks. I was thinking of pulling the tasks from a template, by copying the needed list and then sending that to the proper project. But this method is probably more complex than some of my users can handle.

I have built a lot of custom fields… like: teams, departments, stages, type, deliverables, total time, today’s time, etc…

I just don’t know if this workflow is sustainable… it seems like a lot of tasks, it’s not easy promoting sub-tasks, and you have to promote a sub-task to alter its custom field. Which actually is probably one of the quickest ways I have found to promote subtasks, and that’s by searching the project for “tasks” in the subtask area, and then I can promote them easier to a project en mass.

I haven’t even been able to work out how I’m going to handle reporting, for things like project durations, tasks start vs completion, and much more.

Any help or guidance that can be provided would be greatly appreciated. I have searched for all kinds of project setups and I’m not finding things that work well with this many teams and members.

Thanks!