Questions with Multiple-Choice, Subjective, and Voting Answers


#1

I’d love it if Asana could extend beyond the “comment” concept on a task, and also include the ability to ask questions. A comment added as a question could allow the following:

  • The question is highlighted differently from other comments, to make them stand out.
  • A question can have a “reply” option, allowing task followers to reply to the question, without disrupting other chains of discussion (the reply would be indented below the question, and remain sticky to the question)
  • Depending on the what the question-asker chooses when writing the question, a question can accept a written answer, a selection from a drop-down, or a voting answer (ie, 1-5 stars, or thumbs-up/down) which multiple people can then respond to.
  • For non-written answers, the responses can be grouped into a summary showing how many people voted for what.

This would make it easy to ask questions and solicit feedback without tracing an entire chain of comments, and would allow larger teams to weigh in without necessarily having to write complicated responses.


#2

Cool idea! We have a conversation going right now about what color to repaint the office, and a poll would be much easier than narrative comments.


#3

@spye, super interesting request! Love hearing that you’d like to use Asana for more and more workflows :slight_smile:

A few tips on how we do “voting” internally at Asana:

  • You can sort a Project by “Hearts”, which allow you to see which Tasks in the Project have the most hearts. We’ll use this for low fidelity voting – brainstorm during a meeting and then heart the idea you like the most – or for more robust workflows. One of the most important Projects we have internally at Asana is Product Oppprtunities, where all Asana employees are empowered to add their ideas for improving the product. That Project is sorted by Hearts, so it’s easy for the company (and the Product team) to see what’s most popular across Asana by checking out the Tasks at the top of the Project.

  • A correlated version of this is posting a Conversation and saying “Heart this task if you agree/want to attend/want to move forward”. Then, you can count the Hearts up and see how large the group is (and facilitate additional Conversation there, if needed).

  • We also use “Assign Copies” to ask questions and solicit feedback without creating too much mess in the Task comments. I’ll create a subtask (“Provide your thoughts”) on the Parent Task (“New method of writing status reports”) and then use Assign Copies to create a copy for each stakeholder. I’ll assign those out and give them due dates (so they are actionable!), and I can clearly see from the Parent Task who has completed the feedback. By separating the feedback into subtasks, the conversation is more “threaded” and not quite as noisy.

Let me know what you think! I’m also interested in hearing more about what you would use polls for, specifically, with your coworkers.


#4

Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions, Sara! Hadn’t thought of using hearts, so that’s good for a thumbs-up approach. The only challenge I would see with that more passive implementation though is that a heart is an explicit approval vote, while “no heart” could be too implicit: theoretically meaning disapprove, or just “I’m out to lunch and haven’t seen this message.” It would be nice to capture an explicit yes/no, versus unanswered.

Now as for how I’d use voting in a development workflow: one thing my company implements is a MAP Team, which is compromised of all of the managers of the organization. We have about 120 staff at our location, so we have about 12 managers. We meet monthly to discuss organizational priorities, and for managers to share about their own department’s workload, resource constraints, and so forth, and to celebrate our collective wins, and to support each other on projects that are struggling. Often a manager will come to the table with a request that requires resource from other teams. Rather than having discussions in a silo, that leaves out potentially critical disciplines and having a team caught off guard months later saying, “I wish I’d known you were doing this… that affects my team”, we meet and talk about our projects and each manager has the opportunity to identify the impact on their team. Often that means that projects are presented but a department that’s critical doesn’t have the resources available to get it done. So rather than trying to overwork staff by just piling the work on them anyway, we place several of the “up and coming” projects on the board, and we let managers weigh in. We may rule out some projects because of risk, resource limitations, or whatever. But then we also get to a list of, say, 5 projects that are all doable, but we only have resources to do 3 now, and 2 later. We might push out a vote to let people select which project they feel has the highest benefit or worth to the organization.

Alternatively, we may have 3 or 4 ways to implement a project, all with their own risks and rewards. We might outline those, and then want managers to vote on implementation A, B, C, or D. If we use the heart approach, we’d have to create 4 tasks, one for each implementation, and then create copies for each manager to force an explicit response. Otherwise, we’d have the “did they vote or not?” question come up. In some cases, manager A’s vote might carry more weight than manager B’s vote, because of the nature of the project, and knowing who voted what would also matter.

Having comment “types” (comment vs question) would also mean that questions could be highlighted differently in the communication chain, and rather than seeing the comments in a purely linear timeline, the answers to a question could be grouped with the question. Sure, we could do a subtask, but then we need to drill into the subtask and manually review the answers, rather than just seeing a consolidated view summarized based on a set of pre-set answers.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts!