Project proposals and ad hoc requests
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- How to create a work request project
- Tips for managing work
- Tips for reporting on work
- Resources to learn more
Requests and project ideas can come from all directions in an organization, making it easy for work to slip through the cracks or overwhelm teams. Instead of trying to do everything or adding it to a backlog to be forgotten, teams can build a work request project.
How to build a work request project
You can use this process to manage ad hoc requests (like fixing a typo or asking a question you can’t answer immediately) and submissions for new project briefs—all in the same place. To get started quickly, you can:
- Start with the work requests template.
- Import an existing spreadsheet where you currently track incoming requests.
How to access all Asana templates
If you’re a free user, prefer to build your own request project from scratch, or want general best practices for Asana projects, get started with these project creation instructions.
Tips for managing and completing requests
Now that you’ve built your project, these tips will help you manage it as work gets underway.
1. Templatize requests to action them faster with forms
Going back and forth on basic request details or not starting with a clear project brief slows work down. Instead, create forms to capture the right details every time for any project brief or ad hoc requests. Forms are directly connected to your request project to ensure your team starts with the information they need (in terms they understand.)
Forms can be submitted by anyone—even if they don’t use Asana—by sending them the form link. Once submitted, the form response becomes a new task in your project so it can get prioritized and assigned to a teammate with all the information they need.
If a request for a large, cross-functional, or complex project/initiative comes in, you can turn the task into a project to manage it more effectively.
2. Keep requests in conversations and emails actionable
If you get chats or emails with actionable work or questions, you can add them to Asana right from your inbox or message to assign them as a task, add to your request project, and more.
3. Prioritize and organize requests with custom fields
Once you’ve set up a form, custom fields will help you prioritize incoming requests and sort them into categories. If you’re used to spreadsheets, you might do this by filtering and sorting columns. Custom fields are a more powerful replacement, because they track this information in context with the work (instead of a place only a project manager or team lead can see.)
If you add a “team” field in your form, you can map it to the same custom field in your project. Then when submitted, the new task will specify which team needs to help with the request to quickly gauge its scope and stakeholders.
A “priority” custom field can help the manager prioritize requests relative to other work to keep their team on track, instead of letting a frantic requester jump over bigger priorities.
4. Have smoother, faster approvals with custom fields notifications
Many teams are overloaded, so unclear handoffs or confusing review cycles on requests are costly. Instead, keep all working files, feedback, and expectations clear with an approval workflow:
- Add the Asana-created “approval stage” custom field to your project by clicking the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of your project.
- Once the asset is ready for review, the creator sets the field to Ready to review and assigns the task to the reviewer.
- Ensure to attach any files that need to be reviewed.
- The reviewer will get a notification that they can now start their review.
- Once they’re done reviewing, they set the custom field to Approved or Changes needed and reassign the task to the creator.
- The creator gets notified that their work is approved or needs to be updated. From that notification, they can see the feedback, and jump back into the file where they need to incorporate it.
Tips for reporting on and staffing requests
Monitor project progress and manage staffing with Portfolios and Workload
To understand project progress and gauge team bandwidth, leads usually piece together information in meetings, emails, or spreadsheets, which can be time consuming and inaccurate. Instead, create a project portfolio with all key projects and an ad hoc request project to see real-time progress, deadlines, and priority all in one place.
Then use the Workload tab to visualize your team’s capacity based on tasks they’re already assigned in Asana. Workload helps you make informed staffing decisions to keep workloads balanced and important work on track.
Resources for tracking requests
More of a visual learner? Want to see how our customers track requests? Check out these resources:
|Work request template||Use template|
|Video tutorial||Watch How to Asana|
|On-demand course||Register for Asana Academy|
|Case study webinar||See how New Relic manages requests with Asana|
|Connect with Community||Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum|