Manage approvals and find at-risk work
- Skip Ahead to
- How to build in approvals and see task statuses
- How to manage work needing approvals
- See at-risk work by running search reports on your custom fields
- More resources
How to add approvals and see task statuses
- Pick a project where you’d like to start tracking task approvals (like work requests or a marketing campaign.)
- Add custom fields with notifications to that project
How to add custom fields
- Click the blue Add Custom Fields link at the top of a project.
- Search for “Approval stage” (you’ll see the Asana logo next to it) and add it.
- Then search for “Task progress” and “Priority.”
- If you add your own fields, be sure to turn on custom fields notifications for them so followers get updates when the fields get changed.
That’s it! The next section will teach you how to turn your fields into a true approval process and give you visibility into each task’s status.
How to manage work needing approvals
In any project where you’ve added the approval custom field, use the following workflow and teach teammates how they should use it:
- Add all stakeholders as task followers so they get custom field notifications as work progresses and can post comments and questions.
- The task assignee should update the “task progress” custom field at each step so it’s clear where they are in the creation process. (This is also important for search reports below).
- Followers will receive notifications every time the assignee changes the custom field so they know when it’s time to review or approve it.
- Once they complete their work for the task, they should update the “approval stage” custom field to “Ready for Review”.
- Make sure to attach any relevant files needed for the review.
- Reassign the task to the reviewer.
- If the work to review is a visual asset, they can leave feedback directly on the asset so it’s clear what they’re referring to.
- This feedback gets turned into an actionable subtask for the creator so they have a clear record of feedback.
- Once the reviewer has finished, they can update the custom field to “Changes Needed” if updates need to be made or “Approved”’ if it’s ready to go.
- Reassign to the original assignee so they can incorporate any necessary feedback, or mark their work complete if approved.
See at-risk work and follow up faster with search reports
Task status and approval fields make it fast and easy for contributors to show where their work stands (without providing tons of written updates.) And project managers and leads can stay ahead of missed deadlines and handoffs before they happen by creating advanced search reports using these fields.
How to create reports to see what work needs your approval
Approval reports help you understand what work might be blocked. For this example, create a report of work that isn’t yet approved to know who you might have to follow-up with.
Creating a search report with custom fields
- Click into the search bar in the top bar of Asana.
- Click Advanced Search. This pulls up a variety of search criteria options to help you refine results.
- For this report you want to see Tasks that are Incomplete and due within the next 5 days.
- Next, click Add Filter then Custom Field and type in “approval stage.”
- Set the options to is and Ready for Review.
- Click Search to run your report
You’ll see a list of results that you can further refine by assignee, due date, project, and more using the filter options in the top right corner. This list of results gives you an idea of what’s due soon but still isn’t approved yet. For anything that appears to be at risk, you can comment on the task to ask the assignee if they think the task will be on track.
Want to run this report regularly? Click Save Report and you’ll be able to access it anytime from your sidebar with up-to-date results.
How to create reports for “at-risk” work
To take your approval report one step further, you can also filter results by your “task progress” custom field. This will help you spot work that isn’t quite off the ground or approved but has a deadline approaching. Then you can adjust due dates or other project components as needed.
- Follow steps 1-5 above.
- Add the priority and content status custom fields to your search by clicking Add Filter then Custom Field and adding both custom fields to the search.
- Set the options to is and Not Started for “content status” and is high for “priority.”
- Click Search to run your report.
This list of results will show you work that is not started but is due soon and high priority. Depending on the type of task, that might not be a big deal, but for work like first drafts, budget approvals, etc. this can be a sign something is off track and give you a starting point on where to check in with your team.
Resources for approvals and reporting
More of a visual learner? Want to see how our customers monitor approvals and report on work? Check out these resources:
|On-demand course||Register for Asana Academy|
|Connect with Community||Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum|
Planning and managing your work in Asana gives you clarity into project plans and knowing where work stands. But even more powerful is using the information in Asana to help make better decisions to save time, hit deadlines, and see problems before they happen—with just a few clicks and reports.