Workflow Builder

Overview

Workflow Builder helps to coordinate work seamlessly across teams by automating your team’s processes and keep work flowing. Workflow Builder enables you to create more efficient workflows by using a visual tool to connect teams, organize work, and streamline projects in one single place. Within workflows you can connect the right people to the right information at the right time, meaning your team can focus on accomplishing the work that matters.

work flow

Creating a Workflow

create

In Workflow Builder you can choose how tasks will be added to your project. You can choose multiple intake sources or none.

  1. Form Submission: Create a Form that turns submissions into tasks.
  2. Task Templates: Create a template to easily standardize tasks. Select an intake source by clicking on the drop down menu on the intake card. Anyone with access to the project can also add tasks manually.

To learn more about setting up Forms as an intake source, read our guide article on Creating Forms. To learn more about setting up Task Templates, read our guide article on Creating Task Templates

Sections

Use sections as stages like “Ready”, “In Progress”, and “Done” to track a specific workflow. These section cards on the Workflow Builder map directly to the sections in task views (i.e on your List and Board views). We recommend setting up sections that correspond to sequential stages of work within your project for example: “Triage”, “In Progress”, “Approval Needed”, “Completed”. This helps enable each project member to easily see what stage a task is at.

sections

Create a new section

Click the + button to add an additional section, You can then add rules for this section and assign triggers for these rules. You will need to create rules for two automatic instances within a section:

Triggers: When or what causes a task to move automatically to this section. You can choose this transition rule from a list of options in the right hand pane. For example: “when a due date is approaching → move to Upcoming” or “when a task is completed → move to Completed”

Actions: You will then also need to decide what happens automatically when tasks are moved to this section. For example: if collaborators should be added, if the task should have a certain assignee, if a comment should be added and so on. As above, you can select from the list of recommended rules or create a custom rule using the “More actions” button.

To learn more about setting Rules in Asana, read our Rules article

Manage Existing sections

existing

To edit the section's name, add rules or remove it, click on the three dot icon to the right of the section's title.

Workflow reporting

dashboard

In your Dashboard view you can also view metadata about the sections in your project, for example, the number of incomplete tasks in that section, and then you can monitor this over time.

Drag and Drop

drag and drop

You can drag and drop sections to reorganize your work or move it through stages. Project members can rearrange sections as needed.

Customize panel

dashboard

Add global workflow elements through the Customize panel on the right of your screen, including:

  1. Custom Fields
  2. Global Rules that apply beyond a particular section in the workflow
  3. Apps (e.g. Slack or Microsoft Teams)
  4. Forms
  5. Task Templates

App intake in Workflow Builder

Add external apps to create tasks in Asana.

add app

To add an app as an intake source in your workflow:

  • Click on From other apps

app list

From this list, click on the app you want to set up.

Apps that are already intake sources in the projects or apps that are banned by the Admin will not appear.

asana for salesforce

You will be brought to the app’s site to complete the installation.

finish setting up app

To finish the installation, you will need to complete the following steps on the external app:

  1. Set up the Asana integration on [Name of the App]
  2. Use the app to add tasks to [project]

Once you’ve completed these steps, you will see the app in the Workflow Builder.

app added

If you haven’t completed the previous steps, you will see a message that says Finish setting up.

incomplete

You can also add apps by clicking on the App button on the Customize menu.

Any external app that adds new tasks to Asana will show up here, even if they were set up without App Intake.

customize menu

Time in Stage workflow metrics

With Time in Stage metrics, you can now easily report on the time it takes for your tasks to move through workflow stages. These workflow metrics help identify bottlenecks and provide clarity on the time it takes your work to develop. If tasks spend too long in a particular stage, you’ll know about it and can recalibrate your processes accordingly.

There are two different ways to use Reporting and Dashboards to view data on workflow metrics: Time in Section, and Time in Custom Field

Time in Section

If your workflow dictates that tasks move through different sections within your Asana project, reporting on Time in Section will help you determine the pace that tasks flow from section to section on their journey to completion.

workflow metrics section

This chart shows how long tasks are spending in each project section. In this example, tasks have spent 6 days and 3 hours in the Planning section. You can also filter the data by assignee or due date, among other parameters.

Time in Custom Field

Some workflows use Custom Fields to indicate that work is ready to move to a new stage of completion. Reporting on Time in Custom Field quantifies the time a task has spent in any particular stage, based on the Custom Field values selected.

workflow metrics cf

As an example, the chart above reports on a project which contains a Custom Field named Completion Stage

workflow metrics cf2

The Completion Stage Custom Field has been set up with 4 possible values: Not yet started, In progress, Blocked, and Complete. The chart reports on the total time that tasks spent marked with the Custom Field value Blocked.

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