Following is information on how to get started with a Dynamic Duration. Please see How Dynamic Duration Workflows Work for more background and details on how this type of workflow operates.
A. Create Your Workflow Template
You'll do this process just once for each workflow-enabled template you want to create.
- If you haven’t done so already, create a Flowsana account here.
- Create a new project template in Asana, either by converting a project into a project template, or by creating a new template from scratch via the New Template button on the team home page of the team where you want the template to reside.
- On the Flowsana website, after you’ve created an account and have received an email that your account is all set up, go to My Workflows. Click on Create a new Flowsana workflow. Select the Dynamic Duration-Based Workflow option, then select Make a project template into a Flowsana workflow template. From the dropdown list, select the project template you created in Step 2. Set the options according to how you want this workflow to behave. Depending on whether you want all subtasks to participate in the workflow or not, make the appropriate selection from the Apply this workflow to dropdown list. Then click Put Selected Project Under Flowsana Workflow Control.
- Wait a few minutes until you get an email that the project has been fully prepared by Flowsana, then go to the project in Asana. Now you need to 1. fill in the project start and due dates (here’s how if you’re not sure), and 2. add three custom fields from your organization's custom fields library: Duration, Lag Time, and Assign To. See this Asana Guide section if you need help in adding these custom fields from your library.
- Leave all task-relative start and due dates blank and fill in the Duration for each task, indicating how long each task should take to complete.
- In addition to setting task Durations, also use the Lag Time field if you need to create an offset between a previous task and a dependent task.
- If you have an Asana Business or Enterprise subscription, you have the option to lock the 3 custom fields (Duration, Lag Time, and Assign To) so they do not get changed by another project user.
- Click the down arrow next to the custom field name
- Select Edit Field
- Click the Only you can edit this field's settings checkbox
IMPORTANT STEP: Be sure to also set all appropriate task dependencies, using the “Mark as Dependent on…” action (see here if you need info on Asana dependencies). Setting up dependencies is a critical part of any workflow - dependencies are what define how you want the order of your tasks to flow. Without dependencies, there will be no flow and no automation.
B. Use Your Template
- In Asana, simply create a new project from the project template that you workflow-enabled above. Whenever you create a new project from a workflow-enabled project template, Flowsana will automatically put that new project under workflow control. This process does take a few minutes or so; when Flowsana has finished preparing the new project, you'll receive an email confirming that it's set up and ready to use.
- When you receive the email that the workflow has been set up, fill in the project start and due dates (here’s how if you’re not sure), or just the project due date if it's a Workback workflow. Now sit back, wait a few minutes and watch Flowsana fill in all of the start and due dates for the tasks in this project. Flowsana is now monitoring the project.
- Adjust the start and/or due date for a task with dependencies and Flowsana will automatically adjust the dates of its dependent tasks. Or, adjust the start date for the project and Flowsana will adjust all of the dates for the tasks in the project accordingly. You can also adjust the Duration and/or Lag Time for a task and Flowsana will automatically adjust the dates of its dependent tasks.*NOTE: DO NOT change both a task's date AND its Duration/Lag Time. Doing so may confuse Flowsana as to your intent on that task.
If you plan to use the Asana Timeline view to shift tasks, please go to Dependency management options in the Asana Timeline view and set the Dependency date shifting to "None". Otherwise, Asana's Dependency date shifting can interfere with Flowsana. Here's how:
If you need all task dates to calculate and flow backward from a project end date, rather than flowing forward from a project start date, you will want to set up a Workback Workflow. Workback Workflows are great for events and other projects where you need to hit a specific target date and want all task dates to be automatically calculated/shifted/updated so that you’ll always hit that target. Please see Using Workback Workflows for assistance in setting that type of workflow up.
If you have any questions about the above steps or any aspect of Flowsana, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.