Project proposals and ad hoc requests

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:

  1. Start with the work requests template.
  2. Import an existing spreadsheet where you currently track incoming requests.

How to access all Asana templates

GIF demonstrating how to access templates in Asana from the +button in the top bar

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 requestsForms 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.

Set up a form by following the steps outlined here. And add project rules to automatically assign form submission tasks to a creative producer or team lead to make sure they get prioritized after submission.

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 a lot of requests via chat or email, you can always send the requester the link to your form, but you also have the option of using integrations to quickly action the conversation.

SCREENSHOT of Outlook and Gmail email integration with Asana

For email, use the Asana for GmailOutlook, or other email client add-ons. For chat, try the Asana for Slack integration.

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.

GIF of creating an Asana task from a Slack message with integration

3. Prioritize and organize requests with custom fields

GIF of accessing and creating custom fields by clicking the blue link at the top of a project in Asana

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.

For example, a project manager can use a "priority" custom field so the assignee understands how urgent it is while making sure the requests overall are prioritized realistically.

4. Hit deadlines with clearer reviews and approvals

Being able to provide and incorporate campaign feedback more easily can be the difference between hitting or missing project goals. Instead, follow these steps to move work through approvals clearly and quickly:

GIF approval workflow with custom fields in Asana to show when work is ready or already approved

  1. Add project rules so that tasks automatically get assigned to the right people, completed, or moved to different project sections as they progress.
  2. Use custom fields notifications to keep stakeholders in the loop about progress. They’ll get notified when fields are updated from “Feedback needed” to "Approved," for example.

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.

SCREENSHOT of using Workload to see teammate who’s overloaded and reassigning their work

Workload defaults to task count, but we know not all tasks are created equally. You can set up effort custom fields across portfolio projects to get a better sense of the total hours or effort level going into each task.

Resources for tracking requests

More of a visual learner? Want to see how our customers manage operations? Check out these resources:

Resources Link
Work request template Use template
Video tutorial Watch How to Asana
Case study webinar See how New Relic manages requests with Asana
Case study Read about how New Zealand's largest private real estate company, Barfoot & Thompson manages their operations with Asana
Connect with Community Attend an upcoming training or start a thread on our community forum