Asana tip: Why every task needs ONE owner

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Unless a task is “owned” by somebody, it’s very unlikely to get done. For that reason…

Assign every task/project ONE owner.

Asana calls this person the “assignee”.

Screenshot showing where to add a new Asana task assignee

…but many people can work on the same task, right? So why only one owner? 

Apple famously coined the term “Direct Responsible Individual” to refer to the one person with whom the buck stopped on any given task project.

Jargon aside, it simply means that if anybody or everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible. That’s why Asana only let you pick one person.

All necessary collaborators and other stakeholders should be added to your task as a collaborator. You can find this at the bottom of the task details panel, below the comments box.

Screenshot showing where to add a new Asana task collaborator

📝 Note: As with most rules, there are exceptions. Don’t worry about assigning an owner if:

  1. You’re creating a task as an idea to store for reference in the future.
  2. You’re mapping out a template that is likely to be performed by different people each time it is used.

💡 Tip 1: The shortcut for assigning tasks TAB + A
(Think A for “Assign“).

💡 Tip 2: You can also quickly assign tasks to yourself with the shortcut TAB + M.
(Think M for “Me“)

Give it a go!

Dave J Mason
Solutions Partner
Why every task needs ONE owner

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