Project management setup suggestions

Hi All - I’m stuck and could use a bit of guidance for my project management. I currently have a table with my projects, which is linked to my clients table. Once a project moves from a ‘lead’ to ‘in process’ I want to be able to select a workflow and then the tasks that are specific to each workflow would populate. I have my automations set up and while they are working, something is a bit ‘broken’ and I’m not sure how best to fix.

To be a bit more granular, I have:
Clients table
Projects table
Tasks table

I’m wondering if it makes sense to have a junction table for the workflow and each workflow’s specific tasks? If so, suggestions on linking everything together?

Because here’s where I am running into an issue and not sure how to best approach and fix –

Let’s say Project A moves from a ‘lead’ to ‘in process’ and I select Workflow 1. My automation triggers and all of the tasks for Workflow 1 automatically populate. Then I realize that Workflow 2 is actually more appropriate for this project, so I change that in the single select field. Then, instead of having the tasks only for workflow 2, I am showing the tasks for workflows 1 & 2, which isn’t accurate.

Can anyone make a suggestion/help with the setup? I’m not entirely new to Airtable, so I feel like I just have some small detail that is wrong or that I’m overlooking.

Thanks!

When the automation creates tasks for a given workflow, does it also link those tasks to the project record from the [Projects] table? If so, here’s a suggestion.

Insert an Update record action above the action(s) that create the new tasks. Select your [Projects] table and insert the record ID of the triggering project record from the trigger step. In the “Fields” section, choose the link field that links to all of the tasks, and leave it empty. That will remove the links to the old workflow tasks before creating the new tasks and linking them to the project.

On your [Tasks] table, add a filter to your primary view that only shows tasks that have links to projects. Providing that the automation change listed above does its job, this will automatically hide any tasks that get unlinked when you change a project from one workflow to another.

Also in [Tasks], create a new view with a filter that only shows tasks that have no link to a project. Every so often review the contents of that view and delete the tasks that you find there.

There are ways to handle this with scripts as well so that unlinked tasks are removed automatically, but I’m hoping that this script-free solution will work for you.

1 Like

Thanks, Justin! I think this is definitely on the right track. Here’s what I’m running into now, which is beginning to make me think I’m approaching this in the wrong way, I don’t know…

I made that change to my automation and when I test it out, here’s what happened:

Selected Workflow 1, tasks populated just fine on both the projects and the tasks tables. Everything seems to be linked and all good. In the screenshot below you can see that the tasks that go with Workflow 1 are numbered 1.1, 1.2, etc.

Then, if I change the Workflow from 1 to Workflow 2, it’s like the Workflow just changes in both places and the actual tasks that belong to Workflow 1 are now attached to Workflow 2. (When I test out Workflow 2 the correct tasks populate, so the automation has the right tasks with the right workflow at least initially). But, when I change the workflow here’s what I end up with:

Any suggestions? I’m almost to the point of just giving up and doing a plain checklist with the rich text option or whatever.

Would you mind sharing screenshots of your automation setup? Something tells me that the problem lies in there, but without knowing the specifics of how it works, it’s hard to know what to suggest.

Sure! I’m attaching three. The last one shows where the record is created with the task name. Note that there are several more actions like this, one for each task associated with the workflow. I just didn’t think you would need to see all of them, since those are essentially repetitive.



Thanks for sharing those. There are a couple things I want to ask about.

First, in your trigger for the Workflow 1 automation, one of the conditions is Tasks is empty. You might consider removing this. I don’t think it will affect the test that you did to go from Workflow 1 to Workflow 2, but if you ever go from a later workflow back to Workflow 1, this won’t trigger if there are already tasks linked from a previous workflow. However, if that workflow-backtracking scenario will never come up, then there’s no harm in leaving that as part of the condition setup.

The other question is about something that you intentionally didn’t show because of the redundancy of the automation setups. You showed the automation for Workflow 1, but could you just confirm on your end that the tasks that you’re creating in the Workflow 2 automation actually begin with 2.x and not 1.x in the task names? Off the top of my head, that’s the only thing that I can think of that would cause Workflow 2 to have task names beginning with 1.x.

That makes sense on removing the tasks empty as part of the condition and I’ll take that advice, because if nothing else I feel like at this point, better safe than sorry.

Here are screenshots showing part of the automation for Workflow 2. The entire setup is essentially the same for each of my workflow automations, other than the actual name of the task that is to be populated.


Hmmm. Everything that you described and showed looks like it should work one way, but it’s apparently not.

It might help us to hone in on the solution to actually see this stuff in action. I suggest signing up for an account at loom.com, which is an awesome service that lets you record screen captures that are automatically uploaded for each sharing. Free accounts let you record up to five minutes, which should be more than enough to get an idea of what’s going on. Record a walkthrough showing as much detail of this process as possible, then post the link here.

Well, I can’t really explain it, but when I just started videoing the process to show you, everything appears to be working correctly now. Thank you so much for all of your help and if for any reason as I test out more than just the first and second workflow I run into any questions or issues I’ll let you know!

1 Like

Glad to hear that it’s working! If you would, please mark my comment (the one way at the top, just below your original question) as the solution to your question. This helps others who may be searching with similar questions. Thanks!

This topic was solved and automatically closed 3 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.