Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Creating Burn Down Charts for Asana

This post will step through the process of using Just the Facts to subscribe to Asana task counts and graphing them in a burn down chart.

Begin by navigating to one of your Asana projects.  In the screens below, we will be working with the built-in "My Tasks" project, but the same approach applies to any project.

Viewing an Asana Project
Click the Just the Facts browser extension ( ) in the toolbar to activate it.  You will be taken to a new screen where you can choose the facts you want for this project.

Subscribe to Asana Facts
You will be prompted to provide permissions for Just the Facts to access your Asana information.  After providing this permission, your fact subscriptions will be created.

Asana Fact Subscriptions
There's one additional data point we'd like to include in our graph:  a trendline of progress that shows when we are likely to be completed.  We create a trendline like any other Combined Fact.  First, we'll select the base fact, which in this case is the "Remaining Tasks" count that we want to trend.  We'll then click the "Combine" (button:
Creating a Combined Fact
We'll choose the "Projection" radio button to indicate that we will project future values based on the present values.  We'll name this combined fact "Projected Remaining Tasks" then click "Save."

Creating a Projected Fact
Now we can choose the facts we want to chart and click the Chart () button:

Selecting Facts to Chart
This will display a line graph with the last week's values for all four selected facts:

Default Burndown Appearance

We can then click the "Save" button to give the chart a title and easily view it any time in the future:

New Chart Dialog

The chart will be created with default colors and behavior for each of its facts.  We can click the Edit () button to bring up a dialog to modify the chart details:

Edit Chart Dialog

In this case we will assign specific colors, stack the completed and remaining task counts one on top of the other, and display values for the remaining task count, giving us a final chart that looks like this:

Formatted Burndown Chart
Note that the trendline automatically extends to the future.  This allows us to use the date picker labeled "End Date" to go out in time another two weeks to see the projected completion date for the project:

Projected Burndown


  1. seems quite promising for me. but after I click save on Subscribe to Asana, it just times out. when I select All Tasks it works however.

    1. Deryk,

      Thanks for the feedback - the time out was a bug and it should be fixed now.


  2. Does this just take snapshots of completed tasks once connected to Asana or will it pull in historical completion dates of tasks?

    Said another way - can I build a burndown chart for an existing project or will it only be helpful for a new project where time has not passed?

    - Justin

  3. Right now we're not pulling in any historical data, we just track updates to a project once you subscribe.