Dependencies blocked by?

In the Dependencies field inside a task I’m seeing “blocked by” with a small hour glass. I have not seen this before? What does it mean?

2020-11-22 11_38_55-In person Dec 2020 series - Waukesha message - Asana

It is a new feature being rolled out. It means your task is depending on another task that is not complete.


Also, it’s currently only a test that Asana is running to determine if they will want to keep it permanently, so if you don’t see it, don’t panic - you’re in the random 50% who isn’t part of the test.


Thanks for the information - but it would really be helpful for Asana to provide at least a heads up or some kind of notification of this kind of change. While I like the concept, it needs some work to be effective.

  1. If the task is blocked, it should not be possible to actually mark the task complete, but it is.
  2. If the blocking task has been marked as complete, it shouldn’t really say “blocked by” but it does. A better option might be to do something like:
    If the underlying task is incomplete: “Blocked by [Dependent Task]” and disable “Mark Complete”
    If the underlying task is complete: “Dependent on [Dependent Task]” and enable “Mark Complete”

Thanks for the great feedback @Jeff_Bantz. I’ve highlighted your comments and shared directly with the team.

As @Phil_Seeman and @Bastien_Siebman stated, this is a change that Asana is currently testing. Your domain just so happens to be included in the test. :+1:

Since you are seeing the change within your environment, I agree it might make sense to better highlight such. Otherwise, it might be difficult to know whether what you are witnessing is due to a public rollout or test. I’ll share this with the team as well. Thanks!

Another question…The drop down option to “Blocked By” is “Blocking” with a minus sign next to it. When you hover over the drop down it prompts “change direction of the dependency” It isn’t clear which direction you are changing it or when you would use that. Is there any official information on this new feature. Since I am one of the “lucky” 50%, it would be nice to be given information on how to use it. Right now it really confusing my team.

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Also, is there a way to opt out of the beta testing?

@Jerod_Hillard It would also be helpful if the dates updated like they do with current dependencies. This feature isn’t working in any of my projects since the beta test and I’m now having to go in task by task to update every project.

Hi @Jet_Moody,

Can you clarify exactly what’s not working now? This change didn’t affect any app behavior, it was just a change in how dependencies are displayed. Nothing should have changed in terms of dates updating or not.

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Thanks for jumping in @Phil_Seeman!

Is there a way to activate this feature? I have it in one of my Asana accounts and really like it there. Unfortunately my main Asana account doesn’t have this feature (yet).

You’ll have to wait and see if the test is concluded with a global deployment.

@Jasper_Meurs, just to make sure there’s no misunderstanding - the only thing different here is the way dependencies are displayed in the Asana UI. There’s no change to actual behavior of dependencies.

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@Phil_Seeman - I think the Blocked by functionality is the same (just a text label now instead of a yellow bar at the top) but can you confirm if the ability to see which other tasks a task is Blocking is a new feature in this A/B test? Currently I don’t think you can open up a task and see that it’s blocking something else, can you?

Well, you can see it currently (without the new in-test feature) but it’s way less convenient - you can see it in a task’s activity history as something like

Jane Smith marked “Some task name” as dependent on this task.

but I think your point is a good one - having it displayed more prominently as it is shown in the new in-test feature is much more convenient and is probably my favorite part of the in-test feature.

(My least favorite part is the use of the word “blocking”/“blocked” which I like less then calling it a dependency - I think it’s more confusing and also IMO “blocked”/“blocking” imparts a negative emotional connotation that I think is not helpful. But I digress from the current topic…)

Oh, neat. I didn’t realize that. That is handy - though yes, less convenient.

I agree with this 100%. I’m trying to think of a more positive word for ‘blocking.’ Blocked could easily be ‘dependent on,’ or ‘waiting for.’ Blocking is more challenging: ‘influencing,’ ‘leading to’ ??

Dependent on/dependency for
Influenced by/influencing
Delayed by/delaying
Determined by/determining
Following/followed by

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@Marie and @Emily_Roman,

I don’t know if Justine and I are alone in our opinion but can you pass along to the relevant team our input that the words “blocked” and “blocking” impart a negative connotation that is not helpful in a team setting like Asana? Thanks!

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Hi @Phil_Seeman and thanks for the mention! Of course, I’ve gone ahead and filed a task with the PM in charge of this launch to share your feedback. I’ll keep you posted once I get some update on this topic!

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Hey Marie - is this still in beta or was it globally deployed - I just started seeing my dependent tasks this way yesterday!

I’m checking in with our team @Marissa_Taffer and I’ll come back to you as soon as I have an update!