Dependent tasks...if only they activated once the other person completed them

We run over 40 projects through Wrike and are about to give up - when we go into our lists of things to do there is an overwhelming late/overdue list of things that, ironically are waiting on others. Sure you can us My Work and isolate tasks and projects, but it all shows up when you do analytics etc.

How cool if write figured out a tool that allowed you to set dates based on completion of the previous task. In other words, a task show as yours, but it would not become active until the previous task was completed - then it would get a due date.

That way, it would not show up late or overdue, rather it would react to a completion mark.

I know you can manually go in and change a task to deferred but that takes time out of busy day. Then you have to activate it again when the previous task is complete. Who want to do all that clicking?!

Please educate me if you have a better way!

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Hi Jared thanks for the feedback. We have a similar request related to dependent tasks and My Work, if you would like to upvote that request as well. I wanted to clarify one thing - would you like to set the date for the task from the beginning but have the task remain deferred (inactive) until the predecessor task is complete, or would you rather be prompted to set a due date only after the predecessor task is completed?

Of course, happy to help talk about things that you can do now to try and make things a little easier. Does your team use templates or Custom Widgets? Those are two options that I think could help and we can talk more about those if you don't use them now. You also mention analytics, what type of data are you looking to see? We might be able to make a Report that's a little less cluttered. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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Stephanie,

Thanks for the response and great clarifying question. I will muddy the waters further...

We have our tasks laid with dependencies so we can see our timeline clearly. We would still want to see the timeline (deferred tasks kill the dependencies till they are active again - this is no good). Average projects have 120 tasks and we have about 50 projects running with over 20 people involved in each.

We would like a task to have a duration (eg 4 hours), so that once the previous task is complete it would activate the next task with it being due after the duration.

Cheers,

Jared

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Hi Jared! Definitely not muddying the waters :) I think I get it, so you want this workflow:

  • Tasks are deferred, and created with no due dates, but they do have durations and dependencies
  • The dependency chain is always visible
  • When a predecessor task is completed, the successor task becomes active and it's due date is set based on it's duration. 

Am I getting that right?

We'll make sure to show this to product managers, but I would like to think about options to help you now. Here is one potential workflow I am thinking about:

  1. Create a Custom Status - this would be titled something like "inactive" but be in the "Active" status group in the Workflow.
  2. Set all tasks in the inactive status, add due dates, dependencies, and all other details you need. This will let you view your project schedule on the Timeline View.
  3. End a chain of tasks in a milestone so that you can mass reschedule tasks as needed. 
  4. When someone completes a predecessor task, they switch the status of its dependent tasks to "Active".
  5. Create Custom Widgets which show you the active tasks which are assigned to you. Each of your teammates would have one of these widgets. 

I know that's a manual way of doing things, but do you think that could help? 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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I believe I have brought this idea up in another feed, but wanted to share it here as well:

 

Two solutions could fix this discrepancy:

  1. Tasks with open dependencies show up as “faded out” on dashboards so that teammates know that a task is in the pipeline for them, but also know not to start working on it until all dependencies have been closed (ie the task transitions from faded out to full color).
  2. Create a filter setting that allows for tasks with open dependencies to be hidden until all dependencies are complete.

Our team prefers the fade-out option, because they will know from a glance that they will need to start working on additional tasks, and can click into the dependent tasks to ask teammates if they need help completing the tasks, or can check on the status of those tasks to estimate when their task will become active.

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In reply to https://help.wrike.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115002630269/comments/115000668545

My primary complaint about wrike is the overwhelming amount of functionality that has to be manually maintained. I spend an extra part of hour doing things manually to keep the system working. I would love to have this same functionality for dependent tasks, but overall, I want to see your team developing a lot more dependent and conditional automation for features that should effect each other. For example, say a task I am assigned is ready to start. If I track time on the task, it should change the task status to "In Progress". Or if I have time logged but not saved for a task, when I mark the task complete, remind or force me to complete the open time entry. 

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^^^Yess! Wrike just sent out a Survey about automation features, and these were not on there. I'm guessing Wrike is going to want this to become a new thread since this is about activating dependent tasks when the predecessor is complete, and yours is about automation between task status and time tracking, but it absolutely has my vote!

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Anastasia

Hi Keeley and Jay! Those are great ideas and that field is definitely something we're internally discussing and thinking about. I'll keep an eye on those discussions both within our team and here, and I'll make sure to update you if any particular and specific feedback is needed. Otherwise, I absolutely love hearing your ideas about this, this is a great direction of thought.

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Hi guys,

I'm also struggling with dependant tasks showing up on team members dashboards as 'Active' tasks even though there is nothing for them to action until previous dependant tasks are complete.

1 thought I had would be to create a new WorkFlow category called 'Upcoming' for instance.  Tasks that are dependant on the completion of other tasks would remain in the Upcoming Category until their parent tasks are complete, whereby they are automatically switch to 'Active'.

This way we could have our dashboard of Active tasks, but also create a Dashboard of Upcoming tasks so we can see what is coming down the pipeline so no surprises and also see if there are any overdue tasks that are still not ready to action and then act accordingly.

Let's face it, a dependant task should not be categorised as 'Active' until it can actually be actioned and it's parent task is complete.

Would love to hear others thoughts on this, as overwhelming team members with 'Active' tasks that actually don't require any action yet would be a great thing to avoid.

Cheers
Rob

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At Bluewater we are also having the issue of this. If Wrike could add an automated function so that we would not have to add them manually this would be great and save us a lot of time and energy!!!

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