[Status: Backburner ⌛️] Automatic Task Status Changed on Dependency completion

When we got wrike working with timelines and dashboards, the management team was like, "Wow, this takes our production planning to another level!".  But the feature described below will take it to another level yet.

Our shop is full of jobs that are represented in wrike in folders with a logical series of 10 tasks or so.  Each task is also tagged with a workstation folder (which piece of equipment is used for the task) and is tagged with a person folder.  Then a dashboard of all the tasks that are active and assigned to my equipment shows all the work I have to do, and can be prioritized by management by moving the tasks on the dashboard.  But if the sequential tasks are all assigned when the job is first logged, the dashboard will be full of lots of tasks that aren't ready yet.

The desirable feature would be to set all the tasks to "new" or "deferred", then

have the task automatically change to "active" on the condition that its dependency task(s) are marked complete.

This would be a mind-blowing improvement to a great system.

Sidenote: In our manufacturing environment, it is well known what the sequence of tasks need to be, but it is not well known how long it will actually take to complete any particular task.  So scheduling by what needs to be worked on "today" turns out to be impractical.  And updating the timelines is reserved generally for production meetings.  But "completing" tasks (in Wrike) is done by the technician on the shop floor.

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Agree here. Our team is currently using a manual process to achieve this. All of our steps are labeled numerically. When someone finishes their task, they look for the next numerical step and change that status to active to alert the next person they can begin work. If this could happen automatically it would be a great feature. 

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Agreed. The lack of functionality to identify tasks that have had dependencies met vs. tasks that have not is really hurting our team. We're training the team to all check dependencies before they begin on a task, but it would help error-proof our processes and increase efficiency if there was some easily visible way to make this distinction. 

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Anastasia

Hi everyone! Thanks for sharing this idea, this sounds interesting. It looks like everyone has a different way of managing tasks with dependencies, but the ultimate goal is to be able to hide those tasks whose predecessors haven't yet been completed, is that correct? I noticed some of you have already seen these requests, but I wanted to mention them here and check in about whether this is what you're looking for too:

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I agree. This would be amazing. In our workflow the timeline is not as important as the dependancies. We've had to stop using the templates because some users would start a task because it said it was overdue. This was an error on the previous task's assignee but, if we could remove (visually) the next task (if the previous dependency was not completed) it would mitigate this problem.

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Anastasia

Jeffrey, thank you for sharing your insight about this!

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Also agree on this idea. We have several tasks that sit in our reports as "Active", though we're actually waiting on the prior task to be completed. Our projects timelines are often rather fluid. And it's inefficient to always rely on a person to change statuses from "deferred" to "active." 

The automation would make a true "queue" of work possible. 

 

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Anastasia

Charles, thanks for commenting, it's great to learn about the different workflows teams rely on and how they could become more streamlined.

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Would love for this to become an option. Anything that can take the manual work out would be phenomenal. 

Additionally, how our dashboards are set up, it is filtered to only show tasks "in progress" and assigned to "current user."

For example. Within a template, if there are tasks that consistently need to be done by the same person/group within a workflow, it would be great to eliminate management (or another user) needing to manually push the next dependent task into action.

 

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Having the workflow automatically update when the task it is dependant on is completed would be amazing. Speaking with my team it seems like all they are really looking for is a notification that the proceeding task is complete and they can now start theirs. 

A common set of dependant tasks in my team would be: Person X writes a document -> Person Y reviews the document -> Person X updates the document and releases it -> Person Z distributes the document

Right now, there is a lack of communication between Person X completing the document, and marking their task complete, and Person Y having no idea that the document is ready to be reviewed. And then Person Z having no idea when the document is released. Currently this is controlled by me, as the project manager, flowing up on which tasks are completed and informing Person X, Y, or Z that they can now start their task.

We can update our Wrike process to instruct users to @mention the assignee of the succeeding task once theirs is complete, but an automatic system would be preferable.  

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Stephen

Hi Michaella, thanks for the use case and vote. We have no further information on this feature at the moment. When we do we'll be sure to update this thread. Thanks again for sharing!

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Agree here.  I am also running in to the issue with templates because some users will start a task because it is listed as "overdue" - or they will just be confused and have to check multiple times to verify whether all dependencies are completed yet for a particular task.  Waste of their time. It would really help if all prior dependency completion could be made obvious by automating a change of task status!

Scott Henderson Arizona Community Foundation azfoundation.org

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I would like to have tasks automatically change their task status from new to in-progress, once their dependency (predecessor) task is marked completed. I have many tasks assigned to myself and don't receive the @Wrike bot notification to begin the next task. My projects overall span a few months and consist of around 300+ tasks total. Having the succeeding task status change to In-progress automatically would greatly help to keep our workflow progressing smoothly. 

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Hi, is there an update on this?

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Stephen

Hi Colin, I've no new information to share about this feedback idea but thank you for bumping the post. I'll be sure to bring it to the Product Team's attention and update you here if I have any new information.

I wanted to mention a new feature, which is not the exact request here but may be helpful to you. It's Auto-Assign Based on Status.

So as a workaround, you could assign the 'Completed' status of a task to the person who is assigned to work on the next dependent task. This way they'll be assigned to the previous task and now know that their dependent task is ready to start. 

Again, it's not exactly what you're looking for, but I have seen some people apply this practice as a workaround and it's helped automate dependent tasks.

Any questions, let me know👍

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Hi Stephen,

Thank you. We considered this option but, as a larger team, the assignee on a step in the workflow isn't constant. We considered building out multiple custom workflows, for different groups of people, but it feels like it would get complicated pretty easily. 

This exact feature would be so simple. Since the Wrike system is already posting a notification on the proceeding task upon completion, the logic is already there to find the next dependent task, we just need it to increment the status. (Without this, I'm having to do it manually on every task which is a lot to keep track of / I can't go on vacation) LOL. 

Thanks,

 

 

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Hi Colin, completely understand not wanting to make multiple workflows just to have different assignees. Of course, you should go on vacation though! 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Learn about Wrike’s killer features and best practices with our Online Training Webinars

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Hi - Just adding my vote here :)

 

We don't assign tasks from a template because of this very issue. So people only get assigned when a task really is ready to go, but that relies on constant vigilance by a PM.

Since there isn't any way to get notifications on task completion on desktop (only via email) this is even harder than it sounds.

 

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Adding my vote!

Our team is focused on deliverables more than planned timelines. I like Wrike, but being forced to create timelines in order to have dependencies is bogging us down. We're having to create workarounds, sometimes manual ones, in a system designed to automate this stuff!

My suggestions/requests: 1) Allow task dependencies without having set start and end dates. When a predecessor task is completed, mark that as the end date, mark the successor task as Active, send it to the responsible person, and log that date (or the next day) as the start date for the successor task. 2) Using the current system, have a configuration option to automatically move start dates forward in time (and end dates back) to realistically reflect when tasks are completed.   

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Regarding Ian's comment. One word:

YES!

Scott Henderson Arizona Community Foundation azfoundation.org

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Addendum to my request above: Also allow tasks with no set duration.

Thanks!

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@Ian @Scott Thanks for adding here! I think this thread captures some of what you're looking for and it would be great to have you add a +1 there so we can better track how many people are looking for that functionality. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Learn about Wrike’s killer features and best practices with our Online Training Webinars

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Stephanie, just to be clear about my post, one difference between the description in Ian's post above, and the other thread ("Adding Dependencies to tasks with no Date field") is Ian included that when a dependency is triggered, this would also "mark the successor task as Active".  The listed topic for this post is  of course "Automatic Task Status Changed on Dependency completion" and that feature is not the focus of that other thread. The more important of these 2 suggested features, from my perspective, is the ability to automatically assign a new status to a task when dependencies are fulfilled, but I would LOVE to see the entire scenario, step-by-step just as outlined by Ian above, which brings all of this together.

Oh also, the new ability to "autoassign based on status" is a great feature, but is different that is what is being asked for in this thread. 

Thanks!

Scott Henderson Arizona Community Foundation azfoundation.org

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Stephen

Thanks for your clarification here. The fact you've even posted this clarification further helps our Product Team understand the suggestion and how this feature might work.

You're correct, auto-assign based on status is different but it's a step in the right direction. We'll be back with an update as and when we have more info. As always thanks for adding value here Scott 👍

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Thanks, Stephen.  Thinking about this a bit, there have been quite a few ideas floated in this thread, and some related ideas in other threads referenced such as these

I note there is a central theme here.  No particular thread addresses all of this, but the “theme” seems to me to be the ability for PMs to be able to create/configure/modify/duplicate tasks and relationships – usually to develop projects or project templates - without bothering the user base with 1) unneeded/unhelpful notifications and 2) having tasks that can’t yet be worked on appearing for those users in their dashboards and other task list views.  So apologies that this post deals with several issues but I don’t think there is a thread devoted to this broader problem, and I think it is worth discussing at this level and I don't know where to post this. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but from what all I’ve seen, the IDEAL pie-in-the-sky design might be something like this:

  1. A PM can build project templates in some kind of Dev “sandbox” in which the PM can
    1. assign tasks (or in some manner ‘tag’ user accounts which are later assigned to those tasks) …without the users seeing these tasks being assigned/tagged for them nor receiving notifications about these assignments/tags (or even better, there be some manner in which users can choose/configure to neither see nor be notified of this type of “sandbox” activity, ideally on a per case basis)
    2. tasks in this “sandbox” can be modified, including dependencies built or changed, with all activity likewise not generating any unwanted notifications (other than perhaps these might appear in Activity Stream)
  2. After taking a project out of the “sandbox”, Tasks which have dependencies on predecessor tasks (of any type, FS/SF/FF/SS) can be set to have their statuses change automatically and/or are assigned when dependencies are fulfilled, so they do not appear as “Active” and clutter up user dashboards and other task list views. Alternatively, these tasks could stay in the sandbox or in some other way be hidden until “released” by having their dependencies fulfilled.

Developing something like this would take Wrike to a much better place

Scott Henderson Arizona Community Foundation azfoundation.org

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@Scott What an incredibly well thought out post! The task that you linked to in your second post on Tuesday is exactly where this type of conversation is taking place. Templates are a really important part of work and it's something that we will work on improving (it's on our roadmap). There are no exact details on how it will work, just that it's something that's in the plans. 

Stephanie Westbrook Community Team at Wrike Learn about Wrike’s killer features and best practices with our Online Training Webinars

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Adding another vote for the ideas in this thread!

We have trained all of our users that "In Progress" means the task is ready for them to work on, so we need the dependent task's status to change to "In Progress" once the preceding task is completed. Until this feature becomes available, we can't use the dependencies.

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@Ruby

Did you know that Wrike notifies you when all the preceeding dependent tasks are completed? So even though it wont change the status, the person will still get notified to begin work. 

 

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Hi @Noel Howell - thanks for your reply.

Yes, we are aware of that feature. Unfortunately, it doesn't help; most people in our organization receive too many emails and cannot drop everything to check on the task as soon they receive an email notification. Those emails are missed/lost/deleted.

All of our users and collaborators go to their Dashboards and/or Reports to see which of their tasks are In Progress. This is why, for dependencies to be of any use to us, we would need the status to change from Active to In Progress so the task appears in the assignee's dashboard/report when it is ready for them.

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I understand. We actually turned off all email notifications and just use the popups and mac app. The above screenshot came from the Inbox tab of the app actually :) Do you use the 'Inbox' for work notifications?

Here is a bigger pic:

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Definitely appreciate the thought, Noel, but for our users and collaborators, notifications of any kind (email/inbox) are not sufficient.

We need what Ian Kimmich has very aptly described in the thread above. Until then, we'll continue doing manually what we thought Wrike would be able to automate.

For the Wrike developers who may read this thread, I only wanted to add that rather than only "mark the successor task as Active" we should be able to choose the status that we want to mark the successor task as - in our case, I want to mark the successor task as In Progress, not Active.

 

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