- Skip Ahead to
- Mark tasks as dependent on
- Draw dependencies on your timeline
- Multiple dependencies
- Auto-shifting dates for dependent tasks
- Turning off auto-shifting dates
Dependencies are the relationships among tasks that determine the order in which activities need to be performed. With task dependencies, you can mark a task as blocking another task, or blocked by another task.
Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, it will notify the assignee of the next task that they can start on their task.
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Mark tasks as dependent on
To mark a task as dependent on:
- Click into the task and then click on Add dependencies in the sidebar
- Begin typing the name of the task you wish to be the precedent task
- Select the task in the typeahead that appears
- This task will now show what task it is Blocked by
The indication banner will only appear in the dependent task's details pane.
Drawing dependencies on your timeline
You can set dependencies directly on your timeline by clicking the connector icon that appears when hovering over a task and then dragging it to another task.
To draw dependencies on your timeline:
- Click on the connector icon when hovering over a task.
- Drag the connector over to the task you wish to mark as Dependent On.
A single task can be dependent on multiple tasks, and multiple tasks can be dependent on a single task.
The precedent task will now show the tasks it is blocking, indicating other tasks are waiting on it to be completed. If a single task is dependent on multiple tasks, each precedent task will appear in the dependent task's details pane.
To remove a dependency, hover over an existing indication banner and click the X symbol that appears.
The assignee of the dependent task will receive notifications for the following actions:
- The precedent task is marked complete
- The precedent task has its due date changed or removed
If a task is dependent on multiple tasks, you will only receive one notification when all precedent tasks have been completed.
Auto-shifting dates for dependent tasks
Dates for precedent and dependent tasks can automatically be updated if a change occurs that results in an overlap in the dates of any of the tasks. This can be done from your timeline view. This feature automatically skips weekends. You also have the option to turn off auto-shifting dates.
For auto-shifting to work, it is necessary that:
- A task has been marked as dependent on another
- The precedent and dependent tasks have due dates set. It can also work if tasks have start dates set along with a due date
- The change in any of the tasks causes an overlap in the dates
- The date change has been made on timeline. If the update on a task is made from My Tasks, Inbox, or any other project view that is not timeline (like list view, board view, or calendar view), the affected tasks won’t be automatically updated.
- Tasks are marked as not complete. Changes in dates will not have an impact on completed tasks
This functionality does not apply to subtasks by default. You can mark subtasks as dependent on the parent task if you want to use auto-shifting for subtasks.
How auto-shifting dates work
You can use auto-shifting while updating dates from your project timeline.
Auto-shifting dates will work for precedent and dependent tasks:
- A change on a precedent task’s date will update the date of the dependent task when it causes an overlap.
- A change on a dependent task’s date will update the date of the precedent task when it causes an overlap.
Any change to the start date as a result of the auto-shifting dependency dates feature also changes the due date of that same task (and vice-versa).
The auto-shifting dependency dates feature automatically skips weekends. In addition, it works for changes that move the dates back or forward:
- When a date is pushed forward in the future, a precedent task can move dependent tasks forward as well. However, if the date of a dependent task is postponed, it will not affect the precedent tasks.
- When a date is pushed back in the past, a dependent task can also push a precedent task back. However, if the date of a precedent task is moved back, it will not affect the dependent tasks.
Tasks can be marked as dependent on tasks that are themselves depending on other tasks, as well. Auto-shifting dates will also work for tasks under those dependency chains. In addition, milestones and subtasks will be updated too if they are part of a dependency chain.
Examples of auto-shifting in action
A precedent task has a due date of April 29. It has two depending tasks: the first one has a due date of May 3, while the second one has a due date of May 6.
If the precedent task is updated to May 3, the first dependent task will be updated to May 4. The second depending task won't be updated since there is no overlap with May 6.
A precedent task has a due date of April 24. It has two depending tasks: the first one has a due date of May 4th, while the second one has a due date of May 6.
If the precedent task is updated to April 20, none of the dependent tasks will be updated since there is no overlap with their due dates.
A precedent task has a due date of April 25. It has two depending tasks: the first one has a due date of April 29, while the second one has a due date of May 5.
If the first dependent task due date is moved to April 22, the precedent task due date will be updated to April 21. The second depending task won’t be updated since there is no overlap with May 5.
Turning off auto-shifting dates
Date shifting is set for paid Asana teams and organizations by default. If you wish to prevent dates from being automatically updated, you can turn it off for specific projects from your timeline view.
From your timeline view:
Click on the three-dot icon and toggle on or off the Prevent dependency conflicts icon.