When there is a task where you have to wait on someone else for input or a task depends on something that is owned by other teams, sometimes it is hard to handle. Alistair has developed a system and a technique to handle those blocked tasks.

First he describes how to create a three columns system (Not Started, Started and Done) to post tasks and manage your project. Then, he introduces a three steps technique on assisting the situation where you see a task which blocked by other dependency:

  1. Split the task into the part that got done and the part that you will do when that someone finally gets back to you.
  2. Move the done piece to the “Done” column, and the stuck piece to the “Not Started” column.
  3. Mark the piece moved back to the “Not Started” column with a mark indicating it is restarting after being stuck somewhere else.

The main idea is to do everything that you could on that particular task, split up the task to track what you have done, and what you have to wait for other. Carefully track it, and get credit on what you have done. This is a simple, but important step if you want to move forward your task.

A Tiny Technique for Blocked-Task Madness

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