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In a bullet list, I want to say there is a point which is "blocking". Is "blocking point" the correct expression or not?

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In what sense is it "blocking"? What does it block? –  Peter Taylor Nov 2 '11 at 9:56
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"blocking" means if this action is not done, I can't continue my tasks. –  Florian Nov 2 '11 at 9:58
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we need more context –  Mark Nov 2 '11 at 10:30
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In my bullet list : - Change tyres - assign to Jeff - Buy tyres - assign to John John is sick and cannot buy tyres. So Jeff can't change tyres. "Buy tyres" is a "blocking point". –  Florian Nov 2 '11 at 10:34
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Could you please add more information on what you want the expression to mean and in what context it's supposed to be used by editing your question. –  N.N. Nov 2 '11 at 11:28

7 Answers 7

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I would use "sticking point" given the context in your comment, or "bottleneck" if the step is holding things up but not stopping the process entirely.

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What you describe sounds like a "prerequisite".

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Besides using bottleneck or prerequisite from previous answers, saying an item is on a critical path is a possibility. Some words that appear to not quite work due to lack of specificity are essential and critical.

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If you treat a situation as a node and if you treat possible actions in a situation as branches from a node to other nodes, then you could call nodes without any outgoing branches dead ends. To perform an action that leads to a dead end (choosing a branch that leads to a dead end) could be called "to block further actions". You could also define bottlenecks by finding nodes connected by few branches.

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In our IT department we're using "dependency" and "transitive dependency" if we have a hierarchy of prerequisites to a certain point.

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I prefer to use the term "blocker".

We use this term where I work. The formal definition of the word supports this usage.

noun /ˈbläkər/  blockers, plural

1) A person or thing that blocks, in particular

2) A player whose task it is to block for the ballcarrier or kicker

3) A substance that prevents or inhibits a given physiological function

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I think OP's "bullet list" is actually a "project plan".

Critical Path Analysis in this context means establishing the shortest possible time in which the project can be completed.

If Subtask-B can't be started until Subtask-A is completed, that's a dependency. But because other subtasks may be progressing in parallel, the elapsed time for the project may not be affected by whether or not there's any delay in starting Subtask-B immediately after Subtask-A is complete.

Those dependencies where any delay will affect the overall timescale of the project are called critical activities.

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