So, I'm creating a complex task manager. I have a list of tasks, but certain tasks cannot be started until others have finished. However, the position of a task on the list does not necessarily specify the order in which it has to be completed; some tasks can be done in tandem by different people, while some rely on another person(s) to complete other task(s) first.

I would like to list the tasks an item is waiting on next to it, with a single word to describe what that list represents like this:

  1. Wash walls
  2. Paint walls
  3. Hang artwork (this task cannot be done until task 1 and task 2 are done)

Some shorter versions I've thought of are "pending: task 1 and task 2", "dependent: task 1 and task 2", "awaiting: task 1 and task 2", and "yielding: task 1 and task 2"

I don't think any of these words quite represent the situation properly, though I could be wrong.

Would you please suggest the correct single word to use in this situation?

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    Have a look at Topological Sorting. Captures the entire scenario. – Nagarajan Shanmuganathan Apr 17 '16 at 8:52
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I think you'll get better technical answers from Project Management – NVZ Apr 17 '16 at 9:06
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    @NVZ how can it be off topic? I'm not looking for technical answers, just a single word description exactly as the tag suggests. – Charles John Thompson III Apr 17 '16 at 9:07
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    Years ago as I recall, I once asked a question that got closed as off-topic on three different SE sites, each referring the question to the next, completing a cycle of forward referrals. No one meant to make trouble by this. It was an amusing situation. – thb Apr 17 '16 at 9:11
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    People on this SE should be able to come up with an accurate answer to this question without it having to be reposted and discussed all over again on a less used SE where it pigeon holes the question to one subject. – Charles John Thompson III Apr 17 '16 at 9:14

This task is a pre-requisite of that task.

See here.



  • task a.
  • task b.
  • etc.
  • Decent suggestion, not loving the length of it though. Something as short as "pending" would be ideal. – Charles John Thompson III Apr 17 '16 at 8:37
  • Okay. What about queued then? – Brad Apr 17 '16 at 8:41
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    One can alternately drop the hyphen to get prerequisite. I would. (Though I had never thought of it before: one could read that as though it were prere-quisite, if one looked at it funny.) – thb Apr 17 '16 at 9:05



  1. a place or stage in a process at which progress is impeded.

Thus: "bottlenecks: task 1 and task 2"

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    No. I don't agree – NVZ Apr 17 '16 at 8:48
  • it feels a bit clunky and unnatural in the example. How often do you hear the term "bottleneck" to describe a list? – Charles John Thompson III Apr 17 '16 at 8:50
  • @CharlesJohnThompsonIII, it doesn't describe the list. The pending tasks themselves are the bottlenecks. – ghostarbeiter Apr 17 '16 at 8:51

First Task A, Then Task B.

Here are some options:

Language to describe the task directly:


  1. Task A is a prerequisite of Task B
  2. Task B has a prerequisite of Task A


  1. Task A is a predecessor to Task B
  2. Task B is a successor of Task A

This language is from Project Management dependency relationships https://www.projectinsight.net/project-management-basics/task-dependencies

Language to describe the relationship:

Contingent Upon: Task B is contingent on Task A

Gating requirement: Task A gates Task B

Blocking Condition: Task A blocks Task B

Constraint: Task A constrains Task B

Requirement: Task B requires Task A

Dependency: Task B depends on Task A


in obligatory order TFD

  1. required to be done, obtained, possessed, etc

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