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

  • In what sense is it "blocking"? What does it block? Nov 2, 2011 at 9:56
  • 1
    "blocking" means if this action is not done, I can't continue my tasks.
    – Florian
    Nov 2, 2011 at 9:58
  • 1
    we need more context
    – Mark
    Nov 2, 2011 at 10:30
  • 1
    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, 2011 at 10:34
  • 3
    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, 2011 at 11:28

7 Answers 7


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.


What you describe sounds like a "prerequisite".


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.


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


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.


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


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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