I want to be able to add an impediment to an existing user story or task and assign it out to the responsible party. I also want it to clearly show what stories/tasks have impediments that need to be addressed in order to resume working.
Two of the more common solutions
With both of those, you can do some blocking code too
There are probably other solutions around, but these are the only ones I've used. They both have strengths and weaknesses, you'll need to pick the more suitable option for yourself (e.g. subtasks show on their parent issue display)
we want to use the impediment flag for blocked items - is it possible to force the user to set up a description of why its blocked when they set the flag? we have that set up for when they move the task to blocked but it was set up by a consultant but I'm not sure how he did it!
One thing to keep in mind is that an impediment normally impacts more than one user story.
The more practical way to go about it, is to create an "Impediment" work item and attach a label indicating which user stories are being impacted by it. This way you will be able to create a query to track the whole impact of the impediment.
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