Back to Mavenlink.com Blog Tour Status

Gantt Chart Dependencies

Enterprise | Premier | Professional | Teams

In the Local Gantt chart, dependencies allow you to define relationships between tasks and visualize the sequence in which they must be completed in order to close a project. 

Gantt-Chart-Dependencies.png

There are two steps to creating a dependency—first, identify the predecessor and successor tasks and then establish a relationship between them.

By definition, the predecessor is the first task; it controls the start or end date for all related successor tasks. The successor, by contrast, is the task whose start or end date is controlled by the predecessor.

A dependency is the relationship between predecessor and successor tasks. Tasks may have multiple predecessors or multiple successors. Before you begin establishing dependencies, it’s important to understand that there are four types:

  • Finish to Start (FS)—The predecessor ends before the successor can begin.
  • Start to Start (SS)—The predecessor begins before the successor can begin.
  • Finish to Finish (FF)—The predecessor ends before the successor can end.
  • Start to Finish (SF)—The predecessor begins before the successor can end.

Dependencies can be managed from the Local Gantt in both the Tasks list and the Schedule.

Step-by-Step

How to Add a Dependency in the Schedule

To establish a dependency in the Schedule, just connect a line between the start or end dates of the predecessor and successor task bars.

  1. First, hover over the predecessor task bar until a circle appears at either edge. The left circle represents the task’s Start date, and the circle on the right represents its End date.
    Green-Bar-4.png
  2. Keeping in mind the type of dependency you want to establish, hover over the circle until it turns grey and your cursor becomes a pointer.
    Green-Bar-Grey.png
  3. Now, click and drag. You'll notice that circles appear at the beginning and end of all other task bars.
    Green-Bar-Predecessor-Successor.png
  4. Continue dragging the dotted line to a circle on your successor task (either the Start date on the left, or the End date on the right) and then release.
  5. The dependency is formed, represented by a black arrow that points from the predecessor to the successor.
    Green-Bar-Dependency.png

Step-by-Step

How to Add a Dependency in the Tasks List

When establishing dependencies from the Task list, you must add a predecessor from the successor task. In other words, you begin with the successor and then add a predecessor to it.

  1. In the Predecessors column, double-click on the successor task for which you’re establishing the dependency.
  2. Type the line # of the predecessor task (e.g. 5), followed by the initialism for the type of dependency that you’re establishing (finish to start=FS, start to start=SS, finish to finish=FF, and start to finish=SF).
    Gantt-Predecessor-Sucessor-Animated.gif
  3. Your new dependency will be shown in the Schedule as a black arrow pointing from the predecessor to the successor.
    Green-Bar-Dependency-2.png

Step-by-Step

How to Change a Dependency Type in the Schedule

  • In the Schedule, double-click on the black dependency arrow that connects a predecessor to a successor to change the Type.
    Change-Predecessor-Type.png

How to Change a Dependency in the Tasks List

  • To change the dependency from the Tasks list, double-click on the successor task and type the line # of the predecessor task (e.g. 4), followed by the initialism for your new dependency type (finish to start=FS, start to start=SS, finish to finish=FF, and start to finish=SF).
    Change-Dependency-Type-Animated.gif

Step-by-Step

How to Delete a Dependency in the Schedule

  1. Double-click on the black dependency arrow in the Schedule.
  2. Click Delete.
    Delete-Dependency-2.png

How to Delete a Dependency in the Tasks List

  1. Right-click on a known dependency in the Tasks list.
  2. Hover over the Delete dependency... option.
  3. If there is more than one dependency, select the one that you want to delete.
    Delete-Dependency.png

Cascade Dependencies 

By default, the Cascade button, just above the Schedule in the timeline header, is always enabled when you open the Local Gantt chart. 

Cascade-Timeline.png

When Cascade is active, any time you establish a dependency or modify a Start and/or Finish date, changes automatically roll down to dependent tasks so you don’t have to manually change the dates of all successors.

Casdading-Gantt.png

Here’s how it works:

  • If Cascade is enabled when you establish a dependency, the Start and End dates of the successor are automatically shifted in relation to the Start and End dates of the predecessor. For example, if you’re establishing a Start to Finish dependency, the successor task begins directly after the predecessor task ends.
  • If Cascade is enabled when you're editing dates, changes will automatically roll down to all dependent tasks on the Schedule.
  • If you establish dependencies or modify dates with Cascade disabled, all tasks move independently of one another on the Schedule.

Regardless of whether Cascade is enabled, adjusting Start and/or End dates does not delete the dependency or change it's type.


Setting Lag and Lead

If Cascade is enabled when you establish a dependency, the default delay between predecessor and successor is one day. For instance, with a Finish to Start dependency, the succeeding task will begin on the day after the preceding task ends. You can extend the days between the predecessor and successor tasks by setting a lag. Alternately, you can create a lead wherein the successor task starts before the predecessor task ends.

Step-by-Step

How to Add a Lag or Lead

  1. Make sure that Cascade is enabled.
    Cascade-Button.png
  2. In the Schedule, double-click on the black arrow indicating the dependency for which you want to set a lag or lead.
    Lag-Lead-Animated.gif
  3. To create a lead—set your Lag to a negative number; to create a lag—set it to a positive number of days.
  4. Click OK.

WHAT THE MAVENS KNOW

When using dependencies, all modifications to dates should be made in the Local Gantt chart. This is where dependencies are established, so any date changes made in the Task Tracker will behave as if Cascade is not enabled and will not roll down to dependent tasks.


Related Articles:

Step-by-Step:

Created on

Can't find what you're looking for?

Live Chat Submit a Ticket