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Gantt Chart Dependencies

 

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-2.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.

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. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Schedule section on the right side of the screen, 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 Finish date.
    Green-Bar-5.png
  4. Keeping in mind the type of dependency you want to establish, hover over the circle until it turns gray and your cursor becomes a pointer.
    Green-Bar-Grey-2.png
  5. Now, click and drag. You'll notice that circles appear at the beginning and end of a different task bar when you hover over it.
    Green-Bar-Predecessor-Successor-2.pngNote: As you hover over areas where a dependency can't be created, you'll see a red Invalid message. Invalid_dependency.pngOnce you hover over areas where it can be created, this changes to a green Valid message.Valid_dependency.png
  6. Continue dragging the dotted line to a circle on your successor task (either the Start date on the left, or the Finish date on the right) and then release.
  7. The dependency is formed, represented by a gray arrow that points from the predecessor to the successor.Green-Bar-Dependency-2.png

How to Add a Dependency in the Tasks List

When establishing dependencies from the Tasks 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. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Predecessors column, double-click on the successor task for which you’re establishing the dependency.
  4. 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). 
    Note: You can also click the drop-down arrow on the right side, and then select the predecessor task and indicate the type from the menu that appears.
    Gantt-Predecessor-Sucessor-Animated-2.gif
  5. Your new dependency appears in the Schedule as a gray arrow pointing from the predecessor to the successor.
    Green-Bar-Dependency-3.png

How to Change a Dependency Type in the Schedule

  1. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Schedule, double-click the dependency task you want to change the type for. The Information modal opens.
  4. Select either the Predecessors or Successors tab.
  5. In-line with the specific dependency, select a new option from the Type drop-down.
    Change-Predecessor-Type-2.png
  6. Click Save.

How to Delete a Dependency in the Schedule

  1. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Schedule, double-click the dependency task you want to change the type for. The Information modal opens.
  4. Under the Successors tab, click the Delete icon in the bottom-left corner.Delete-Dependency-3.pngNote: If there is more than one dependency under the Successors tab, select the one you want to delete. 
  5. Click Save

How to Delete a Dependency in the Tasks List

  1. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Tasks list on the left, double-click the Predecessors column in-line with the specific task, and then delete the value.
  4. Double-click the Successors column, and then delete the value. delete_dependency_task_list.png

Cascade Dependencies 

With the Gantt Chart’s cascade dependencies functionality, 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:

  • When you establish a dependency, the Start and Finish dates of the successor automatically shift in relation to the Start and Finish 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.
  • When you edit dates, changes automatically roll down to all dependent tasks on the Schedule.

Note: Adjusting Start and/or End dates does not delete the dependency or change its type.

Setting Lag and Lead

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. Alternatively, you can create a lead wherein the successor task starts before the predecessor task ends.

How to Add a Lag or Lead

  1. Hover over Projects on the left-side nav bar, and select your project. If you don't see the project for which you want to manage tasks in the Recent Projects section, click All Projects and locate it in the Project List.
  2. In the project workspace, click the Gantt tab. The Local Gantt Chart opens.
  3. In the Schedule section, double-click the dependency task for which you want to set a lag or lead. The Information modal opens. 
  4. Select either the Predecessors or Successors tab.
  5. In the Lag column, click the up or down arrow to specify the amount of lag or lead days, or manually type in the amount. 
    Note: To create a lead, set your Lag to a negative number. To create a lag, set it to a positive number of days. 
    Lag-Lead-Animated-2.gif
  6. Click Save

WHAT THE MAVENS KNOW

Dependency relations are established in the Local Gantt chart, so it's best to make date modifications here. Although you can modify task dates in the Task Tracker, the ability to cascade changes to dependent tasks is not enabled by default. Click here for information on how to cascade changes to dependencies using the project Task Tracker.

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