Establishing Task Dependencies

Now task durations are entered in your Gantt chart (see Figure 5-9).

Figure 5-9. Durations are graphed in the Gantt chart, and all tasks start on the project start date.

The next step in creating your schedule is to link tasks that are dependent upon each other. Often, one task cannot begin until a previous task has been completed. Sometimes, several tasks are dependent upon the completion of one task; sometimes, several tasks must finish before a single later task can begin. You can link the previous, or predecessor task, to its succeeding, or successor task, and thereby set up the task dependency between the two.

Note A task dependency is also referred to as a task relationship or a link.

With your task dependencies and durations in place, your project plan really starts to look like a real schedule. You can start to see possible start dates and finish dates, not only for the individual tasks, but also for major phases, milestones, and the project as a whole. When you create a link between two tasks, Microsoft Project calculates the successor's start and finish dates based on the predecessor's start or finish date, the dependency type, the successor's duration, and any associated resource assignments. There's still more information and refinement to be done, but you're getting closer to a schedule you can work with.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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