Overlapping Linked Tasks by Adding Lead Time

One way to make your project schedule more efficient is to overlap linked tasks where possible. Suppose you have a task that isn't scheduled to begin until a previous task is finished. You realize that the predecessor doesn't actually have to be finished—the successor can really

begin when the predecessor is only 50 percent complete. The successor essentially gets a 50 percent head start, hence the term lead time. For example, "Construct walls" is the predecessor to "Plaster walls." Although plastering cannot be done until the walls are constructed, the final wall does not need to be constructed before plastering of the first wall can begin. You can set an amount of lead time for the "Plaster walls" task.

Lead time is expressed as a negative value. If you think of it as reducing time in the schedule, the minus sign makes sense. Lead time can be expressed as a percentage of the predecessor; for example, -25%. Or, it can be a specific time period, for example, -4d or -lew.

To enter lead time for a linked task, follow these steps:

1 Display the Gantt Chart or other view with a task sheet.

2 Select the successor task that is to have the lead time.

3 On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information.

4 In the Task Information dialog box, click the Predecessors tab.

5 In the Lag field for the existing Predecessor, type the amount of lead time you want for the successor. Use a negative number, and enter the lead time as a percentage or duration amount.

Tip Enter lead time directly in the task sheet

You can also enter lead time in the sheet portion of the Gantt chart. Click in the Predeces sors field for the successor task. The field should already contain the Task ID of the prede cessor task. After the Task ID, enter the code representing the link type and then enter the amount of lead time; for example, 9FS-1 day, or 14FF-20%.

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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