Understanding the Dependency Types

Although the finish-to-start task dependency is the most common, there are a total of four i types of dependencies that help you model your task relationships. These dependency types g are as follows: o

Finish-to-Start (FS) As soon as the predecessor task finishes, the successor task can start.

Finish-to-Finish (FF) As soon as the predecessor task finishes, the successor task can finish.

Start-to-Start (SS) As soon as the predecessor task starts, the successor task can start.

Start-to-Finish (SF) As soon as the predecessor task starts, the successor task can finish. This type of link is rarely used, but still available if you need it.

Tip Link tasks with the Project Guide

You can use the Project Guide to help you set task dependencies. On the Project Guide toolbar, click the Tasks button. In the Project Guide pane, click the Schedule Tasks link. Read the information, and use the controls provided to link tasks. When finished, click the Done link.

Tasks T

Tip Automatically link tasks

By default, when you move a task from one location to another in your task sheet or when you insert a new task, that task is automatically linked like its surrounding tasks. You can control this setting. Click Tools, Options and then click the Schedule tab. Select or clear the Autolink Inserted Or Moved Tasks check box.

To apply a task dependency, follow these steps:

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

2 Select the task that is to become the successor in the dependency you will be setting.

3 On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information.

You can also simply double-click a task to open the Task Information dialog box.

4 Click the Predecessors tab (see Figure 5-11).

5 Click the first blank row in the Task Name field and then click the down arrow. The list of tasks in the project appears.

6 Click the task that is to be the predecessor to the current task.

7 Click the Type field and then select the type of task dependency: Finish-to-Start (FS), Start-to-Start (SS), Finish-to-Finish (FF), Start-to-Finish (SF), or None.

8 Click OK.

Task Information

Name: | Frame 1st floor walls Predecessors:

Resources | Advanced | Notes | Custom Fields Duration: |4d -7J f Estimated

Name: | Frame 1st floor walls Predecessors:

Resources | Advanced | Notes | Custom Fields Duration: |4d -7J f Estimated

1

w

ID

Task Name

Type

Lag

V

27

Lay 1st floor decking

Finish-to-Start (FS)

Od

Help

Figure 5-11. Use the Predecessors tab in the Task Information dialog box to set different types of task dependencies.

Tip Change the task link directly in the Gantt chart

You can also apply the Finish-to-Start task link to a pair of tasks and then quickly change the link on the chart portion of the Gantt chart. Double-click the task link line on the chart. The Task Dependency dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 5-12. In the Type box, change the dependency type and then click OK.

Task De pe n de ncy | X |

From: Lay 1st floor decking

To: Frame 1st floor walls

I^J.t-MI Finish-to-Start CFS)

] Lag: [Öd -jj

Delete [

OK

I Cancel

1 1

Figure 5-12. Double-click the task link line to open the Task Dependency dialog box and change the dependency type. f

Tip Link between projects °

Not only can you link tasks within one project, you can link tasks in different projects. For more information, see Chapter 15, "Exchanging Information Between Project Plans."

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Project Management Made Easy

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