Dependency Determination

Dependencies are relationships between the activities in which one activity is dependent on another to complete an action, or perhaps an activity is dependent on another to start an action before it can proceed. Dependency determination is a matter of determining where those dependencies exist. Thinking back to the house-painting example, you couldn't paint until the scraping and priming activities were completed. You'll want to know about three types of dependencies for the exam:

■ Mandatory dependencies

■ Discretionary dependencies

■ External dependencies

As you've probably guessed, the PMBOK® Guide defines dependencies differently depending on their characteristics:

Mandatory dependencies Mandatory dependencies, also known as hard logic or hard dependencies, are defined by the type of work being performed. The scraping, primer, and painting sequence is an example of mandatory dependencies. The nature of the work itself dictates the order in which the activities should be performed. Activities with physical limitations are a telltale sign that you have a mandatory dependency on your hands.

Discretionary dependencies Discretionary dependencies are defined by the project team. Discretionary dependencies are also known as preferred logic, soft logic, or preferential logic. These are usually process- or procedure-driven or "best-practice" techniques based on past experience. For example, both past experience and best practices on house-painting projects have shown that all trim work should be hand-painted while the bulk of the main painting work should be done with a sprayer.

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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