Importance Of Creating Task Dependencies In Microsoft Project 2013

In my previous article, you learned about the following.

Please read all of the above articles before you start reading this.


Let’s start our discussion on task dependencies in Microsoft Project 2013. Scheduling relationships between the tasks are called dependencies. In other words, the start of the task is dependent on the completion of other tasks. Creating dependencies by tasks is advantageous in order to get the benefits of project scheduling.

Let me explain it with some examples.

In the software development life cycle, the requirements session should be completed before the design work occurs.

So, here we are considering "Requirement Gathering" and "Designing" as two tasks  which will definitely have a start-to-finish relationship and contain two aspects.

  • The second task must occur after the first task. This is a normal sequence order.
  • The second task can occur only if the first task is completed. This is a dependency.

I hope you understood this example.

What is Predecessor & Successor?

In projects, the first task (Requirement Gathering) is called predecessor because it precedes the task that depends on it. The second task (Design) is called the successor because it succeeds that which it is dependent upon.

Types of dependency relationships

There are total 4 types of relationship as follows,

  • Finish-to-Start
  • Start-to-start
  • Finish-to-Finish
  • Start-to-Finish

Finish to start

This means, the finish date of the predecessor task determines the start date of the successor task. This is the default task relationship.

In Gantt chart, it looks like the following.


Example

Requirement session should finish before we start design work in the project.

Start to Finish

The start date of the predecessor task determines the start date of the successor task.

In Gantt chart, it looks like the following.


Example

Kick-off meeting and requirement documents should start at the same time.

Finish to Finish

The finish date of the predecessor task determines finish date of successor task.


Example

UAT scripts should be finished by the time development work finishes.

Start to Finish

The start date of the predecessor task determines the finish date of the successor task.


Example

All documentations should be completed by the time the Project Closure is signed off.

In my next article, I will show you the steps to create dependencies in Microsoft Project 2013.