Discover the four types of task dependencies and how to identify which type you need.
- [Voiceover] A key part of building a schedule is getting tasks in the right order. When tasks start or finish is often controlled by the start or finish of other tasks. For example, you have to place equipment in rooms before you can connect them to the network. By linking tasks, you turn a list of tasks into a sequence that defines when your project work will occur. A task dependency is when one task controls the timing of another.
Because each task has a start and finish, there are four types of task dependencies. Finish-to-Start dependencies are the most common. The finish of one task controls when the other task starts. For example, you have to finish setting up equipment racks before you can put equipment on them. With a Start-to-Start dependency, the start of one task triggers the start of the other. When the vendor starts specifying equipment for the conference center, they also start specifying equipment for hotel rooms.
A Finish-to-Finish dependency means the finish of one task controls the finish of the other. When the IT team finishes connecting equipment to the network, they also finish their testing of the connections. Start-to-Finish dependencies don't occur very often. That's a good thing, because they can be confusing. The start of one task triggers the finish of another. So, in this case, the task in control occurs after the one it controls.
For example, the start of a conference determines when equipment testing ends, no matter how well or badly the testing is going. You can figure out which type of dependency to use by asking a few questions. Which task controls the other? That tells you which task is the first one in the dependency. Does the start or finish date of the first task control the second task? That identifies whether the dependency begins with start or finish.
Does the first task control the start or finish of the second task? That identifies whether the second half of the dependency is start or finish. Task dependencies put tasks into sequence. Now that you're aware of the different types, try to identify all the task dependencies in one of your projects.
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. In this course, she explains the fundamentals of project management, from defining the problem, establishing project goals and objectives, and building a project plan to managing team resources, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. Along the way, she provides tips for reporting on project performance, keeping a project on track, and gaining customer acceptance.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Defining the components of a project
- What it takes to be a project manager
- Using project management software like Microsoft Project
- Managing project scope, budget, and schedule
- Managing project resources, including people
- Managing project risk
- Initiating a project
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Identifying requirements and deliverables
- Developing a project plan
- Building a project schedule
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Understanding the critical path
- Running the project
- Managing teams
- Monitoring performance
- Closing a project
Skill Level Beginner
Project Management Foundations: Communicationwith Doug Rose1h 47m Appropriate for all
Project Management Foundations: Budgetswith Bob McGannon1h 11m Appropriate for all
1. Getting to Know Project Management
2. Exploring Project Management Knowledge Areas
3. First Things First
How to develop requirements4m 19s
4. Developing a Project Plan
5. Building a Project Schedule
6. While You Run the Project
7. Working with Teams
8. Monitoring and Controlling Progress and Performance
9. Closing a Project
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