Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 6
Timing Is Everything
In This Chapter
Discovering how dependency links affect timing
Reviewing the different kinds of dependency relationships
Allowing for lag and lead time
Creating dependency links
Reflecting the timing of external tasks in your project
Examining workflow in Gantt Chart and Network Diagram views
Imagine this: If you create a hundred tasks and leave their default
constraints so that they start as soon as possible and have no dependencies,
all those tasks start on the project start date and occur simultaneously. The
project consisting of a hundred tasks takes exactly as long to complete as the
longest task.
Wander back over here to reality for a moment. When was the last time that
every task in your project could be performed at the same time? When did
you last have enough resources to even begin to make that feasible? When
did you ever have a set of tasks in which not a single task had to be
completed before another could start? Imagine what would happen if you poured
a building’s foundation before you got the building permit. Or, consider the
chaos if you tried to train your employees to use a new piece of equipment
before the equipment even arrived.
The reality is that tasks in a project don’t all start at the same time. To reflect
that reality in a Project plan, you have to build in a timing logic. That logic
consists of setting dependency links between tasks. Dependencies are timing
relationships between tasks — for example, when one task depends on the
completion of another. Dependencies are caused by either
The nature of the tasks: You can’t frame a house, for example, until its
concrete foundation is dry; otherwise, the building will sink.
A lack of available resources: Your operations manager can’t attend
two plant inspections simultaneously.
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