Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Just Look at All These
Task Dependencies!
Project provides several ways to view dependencies in your project. The
method you choose probably relates to how you visualize data, so there’s
no absolute right or wrong way here!
You might have already seen the dependency link lines that appear in the
Gantt chart (refer to Figure 6-6). Another great way to see the flow of
dependencies is in Network Diagram view. This workflow view uses similar lines
and arrows to reveal dependency relationships, but it allows you to get a
different perspective on them.
You can display the Task Drivers pane (choose Project
Task Drivers) to see
a list of everything in the schedule that’s driving the timing of a selected task.
For more about the Task Drivers feature, see Chapter 10.
Figure 6-8 shows the Network Diagram view of an engineering project. Notice
that each task has a node containing its vital statistics. Between the nodes
are lines revealing dependency relationships among tasks. Although you
can’t see the effect in this black-and-white image, any task dependency links
on the critical path are displayed in red by default, and noncritical tasks are
displayed in blue. ( Critical-path tasks have no slack: They can’t be delayed
without delaying the entire project.)
A neat trick in Network Diagram view is to edit the layout to show link labels.
(Right-click outside any task nodes, choose Layout, and then select the Show
Link Labels check box.) A code, such as FS for finish-to-start, is displayed to
explain the type of dependency that each dependency line represents, as
shown in Figure 6-8.
You can also display columns that itemize, by task ID number, successors or
predecessors for each task in any view with a sheet area, such as Gantt Chart
view. Figure 6-9 shows Gantt Chart view for the same engineering project with
successor and predecessor columns displayed. These columns also display a
notation of any type of dependency other than the default finish-to-start type
and any lead or lag time using percentages or lengths of time. For example,
71SS+50% is a start-to-start link to task 71, with lag time set so that the
successor begins halfway through the predecessor task. Similarly, 71SS+2 days is
a start-to-start link to task 71, with lag time set so that the successor begins
two days after the predecessor task starts.
Note that you can also edit the contents of Network Diagram nodes to include
predecessor and successor data.
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