September 14, 2020
September 14, 2020
This article covers the following issues in detail:
Different project management experts have different opinions on which dependencies are ‘worth knowing’.
We have done some digging of our own and selected these 6 because:
Simply put, if two or more tasks can’t be started or finished without the starting or completion of any other task, they are said to have a dependency on other tasks.
Pretty straightforward, right?
Here’s an example to help you further understand the concept:
The binding of a book is not possible without first completing and editing the book. Thus, we can say that Task B (binding) is dependent on Task A (completion).
We are going to get straight to it now as this is what you really came here for:
There’s a high chance that you have encountered this dependency on projects. here’s how it works.
If Task A is completed, only then Task B can be started. Task B has to use the output of Task A to start.
For example, the paint job of a car can be done only if the body of the car is ready
This dependency is a bit tricky. You might have to read about it more than once.
So, from start to finish, Task B can’t finish unless Task A has started. Once the predecessor task has started, Task B can finish any time.
For example, if the shift of one guard can only finish if the second guard shows up.
Thankfully, this dependency is not hard to get a grip of.
It simply states that Task B can only start once Task A has initiated. After this, they can go on simultaneously.
For example, you can only start editing a writing piece once you have started writing it.
Finish to finish or FF dependency is even easier to understand than start to start.
It means you can’t finish a task until another task has been completed.
Cash on delivery, an online shopping payment is a good example. You can’t close the sale before the delivery of the product and the handing over of the money by the customer.
They are also called ‘logical dependencies‘.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. These are the dependencies that can’t be avoided. Why? Because this dependency stems from the nature of the tasks.
For example, without completing an activity, you can’t monitor it or get feedback. It’s impossible.
Causal dependencies are pretty obvious and it’s rare that project managers don’t know about them.
We all know about the micro and macro environment of the workplace.
There is a total of 4 such dependencies which are related to the internal (micro) and external (macro) factors.
These are applied to sequential tasks. You have to preplan about them. Ad hoc methods won’t work.
These dependencies where another department of the company is roped in for the completion of a certain task (s). It may be a single task or a number of tasks that can’t be done in your department.
These are for the tasks that are outsourced to third parties. The outcome of the project still impacts your company, but the activities are not in your control.
There are some factors that are outside the company control and not part of the project, but they affect the outcome of the project. For example, worker unions, etc.
If a dependency is not limited by constraints and logic, rather it considers best practice or is convenient to do – the dependent task can start ahead of its time. For example, the coloring of a part of drawing/painting can be started before the whole thing is drawn.
Now, moving on, let’s see what Lag is all about.
It is simply the added wait time added between activities. Like, testing a prototype before getting it out in the market.
It is simply a dependency where task (s) requires the availability of a certain resource to be completed. For instance, successful completion of a task where a lot of hands are required can be done only if there is enough man force.
It is the expert-opinion driven delay or requirement that is added by the workers. Like a mechanic may ask you to not floor it after just getting some modifications done to the engine or any other part.
Dependencies help immensely during the scheduling of your projects.
The perks of living in the tech age are that everything can be made easy using the software. Project managers of today use Gantt charts to show dependencies.
We’ll talk more about Gantt charts after this.
As a project manager, imagine knowing every dependency in your project. The first thing that you would be able to do is allocate the right resources, to the right tasks, at the right time.
Also, it would be easier for you to plan and meet deadlines.
Something to think about.
Take advantage of them, of course!
But how to do it?
Follow these simple steps:
Go on a search engine – type “amazing project management software” – select the one that fits – start using it.
It’s that simple.
Modern project management tools have task dependencies as an integral part of the dashboard.
Moreover, such programs use Gantt charts to depict task dependencies. This makes it extremely easy to track project progress on the go.
But these software don’t stop there; they use the Critical path method to provide you with further insights.
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The critical path is the total time of all activities that can’t be skipped in a project. Collectively, it makes the total duration of project completion.
Assumptions are something that has to be made in projects to estimate certain things like the outcome or the budget. Assumptions don’t have any practical back because it’s about the future. However, assumptions are based on historical data, trends, etc.
Dependencies in a project are when two or more tasks can’t be started/finished independently.
Please ensure that you go through each and every task in the project. Start from the very first tasks and move forward. If any successive task is dependent on the current task, that means there exists a dependency between the tasks.
If any two or more tasks can be started/completed independently, there doesn’t exist any dependency between the tasks.
As per this dependency, the successor task can begin only when the predecessor task has initiated. After that, both tasks can go on parallelly.
Now that you know why it’s crucial to know about project dependencies, its time to use this newly learned knowledge in the planning and scheduling phase of your projects.
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