Every task and project has its own challenges and a set of dependencies. These dependencies help you in defining the association between various activities so that you can attempt them in the correct order. All projects would typically have dependencies, and most of the tasks within any project are progressive or sequential in order. When any new project is kicked-off, you don’t begin working on it before creating a detailed plan. So, we can say that beginning the project actually depends on completing the plan. And likewise, you proceed ahead from planning to the execution phase, and finally to project completion. If any activities listed in the Critical Path are amended or delayed by any chance, then there is a risk of the entire project getting derailed, and both its budget and schedule will be impacted. This is the reason for organizing and managing project dependencies. Now, let’s understand what do we mean by Gantt chart dependencies? But before talking about Gantt chart dependencies, first, let’s discuss what is a Gantt chart.
What Is a Gantt Chart?
Gantt charts are basically project management charts or visual tools that are prepared during the project planning stage. Gantt charts display a wide range of data about a project in a simple manner with horizontal bars. These charts are the easiest way to gauge how projects are being scheduled, which tasks should be completed at priority, the time is taken to complete those tasks, team members responsible for various tasks, etc. Gantt charts also enable you to create various project milestones and then view the status.
eResource Scheduler (eRS) offers a Gantt chart view to easily manage your resource scheduling. eRS Cloud resource management software provides a convenient and simple-to-understand Gantt chart view that helps you get a snapshot of the existing resource availability and their schedules. Gantt charts also display what are the working and non-working days for your resources or team. This information can enable you to find qualified resources for a project and then compare their availability, and schedule them on various tasks accordingly.
Understanding Gantt Chart Dependencies
As discussed earlier, task or project dependencies are when two tasks are related, where the beginning of one task is dependent on the end or completion of another activity or task. Typically, any task dependencies are displayed on a Gantt chart. But other than dependencies, Gantt charts can also enable you to provide an overview of:
- Key tasks/activities in the project
- Project schedule
- Milestones or phases of a project
- Progress of the project
Gantt Chart dependencies represent how project tasks are linked with each other and help you decide which activities should be prioritized and completed first for seamless project execution. Every single task is denoted by horizontal bars on the Gantt chart that depict task duration. If you want to know the time you left to complete the task, the bar’s length demonstrates it. As a majority of tasks are dependent on other tasks, there could be the various successor and predecessor activities for a specific task. These are task dependencies that guide you about the order you should follow in completing the tasks in a project.
Different Types of Gantt Chart Dependencies
Gantt charts are a great way to view all the tasks in a project. However, you should be aware of what is the relation of a task with other tasks, as that is one of the most important parts of task management. Now, depending on what are the task dependencies, the activities or tasks would look different on your Gantt chart. So, let’s first understand the four dependencies so that you can comprehend more information from your Gantt charts.
- Finish to Start (FS)
In this kind of dependency, one or multiple tasks should be finished before any other new task can be done. In simpler words, only when task 1 is completed, can you begin task 2. For instance, if you are working on an online course, the first step is to build a course shell on the learning management system and create a course structure. Only then would you need course content and other elements such as graphics, animations, and programming to be done.
- Start-to-Start (SS)
This type of dependency happens when a resulting or secondary task cannot be started until the primary task begins. However, you need to note that these two tasks or activities do not have to start simultaneously. After task A is started, Task B can begin. But it is important that task A should have been started. It also could be that the initial task would have been completed before task B begins. But in this case, it is not necessary for task A to be completed before task B can start.
- Finish to Finish (FF)
In this type of dependency, the secondary task can’t be completed until the primary or predecessor task is also completed. For instance, you cannot make the final payment to your website designers (task B) until they have finally submitted their deliverable stated in the contract (task A), which is to design a website and host it.
- Start to Finish (SF)
This fourth type of dependency is not common in project management. In this case, you cannot complete the secondary task till the primary task has started. However, the secondary task can end any time after the primary activity has begun. For example, you cannot complete moving in your clothes (activity B) unless your wardrobe or closet repair (activity A) has begun. After the repair is completed, you can move your clothes inside the closet. Therefore, task B should ideally begin before task A can be completed.
When should you use a Gantt chart with dependencies?
If your project involves multiple people, then the importance of the Gantt chart in resource management cannot be undermined. are useful tools in your arsenal. It is a very useful tool that enables you to get a snapshot of a project’s tasks and sub-tasks in one view. This helps you to track the effort of your team members and the entire team. When you are aware of each task or activity, its start and end dates, and the resultant output, then you can easily align or re-align resources to your projects and achieve efficient scheduling, resource allocation, and ultimately balanced workload distribution. Gantt charts also prove beneficial when you have to share information and project status with the management. A Gantt chart demonstrates how your project is progressing as per the timeline, if you need to get more resources aligned, etc. This tool definitely helps you in more efficient project planning, execution, and a lot more — all in one platform.
How To Manage Gantt Chart Dependencies?
Making and updating a Gantt Chart in Excel can be quite tedious and time-consuming. Rather, you should use robust resource management software to create Gantt charts for you and handle task dependencies in just a few clicks to save your effort and time. Let’s see how you can do so.
Step 1: Creating a Gantt Chart
By using a project or resource allocation software such as eResource Scheduler, you can create a Gantt chart in just a few clicks. After the Gantt chart is created, you need to select the information or data you need to view from the taskbar present on the side.
Step 2: Determine a Timeline for all the Tasks
To determine a timeline for every task, you just need to click the specific task name and open its detailed view. Once it is open, you can decide and set the timeline for all the tasks in your project here.
Step 3: Establish or reschedule dependencies
Setting dependencies could seem daunting and confusing at the same time. task A could be dependent on task B. Then, task C could be dependent on A or B, and task D could rely on B or C. eResource Scheduler, an AI-enabled resource scheduling software that provides you with easy-to-use and understanding Gantt charts with its robust drag and drops feature. You can set dependencies, and reschedule them in just a few clicks.
Manage your Gantt chart dependencies seamlessly with eResource Scheduler
Imagine if you could easily set, monitor, rearrange, or view your project dependencies using a Gantt chart with ease. Implementing a leading project and resource management software enables you to effectively manage dependencies and deliver your projects successfully. eResource Scheduler’s intuitive Gantt charts help you to clearly visualize your project schedules and track the critical paths, resource utilization, and performance in real-time. The Gantt chart view not only helps you to schedule resources easily, view real-time resource availability, and important information about resource scheduling on the scheduling bar, and personalize it too as per your need. What’s more? You can create Gantt charts for various projects simultaneously and rest assured of the efficient project and resource management. Sounds intriguing? Plan a free trial today.