In the blog 'Seven Project Professional features to keep your plan up-to-date', one of the topics I discussed was ‘Link Your Tasks’, where I gave a brief introduction of it. Here I detail on – how to link tasks in Microsoft project .
When you create the tasks in the Project Plan, you need to decide the sequence of execution of these tasks. Microsoft Project Professional provides flexibility to define task dependencies by ‘Linking Tasks’ feature. The tasks can be linked by any of following relationship:
– Finish to Start (FS)
– Start to Finish (SF)
– Finish to Finish (FF)
– Start to Start (SS)
By default, the tasks are linked by ‘Finish to Start’ link. You can also use the predecessor column to define such task dependencies.
There is a good article on Create Task dependencies and Links in Project Plan which you can use to learn how to use the features appropriately.
There is another dependency type which you may need to define in real time projects – ‘like to start a task’ once its predecessor task is half done. To do so you can use the ‘Lag’ property of the predecessor while defining the task dependency.
You set the ‘Lag’ value in order to start a task when its predecessor is 50% done as shown in the below image
After defining ‘Lag’, the Project Plan looks like below, where you can notice the arrow starting from the middle of task id 9
Hence you can make your project plan more realistic and aligned to project duration by setting up the task links and dependencies. Stay tuned for my next article on 'Task Path and Critical Paths'.