To Link or not to Link...that is the question!

LinkLinking tasks together, also known as creating dependencies, can help make managing your project easier. Change in a project is inevitable, but when you have your tasks linked, you can make those changes quickly and easily. Viewpath automatically reschedules the tasks and you can see the impact those changes will have.

Viewpath includes three ways to link tasks together:

  1. Finish to Start - This is the most common linking method. When two tasks are linked this way, you are telling the application that Task 2 cannot start until Task 1 has been completed.

  2. Start to Start - This method is used when two tasks need to start at the same time.

  3. Finish to Finish - This method is used when two tasks need to finish at the same time.

When Should I Link Tasks?

I’m glad you asked! In general, you’ll want to use one of the link options any time there is a relationship between tasks. Said another way, if you know  a delay of Task A will impact one or more tasks in the project plan, you should have those tasks linked together.

Let’s say that you have linked your tasks together and Task A is delayed by two days. When you change the Start Date on Task A, all the Start Dates for the following linked tasks will adjust as well.

In addition, the gantt Chart will show link-lines that will help you to easily visualize the relationships between linked tasks.

How Do I Actually Link Tasks Together?

If you’re a visual learner, you’ll probably benefit from watching this short video tutorial on how to link tasks.

In essence, there are a few methods available to you:

  • Select two (or more) tasks, click on the Link Menu, then choose the appropriate option. If you use this method, you’ll need to be sure  your tasks are listed in order. That is, the task which needs to be completed first should appear above the next task in the list.

  • Use the “Predecessor” column. This method only relates to the Finish to Start linking method.

The task which needs to be completed first is called the “Predecessor” task while the next one is called the “Successor” task.

When you scroll over on your Tasks list you will see  “Predecessor” is one of the default columns. Simply click in the cell of the Successor (or second/dependent) task then begin typing in the name of the Predecessor task. A list will appear. You can also type the line # of the task.

Note: You will also see a number associated with the tasks in this list. Each task is given a unique ID since two tasks can have the same name. You can add the “ID” column to help you differentiate between two tasks with the same name.

Select the appropriate task then hit “Enter” on your keyboard.

This method is particularly useful when the Predecessor appears somewhere below the Successor in your list.

  • Use the “Successor” column. This is not one of the default columns, so you’ll need to click in the column header and add it.

This functions just like the Predecessor column except in reverse. You start by clicking in the cell of a Predecessor (the first of the two linked tasks) then type in the name of the task that will be the Successor (or second/dependent) task.

If you’ve never used this feature before, you should give it a try. You’ll find linking tasks will help you as the project progresses.

Also note when you create these link relationships on any Templates you use, the projects created based on that Template will maintain those relationships. This is particularly useful if you are creating a Template others in your organization will be using when they create their new projects.

 

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