Establishing Links Project Management Help

You can enter links between tasks when you enter tasks into Project, or you can wait until you have all the tasks entered and then go back and establish links. Whichever method you choose, you want to establish links before assigning resources ‘and ,costs to a project. Links are important for determining the required timeline of a project, which, in turn, impacts decisions about resources and subsequent costs. Project 2000 offers a variety of methods of linking tasks. You can link tasks by using the following:

• Toolbar or menu commands
• Task Information dialog box or task tables
• Drag and drop with the mouse

Some of these methods depend on the view you are in and the order In which you select tasks for linking.

Linking Tasks by Using Toolbar or Menu Commands

The easiest way to create a finish-to-start link is to use the Link Tasks toolbar button. To create a link using the Link Tasks button, follow these steps:

1. Select the tasks you want to link. You can link two tasks at a time or an entire series of tasks. If you select tasks by dragging, the tasks with lower ID numbers are set as the pred.ecessor tam M;JD rne ta5X5 w)tn n)gner JD nv.ml>en .are successon. if you want to select noncontiguous tasks at \.{you want to desi.gnate a task with a higher 10 number as a predecessor, select tasks by holding Ctrl while you click the tasks in order.

2. Click the Link Tasks button on the Standard toolbar to create the links. Figure 8.7 shows the links created by dragging Tasks 2, 3, and 4. Figure 8.8 shows the links created by selecting Tasks 4, 3, and 2 using the Ctrl key If you prefer, you can also links tasks by selecting the tasks you want to link and choosing Bdtt >Link Tasks or pressing Ctrl+F2. All of the links created using the menu or toolbar are finish-to-start links with no lag or lead time.

If you want to create other types of links, you must use one of the task forms, described in the next section, to enter or edit linking information. Linking Tasks by Using Forms and Tables If you want to create a finish-to-start, start-to-start, or finish-to-finish link, or if you want to enter lag or lead time between tasks, you have the option to create or edit links using one of these methods:

• Task Entry table
• Task Infonnation dialog box
• Task Fonn view

Linking Tasks by Using the Task Entry Table

The Task Entry table you use to enter tasks can also be used to create relationships between tasks. The Predecessor field is available by using the horizontal scroll bars at the bottom of the Task list or by dragging the vertical split bar to make more columns visible, as shown in Figure 8.9.

Drag the vertical split bar to make the Predecessor field visible

Drag the vertical split bar to make the Predecessor field visible

To create a simple finish-to-start relationship with no lag or lead time, follow these steps:

1. Select the Predecessor field of toe successor (dependent) task by clicking in the field.
2. Enter the ID number of the predecessor task.
3. Press Enter and click outside of the field, or click the ‘Enter button on the Entry bar to create the link.

If you want to create a different type of relationship, enter the task ID number, followed by the abbreviation for the relationship type:

FS Finish-to-Start
SS Start-to-Start
SF Start-to-Finish
FF Finish-to-Finish

For example, to create a start-to-finish relationship between Tasks 2 and 3, enter 2SF in the Predecessor field, as shown here To enter multiple predecessors, separate the predecessor information with a comma. For example, enter 2FS. 4FS. When you have finished creating relationships, you can drag the vertical, split bar back to the left to display the relationships in the Gantt Chart.

Linking Tasks by Using the Task Information Dialog Box

The Task Information dialog box is the main vehicle for viewing and entering all of the details about a task. To enter predecessors for a task, you want to open the Task Information dialog box for the successor or dependent task. You can access the Task Information dialog box by using one of these methods:

• Double-click a task
• Click the Task Information button on the Standard toolbar
• Choose Project >- Task Information The Task Information dialog box has five tabs. We introduced the General and Notes tabs (see “Adding More Details About a Task” in Chapter 7).

To enter predecessors in the Task Information dialog box, follow these steps:

1. Open the Task Information dialog box for the successor (dependent) task.
2. Click the Predecessors tab to display the page shown in Figure 8.10 .
3. Select the ID field and enter the number of the task.
Project displays the number in the Entry bar.OR 3. Select the Task Name field and click the down arrow to <?pen the Task list. Select the predecessor task from the list.
4. To accept the entry, click the green check mark in the Entry bar, press Enter, or press the tab key. Click the red X in the Entry bar to cancel the entry. Project enters the ID and Task Name, defines the type as Finish-to-Start, and enters Ocllag.
5. To change the link type, select the Type field and click the down arrow to choose from the list of types.
6. Select the Lag field and use the spin box arrows to increas~ or decrease the amount of lag or lead time. Positive numbers represent lag time and negative numbers represent lead time .
7. Repeat Steps 3-6 if you would like to enter additional predecessors for this task.
8. Click OK to create the links and close the Task Information dialog box.

Linking Tasks by Using the Task Form View The Task Form view is an alternative view available that allows you to see the Task Entry table, the Gantt Chart, and a Task form displaying additional information about the tasks. The Task form, shown in Figure 8.11, appears at the bottom of the window. To activate the Task form view, choose Windows >- Split from the menu. As you can see in Figure 8.11, the Task Form view displays resources and predecessors by default. To change the display to focus on predecessors and successors, rightclick anywhere in the Task form. Figure 8.12 shows you the menu of display choices. Choose Predecessors & Successors from the list.

~ Right<lidc on the Task form in the bottom pone to chsmge the Taskform's display

Rightform in the bottom pone to chsmge the Taskform’s display

8

Creating Predecessors To create predecessor tasks, follow these steps:

In the Task Entry table, click the task for which you want to set a predecessor, or ~ click the Previous or Next buttons on the Task form to move to the desired task.

2. Select the task ID number field or the Predecessor Name field to identify the predecessor task. If you cannot see the ID number, you can use the vertical scroll bar in the Task Entry table to locate the correct task. You can also choose the task directly from the Predecessor ame field list. Click the down arrow in the Predecessor Name field to access the list

. 3. CUck the OK button on the Task form to accept the entry. When you click OK,· Project fills in the task name if you enter the ID number and the ID number if you enter a task name. (Although you can wait to click OK until after you complete Steps 4 and 5, Project won’t fill in the missing ID or task name uhtU you
click OK.)
4. If you want to change the type of the relationship from the default flntsh-tostart relationship, select the Type field. and click the down arrow to open the Type list. Select a type from the Ust.

S. To enter lag or lead time, select the Lag field and use the spin box arrows to enter a positive or negative value.

6. Repeat Steps 2-5 to enter additional predecessors.
7. Click OK on the Task form again to save the changes.

Posted on November 26, 2015 in Scheduling And Linking Project Tasks

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