Linking Tasks Using Drag-and-Drop Project Management Help

One of the easiest way to link tasks when you can see both the predecessor and the successor task in the Gantt Chart or Calendar view is to use drag-and-drop with the mouse.

You have to be careful when you use drag-and-drop to make sure you are linking tasks, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a quick way to create finish-to-start relationships with no lag or lead time. To use the mouse to link tasks, follow these steps: “

1. Point to the predecessor task. When you point to the center of the task in the Gantt Chart, the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow. In the Calendar view, use the standard arrow pointer.
2. Drag the task and drop it on the successor task. As soon as you start dragging, the pointer changes to a chain link pointer shape.

Locating a Taskbar on the Gantt Chart

You may have already discovered that selecting a task in”the task list does not display the corresponding task bar in the Gantt Chart. Although you can use the horizontal 50’011 bar at the bottom of the Gantt Chart to locate Is specific taskbar, this is a tedious process in a project that extends over many months. To”quickly jump to a taskbar, select the task in the task list and pick the Go ToSelected Task button on the Standard toolbar.

This immediately moves the Gantt Chart to the start of the selected task.

Modifying Task Relationships

In even the best-laid plans, there comes a time when you need to change the relationship between tasks. This could be as drastic as completely unlinking tasks or as simple as changing the relationship type. Project offers a number of ways to change established relationships.

Unlinking Tasks

it easiest Wily to unlink at sk Is to select a task and dick the Unlink 1isks button 0 the Standard toolbar. This Immediately removes all predecessor and successor links related to this task. If you want to remove only one link, select the predecessor and successor tasks and click the Unlink Tasks button. You can also delete links using the menu by selecting the links and choosing Edit > Unlink ‘Jasks.

Modifying Links with the Task Dependency Dialog Box

In the Task Dependency dialog box, you can change the type of a relationship and modify the lag or lead time. To access the Task Dependency dialog box, double-click the connecting line between two tasks. To change the relationship type, click the down arrow on the Type field to open the Type list. Select the Type from the drop-down list. If you choose None as the relationship type, the link is removed. You can also remove the link by clicking the Delete button. Click OK to dose the dialog box.

Using Forms and Tables to Modify Links

After you establish links, you can also’modify them in the Task Information dialog . box, the Task Entry table, and the Task form.
To modify links in the Task Information dialog box, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the task to open the dialog box.
2. Click the Predecessors tab.
3. Select the field you want to edit.
4. Enter the modified information by selecting it from a drop-down list or typing in the field.
5. Click OK to close the dialog box and save the changes. .

To modify information in the Task Entry table, follow these steps:
1. Drag the vertical split bar to the right to display the Predecessors field.
2. Select the cell you want to edit. The pointer changes to an l-beam
3. Click the cell again with the l-learnt pointer to switch to Edit mode. The flashing insertion point appears.
4. Make any desired changes.

S. Press Enter or select another cell to enter the changes .

Do not attempt to remove a link by selecting a cell in the Predecessors column and pressing Delete. This removes the entire task. not just the link. To remove a link, . switch to Edit mode (see Step 3 in the previous set of steps), select the entry, and press Delete. .@ To modify information in the Task form, follow these steps:

1. Choose Windows> Split Screen to activate the Task form at the bottom of the window. .
2. Check to see that the Task form is displaying Resources & Predecessors, Resource &. Successors, OL Predecessors &. Successors. If one of these views is not the current view, right-click on the form and choose one from the menu that opens.

3. Select the field you want to edit.
4. Enter the modified information by selecting it from a drop-down list or typing in the field.
S. Click the OK button on the Task form to accept the change.
6. Close the Task form by choosing Windows> Remove Split.

A flashing insertion point appears, along with a Cancel button (red X) and an Enter button (green check). To work in Edit mode, enter any text or use the Backspace or Delete key to delete text. Click the Enter button to record the changes or the Cancel button to cancel them and restore the previous el.t!y.

Using Autolink to Repair Broken Lin

When you move, delete, or insert a task, Project automatically repairs the broken links created by the changes. In Figure 8.15, the first set of tasks is linked. In the second set, the middle task, “Interview sales candidates,” was deleted with Autolink on. The link was automatically re-created between Task 2 and Task 4. In the third set, the middle task was deleted with the Autolink feature off. The link was broken between the two tasks. Autolink is an option that is on by default.

However, you can choose to turn it off for a specific project, or change the default so that it is always off. To turn Autolink off, follow these steps:

1. Choose Tools Options.
2. Click the Schedule tab.
3. Click the Autolink Inserted or Moved Tasks checkbox to clear it.
4. If you want Autolink off by default, click the Set as Default button,
S. Click OK to close the Options dialog box and save the changes

Creating Links in an Outlined Task List

When you create outlined task lists, subtasks are automatically linked to their summary task. This link is inherent in the outlining feature. However, you have several options for how you want to link the summary groups and sub-tasks within those summary groups together. You can do the following:

• Link subtasks with a summary group and link summary tasks together
• Link ubta s between summary tasks
• ink summary tasks to subtasks in other summary groups
For more about outlining tasks, see MUsingthe Outlining Features,” in 7.

Linking Summary Tastes to Each Atelier
The most common method of linking in an outlined task list is to link summary tasks together, and to link the subtasks to other subtas~ within each summary group. This is the way Project creates links if you select all the tasks and click the Link Task button. This method gives you the flexibility to insert and delete tasks within a summary group, change task durations, and move tasks around without affecting the link with the next group of tasks. Figure 8.16 shows an example of linking summary tasks.

Linking summary tasks gives you the freedom to manipulate subtasks while still retaining the link to the rest of the project

Linking summary tasks gives you the freedom to manipulate subtasks while still retaining the link to the rest of the project

Linking Subtasks between Summary Groups

Another method of linking tasks in an outline is to link subtasks together between summary groups. In the example in Figure 8.17, the last task in Office Space summary group, the Move completed milestone, becomes the predecessor to the first tas~ in the Marketing Plan summary group, Conduct assessment of business environment. If you’ choose this method, be. very careful if you insert, move, or delete subtasks. You must make sure that the links between groups are maintained even if the original relationship is no longer appropriate.

Linking Summary Tasks to Subtasks

The third method of linking tasks in an outline is to link summary tasks to subtasks in other summary groups. Use this method if you want to link the completion of a summary group to a particular task within another subgroup. In the example in Figure 8.18, the summary task Office Space is linked directly to the third task in the summary group, Marketing Plan, Identify Major Competitors. At the same time, all of the subtasks in the Summary Group are linked together. That creates the equivalent of a lag between the second task, Establish Contact With Chamber Of Commerce, and the / ‘ third task, Identify Major Competitors, because this third task can’t start until the Office Space tasks are all completed.

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

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