Gantt Chart: 4 Types of Task Dependencies in Project Management

2021-11-15 13:35:03
Growth-Hackers
Original 291
Summary : A Gantt Chart is a scheduling tool used in project management to show what has to be done and when. It visualizes task relationships and converts it into a diagram.

4 Types of Task Dependencies in Project Management

Without Gantt charts, efficiently managing a project would be close to impossible. They are indispensable for visualizing and monitoring the progress of a project, making them essential tools in project management.


A Gantt chart is a bar graph that displays detailed information about the start date, end date, and duration of activities or tasks on a timeline. Read on to learn more about the four types of project management task dependencies, as well as how each type can help you and your team with project management.


A Gantt chart is a bar graph that displays detailed information about the start date, end date, and duration of activities or tasks on a timeline. Read on to learn more about the four types of project management task dependencies, as well as how each type can help you and your team with project management.

What is a Gantt Chart?

Gantt Chartis a scheduling tool used in project management to show what has to be done and when. It visualizes task relations and converts it into a diagram, and makes it easy to read the schedule of tasks.

The Gantt chart originally emerged from the late 1800s in Poland, and more than a decade later was modified by an American engineer named Henry Gantt. He popularized the use of Gantt charts in America and Europe, where they were widely used to improve project management. Since then, it has become an essential element of modern project management practices.

Benefits of Using A Gantt Chart in Project Management

  • It can track the progress of a project, visualize it, and highlight problems.

  • It is easy to read since it gives you an overview of your tasks by summarizing their information in one place.

  • It helps you make better estimates about how much time it will take for each task or activity because you can see them plotted out on a timeline.

  • You get to identify gaps that might slow down progress, and take steps like adding resources, or cutting low priority tasks to speed up work.

  • It makes it easy for project managers to communicate with team members about their status because everyone has access to the chart and they can see when tasks are due.

  • It provides a visual reference to help project managers track progress over time, which helps them determine if the Gantt charts reflect what is actually happening in real life or not.

  • It is a valuable tool for project managers because it provides an easy-to-follow sequence of tasks that need to be done and who is responsible for completing them.

Gantt Chart: Relation With Project Management

The Gantt chart is one of four main types of project management techniques which include the: milestone charts, network diagrams, PERT Charts, and bar charts. Each type can illustrate different information about how a project progresses over time.


Fundamentally, it is used to help visualize and lay out lists of tasks involved in an organization or company's project. It displays what needs done first and who is responsible for the task, as well as the time frame in which it needs to be completed. Gantt charts are also not limited to noting only task dependencies, but may also be used for visualizing other types of key elements in projects such as milestones, schedules, or costs.

Gantt Chart: Relation to Task Dependencies

Task dependencies are used to specify the relationships between two tasks and to indicate when one is supposed to begin or end in relation to the other one. In a Gantt Chart, task dependencies are composed of lines linking two tasks as shown below:


Source: GanttPRO

Essentially, task dependencies are the different relationships between project tasks and activities, in which one activity cannot start until another has been finished. A Gantt chart is a type of bar graph that maps out task dependencies, used to illustrate project timelines and progress while identifying any areas where deadlines may be at risk or additional resources might be required, and it illustrates how tasks and activities overlap.

The Gantt chart is one of the most common types of task dependencies in project management. Simply put, it shows that Task A must finish before Task B can begin. This type of Gantt chart is also called predecessor/successor or antecedent/consequent chart because it shows the time dependency in project management.

There are charts that only show time dependency, and there are diagrams that include milestones or activities with gating. Each type of Gantt diagram offers its own level of detail and communicates different aspects about a project's progress, and which Gantt chart is best suited to your project will depend on the information that you want to communicate.

 

Gantt Chart: Types of Task Dependencies

According tothe PMBOK Guide, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, dependency refers to a logical relationship between two activities and all tasks should have a dependency. This is because by definition, if a task is part of a project it must be related to other tasks. The fourtypicalmain types oftask dependencies are:

  1. FS: finish to start

  2. FF: finish to finish

  3. SS: start to start

  4. SF: start to finish

Each of these project management task types has a different effect on the Gantt chart.

Finish to Start(FS):

Finish to start in project management means Task A must be finished before Task B can be started. It is the natural dependency that each predecessor task would finish prior to the start of its successor task.

This is the most common type of task dependency and a Gantt chart with FS shows where the starting point of one task is linked with another by a bar, and the end of the first is indicated by an arrowhead on the right side pointing from start to finish. Simply put, this type of Gantt chart is used when a task can only start once another has been completed.


Sometimes, tasks are overlapped necessarily, which falls to the FF, the SS, and the SF relationships as shown below. 


Finish to Finish(FF):

AFF dependency means the dependent Task B cannot be completed until Task A is completed. 


Start to Start(SS):

ASS dependency means the dependent Task B cannot begin until Task A begins. 

The SS relationship is when tasks need to start in order (that does not necessarily mean they are finished) but there isn't any dependency on their completion. A Gantt chart with this type of task dependencies shows that a second or group of tasks cannot start until the first one has started. The arrowhead on this chart points from starting point to starting point, and there may be two bars in a chart.

Startto Finish(SF):


ASF dependency means Task B cannot be completed until Task A begins.

Gantt charts use this type of dependency when a task can only begin once another has been completed. While the Gantt bar for tasks with SF dependencies is similar to those with FF ones, it does not have an arrowhead pointing from start to finish as there is no need to show when a task begins.

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."

                                                                                                                 - Henry Ford

Task Relations in ZenTao

ZenTao supports the four types of task dependencies in its Gantt Chart features. Aside from project management task types, ZenTao also supports parent-child taskswherein if a task is too big and requires several users to complete, it can be broken down into relatively small and manageable child tasks. 


ZenTao provides expert project management solutions to businesses all around the world, including Gantt chart. Contact usto know more about how our products can help your business!

Write a Comment
Comment will be posted after it is reviewed.