Creating Relationships with Predecessors

    This article will walk you through how to create relationships between tasks by using Predecessors.  Start with the video below:

    Creating relationships within a project plan is the key to success. Relationships organize tasks and show a realistic view of how certain tasks affect those related to it.  So, how to create these relationships? By using the Predecessors functionality of Inspire Planner, your project takes form in a new light.

    Step 1 - Create a Project Outline

    Once you have your project outline, it should look something like the image below. As you can see, the Predecessors have not been filled in. In the current phase of the project, no tasks are dependent on one another.

    Step 2 - Understand Dependency Relationships

     In order to use the Predecessor function effectively, first you need to understand the concept of Dependency Relationships in project planning.

    There are four common ways to define relationships between tasks:

    • Finish to Start (FS),
    • Start to Start (SS),
    • Finish to Finish (FF), and
    • Start to Finish (SF).

     Finish to Start (FS)

    This is Inspire Planner’s default relationship and means that a linked task can begin once the previous (predecessor) task has been completed.

    Finish Start in Gantt Chart

    The image above shows an example of a Finish-to-Start relationship in the Gantt Chart. The orange line links the completion point of the predecessor task to the start of the new task.

    Start to Start (SS)

    A Start-to-Start relationship involves two tasks being set to start in unison, but these tasks to finish at different points in time.

    Start to Start in Gantt Chart

    The image above shows two tasks that start together and finish at different times.

    Finish to Finish (FF)

    Finish-to-Finish tasks must be completed at the same time, but can begin at different points in time, as displayed in the image below.

    Finish to Finish in Gantt Chart

    Start to Finish (SF)

    Start-to-Finish relationships are the least commonly used in project planning. Start-to-Finish tasks mean that the successor task’s completion is determined by the predecessor’s start.

    Start to Finish in Gantt Chart

    Once you understand the different relationship types, you can start setting up your project.

    Step 3 - Put It into Action

    Now that you understand how dependency relationships work, you are ready to implement relationships into your project.

    There are two ways of connecting tasks, as demonstrated below.

    1. Double-click on the desired predecessor cell, and enter the task number of the task to which it should be linked and the type of relationship you want it to have.

     Finish to Start

    As you can see below, predecessor of Task 8 is Task 7. There are no letters beside it, indicating that it is set to the default Finish-to-Start relationship.

    Finish-to-Start in Project Task List

    Start to Start

    As you can see below, Task 9 is the predecessor of Task 10. They have a Start-to-Start relationship indicated by 9SS. The tasks start on the same day but they end on different days.

    Finish to Finish

    As you can see below, Task 12 is the predecessor to Task 13. They have a Finish-to-Finish relationship, indicated by 12FF in the Predecessor column.

    Start to Finish

    As you can see Task 14 is the predecessor to Task 15, and they have a Start-to-Finish relationship, indicated by 14SF.

    1. The second method for setting up relationships is to double-click on the particular predecessor cell, and click the pop-up crayon icon.

    This brings up the Task Information box.

    Click the Add New button, and either enter the Task Name of the predecessor to which the task is to be linked, or select it from the dropdown list.

    Add New Task Dropdown

    Select a type of relationship from the dropdown list.

    Click the up or down arrows to set the Lag time.

    Lag Time Dropdown

    Select the General tab to add information about the task, and the Notes tab to enter any additional details.

    General Tab - Task Information

    Notes Tab - Task Information

    Once the Predecessor information has been filled in, the Predecessor column of the Gantt Chart shows the relationship details.

     Step 4 – Multiple Predecessors

    You can enter as many predecessors as you may need. Use semi-colon to separate predecessors. See example below.

    As shown below, Tasks 7, 8, and 9 are predecessors of Task 10.

    Multiple Predecessors - Task List

    Multiple Predecessors - Gantt Chart

    If you wish to edit the relationships, you can double-click in the desired Predecessor cell, press the Backspace key, and enter the correct relationship type.

    For first-time project planners, please see Getting Started with Inspire Planner,or log a Help Ticket and someone from our Inspire Support Team will get back to you.

    Happy Planning!





    Getting StartedGantt ChartProject Task ListPredecessorsProject Plan

    « Previous ArticleNext Article »