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Help with predecessors RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a project that has three tasks that will all have the same duration except that one will start two days after the other. By that I mean that task two will start 2 days after task one and task three will start 2 days after task 2. I have no problem setting them up except for the duration. If I change the duration on task one, how can I automatically change the duration of tasks two and three. I don't want to do it by highlighting the duration of all three and changing them globally. I can guarantee that I'll forget to do that! Any help would be appreciated.

     

    --Rick

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:18 PM

Answers

  • Rick --

    As I read your post, I wondered to myself, "What does Duration have to do with task dependencies?"  In your situation, you should use the Finish-to-Start task dependency with 2 days of Lag time between Task One and Task Two, and between Task Two and Task Three.  Did you specify that relationship between these two pairs of tasks?  If not, one way to do this is to select Task One and Task Two, and then link them.  Then double-click anywhere on the link line between these two tasks (the arrow head is the biggest target on which to double-click) and in the Task Dependency dialog, enter 2 days in the Lag field.  Do the same for Task Two and Task Three as well.

    Otherwise, if you have already specified this task dependency relationship between the tasks, then I defer to John's original answer.  Hope this little bit of extra helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Rick,

    Honestly, your best bet is to tie a string around your finger or tack a sticky note to your computer so you can remember.

    There is one way to have durations "track" and that is through the use of hammock tasks. However, creating a hammock task involves the use of paste links and those are fragile and prone to corruption. Nonetheless, if you want to try, go to the MVP website at, http://www.mvps.org/project/faqs.htm, and follow the steps in FAQ 19 - Hammock tasks.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:28 PM
  • Hi Rick,

    one possibility to use "Paste Linke". Copy duration of your first task. Right-click on duration of second task - Paste special - paste link. Do the same for your third task. Whenever you change duration of of task1, durations of the others will change accordingly.

    Does that work for you?
    Barbara

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:32 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Rick,

    You have already got 3 wonderful solution, as John has suggested that this can be achieved only through Hammock linking is the way to do this, but that is very fragile. you can set Task 2 predecessor as (say ID for Task 1 is 1) 1FS +2, similiarly for Task3 (ID of Task 2 is 2) 2FS +2 as Dale suggested. Then you can copy duration of task1 and right click -> Paste Special -> Paste as Link - Text Data (repeat this for Task 2 and Task 3) as Barbara noted. This will link 3 tasks with 2 days lag with same Duration as task1. But if you overwrite Duration field of either Task2 or Task 3 it will break the Duration link and hence it no longer will change based on any change in Duration of task1. So you need to be certain of this fact.

    But I would suggest you leave the scheduling to the tool, you can try assiging Task type as Fixed Duration or Fixed Work based on the business need. Then you can decide on effort driven or not. Fixed Work is always Effort Driven.


    Sapna S
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:56 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Rick,

    Honestly, your best bet is to tie a string around your finger or tack a sticky note to your computer so you can remember.

    There is one way to have durations "track" and that is through the use of hammock tasks. However, creating a hammock task involves the use of paste links and those are fragile and prone to corruption. Nonetheless, if you want to try, go to the MVP website at, http://www.mvps.org/project/faqs.htm, and follow the steps in FAQ 19 - Hammock tasks.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:28 PM
  • Hi Rick,

    one possibility to use "Paste Linke". Copy duration of your first task. Right-click on duration of second task - Paste special - paste link. Do the same for your third task. Whenever you change duration of of task1, durations of the others will change accordingly.

    Does that work for you?
    Barbara

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:32 PM
    Moderator
  • Rick --

    As I read your post, I wondered to myself, "What does Duration have to do with task dependencies?"  In your situation, you should use the Finish-to-Start task dependency with 2 days of Lag time between Task One and Task Two, and between Task Two and Task Three.  Did you specify that relationship between these two pairs of tasks?  If not, one way to do this is to select Task One and Task Two, and then link them.  Then double-click anywhere on the link line between these two tasks (the arrow head is the biggest target on which to double-click) and in the Task Dependency dialog, enter 2 days in the Lag field.  Do the same for Task Two and Task Three as well.

    Otherwise, if you have already specified this task dependency relationship between the tasks, then I defer to John's original answer.  Hope this little bit of extra helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Rick,

    You have already got 3 wonderful solution, as John has suggested that this can be achieved only through Hammock linking is the way to do this, but that is very fragile. you can set Task 2 predecessor as (say ID for Task 1 is 1) 1FS +2, similiarly for Task3 (ID of Task 2 is 2) 2FS +2 as Dale suggested. Then you can copy duration of task1 and right click -> Paste Special -> Paste as Link - Text Data (repeat this for Task 2 and Task 3) as Barbara noted. This will link 3 tasks with 2 days lag with same Duration as task1. But if you overwrite Duration field of either Task2 or Task 3 it will break the Duration link and hence it no longer will change based on any change in Duration of task1. So you need to be certain of this fact.

    But I would suggest you leave the scheduling to the tool, you can try assiging Task type as Fixed Duration or Fixed Work based on the business need. Then you can decide on effort driven or not. Fixed Work is always Effort Driven.


    Sapna S
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:56 PM
    Moderator