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Make Forecasting and Managing Projects Easier with Predecessors




Do you have several tasks within a project that you need to have organized in a specific or sequential order? Did you know that adding a predecessor to a task can help in projecting the project timeline and estimate when users need to be available to work on the assigned tasks? 

predecessor is the task another task (called a successor or dependent task) depends on. When a predecessor relationship is added to a task in Workfront, as long as the task constraint of the dependent task is set to As Soon As Possible, the project timeline automatically recalculates, so you can quickly move forward in planning the project. 

You can automatically create predecessor relationships on several, selected tasks in Workfront—rather than manually creating one on each task—using the chaining tasks feature.

Example #1: The Product team is developing a new line of caffeinated tea for the holiday season. The following tasks have been added to the project timeline:

  • Idea Generation
  • Idea Screening
  • Concept Testing
  • Business Analytics
  • Product Development
  • Test Marketing
  • Launch

As each task must occur in sequential order, chain the tasks to quickly add a Finish-Start predecessor relationship.

  1. Select the tasks in the project’s task list.
  2. Expand the More drop-down menu at the top of the task list.
  3. Select Chain and choose the Finish-Start dependency type. Chain_Tasks_Updated-MCW5B6MF2WNFFZHHITSTU4GLH3BE.png

Once the dependency type is selected, the tasks are linked by predecessor relationships and the planned completion dates within the project timeline are automatically adjusted.

REMINDER: The task constraint of the dependent task must be set to As Soon As Possible for the planned dates of the project timeline to adjust. 

Do you need to control when predecessors and dependents kick-off? Did you know you can manually enter predecessors and choose the dependency types on a task in your timeline? 

A dependency type defines when the dependent task can start or finish based on the start or finish of its predecessor. If you don't specify a dependency type, it defaults to Finish-Start. This is also the most common dependency type. All dependency types are listed below. 

  • Finish-Start (fs)
  • Finish-Finish (ff)
  • Start-Start (ss)
  • Start-Finish (sf)
  • Scheduled-Start (sd)

For additional information and definitions of each dependency type, click here to access the knowledge base article.

Example #2: Within a project, the Design team is assigned to the website content creation (Stage 1), and the Review team is assigned review and approval (Stage 2). As review and approval cannot be finished until content is finished, add a predecessor relationship to Stage 2 with a Finish-Finish dependency type. 

NOTE: By choosing a FInish-Finish dependency type (over Finish-Start) in this situation, you are able to compress the project timeline. 

Adding predecessor relationships can be done either in the task list view or by editing the task and navigating to the predecessor tab. 

Within the task list, the predecessor column should look like this: 


By adding this predecessor relationship, the project timeline can automatically adjust so that review and approval (Stage 2) cannot be finished until content (Stage 1) has been done. Likewise, in order to publish the website (Stage 3), Stage 2 must be marked as complete. 

NOTE: If you don’t want a task to start before its predecessor is done, you can enforce the relationship. For additional information on enforcing predecessors, click here to access the knowledge base article.

If you found this post helpful, make sure to “Like” it below. To ask questions, share use cases, or provide feedback, please post the details in the comments section.

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