Project management software is a powerful tool that can help you manage your projects and tasks. These softwares have become an essential part of task management as they help avoid the loss of more than 12% of resources that were wasted before due to bad project management.

Task management dependencies are an important feature of a project management software. They allow the project manager to see which tasks are dependent on other tasks and how long it’s been since these tasks were completed.

The task relationships form a simple web of dependencies that can be used to identify potential bottlenecks in your projects.

Throughout this article, we will go through different ways by which you can create and manage task dependencies in project management.

What Are Dependencies in Task Management?

Dependencies are tasks that have to be completed before a task can move forward. These can be created by you, the manager, or they can be created by another person on your team that is completing a task. For example, if you want to send out an email campaign, but need the data from the customer survey results before you can send it out, then those would be dependencies.

Dependencies are useful because they help you manage your workflow. For example, if you have a deadline for an important project, you can see at a glance which tasks are dependent on that project and prioritize them accordingly.

Task management tool can help you solve dependencies in task management by providing tools that can:

  • Make it easy to see exactly which tasks depend on others and when they will be completed.
  • Allow you to rearrange the order of tasks with ease so that completion of one task doesn't cause another to get delayed.
  • Provide an overview of how the project is progressing, so you can see if your team is on track or if any potential issues need to be addressed.

Types of Dependencies in Task Management

Task management can be a challenge for organizations of all sizes, but it's especially tricky for companies that are growing quickly.

It's not enough to simply know what your employees are doing; you also need to be able to determine whether or not they're on track to hit their goals.

This is where dependencies come in. Dependencies can help you identify who needs to do what, when, and how.

Here are four types of dependencies you might find in a task management tool:

Task Management Tool

1. Mandatory

A mandatory dependency is a task that must be completed before another task can be started. For instance, if you want to install a new Windows version on your computer, you need to uninstall the old Windows version first. If this isn't done, the new installation will fail. This is a good example of a mandatory dependency because one must complete one task before starting the next.

The following are examples of mandatory dependencies:

  • The task cannot be started until the previous task has been completed. This is common when there is a sequential relationship between tasks, such as in assembly lines or software development processes where one person's work is dependent on another person's work.
  • The task cannot be started until certain materials or resources are available. For example, you may need to wait until your supplier delivers the parts needed for your project's next stage of development before starting a particular task.

2. Discretionary

Discretionary dependencies are those that depend on the discretion of the project manager. For instance, if you were doing unlimited projects and it is your responsibility to complete it by a certain date, and you can do it earlier than that date, it's up to you whether or not to submit your work early. If you don't submit it until the deadline, then no one will know about your extra effort.

Discretionary dependencies are usually not tracked because they are based on the project manager's judgment. They also don't impact other tasks in any way.

For example, if you're working on a marketing campaign for an upcoming product launch, you might need to create an ad campaign that includes several different types of ads (text ads, banner ads, etc.). Each one has its own date range and deadline, but since they all serve the same purpose (sell more products), they're all considered discretionary dependencies.

3. External

A dependency that requires something outside the scope of the project or workstream is called an external dependency. For example, if your project requires approval from a customer, then obtaining this approval is an external dependency. You cannot plan ahead for these kinds of dependencies because they come from outside your team's control and influence.

4. Internal

An internal dependency comes from within your team or organization's scope of control and influence. For instance, if your project is dependent on another department completing their part first before yours begins, then this would be considered an internal dependency.

How to Manage Dependencies in Task Management?

In the real world, dependencies are everywhere. If you're building a house, you need to secure the land first before laying the foundation. You can't build anything without a concrete foundation. You can't have a healthy body without eating right and doing some exercise.

Here are some tips on how to manage dependencies in task management:

Task Management Tool

1. Linking Tasks And Projects

The first thing is to link tasks with projects. This can be done by dragging a task from one project to another or by selecting two or more tasks (or projects) and clicking the Link button on the toolbar. When you link two or more tasks together, they become linked by default. You can change this option for individual links by right-clicking on it and choosing Unlink from the context menu. Furthermore, you can use the exact same method to break a link between two or more tasks (or projects).

2. Managing Resources

The second thing is managing resources — people who work on your project — in task management software such as Teamweek. For example, if you assign a task to someone in Teamweek, he will get an email notification saying “[name] has assigned you [task name]” with a link to the task details page where he will see all information about this task: description, due date and so on.

3. Use a Tool Like a Project Management Software

Most modern project management software will allow you to create dependencies between tasks, which is one of the most common ways to manage them. This way, when you add a new task, it automatically knows which other tasks need to be completed before it can be started.

4. Break Larger Projects Into Smaller Pieces and Assign Deadlines for Each Piece

This makes it easier for everyone involved to see their part of the project and get a clear picture of how all things fit together. This also helps with setting realistic timelines — if you know certain tasks take longer than others, then make sure they get enough time in the schedule so that they don't cause delays later on down the line!

5. Set Due Dates for Intermediate Steps

If your project has sub-tasks that need to be completed before others can begin, set due dates for each of these steps, so they appear on your timeline, and you'll always know when to expect them back from your team members.

Summing It Up

Project management is about more than just tasks and to-dos. It's about managing your team's time and resources to reach a common goal. Ready to streamline project planning process and enhance team productivity with Projectsly?

Projectsly is a project management tool that helps you manage all of your projects, tasks, resources, and documents in one place. It comes with functionalities that allow you to collaborate with your team members, share files and track progress on each task.

With Projectsly, you can manage your project dependencies effectively by assigning the right people to each task. You can also add due dates, milestones, and other details to each task so that everyone knows when to expect things to be completed.

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