Managing Dependencies in Project Management: – As for building a house or preparing a recipe, there are inter-dependencies between the differences tasks of a project. Planning these tasks and taking them into account are two essential steps in ensuring the smooth running of a project.
A project is not a succession of independent tasks, but a set of interrelated tasks. Each task has relationships with those that precede it and those that follow it. Your project must follow each step in a specific order, otherwise errors or problems may occur. For example, to build a house, you must first find the land and obtain the building permit before you can begin the work. However, you will not be able to start building the walls if the foundations are not finished. Here this post is all about managing dependencies in project and its advantages for the project as well as for business.
Relationships between Managing Dependencies in Project Management
Discover the different connections that exist between the tasks of a project and the reasons why you must carefully manage these inter-dependencies.
Dependencies (or bindings) have different relationships that exist between the tasks of a project. Each task precedes and succeeds one or more other tasks. There are therefore a large number of connections within the same project.
There are four types of Connections:
- Fine to Start Link: This is the most common dependency. Task B can not start until task A is completed. For example, a building permit must be obtained before starting work or the foundations of the house must be dug to allow the concrete to flow.
- Start-to-Start Link: Task B can not start until task A has started. These two tasks do not have to start at the same time. As soon as task A is started, task B can start at any time. For example, installing windows means the walls and roof are mounted.
- Fine-to-fine connection: Task B cannot be completed until task A is completed. They do not have to finish at the same time. Task B can end any time after the completion of Task A. For example, electricity can be installed only when partitions are mounted.
- Link from start to finish: this type of dependency is rarer. Task B cannot finish until task A has started. Once task A has been started, task B can be terminated at any time. For example, you cannot finish the roof assembly if the tile delivery has not started.
Importance of Managing Dependency between tasks
All the tasks necessary for the completion of the project are organized according to their dependencies. The resources are then allocated to each task and the planning of the project takes shape.
Here are the reasons why you must take into account the connections between the tasks of your project.
To organize tasks into a coherent schedule
Knowing the dependencies between tasks allows the project manager to plan his project consistently by ordering the tasks in an appropriate order.
To Calculate the Critical Path
The critical path is the set of tasks to complete in order to complete the project by the expected date. To use the Critical Path method, it is essential to determine the list of all the tasks required to complete the project, the dependencies between each of these tasks and how long each task will take.
To help you identify the dependencies between each task, ask yourself these questions:
- Which task must take place before it begins?
- What task should be completed at the same time as this task?
- What task should start immediately after it is completed?
To Avoid Resource Conflicts
You must identify and allocate the resources needed to accomplish each task. Taking into account the links between tasks, you avoid resource conflicts, that is, the same resource assigned to two tasks simultaneously. If this happens, make the necessary decisions: modify the schedule or recruit additional resources.
To Anticipate delays or Speed up Planning
Since tasks are interconnected, if one of them is delayed, it will directly affect the dependent tasks. The reverse is also possible: if a task ends sooner than expected, you can advance tasks that depend on it.
By efficiently managing the connections between your tasks, you can anticipate delays and even speed up the schedule.
To Avoid Repeating a task
In your house, you laid the plaster before the electrician was able to make electricity. You will have to disassemble what you have done, wait for the electrician to do his job, then plaster again. You will have lost time and money. If you had followed the dependencies between the different tasks, you could have adjusted your schedule.
As a project manager, you know that all aspects of a project are interconnected. From the beginning of the project, you must identify the independent tasks (on which your team can work separately) and the interrelated tasks. Be careful: neglecting these connections can result in significant financial losses and jeopardize your project. Today, there are tools that make this mission easier. For example, the Gantt diagram allows you to quickly visualize the relationships between the different tasks of a project.