Introduction to Task Dependencies
Exciting news from our Product and Development teams. Task dependencies are now available in your fp. System.
With the release of the new schedule grid view in April, and the Gantt view in May, Task dependencies are the latest step in our vision to make the planning of work easier, faster and more visual.
Please review this article for an introduction to this new feature.
How to use?
Tasks that are part of a Schedule can have an associated predecessor or dependency to Tasks that are also part of the same Schedule. Any Task can have one predecessor, and more than one dependency.
Linkages to predecessor/ dependencies can be created from any Task details page (aka where you are looking at a full screen view of a particular Task). You can access a Task details page by clicking its name on the Grid View, or from the Gantt View - the Gantt View is the recommended option, in that clicking a Task on this view, will open that Task for you in its own tab.
Here in the full screen view of my Task, the Dependencies function appears in the bottom right of the page.
Doing so opens up a searchable dropdown menu of all the other Tasks on the Schedule. Note that the Task we picked as our predecessor is not selectable, and in italics.
"Illegal" actions will be highlighted
Should you aim to make a predecessor or dependency link to a Task where the dates don't work - for example, the dependent Task dates occur before the predecessor Task dates - the offending Task will be marked in orange.
We'd recommend you choose to Unlink this Task, or change the dates of the Task so the linked relationship flows better.
How to view?
Predecessor and dependency links can be seen on the Gantt View. Go back to the Gantt View and click the Gantt View button - doing so will refresh this page only, and allow you to see any Task linkages.
I can now see the lines of dependency between a selection of Tasks. Follow the same steps above to add more predecessors or dependencies. To change any current linkages, click into any of the affected Tasks to access the detailed/ full page view.
With any new feature, we know there will be lots of questions. Below we've addressed some of the questions that came up as we demonstrated and tested Task dependencies:
Q: If Task A is a predecessor to Task B, will the system prevent someone from working on Task B until Task A is complete?
A: Nope! The use of a Task predecessor or dependency will not lock any Task down from being worked on. The predecessors and dependencies give you visual insight into linkages between Tasks on a Job.
Q: Do Tasks have to be on a Schedule for me to add a predecessor or dependency?
A: Yes. The Task(s) must be part of a Schedule in order to have dependency linkages.
Q: Can a Schedule Template have Task Dependencies on it?
A: You bet, and those dependencies will copy over if you create a new schedule, based on a template.
Q: How many predecessors can a Task have?
Q: How many dependencies can a Task have?
A: There is not a set limit, but any Task can only be a dependent of another Task one time. Also keep in mind that you may end up not improving the clarity of your work if you end up with too many dependencies on a single Task.
Q: Can I find Tasks in the system based on if they have a predecessor or dependent?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Do the Tasks need to be in a certain status (Assigned, In Progress etc) for me to add or remove dependencies?
A: No they don't. The Job will need to be in an active state though.
Q: Can I see a history of a Task being made or unmade a predecessor or dependant of another Task?
A: Not at this time. You can limit who can create these linkages though, if you have concerns over staff adding or deleting Task connections when they shouldn't.
Q: Do I have to use this feature on all or none of the Tasks within a Schedule?
A: Nope! Use task dependencies on 2 Tasks in a Schedule, all the Tasks, or none. Up to you.
Q: What permissions do my users need in order to access this new feature?
A: Great question - please see the next step for the specific permissions needed.
Who has permission to use Task Dependencies?
The ability to associate a predecessor or dependency to a Task is permission based. Users will need 5 particular permissions, within the Tasks permission grouping:
- Task | Add
- Task | Delete
- Task | Delete Others
- Task | Update
- Task | Update Others
Lacking any one of these permissions, will mean the user cannot use the dependencies feature.
More task related feature enhancements will be released as we complete our work and testing, and include:
- Enhancements to the Schedule grid view, based on your feedback
- The ability to assign multiple staff members to a Meeting Task
- The ability to adjust Task dates via the Gantt view
- The ability to manage Task dependencies via the Gantt view
And we truly welcome your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org