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Dependencies, Predecessors, and Successors

How to create dependencies in Project for Web (P4W)

Just like other versions of Microsoft Project, Project for Web supports linking tasks together to create dependencies. These are sometimes also called predecessors or successors. This article will show you how to set them up.

In this example, have a basic plan in P4W with a few tasks. We want to create a basic waterfall schedule where the first task needs to finish before the second can start, the second must finish before the third, and so on. Initially, there are no dependencies, so everything is scheduled to start on the same day:

Project for Web plan without any dependencies.

Using the "Depends On" Field

The first way to add dependencies to a plan in P4W is to use the Depends On field.

  1. In the Grid view of P4W, click on Add Column and then choose Depends on:

    Add the

    This is the equivalent of the Predecessors field in other versions of Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online.

  2. In this example, I want "Task B" to depend on "Task A". So, I will click on the Depends on cell that corresponds to "Task B". In the box, one option is to type the number of the task, like "1":

    Search for dependencies by task number.

    Another option is to type a portion of the task name such as "Tas". All matching tasks will appear:

    Search for dependencies based on task name

  3. Either way, once you have found the task that you want, select it from the dropdown, and the two tasks will be linked:

    Two tasks linked in P4W.

    Notice how "Task B" is now scheduled to start after "Task A" finishes. The red line in the screenshot above is for emphasis; it does not appear in P4W.

  4. In the Timeline view of P4W, you can verify that the two tasks are linked:

    Timeline showing predecessor in P4W.

Using the "Dependents (After)" Field

The second way to add dependencies to a plan in P4W is to use the Dependents (After) field, which is the inverse of the Depends On field discussed above.

  1. In the Grid view of P4W, click on Add Column and then choose Dependents (After):

    Add the

  2. Notice that "Task A" already has a dependent numbered "2", which was based on the predecessor we added in the previous section:

    Depends On and Dependents After are opposites of each other.

    The Dependents (After) field is the same as the Successors field in other versions of Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. It will always show the same information as the Depends On field, but in reverse notation.

  3. In this example, I want "Task C" to depend on "Task B", meaning that "Task B" should have a dependent of "Task C". So, I will click on the Depends on cell that corresponds to "Task B". In the box, one option is to type the number of the task, like "3":

    Search for successors by task number.

    Another option is to type a portion of the task name such as "C". All matching tasks will appear:

    Search for successors based on task name

  4. Either way, once you have found the task that you want, select it from the dropdown, and the two tasks will be linked:

    Successor linked to predecessor.

    Notice how "Task C" is now scheduled to start after "Task B" finishes. The red line in the screenshot above is for emphasis; it does not appear in P4W.

  5. In the Timeline view of P4W, you can verify that the two tasks are linked:

    Successor showing in the P4W timeline.

Drag and Drop in the Timeline

The third way to add dependencies to a plan in P4W the Timeline view to connect tasks with your mouse.

  1. Go to the Timeline and find "Task D", which is not currently linked to the other tasks::

    P4W Timeline with fourth task

  2. Hover your mouse over the left-hand edge of "Task D" until a blue dot appears:

    Blue dot on successor task.

  3. Left-click and drag the blue dot from "Task D" to the end of "Task C" where you will see another blue dot:

    Blue dot on predecessor task.

  4. When you release your mouse, the two tasks will be linked:

    Finish to start dependency created in the P4W timeline

    This is a finish-to-start dependency, because "Task D" cannot start until "Task C" finishes.

Other Dependency Types

Currently, Project for Web (P4W) only supports Finish-to-Start dependencies.

Project for Web does not support these types of dependencies:

  • Finish-to-Finish
  • Start-to-Start
  • Start-to-Finish

If you need more robust types of dependency logic, you may be better suited to a more advanced version of Microsoft Project, Project Online, or Project Server, all of which support more robust dependencies.

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