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Dependencies & Wait Time | LiquidPlanner

Dependencies & Wait Time

Dependencies and Wait Time are on the Edit Panel Scheduling tab. From there you can see a list of all the Predecessors and Successors linked to a plan item, add or remove Dependencies and enter Wait Time. In Priority and Grid views, check boxes next to plan items and use the Right-Click or 3-Dot menus to Create top down dependency chains or Remove Dependencies.

1

Predecessor and Successor Dependencies #

Has Dependencies icon

LiquidPlanner supports finish to start dependencies on all plan items: Packages, Projects, Sub-Folders, and Tasks. Items with dependencies are designated by the “Has Dependencies” icon. Click on the icon to open the Edit Panel Scheduling tab and see the dependency list.

Predecessors: these need to finish before this item can start.
Successors: these will start after the this item’s schedule status is “Done.”

Dependencies can also include Wait Time to model a waiting period after the predecessor dependencies are satisfied and before starting the successor.

Be sure to mark work done to satisfy dependencies and keep everything moving along!

2

Fewer Tasks and Dependencies needed in a priority-driven schedule #

Task Assignments on the edit panel with multiple people assigned

Dependencies are very common in project management, but you may find that the priority-driven schedule you’re creating in LiquidPlanner requires fewer tasks and dependencies to sequence work.

Fewer tasks are necessary because you can have multiple assignments on a single task. Setting Task Assignments to Schedule In Order ensures that they schedule one after the other. As one is marked done, the next one is ready to go. You can change assignment order and add or remove assignments as needed.

Individuals can map their work across a series of assignments on a single task.
Collaborators can pass work back and forth over multiple assignments on the same task.

Fewer Dependencies

Project view with tasks listed in priority order without dependencies

Fewer dependencies are needed because tasks assigned to the same person automatically schedule one right after the other. When one task is marked done, the next one is automatically served up for you.

3

Dependencies & Wait Time on the Edit Panel Scheduling tab #

Predecessor and Successor dependency tables on the Edit Panel Scheduling tab

Clicking the “Has Dependencies” icon takes you to the Edit Panel Scheduling tab. This where you’ll see a table displaying all the Predecessors and Successors linked to the plan item.

The Predecessor table displays Wait Time and Schedule Status for items that need to be marked done before work can begin on this item. Both tables display the Expected Finish date and each row has a 3-dot menu for removing a Predecessor or Successor.

Wait (days) are the number of days in the “waiting period” after the Predecessor is marked done.
Status is the Predecessor’s schedule status. Items that are “Satisfied” have been marked done.

Read more about Dependency Plan Items, Schedule Status and Expected Finish . . .

Dependency Plan Items

List of predecessor and successor plan items

The first column in each table displays the linked plan items along with their project or package location. Icons on the left indicate the plan item type (Package, Project, Sub-Folder or Task). Hover over the Task’s icon to read the Task Status.

Clicking on a task link opens the Edit Panel. Clicking on a container link takes you to the container’s list view.

Use the +Predecessor and +Successor links to add Dependencies. More information about adding dependencies is provided further down in this lesson.

Predecessor Status Column 

Predecessor table with wait time and status

This column displays the Predecessor’s schedule status.

Scheduled: Predecessor is active
Satisfied: Predecessor was marked done
Unscheduled: Predecessor is not scheduling because it is on hold
Circular: Predecessors and Successors have been linked so that they are dependent on each other.

Circular dependencies display an alert so you can make a correction. Click on the plan item that’s identified as “Circular” to open its Edit Panel and investigate that item’s dependencies.

Expected Finish Column

This is the plan item’s Expected Finish Date. If the plan item has a Target Finish date set to Stop Scheduling, then this is the Target Finish date. The Expected Finish column is in both the Predecessor and Successor tables.

4

Wait Time #

Predecessor table with wait time

 

 

 

 

Wait Time tells the scheduling engine how many days to wait after the predecessor dependencies are satisfied before starting the successor task. Click into the Wait (days) column and enter the number of days.

Marking the Predecessor done satisfies the dependency, and the scheduling engine starts counting down Wait Time. If there are multiple Predecessors with Wait Time, scheduling for the Successor starts when all of those items are marked done and their waiting periods are over.

Wait Time in your Schedule

Wait Time in the Schedule

Wait Time creates a gap between the Expected Finish date of the Predecessor and the Expected Start date for its Successor. Predictive Scheduling fills in lower priority work until the Wait Time period ends. At that point lower priority work is interrupted and scheduled to resume after the Successor task is marked done.

5

Create Dependency Chains while in Priority and Grid Views #

Project view with task checkboxes checked and right click menu displayed

To add Dependencies while in Priority and Grid Views check the boxes next to items, then right click or open the 3-dot menu. “Create Dependencies” chains them together in top-down order. Select a block of plan items by checking the box next to the first one, then hold down the shift-key while selecting the last one.

In Project View, the first level sub-folder can be included in the dependency chain. When a sub-folder is selected, tasks inside the folder won’t begin until the Predecessor item is marked done.

If you need to create dependencies with items in different packages, projects or nested sub-folders, go to the Edit Panel Scheduling tab (more on that down below).

6

Create dependencies for items in different locations or nested Sub-Folders #

Dependency modal open on the Edit Panel Scheduling tab

The Edit Panel Scheduling tab offers the greatest flexibility for creating dependencies. From here you can create simple dependences between a few plan items, or more intricate dependencies across packages, projects and nested sub-folders. Select either +Predecessor or +Successor and when the modal opens, check the boxes next to items you want to link. Items are grayed out when a dependency is already in place.

Use the filter at the top to find an item by name.
Check the box to “include done items” if you need to link an item that has been marked done.
Navigate to other plan items using the arrow at the top of the modal.
The Link button creates the dependency and closes the modal.

Read more to learn about navigating through the dependency modal to select plan items . . .

Three views of the same dependency modal representing 3 steps

The dependency modal provides a way to create multiple dependencies per location, but you can only choose from one location at a time. If you check boxes in one location and then move to another location by clicking the arrow at the top, previous selections will be lost.

Use +Predecessor or +Successor to open the modal
Navigate to the desired location (more on that below)
Check boxes next to the plan items you need (this activates the Link button)
Click Link to create the dependencies (this closes the modal)

Repeat the process to link with items in another location. Items are grayed out or rendered unselectable if a dependency already exists for the item.

Dependencies on Sub-Folders, Projects and Packages

Dependency modal with box checked next to Sub-Folder

Checking the box next to a Sub-Folder, Project or Package creates a dependency that includes everything in the container.

When the container is the Predecessor, it will need to be marked done before Successors can start. If everything inside is marked done but the container itself is still active, its Successors won’t schedule. Be sure to mark containers done when they are included in dependencies.

Click on the plan item link to create dependencies on items inside a container

Two images showing how to click into a container and select items

Containers are displayed as links in the dependency modal. Click on the link to drop down in hierarchy and access items inside the container. Check boxes next to everything that needs to be included in the dependency. Clicking on “Link” creates the dependencies and closes the modal.

Navigate through the hierarchy in the dependency modal

5 images showing navigation locations in dependency modal

Use the arrow at the top of the modal to navigate up the hierarchy. Click on a container link to access the items inside. Check boxes next to everything that needs to be included in the dependency from that location, then use “Link” to create the dependencies and close the modal. 

7

Use Dependencies to sequence work in phases #

Dependencies on sub-folders in Project View

Dependencies are very useful for sequencing work in phases. To manage phases within a project create a Sub-Folder for each phase and add tasks.  Create a dependency chain so each Sub-Folder is linked, one after the other.

Marke the Sub-Folder done when all of the tasks in that phase are marked done.

8

Removing Dependencies  #

Right Click menu in Project View and Delete Dependencies warning

Removing dependencies on Priority and Grid views with right-click or the 3-dot menu removes all of them from the plan item. A warning displays asking you to confirm your choice. If you are unsure about all the items that may be linked, open the Edit Panel Scheduling tab and look at the Predecessor and Successor tables.

Remove Dependencies while on the Edit Panel Scheduling tab
Remove dependencies menu in Edit Panel Scheduling tab

On the Edit Panel Scheduling tab use the three dot menu to remove a Predecessor or Successor dependency.

Deleted Plan Items: When a Predecessor or Successor is deleted from the workspace, it’s automatically removed from the Dependency list.