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Microsoft Project 2010 : Linking Tasks (part 2) - Using the Start-to-Start Relationship,Using the Finish-to-Finish Relationship

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Using the Finish-to-Start Relationship

The Finish-to-Start relationship is the most common of the four types of dependency relationships. The finish date of the predecessor determines the start date of the successor task. For example, framing the walls of a new house should be scheduled to start after the foundation is prepared, with the foundation pouring task acting as the predecessor to the framing task. Referring to the painting example, the links between Tasks 1 and 2 and Tasks 2 and 3 in Figure 1 are all Finish-to-Start links. The linking arrow in the Gantt Chart is drawn from the finish of the predecessor task to the start of the dependent task. The Finish-to-Start dependency relationship is the default relationship created via the Edit, Link Tasks command, or by highlighting the tasks and clicking the Link Tasks button on the Standard toolbar. You must select the predecessor task first and then the successor when highlighting the tasks.

Using the Start-to-Start Relationship

In the Start-to-Start relationship, the start date of the predecessor task determines the start date of the successor task (see the tasks in Figure 2). You can schedule the two tasks to start at or near the same time by using this type of relationship.

Figure 2. You can use the Task tab, Schedule, Link Tasks control to link the tasks and change the dependency type to Start-to-Start in the Task Information dialog box.

Note

A lag is often associated with Start-to-Start links. The start of the dependent task is delayed until some time after the predecessor task is underway. Lags and leads are discussed later in this chapter.


For example, suppose a company leases new office space and plans to move to the new space when remodeling is completed. As part of the move from one office to the other, several tasks need to be accomplished, such as packing boxes, disconnecting desktop computers, disassembling furniture, and loading the boxes and furniture into the moving truck. Because the movers can start loading the vans shortly after the packing starts (after the first load is ready to move), the start of the Load Trucks task can be linked to the start of the Pack Boxes and Disassemble Furniture task, with a small amount of delay or lag time The arrow is drawn from the start of the Pack Boxes and Disassemble Furniture task (predecessor) to the start of the Load Trucks task (successor/dependent) with a day of lag time.

Using the Finish-to-Finish Relationship

In the Finish-to-Finish relationship, the finish date of the predecessor determines the scheduled finish date of the successor task. In other words, you schedule two tasks to finish at or about the same time. For example, when remodeling a kitchen, the delivery of the new kitchen appliances should be completed by the time the cabinets and countertops are installed, so that the new appliances can be installed as soon as the cabinets and countertops are completed (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Finish-to-Finish relationships entail the predecessor’s finish scheduling the successor’s finish.
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