Parent Task is a high-level item within task breakdown that is specified with greater detail by a number of related sub-tasks or child tasks. It is the root task that subordinates its sub-tasks and defines how they should be performed and related to each other.
The term "parent task" is used in task planning practices to explain the central and major element of a task decomposition design. Parent task has the following characteristics:
- Splitting: the task can be split or divided into a series of simple operations or related sub-tasks
- Goal definition: it defines direction and subordinated goals of related sub-tasks
- Forecast outcome: results of the task can be forecast by planning its sub-tasks ahead
Parent task is always at the top of task hierarchy. It may have several child tasks of the same level or multiple sub-tasks that belong to different hierarchical levels of the same hierarchy. Sometimes, parent tasks with multiple hierarchical levels and sub-tasks are regarded as projects or sub-projects. Such tasks are broad and included as elements of project breakdown structures and trees.