Tasks that belong to one and the same project are usually dependent on each other in some way. They are dependent because they may share common risks, consume the same resource base, or have an impact on each others’ start or finish date.
Effective management of dependent tasks requires project managers to have a clear understanding of the process for setting and controlling task dependency. Such a process establishes precedence between project tasks and ensures right implementation of these tasks, according to their ranks and priorities. If this process is effective, then overall management of dependent project tasks appears to be effective as well.
The process of managing task dependency includes the following steps:
- Defining. First, identify tasks that perform your project; then define the tasks’ goals and objectives.
- Prioritization. Now establish priorities between project tasks. Task priority matrix will help reach task ranking and sequencing.
- Scheduling. PERT chart is best to schedule dependent tasks. Use PERT chart to create a timeline that shows how durations of tasks are linked to each other and how they contribute to project progress.
- Analyzing. Finally, use Design Precedence Matrix to control and analyze task dependencies. Such a matrix helps identify inefficiency and derive suggestions for improvement.