Managing Task Dependencies

Dependent tasks are those that must be completed sequentially, where one task cannot begin until its predecessor has been completed.

Task dependencies are a premium feature available on Premium and Enterprise plans. To learn more about Spreadsheet.com's paid plans, see our suite of articles on Billing, Payment, and Credit.

Tasks in your project plan may be dependent on other tasks. That is, task two may not be able to begin until task one is done. For instance, an engineering team may not be able to build a robot until critical parts have been ordered and arrived. These dependencies can be built into and visualized in your project management.

Enabling Task Dependencies

You can enable task dependencies from the Project Management dialog. With Project Management enabled for your spreadsheet, click on the calendar icon in the top right corner of your screen top open the dialog.

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This will open the Project Management dialog, where you can toggle task dependencies on and off and specify a predecessor column from the bottom portion of the dialog.

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When you enable Project Management, Spreadsheet.com will automatically create a new predecessor column with the Related row data type to link tasks to their predecessors.

Creating Task Dependencies

You can create task dependencies by inputting predecessor tasks in the newly created predecessor column. In the dependent task's row, type the name of the task that must be completed before it in the predecessor column. These relationships are reflected by predecessor lines in the Gantt chart.

By default, enabling dependencies will turn on dependency lines. You can toggle these lines on and off via the Gantt appearance menu.

Spreadsheet.com makes it easy to create dependencies from the Gantt chart by dragging and dropping dependency lines. To create a dependency, drag either the predecessor's or the descendent's antenna from the desired task to the task it depends on or feeds into.

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When you create a new dependency directly on the Gantt chart, the relationship will be automatically reflected in the "Predecessor" column.

Data Validation

Spreadsheet.com uses task dependencies for data validation in Start date and End date columns. If you attempt to change the start date of a dependent task to before the end date of its predecessor, Spreadsheet.com will notify you of the conflict and require you to edit the predecessor task first, or remove the dependency.

Learn more about editing your Gantt view in our article on Project Management Settings. Or, read on to learn about working with task hierarchies and the critical path