You’re going to use predecessors in your project schedule rather than entering start and finish dates for each task. Building a schedule with predecessors is called dynamic scheduling because you use the software to do the work of keeping the schedule current. For example, you’ll tell the software that task B can’t start until task A is finished – task A is the predecessor of task B. There are other predecessor relationships but that’s a common example.
The software will use it to schedule and calculate the duration of every task. This dynamic schedule also allows you to easily model options and alternative ways of doing the project. Construction project customers/owners like having models of options so they can make decisions about the project.
What Happens If I Don’t Control the Sequencing of My Tasks Correctly?
If you don’t use predecessor relationships and dynamic scheduling, you’ll waste many hours updating your schedule every week to try to keep track of what’s going on. You also don’t have a tool for modeling corrective action or providing the customer/owner with options. Construction project managers who built their schedules by entering start and finish dates usually find they can’t keep up with the maintenance. After a while, they stop trying to update the schedule to show what’s actually happening on the project.
There are 3 videos below.
1. Predecessor Relationships Lecture Video
2. Microsoft Project® Software Video – Watch this lecture if your version of Project is 2010 or newer (all versions older than 2010, skip this video and go to #3)
3. Microsoft Project® Software Video – Watch this lecture if your version of Project is older than 2010