Dependencies between planning elements

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When you create dependencies, i.e. establish logical relationships between planning elements, you draw up a project schedule. To do that, you need to edit the planning elements and add details such as start and end date, duration, the type of dependency and, if necessary, set restrictions.

You can edit the planning elements in the planning list as well as in the Gantt-chart.

Article content

Create dependencies manually

Edit dependencies

Overview: Types of dependencies

Set the start date and duration of planning elements

Delete dependencies

Create dependencies manually

In order to create dependencies, you have to link the planning elements. Dependencies can be established between all planning elements (activities, summary activities, milestones).

You can do that manually in your Gantt-chart: 

1. Move the mouse over a planning element in the Gantt chart until a circle appears to the right and left of the element. Which circle you choose, right or left, determines what type of relationship the elements will have to each other. For more information, see Types of dependencies.

2. Click on the circle and drag the mouse to the planning element with which the relationship is to be established. Again, a circle appears to the right and left of the element.

3. Release the mouse button at the planning element and the desired circle. You will now see a connecting line between the two planning elements. This is how you get linked planning elements.

Edit dependencies

To change an existing dependency, do the following steps:

1. Select one of the planning elements, right-click to open the context menu, and then click Edit. A sidepanel with details about the planning element opens up.

2. Click the blue button Configure successor / predecessor.

3. Here you will find information about the current dependency and you can choose between the different types of dependencies under Type.

Note Do not forget to save your changes by clicking on Save.

Overview: Types of dependencies

There are four different types of dependencies to link planning elements.

Finish-to-Start Dependency:

This type of dependency establishes a relationship between the end of the predecessor and the start of the successor.  You ensure that the successor can only start upon completion of the predecessor.

Example: The activity “event marketing” can only start once the milestone “kick-off meeting“ has been successfully completed.  


Start-to-Start Dependency:

This type of dependency restricts the start of the successor, as it can only start once the predecessor has started, too.

Example: The successor activity “partner event program“ starts at the same time as the predecessor activity “customer event program“. That means that unless the predecessor has started, the successor cannot start.  


Finish-to-Finish Dependency:

This type of dependency restricts the end of the successor, as it can only end when, and if, the predecessor has been successfully completed.

Example: The predecessor “customer event program“ has to be completed at the latest on the end date of the successor “partner event program“, as the two programs have to be finalized for the creation of the event website. 


Start-to-Finish Dependency

This type of dependency is only useful if you create a work-back project plan (work-back schedule). When you create a Start-to-Finish Dependency you link the start of the predecessor with the end of the successor. 

Example: If a company plans to shut down a server on a certain date and move their data to a new datacenter to consolidate the hosting, they need to make sure that the new server is up and running before they can shut down the old server. Therefore, the predecessor “full-time operation new server” needs to be completed before the successor “shut off old server” can happen.

Set the start date and duration of planning elements

After having linked planning elements, you can set their start dates and duration. The end date of activities and summary activities is determined by when (date) they start and how long they take (duration). Milestones only have a start date – the date and time they happen.

1. To edit the planning element, select it, right-click to open the context menu, and then click Edit. A side panel opens up.

2. In the side panel you will find the field Constraint. There you can select the constraint type and date.

For example, select Start - On and set the start date.

3. You now can adjust the end date and duration of activities and summary activities.

Set the Duration of the activity by e.g. adjusting the days or by entering the end date. Alternatively, you can click the calendar icon and select the end date there.

4. You can display the duration of the planning elements in the project list by showing the Duration column.

ATTENTION InLoox has three default calendars to select from: 24/7 (continuous operation), Standard (Monday-Friday, 8 AM-4 PM) and Weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 24h). InLoox will automatically use the Standard calendar. If you want to change the calendar settings, you can do that in the InLoox settings in the section Working Times.


Set the duration in the Gantt-chart

It is advisable to zoom in and enlarge the view to show the individual days, so that you can work comfortably in the Gantt-chart. 

1. Click the Zoom In or Zoom Out button at the top to adjust the Gantt chart. Or hold CTRL while using the scroll wheel of your computer mouse to zoom in/out the Gantt chart.

2. Move the mouse over the activity or summary activity. Now navigate to the beginning or end of the activity until an arrow appears. Drag it to the left or right to expand or contract the duration.

3. If you want to change the starting date/time or end date/time, without changing the duration of the activity, you can move the activity bar in the Gantt-chart. Click on the activity bar in the Gantt-chart and move it right or left to the desired date.

Delete dependencies

If you want to delete a dependency, open side panel of the planning element and click on the blue botton Configure successor / predecessor.

Select the relationship/click on the dependency and select the trash can icon on the left. The click on Save.

Alternatively, you can also select those tasks in the Gantt planning (hold down Ctrl) and then click on the icon with the crossed-out link in the navigation bar on the top.