Instagantt University
How to Create Dependencies and How Do They Work


Project management is all about learning to prioritize. Projects are made of tasks and these tasks commonly follow a certain order. Even the simplest project requires a logical order to be followed in order to achieve its completion. 

As projects become more complex and involve multiple team members, a variety of different tasks will need to be completed. When mapping your project, you will soon realize that some tasks will certainly be connected to other tasks, and some of your team members will need to fulfill those tasks before other tasks can even start to progress. Those tasks are dependent on each other.

What are Dependencies? 

Dependencies are wonderful when managing projects because they make you follow a proper order when mapping out and managing your tasks. They allow you to define what the critical tasks are, and which tasks need to be performed first. In other words, it’s an event that occurs when a preceding task relies on the succeeding one.

Does Instagantt offer Dependencies as a Feature? 

Yes, we firmly believe Dependencies are incredibly useful, and they make project management a lot easier. When you are managing a full plan schedule that needs to stay synchronized, and a change of plan occurs, having dependencies between tasks is a simple and effective way to keep your information aligned. By changing one task, the effect of this change will be propagated across your Gantt chart.

Dependencies offer great value to project management because by using them, you will be able to identify the impact of project delays, gain insight, and quickly recover from any possible setbacks.

Create Dependencies in Instagantt

Creating Dependencies between tasks is super easy, thanks to Instagantt’s drag & drop function. Just locate the dependent task and its predecessor, and drag the small circle that will appear on the left side of your task’s timeline. You will quickly notice how Instagantt connects both tasks. By moving your main task, your dependent task will also move accordingly across your Gantt chart. Simple as that.

See how they work:

With our latest update, you can now set dependencies between bars and brackets too! This means a parent task can be connected to other tasks with dependencies, even if that parent task doesn't have fixed dates and it's depending on the mobile dates of its subtasks. The only constraint for this is that dependencies cannot be set between parent tasks and their children (subtasks), which means a parent task can't be the predecessor (or successor) of any of its subtasks or sub-subtasks and so on. This is because the parenthood already makes them dependent, so moving a parent will also move all the subtasks contained in it. However, subtasks from the same parent task (siblings) can be connected with dependencies.

Bottomline: Instagantt allows you to create any kind of task dependency for your projects, even the most complex ones!

Pro tip: If you don't feel like drag and dropping to create Dependencies, you can enable the Dependencies (or DPD) column on the Columns menu and easily create dependencies by typing the ID number of the predecessor task. However, you'll need to consider that all dependencies created with this method will be finish-to-start dependencies, pushing the dependent task to start after the predecessor ends.

Manage Dependencies (Standalone only)

We all know that projects vary over time and dependencies could be affected by those changes, which ultimately could affect the whole structure of your project. That's why, after creating the dependencies, you may need to manage them to include a certain lag or slack between the dependent tasks. In Instagantt, this can be easily done with a few clicks! Here's how to do it:

Lag gap type: choosing a Lag gap type will create a gap that will be maintained if the predecessor task is moved, as long as the option "Keep lag between dependencies when dragging" is enabled on the Options menu.

Slack gap type: choosing a Slack gap type will create a gap that will be consumed if any of the dependent tasks gets closer to the other.

The option to manage dependencies is only available on Instagantt Standalone. Instagantt for Asana users can use the option "Keep lag between dependencies when dragging" available on the Options menu, to change the gap type for all dependencies. Activating the option will default all gap types to lags, and deactivating it will leave them all as slacks.

Watch the Full Video:

Disclaimer: the design of the software in the video above is a previous design and it may not exactly match the latest design.