Microsoft Project – dealing with a task that is dependent on other tasks for both its start and finish dates

Usually we schedule tasks dependent on what has to be done prior to them. However sometimes we have tasks that can’t start until something else starts or finishes and can’t finish until a different task finishes. In this case the duration of the task is dependent on the (possibly changing) duration of both the other tasks. This kind of task is known in Microsoft Project as a hammock task.

We need to let Microsoft Project work out the duration of such a task for us. Instead of creating a link in usual way:

  1. Create the three tasks in the usual way.
  2. Select the cell in the first task that contains the date on which the second related task will start.
  3. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and click Copy, or click Copy on the Task tab.
  4. Click in the Start date cell in the second of the three related tasks.
  5. On the Task tab, click the Paste Special dropdown and click Paste Link. Click OK.
  6. Click in the cell in the third task that determines the date on which the second task will finish.
  7. Press Ctrl + C or right-click and click Copy, or click Copy on the Task tab.
  8. Click in the Finish date cell in the second of the three related tasks.
  9. On the Task tab, click the Paste Special dropdown and click Paste Link. Click OK.
  10. The duration will be accordingly.

Find out more about our Microsoft Project training courses Sydney, Australia or our Microsoft Project training courses London, Surrey, Middlesex, UK or our Microsoft Project training courses Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, UK.

About jdonbavand

I am a trainer of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project and Crystal Reports. I have called my blog "If Only I'd Known That...." because I hear it so many times in training sessions. In fact, if only I had a £100 (or 150 Aussie dollars)for every time someone says "If only I'd known that." ....
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