Using the Critical Path: Understanding Dependencies

Dependencies dictate the type of preceding activity that must occur prior to a succeeding downstream SmartTask being started or completed. Note that in Moovila once a SmartTask has been cancelled it will no longer be factored into the Critical Path. Four types of dependencies exist:

  • Finish-to-Start: The preceding SmartTask must be completed before the next SmartTask can begin. This is the most common type of dependency.
  • Start-to-Start: The preceding SmartTask must start before the next SmartTask can begin.
  • Finish-to Finish: The preceding SmartTask must be completed before the next SmartTask can be completed.
  • Start-to-Finish: The preceding SmartTask must start before the next SmartTask can be completed. This is the least common type of dependency

“Lag” and “Lead” can be introduced to dependency types to alter the execution time between dependent SmartTasks.

  • Lag: The amount of time that is added between a preceding SmartTask and the next SmartTask. For example, a two day lag would mean that the next SmartTask begins two days after completion of the preceding SmartTask.
  • Lead: The amount of time the next SmartTask is accelerated based on its preceding SmartTask. For Example, a two day lead would mean that the next SmartTask begins two days before the completion of the preceding SmartTask.

Use the Dependency Editor to Specify Dependency Type, Lag, and Lead.

  1. Open the project in the Critical Path Engine view, then click the Dependencies Editor icon.
  2. A purple dot appears on dependency lines, indicating they are now editable.
  3. Click a purple dot. The Dependency Editor screen appears.
  4. Select the Dependency Type by clicking one of the options. For this example, Finish-to-Start (meaning that we must complete the Develop Project Plan SmartTask before the Develop Employee Communication SmartTask can start).
  5. Select a Lag or Lead. In this example, a 2-day lag has been set.
    a.  Click Lag and not set. The Lag Lead Amount screen appears. 
    b. Use the number pad and unit of measure options to select the lag or lead time. Click OK. The Dependency Editor screen appears with the selections visible.
    c. Click the Back arrow to return to the Critical Path Engine. The path now displays changes to dependencies with the lag or lead applied.

    In this example:

    • Develop Project Plan will be completed 12/11 and Develop Employee Communication can’t start until that happens.
    • With the addition of a two day Lag, the SmartTask that should have started on 12/14 now gets started on 12/16 instead. The change in those dates is reflected above the SmartTask, with the original dates appearing in black and the proposed new dates appearing in purple.
    • The SmartTask will now conclude on January 14.
    d. Zooming out, the dates for the next SmartTask on the Critical Path are impacted as well. This is apparent in the dates that appear above the SmartTask tile.
    e. To save these changes, click the Save button in the upper right of the screen. The Update Timeline window opens.
    f. Toggle Settings to:
    • Update Tasks with Proposed Dates: This will make the purple dates that Moovila has provided above the original red dates the official dates for those SmartTasks. The timeline will update accordingly. SmartTasks can also be selected/deselected in this view so that some SmartTasks are not updated. NOTE: Ensure that all changes are approved before updating task with proposed dates, as these updates are final and cannot be reverted.
    • Send Change Notifications: If the SmartTasks are updated with the proposed dates, it will be possible to notify members of the team of the changes via this setting.
    g. Click Save to continue. If the SmartTasks’ dates have been updated, they will be reflected in the Critical Path after saving.
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