Linking tasks in Projects

Microsoft Project is often used in ERP projects to build out the project into a workable schedule. Yet, schedules are only accurate if they have three things, the correct work identified, reasonable estimates for that work, and loads that are appropriate for the resources applied. Of course that doesn’t just apply to ERP projects, but the bigger the project, the more difficult it is to cover these three aspects adequately.

This blog looks at one element of identifying the correct work, sequencing that work into all the hundreds of tasks in an ERP project together correctly, to build a schedule with a sequence you can trust. A few basic rules:

  1. Make a start and end milestone
  2. Every task expect “start” needs to have a processor
  3. Every task except “end” needs to have a successor
  4. Organize tasks in to groups of activities
  5. only link tasks at the lowest level of the WBS, never summary tasks
  6. Put a “drain” task at the end of each activity

A “drain” milestone is usually a confirmation that all the tasks within an activity are complete.  For example: Activity might be “Design data migration”, with tasks assigned to different team members to work on, review, and approve the design.  The final milestone task within the activity would be “Data Migration Design Complete”, and all tasks within the activity would have that milestone as a successor.  Then the work of completing the linking of all tasks gets easier, just link the “drain” tasks to phase complete tasks, and phase complete to the next phase start, then the last one to the “end” milestone.  O