What is a Dependency in Project Management?
A dependency in project management refers to a series of tasks that are interrelated. There are several different types of dependencies in project management:
- Finish to start - Task B cannot start until task A has been completed
- Start to start - Task B cannot start until task A starts
- Finish to finish - Task A cannot be completed until task B is completed
- Start to finish - Task B cannot be completed until task A starts
This means that tasks can have varying relationships to one another depending on the task or project phase.
Unlike tasks that are independent of one another (i.e. they are not interconnected and do not share resources), finish to start task dependencies, for example, describe a sequence of activities where one task must be completed before another begins. An example of a finish to start task dependency might be needing to let a cake cool before adding icing.
Another type of dependency is a finish to finish task dependency, where one task must be completed before another can also be completed. An example of a finish to finish task dependency is a house sale being completed once property inspections have also been completed.