How do I make MS Project (2010) distinguish between different kinds of dependencies? For example, consider the following two kinds:

Some tasks I mark as dependent on other tasks due to the nature of the tasks themselves (to use a concrete example: if you're building a house, the task to lay the foundation must come before any of the the tasks to put in the windowframes).

Other tasks I mark as dependent on each other due to resource constraints (e.g. the task to put in the living-room windows comes before the task to put in the kitchen windows, but only because I have a single carpenter. If I had two carpenters, the work could happen in parallel.

1 Answer 1


This is the difference between hard and soft predecessor/successor logic. There are more than just resource dependencies as to why you sequence packages together, too.

I do not think there is a way to mark it in project; however, you can indicate the type of constraint in your WBS dictionary. And you can explain rather briefly how the constraint was determined. For example, I may draft in the dictionary a code like: soft FS+5 task A. So, if you need to fast track or move things around, that "soft" in the code will clue you in that this package might be able to move.

  • Ah, the one problem I found with this approach: Sometimes a task has two (or more) dependencies, of different types. I guess in this case I'd mark it as a hard dependency, because ultimately it means that adding a resource won't make it finish sooner.
    – Johan
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 12:00
  • Code all of them. If the hard predecessor finishes before the soft predecessor(s), then you may have the option of fast tracking. Your schedule is in constant flux; every time you capture actuals, your network diagram shifts, your critical path shifts, and your dependency logic shifts. So you cannot assume safely that, if you have a hard dependency, you cannot move packages around. Your schedule is something that will require active assessment and reassessment until you close your project down. Good luck! Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 12:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.