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Understanding Predecessors

A predecessor is the task another task (called a successor or dependent task) depends on. Workfront supports five types of predecessor dependencies. To understand predecessor dependencies, see "Dependency Types."

Understanding Predecessors

Understanding predecessor functionality is important for understanding of the timelines in your projects.
Predecessor relationships between tasks exist both within a single project and across multiple projects. 
In the case of multi-project dependency, you can establish cross-project predecessors. 
Whether the predecessor and successor tasks belong to the same project or to two different projects, the dependencies and the timelines are calculated in the same way.

When it comes to predecessors, the project timeline is impacted by:

For example, if task A is a predecessor to task B in a finish-start relationship, and task B has a task constraint of As Soon As Possible, then Workfront assigns task B a planned start date immediately following the planned completion date of task A, regardless of whether the predecessor is enforced or not. 

To create predecessors, see any of the following articles:

Finding the Predecessors of a Task

To find the predecessors of a task:

  1. Navigate to the project you are working on.
  2. Find the task of which you want to find the predecessors and click the task.
  3. Click the Predecessors tab.
  4. The predecessors that are on the same project as the task are listed on the Predecessor sub-tab.
    The predecessors that are on a different project than the task are listed on the Cross-Predecessors sub-tab.
    The number in the # column shows the predecessor task number (for example, Task 6).
    Or:
  1. Navigate to the project you are working on.
  2. Click the Tasks tab.
  3. Choose the Standard View at the top of the task list.
  4. The Predecessors column shows the predecessor task numbers. 
    For a cross-project predecessor, the Predecessors column shows the reference number of the project the predecessor belongs to and the number of the task, separated by a colon. 
    Mouse over this value to get more information on the predecessor, the project and the dates.

Understanding Predecessor Relationships

To understand predecessor relationships, you must understand:

  • Dependency Types: Predecessors are linked by various dependency types. For more information on dependency types, see "Dependency Types."
  • Enforcing a predecessor: When enforcing a predecessor, the successor task cannot start until the predecessor completes. The successor task shows as starting immediately after the predecessor is finished.
    Workfront does not allow it to be marked as In Progress or Complete until the predecessor is complete. Workfront does, however, allow hours to be reported on the task.
    For more information on enforcing predecessors, see "Enforcing Predecessors."
  • Lags: You can built lags in your dependencies which create a delay that must occur after the completion of a predecessor task and before the successor task can begin. Lags impact the timeline of the project.
    To understand lag types, see "Lag Types."

Examples of predecessor values in a task list: 

  • 1fs - The predecessor task number is 1. The dependency type is Finish-Start. In the project timeline, this task is scheduled to start immediately after task 1 is finished. In spite of this, it can still be marked as In Progress or Complete.
  • 1 - The predecessor task number is 1. This is the same as 1fs, because fs is the default predecessor relationship in Workfront.
  • 1fse - The predecessor task number is 1. The dependency type is Finish-Start-Enforced. In the project timeline, this task shows as starting immediately after task 1 is finished. Workfront doe not allow it to be marked as In Progress or Complete until task 1 is complete. Workfront does, however, allow hours to be reported on the task. 
  • 1fs+3d - The predecessor task number is 1. The dependency type is Finish-Start with a lag time of 3 days. In the project timeline, this task shows as starting 3 workdays after task 1 is finished. 
  • 1fs-3d - The predecessor task number is 1.The dependency type is Finish-Start with a lag time of 3 days. In the project timeline, this task shows as starting 3 workdays before the predecessor task is finished.
  • 1fs+3de -The predecessor task number is 1. The dependency type is Finish-Start-Enforced with a lag time of 3 days. In the project timeline, this task shows as starting 3 workdays after task 1 is finished. Workfront does not allow it to be marked as In Progress or Complete until Task 1 is complete. Workfront does, however, allow hours to be reported on the task.
    NOTE: The enforced value (e) must be added to the Lag, not to the predecessor.
  • 4515:2 The predecessor task number is 2. - This is a Finish to Start, non-enforced dependency with the predecessor in the project with reference number 4515; the predecessor task number is 2