Project LeadershipProject Management

3 Efficient Ways to Handle Project Dependencies

Project dependency is also known as schedule or task dependency, that means tasks or activities are dependent on each other. However, calling them interdependent will be inappropriate as inter-dependencies are between two diverse projects, not tasks.

In this article at PM Times, Brenda Hallman explains the importance of project dependencies to bring better results and deliver successful projects to the clients.

Be Prepared

To deal with the project dependencies better, pay attention to all the inter-project dependencies and be ready for any last-minute adjustments to make in case more work comes from other clients. Also, make sure all the team members and project leads are aware of the current status of the work. The author suggests having a good handle on each activity to control and influence the dependencies as its scope is less. Here are some ways to do it right:

  1. Close Monitoring: Being the project managers, constantly monitor the work you are dependent on to assure everything is going as per the plan and within schedule. Also, establish seamless communication with your project leaders to make them aware of existing risks and their impact on the project.
  2. Tools & Documentation: As the inter-project dependencies are understood, make use of various project management tools and documentation to establish and maintain seamless communication within the teams. Staffing plan, task, milestone, risk, and status report will help in reducing the possibility of work duplication or errors.
  3. Bonus Points: This is another essential element of project inter-dependency that includes the work and due date as a project deliverable. This sets higher accountability to meet the deadline. The project leaders should be aware of the impact of other projects on the ongoing project. Therefore, if multiple projects have dependencies, the project managers must hold regular meetings to discuss their status and impact.

The author further suggests not to over-burden the leadership team and raise concern if there is enough ‘slack to accept a date slip’ or see if there is an acceptable workaround. This is the value in tracking dependency as a risk and analyzing it early in the project. Click on the following link to read the original article:


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