How to Show Dependencies in Excel Gantt Chart (2 Easy Methods)

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Excel is the most widely used tool for dealing with huge datasets. We can perform myriads of tasks of multiple dimensions in Excel. In Excel, you can plan and set a timeline for your project by creating a Gantt Chart. Moreover, you can also show dependencies in the chart. In this article, I will show you how to show dependencies in an Excel Gantt chart.


Introduction to Gantt Chart and Dependency

A Gantt chart is a graphical representation of the schedule of a project. All the tasks associated with the project are put on a timeline to get an overall idea of the project. An individual bar represents the duration of a task.
Dependency is the logical relationship between these tasks. For example, sometimes the initiation of a task depends on the completion of another task. In that case, we can say that the former task is dependent on the latter one.


How to Show Dependencies in Excel Gantt Chart: 2 Quick Methods

This is the dataset for today’s article. We have some tasks along with their Proposed Start Date and End Date. Due to the dependencies, the proposed start dates are different from the actual start dates.

show dependencies in excel gantt chart

This is a simple Gantt Chart for this project based on the Proposed Start and End Date.

I will explain how to show dependencies in Excel Gantt Chart with 2 different cases now.


Method 1: Show Dependencies When Equipment Is Not Ready

The start of a task may delay for various reasons. These may include a shortage of raw materials, malfunctioning machines, etc. In our dataset, even if Task B is complete on the 24th of April, we will have to wait to initiate Task C. The delay is 2 days.

show dependencies in excel gantt chart

Let’s show it on the Gantt Chart.

  • Go to the Insert tab >> Illustration >> Shape >> Select Line.

  • Then draw two tangents that will represent the delay in start.

show dependencies in excel gantt chart

Read More: How to Add Milestones to Gantt Chart in Excel


Method 2: Show Dependencies When Predecessor Is Not Complete

Now, I will discuss another case. You will see that the proposed date to start Task D is the 6th of May. However, Task C will finish on the 10th of May. As Task D will initiate only after the completion of Task C, we cannot start Task D on the 6th of May. We have to delay. Because the predecessor of Task D is Task C which will complete on the 10th of May.

Let’s show this dependency on the Gantt Chart.

  • Go to the Insert tab >> Illustration >> Shape >> Select Line.

show dependencies in excel gantt chart

  • Then show the interdependencies by drawing the lines.


Things to Remember

  • You can format the shapes from the Shape Format

show dependencies in excel gantt chart


Download Practice Workbook

Download this workbook and practice while going through this article.


Conclusion

In this article, I have explained how to show dependencies in Excel Gantt Chart with 2 simple cases. I hope it helps everyone. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or feedback, please feel free to comment below.


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Akib Bin Rashid
Akib Bin Rashid

AKIB BIN RASHID, a materials and metallurgical engineer, is passionate about delving into Excel and VBA programming. To him, programming is a valuable time-saving tool for managing data, files, and internet-related tasks. Proficient in MS Office, AutoCAD, Excel, and VBA, he goes beyond the fundamentals. Holding a B.Sc in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, MD AKIB has transitioned into a content development role. Specializing in creating technical content centred around Excel and... Read Full Bio

2 Comments
  1. So method 2 solely shows that the plan that is made is impossible to execute?

    • Reply Lutfor Rahman Shimanto
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto Oct 31, 2023 at 11:01 AM

      Hello MIGHTY

      Thanks for reaching out and posting your comment. You are right about the plan described in Method 2, but partially. Here, we could not maintain the proposal date for Task D. As mentioned in the article, we had to delay. The predecessor of Task D was Task C, which had been completed on the 10th of May. In that sense, we can say the plan made is impossible to follow. But, we must keep in mind that if we cannot start the project at the proposed time, it does not mean we are not completing it at the proposed end date. Maybe the project will end at the proposed date.

      In project management, it’s common to have tasks that depend on completing other tasks. It’s a fundamental aspect of project planning to identify and manage task dependencies and ensure the project is executed in a logical and efficient order. When you have such dependencies, you need to adjust the schedule accordingly to ensure that tasks are performed in the correct sequence.

      Regards
      Lutfor Rahman Shimanto

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