Task Dependencies

Inserting an intravenous (IV) line is a multi-step process. Before attempting to find a suitable vein, nurses must gather the appropriate materials (tourniquet, catheter, IV tubing, etc.). Before puncturing a patient’s vein, nurses must first find one that is suitable. This process illustrates the project management principle of task dependencies. Each task in the process depends upon the previous one’s completion in order to begin.


Once a project’s scope has been defined and its work breakdown structure created, the next step is to generate a detailed and precise schedule for all activities in the project. This schedule allows for monitoring the project’s progress and provides a strategy for mitigating risk during the project’s life cycle. The identification of the relationships (dependencies) between the tasks in a health information technology project is critical as you determine a project timeline.


In this Discussion, you construct a brief example of a health information technology project that illustrates three of the four types of dependencies. In addition, you assess the importance of accurately identifying dependencies in a project timeline.


To prepare:


  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on identifying dependencies and sequencing activities.
  • Bring to mind a health information technology project on which to focus for this Discussion.  Note: You will use this same project idea to complete this week’s Assignment.
  • Consider the tasks necessary to complete the project you selected.
  • Think about the relationship between the tasks (i.e., the dependencies).
  • Reflect on why it is important to accurately identify the dependencies in a project timeline.


Post by tomorrow 10/11/16 a minimum of 550 words essay in APA format and at least 3 references, which addresses the level one headings as numbered below:


1) An example that illustrates dependencies, or relationships, between tasks in a health information technology project timeline. Include at least three of the four types of dependencies between tasks in the example.


2) Assess the importance of accurately identifying dependencies in a project timeline.






Required Readings






Coplan, S., & Masuda, D. (2011). Project management for healthcare information technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


  • Chapter 3, “Project Management”
    • “Time Management” (pp. 59–68)


      This section of Chapter 3 focuses on how project managers may plan and control a project schedule to complete a project in a given timeframe. The chapter explains the various aspects of tasks, resources, and scheduling that are necessary for effective time management.


      Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) (5th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Author.


  • Chapter 6 “Project Time Management” (pp. 141–192)


    This chapter provides an overview of processes that can be used to manage a project so that it is completed on time: defining activities, sequencing activities, estimating activity resources, estimating activity durations, developing a schedule, and controlling a schedule.



    Biffi, M.-H. (2008). Linking the estimate, the schedule and the cost control through a standardized WBS. AACE International Transactions, 1–11.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


    This article explores how a WBS can link almost all the aspects of a project. The author describes how a WBS can be the starting point for many other documents that organize a project.


    Fretty, P. (2012). On the right track. PM Network26(9), 50–55.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


    This article examines the consequences of accelerating a project schedule and provides guidelines for when a project should be “fast-tracked.”


    Pells, D. L. (2012). Seek the truth! [Special section, Editorial]. PM World Today, 14(2), 1–10.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


    The author of this editorial stresses the importance of honesty in project planning and project management in general, providing numerous examples in which honesty leads to better outcomes.


    Somani, S. (2008, August). On deadline. PM Network, 22(8),  26.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


    In this article, the author discusses the importance of adhering to set timelines in project management.



    Wing, K. T. (2010). The discipline of finishing. Strategic Finance92(1), 17–18.

    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


    This article provides guidelines for successfully completing projects. The author examines topics such as schedule conflicts, ineffective time management, and self-imposed discipline.



    Office Online (2014). Link tasks in a project. Retrieved fromhttps://support.office.com/en-us/article/Link-tasks-in-a-project-31b918ce-4b71-475c-9d6b-0ee501b4be57?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US


    In this article, the author describes the different types of task dependencies and offers suggestions for choosing the correct dependency type.



    Heather. (2008, July 28). Back to basics: Understanding task dependencies [Blog post]. Retrieved fromhttp://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2008/07/29/back-to-basics-understanding-task-dependencies.aspx


    This article reviews the four types of dependencies available in Microsoft Project. The author provides guidelines for when each dependency type is appropriate.




    Required Media


    Laureate Education (Producer). (2013d). Planning, part II: Scheduling project activities and resources[Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://class.waldenu.edu


    Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 19 minutes.


    In this presentation, the participants discuss the scheduling of project activities and resources and the software tools that can be used to do so. They also explain what is meant in project management by “the critical path.”