Easily shift a task or subtask—and all of its dependencies—in with auto-scheduling. It allows you to see the cascade effect of how changing one task or subtask affects others that are linked to it. This article is all about auto-scheduling: what it is and how to use it.
Note: This article assumes you know how to access and use the Task Editor and Gantt Charts.
Dependencies are tasks or subtasks that depend on each other, as denoted by the yellow line in the image below. With Auto-Schedule, we can move the “Design” subtask forward and backward in time and its dependencies—“Content”, “Build”, and “Present”—will move, too.
Here’s a common scenario: a client takes a month to sign a contract, which will impact your start date from August to September. Instead of updating the start date for each task and subtask, Auto-Scheduling lets you do it all at once. This saves you time and helps prevent errors.
In the image below, we drag and drop the task “Website Updates” from August to September. As a result, the “Design” subtask and its dependencies—“Content”, “Build”, and “Present”—will also move forward, since we’re using Auto-Scheduling.
The Cascade Effect
Let’s take a closer look at how this cascade effect works with Gantt charts. If I change the date of the “Design” subtask in the Task Editor, its dependencies will not be affected when I return to the Gantt Chart—until I turn on AUTO-SCHEDULE, by checking the box next to the feature name. Then, the cascade effect will occur. Remember to click SAVE to save your work.
However, if I change a date in the Gantt Chart, this date will be reflected in the Task Editor. For example, if we change the dates of the “Design” subtask and “Save” my work on the Gantt Chart, this change will be reflected in the Task Editor.
This “cascade” effect only happens if the user is on the Gantt chart page, and for good reason. A staffer could go into a task or subtask and change the due date, which could cascade changes throughout the entire workflow of a project—impacting many.
Turn on or off Auto-Scheduling at will. Just remember to click SAVE to save your work.