If you have items on your board with due dates that rely on one another, such that a task cannot begin until another is finished, you can utilize dependencies to address this issue. Dependencies establish crucial links between items that depend on each other and can improve project management efficiency significantly.

Note:  The availability of this column is limited to our Pro and Enterprise plans.

Add the Dependency Column

To begin working with dependencies, you must include the Dependency Column in your board first. With the Dependency Column, you can specify the interdependency relationships between the items on your board.

To add the column, click on the “+” icon to the right of your final column and choose “More columns.” In the Column Center, type “dependency” into the search bar and click on “Add to the board,” as shown below:

Note: It is possible to add only a single Dependency Column for each board.

Set up your dependency settings.

As soon as you add your dependency column, a window will pop up, prompting you to choose the mode in which your dependencies will work and the time column on which your items will be dependent.

Regarding the dependency mode configuration, you can opt for “Flexible,” “Strict,” or “No action.”

  • Flexible: This ensures that the dates of items that depend on each other do not overlap.
  • Strict: This feature modifies an item’s dates to accurately reflect any time changes made according to the item it depends on.
  • No action: Items will not shift automatically even if there is a dependency conflict; instead, they will only exhibit the dependency relationships without making any adjustments.

Tip: If you want a more comprehensive understanding of the flexible, strict, or no-action mode, refer to this section in the article.

In the same window, you will be prompted to select the time column on which your items will depend. Any time column can be connected, including:

  • Date Column, Timeline Column

If you have multiple time columns on your board, you can select one of them from the dropdown menu. However, if you only have a one-time column, it will automatically be selected for you (as seen in the example below) unless you add a new time column. Once you have chosen your column, click “Save” to finalize your choice.

Note: Changes made to Date or Timeline Columns in batches are not supported if they have dependencies.

Define dependency relations between items.

After configuring your dependency settings, you can establish the items that depend on other items. To do this, click on a cell in the Dependency Column. This will open a drop-down menu where you can choose any item on your board.

In this case, we have set up a scenario where each item on the board depends on the one directly above it. To illustrate, look at the item “Increasing conversion rates on landing pages,” which is dependent on the item titled “Competitor analysis” above it.

It is important to remember that after setting up the dependent items in the Dependency Column, the Date Column or Timeline Column will not be automatically filled in. You need to manually enter the dates for each item in the Date Column or Timeline Column for the dependencies to function correctly.

After setting all the dates on your board and establishing the dependencies, any changes to a dependent date will trigger an automatic change in the dependent date, as long as the dependency mode you selected allows for it.

Tip: The Duration Column can quickly establish a date range in your Timeline Column based on a value entered in a Numbers Column.

Watch the magic happen!

Once you have configured the dependency settings and established the relationships between your items, it’s time to observe how the dependencies will be implemented.

After setting up the dependency relationships and selecting the dependency mode, any changes made to the date or timeline column will automatically adjust the dates of the dependent items based on the mode set. In addition, when dragging items on the Gantt or Timeline View, the dependencies will be visible as all items move according to the ones they depend on.

Available dependency modes

You have three options to choose from when adjusting how your dependencies work:

  • Flexible: This mode guarantees that there will be no conflict in the dates of items that depend on each other. If there is a change in an item’s date, and it doesn’t conflict with its dependent item(s) dates, there won’t be any change in the dependent item(s) dates. But if there is a conflict in the dates of the dependent item(s) due to the change in the item’s date, the dependent item(s) date(s) will adjust automatically so that there won’t be any overlap.

  • Strict: This mode ensures that the dates of dependent items are adjusted precisely as the date of the item they depend on changes. For instance, if you add or subtract days from an item’s timeline, the same number of days will be added or subtracted from its dependent item(s), regardless of whether it creates an overlap.

  • No action mode: The items on your board won’t move automatically based on the dependency relations you established. They will only illustrate the dependency relationships visually, such as through the connections in the Dependency Column and arrows on the Gantt Widget, without modifying the dates of your items. Even if there is a conflict between dependencies, your item’s dates won’t be affected.

Skipping weekends using dependencies

To avoid including weekends in your timeline, you must first configure your admin settings. To do this, go to your profile picture at the bottom left of the screen and select “Admin.” In the admin section, navigate to the “Account” tab under the “General” heading. The “Hide Weekends” option is under the Timeline Weekends section.

Note: Using dependency automation recipes, you can skip weekends on the Timeline Column but not on Date Columns. 

Can you share your thoughts on how the dependencies feature worked for you? Your feedback is valuable to us, and we would appreciate it if you could complete this form to let us know your ideas, feedback, or any thoughts about using dependencies.

For further questions, please visit our Knowledge Center.  To view the Knowledge Center, click the Home Page icon the top right of your page, then select “Support” and make you way to “Help Center” in the bottom left.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our team by selecting the blue “Contact Us” button.