Understand cross-project predecessors

Cross project predecessors are an easy way to establish dependencies between tasks in different projects. For example, a construction company may have a project called Build Access Road to Summerhill Housing Development, and another project called Build Model Home in Summerhill. By making the first task in Build Model Home have a cross project predecessor of the last task in Build Access Road, you’re making sure the access road is in place before you start building the home. Because the tasks are linked, if the Build Access Road project slips, the Build Model Home planned start date will automatically slip accordingly.


In this video, you will learn:

  • What a cross-project predecessor is and how it can be useful
  • How to create a cross-project predecessor
  • How to track cross-project predecessors in reports
As the name implies, cross-project predecessors are predecessor tasks that belong to another project. They can be useful when a task in your project can’t start until a task in another project is completed. Because of this, the planned completion date of your task, and possibly even your project, can change based on the other project. That will take this into account when calculating planned dates and progress statuses in your project. To create a cross-project predecessor, open the task that needs a predecessor. This is called the successor task. Click predecessors in the left panel, then click Add predecessor. The parent project is the current project by default. We’ll change it to the project that our predecessor task is in. Pred Test 3. We’ll select Task 8 as our predecessor. We’ll take the defaults for the rest of the fields and click Save. Once you’ve created a cross-project predecessor, you’ll notice that it looks a little different than the other predecessors. Instead of showing the task number within this project, it shows the task number within the parent project as well as the ID of the parent project. If you hover over the predecessor, it shows a little more information about itself. If you use a lot of cross-project predecessors, tracking them can be a challenge. Of course, you can see the relationship in the successor task, but you might also want to know if the task you’re assigned is a predecessor to a task in another project. There are a few ways to see this. One way is using the Gantt chart feature. Here we see a Gantt chart of all the tasks in this project. This icon means that there is a predecessor relationship outside of this project. You can hover over it to see the predecessor task name, the project it’s in, and the planned start date and planned completion date of the predecessor task. You can also see cross-project relationships between projects in a project view. Let’s go to the portfolio we set up with our test projects and click on the Gantt chart view. This line shows there is a predecessor relationship between these projects. To find out more details, hover over the predecessor icon. Click the arrow to the right of a project name to see the names of the tasks with the cross-project predecessor relationship. If you’re really into cross-project predecessors, you might find this task view helpful. We’ll go to predecessor test 2 and bring up the cross-project predecessors and successors view. Here you can see that the task assigned to you has a successor task in another project. It’s named successor task 2 and it’s in the successor test project. This same view in the successor test project shows details about the predecessor to successor task 2. It’s print task 2-1 and it’s in a project named predecessor test 2. It also shows the projected completion date of the predecessor task, its progress status, and the percent complete of the project the task is on. What if we want to see a report of all the cross-project predecessors and successors on all current projects? Here is such a report. This report and the cross-project predecessors and successors view do not come built in with Workfront, but they can be created as custom. To learn how, see the Understand Basic Text Mode for Views tutorial and be sure to take the prerequisite tutorials listed there if you need to. A link is provided in the tutorial following this video.

To learn how to create the Cross-project predecessors and successors view and the Cross-project predecessors and successors report used in the video, see the Understand basic text mode for views tutorial and be sure and take the prerequisite tutorials listed there, if you need to.