We need more visibility into dependencies in Wrike. There are a few other posts that also deal with this, but in slightly different ways. I’ve linked the other posts at the bottom of this one with some notes on how they relate.
There are two key areas that could use improvement that aren't addressed in other posts: collapsed Gantt charts and task list entries and details.
Collapsed Gantt Charts
Within the Gantt chart view, dependencies become hard to see when you’ve used containers to group different sections of your project. The containers could be sub-projects, folders, or parent tasks: anything that you can collapse in the view. If a task in one container has a dependency on a task in a different container, you can’t see the dependency if one or both containers are collapsed (see current pictures below). It would be great to have the option to roll-up dependencies to the container when it’s collapsed so it’s still apparent that the two are related (see mock-up below). I say option because I don’t always need to see these dependencies, so I was thinking it could be a menu option I could turn on and off as needed.
Collapsed Roll-up Mock-up:
A use cases for this would be two projects where one must happen first either partially or completely (like a project that requires the system to be updated to access new features).
Parallel to this could be a way to view all tasks external to a project or folder that are dependent on one within the project. I think the Gantt chart improvements will be more natural to see because that's the view where you are looking at dependencies between objects already, but the task list could be beneficial as well.
Task List Entries and Details View
The other area of improvement is the task list entries and details view. Most of those assigned to tasks in a project don’t care about the over-all project progress and don’t check the Gantt chart regularly, they just go off their task lists (folder list, table, or board views or My To-Do tab or dashboards or however users get a list of their work) and the details panel of the task. For projects with dependencies, there is nothing obvious in these views that the task has a predecessor that is incomplete. For the list entries, it could be like the attachment, importance, or recurring icon or graying out the entry. For the details view, it should be something very visible along the top of the task to bring attention to the fact that this task shouldn’t be started yet.
- Adds dependencies for projects and folders
- More or less replaces the notes here for the collapsed Gantt chart except for dependencies into the middle of projects
- Changes the task status when the predecessor is completed
- Improves visibility of dependencies at the task level similar to the notes here for the task details
- Seems more complicated which will require longer development time
- Prevents work on a task when there are incomplete predecessors
- Takes a harsher stance on what to do when there are incomplete predecessors (actively preventing work instead of displaying more information and leaving the decision to the worker)
- Adds filters in various views to remove tasks that have incomplete predecessors
- Works hand-in-hand with the notes here about task details in that it adds the information in another portion of the system though I would prefer displaying some sort of warning icon over completely hiding the task