How to Manage Dependencies for Recurring Tasks in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is a powerful project management tool that helps users plan, track, and manage tasks. One of the key features of Microsoft Project is its ability to manage dependencies between tasks. Dependencies are the relationships between tasks where the start or completion of one task depends on the start or completion of another task. Managing dependencies can be challenging when dealing with recurring tasks. In this article, we will discuss how to effectively manage dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project.

Understanding Recurring Tasks

Before we dive into managing dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project, it’s important to understand what a recurring task is. A recurring task is a task that occurs repeatedly over time, such as a weekly meeting or a monthly report. Microsoft Project has a built-in feature for creating recurring tasks, which allows you to specify the recurrence pattern, start date, and end date of the task.

Creating Dependencies for Recurring Tasks

When creating dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that the dependencies are set up correctly so that the recurring tasks are linked correctly. Second, you need to ensure that the dependencies are updated correctly when changes are made to the recurring tasks.

To create dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project, follow these steps:

  1. Create the recurring task.
  2. Identify the task that the recurring task is dependent on.
  3. Link the recurring task to the dependent task using the “Predecessors” field.
  4. Specify the lag time, if any, between the two tasks.

Managing Changes to Recurring Tasks

Managing changes to recurring tasks can be tricky, especially when dependencies are involved. When a change is made to a recurring task, it’s important to ensure that the dependencies are updated correctly. Failure to do so can result in incorrect project schedules and missed deadlines.

Here are some tips for managing changes to recurring tasks in Microsoft Project:

  • Always update the recurring task itself rather than individual occurrences of the task.
  • Be sure to update the start and end dates of the recurring task as well as any dependencies associated with it.
  • When changing the recurrence pattern of a task, make sure to update any dependent tasks accordingly.
  • Use the “Update Task” button to update all instances of a recurring task at once.

Using Project Management Tools

Project management tools like Smartsheet, Wrike, ClickUp,, GanttPRO, and Clarizen can be helpful when managing dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project. These tools provide additional features and functionality that can help streamline the project management process.

Here are some of the benefits of using project management tools:

  • Collaboration: Many project management tools allow multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously.
  • Automation: Project management tools can automate many repetitive tasks, such as updating dependencies and sending notifications.
  • Reporting: Project management tools often include built-in reporting features that allow you to track progress and identify potential issues.


Managing dependencies for recurring tasks in Microsoft Project can be challenging, but with the right approach, it can be done effectively. By understanding the basics of recurring tasks and dependencies, as well as taking advantage of project management tools, you can ensure that your projects are completed on time and within budget.