How to Delete Dependencies in Project 2016

By Cynthia Snyder

Just like the latest trend in fashion, dependencies in a Project 2016 project can suddenly change. For example, sometimes they’re no longer needed because of a shift in priorities or overall project timing. When you need to get rid of a dependency, you can undo what you did in either the Gantt Chart or the Task Information dialog box.

Leading practices in project management suggest that dependencies should not be built based on resource availability when first creating the schedule. Rather, you should concern yourself with the logical order of the work regardless of who does it at this point in creating your schedule. Resource leveling, or the smoothing out of the peaks and valleys of resource usage, is always a factor in scheduling, of course, but it is a factor that will be addressed in later steps in project planning.

With Gantt Chart view displayed, follow these steps:

  1. Select the two tasks whose dependency you want to delete.
    • For two adjacent tasks: Drag to select their ID numbers.
    • For nonadjacent tasks: Click one task, press and hold Ctrl, and then click a nonadjacent task.
  2. Click the Unlink Tasks button in the Schedule group on the Task tab (refer to the following figure).
Link
Linking and unlinking tasks.

Use the preceding method carefully. If you click only one task and then click the Unlink Tasks button, the result is somewhat drastic: All dependency relationships for that task are removed.

To remove dependency relationships in the Task Information dialog box, here’s the drill:

  1. Double-click a successor task name.

    The Task Information dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Predecessors tab to display it.
  3. Click the Type box for the dependency you want to delete.

    A list of dependency types appears, as shown.

    Dependencies
    You can use the Predecessors tab to create and delete dependency links.
  4. Choose None.
  5. Click the OK button to save the change.

    The dependency line on the Gantt chart is gone. The next time you open that Task Information dialog box, the dependency is gone, too.