Parent & Child Task Relationships

If a task is relatively large and requires several users with different skills to manage, break the task into subtasks and create parent-child relationships. A child task should be a relatively smaller, manageable size of work. When you group child tasks together under a parent, values such as dates, costs etc. aggregate and roll up to the parent task. So the parent task takes on the form of a summary task or rollup task for its child tasks. Planned start date and Planned end date rollup occurs when you create child tasks: the duration of the parent automatically adjusts to cover its child tasks.

A parent-child relationship is different from a dependency relationship. In a dependency, one task must finish before another begins. In a parent-child relationship, any number of tasks can be nested under a parent task with or without any dependencies.

gantt chart tasks example

Creating a Parent-Child Task Relationship

To set parent-child relationships, select a task that you want to convert to a child task and click on the Make Child button.

make child task

Shortcut – Alt + Right arrow key

To create a parent task from a child task click on the Make Parent button.

make parent task

Shortcut – Alt + Left arrow key

Parent-Child (Rollup) Task Calculations

Rollups involve date changes, state changes, and value calculations. Gantt Excel automatically calculates parent task rollups and sets the following fields to read-only

Estimated Start Date
Estimated End Date
Baseline Start Date
Baseline End Date
Actual Start Date.
Actual End Date
Percent Complete
Estimated Cost
Baseline Cost
Actual Cost