Lightweight Logic Ties

Logic ties on schedules can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they help us see how one activity is tied to the next. But on large projects with lots of relationships, they often just get in the way. Ever received one of those unreadable Gantt charts with hundreds of logic ties crisscrossing the page? Makes us laugh and cry at the same time.

At GraphicSchedule we like to use logic ties sparingly. Here’s a thought experiment: if you had 2 minutes to present your schedule to the boss, which key relationships would you take the time to explain, to make sure they understand what drives the schedule? The answers to that question are good candidates for logic ties on your 1-page schedule.

Here’s a quick and easy way to add a few arrows between shapes on the chart, using native Excel features:

  1. Click anywhere on the chart
  2. Navigate to the ‘Insert’ ribbon > Illustrations > Shapes
  3. Choose ‘Arrow’ or ‘Elbow Arrow’
  4. Draw the arrow from one shape to another as shown in the image below.

 

 

If you follow these steps, Excel automatically displays connection points that help you positively attach arrows to other shapes. In most cases, these arrows will travel with the schedule even when dates change. However, don’t assume these same logic ties will still be accurate or relevant next month. As an astute contractor once told us, “we all get smarter every month”. Plans change, schedule logic evolves, and that’s OK!