How to View a Driving Dependency in Microsoft Project

Have you ever wondered how to easily View a Driving Dependency? Well, in this blog post, I’ll walk you through the steps to do just that. It’s a feature that not many people know about, but once you learn how to use it, it can be incredibly useful for project management. So let’s dive in! If you would rather watch a YouTube video on this subject, click here or click the thumbnail below.

View a Driving Dependency

Steps to View a Driving Dependency:

Selecting the Task

First things first. Select the task for which you want to determine Predecessors or Successors, and then click the “Gantt Chart Format” tab to display the Gantt Chart Format ribbon.

Disabling Critical Tasks

Before we proceed, it’s a good idea to temporarily disable the display of Critical Tasks, if already selected. This will make it easier to distinguish between different task types. Simply deselect the “Critical Tasks” checkbox in the Bar Styles section of the ribbon.

Determining Predecessors

Click the “Task Path” pick list button in the Bar Styles section of the ribbon. On the menu, you’ll see four items: Predecessors, Driving Predecessors, Successors, and Driven Successors. Let’s start with Predecessors.

Selecting the “Predecessors” item on the menu will highlight all the Predecessors for the selected task. Microsoft Project formats the Gantt bars of every Predecessor using a yellow color.

Identifying Driving Predecessors

Next, let’s narrow it down to Driving Predecessors. Selecting the “Driving Predecessors” item on the “Task Path” pick list will highlight only those Predecessors that actually control the Start date of the selected task. These tasks will be formatted with an orange Gantt bar color.

Clearing the Highlighting

Once you’re done analyzing the Predecessors, clear the highlighting by selecting the “Remove Highlighting” item on the “Task Path” pick list.

Exploring Successors

Now, let’s take a look at Successors. Click the “Task Path Pick List” button again and choose the “Successors” item. This will highlight all the Successor tasks using a light purple Gantt bar color.

Understanding Driven Successors

Lastly, let’s focus on Driven Successors, which are the tasks whose Start date is directly driven by the selected task. Select the “Driven Successors” item on the “Task Path” pick list and Driven Successors will be formatted with a dark purple Gantt bar color.

Finalizing and Removing Highlighting

After you’ve finished analyzing Predecessors and/or Successors, click the “Remove Highlighting” item on the “Task Path” pick list to clear the Gantt bar highlighting.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it! You’ve successfully identified Driving Predecessors or Driven Successors for any task in Microsoft Project. I hope this blog post has taught you something new about Microsoft Project.

If you have questions, please add them in the “Leave a Reply” section below. Or if you watched the video, add your questions or comments there. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave “Likes” if you like the videos.

If you would like to have a formal class on using Microsoft Project, here is a link for my classes.

Hello there, esteemed Microsoft Project enthusiasts! It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself as Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP, a seasoned veteran in the world of Microsoft Project. With a remarkable track record of being awarded the prestigious Microsoft Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) title for an incredible 20 years in a row, I am humbled to share that I currently hold the distinguished position of being one of only 11 Project MVPs across the entire globe. To say that this achievement is exciting would be an understatement. It is a testament to my unwavering dedication, passion, and expertise in the Microsoft Project domain.


Why Should You Learn from Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP?

Throughout my illustrious career, I have relentlessly pursued excellence, striving to be at the forefront of technological advancements and best practices in project management. Being a Microsoft Project MVP has endowed me with a wealth of knowledge and experience that I eagerly share with other users of this remarkable software. It has been my privilege to assist countless individuals and organizations in harnessing the full potential of Microsoft Project to effectively plan, execute, and monitor their projects. Through my extensive involvement in the Microsoft Project community, I have built a strong network of like-minded professionals, and together, we continuously strive to innovate and push the boundaries of project management excellence. As an MVP, I not only possess an in-depth understanding of Microsoft Project but also have access to exclusive resources, early product previews, and direct communication channels with the Microsoft Project development team. This unique advantage allows me to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring that I can provide the most up-to-date and relevant guidance to fellow Microsoft Project lovers.

Whether you are a seasoned project manager seeking to enhance your skills or a novice navigating the intricacies of project planning, I am here to assist you every step of the way. Through my articles, webinars, and training sessions, I aim to empower individuals and organizations to unlock the true potential of Microsoft Project, enabling them to achieve their project goals efficiently and effectively. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we delve into the realm of Microsoft Project, exploring its vast capabilities, uncovering hidden gems, and conquering the challenges that lie ahead. Together, we can transform the way projects are managed, revolutionizing the world of project management, one keystroke at a time. So, buckle up and prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure in the fascinating universe of Microsoft Project.

Ask Questions on the Forums or Contact Me Directly

If you post a question about any of Microsoft’s PPM tools on the public message boards, look to see who the moderator or person that has answered the questions and you see, it’s frequently me answering your questions. Some people like to golf, I love Microsoft Project helping the community get to understand Microsoft Project much better.


Books I’ve Written on Amazon

I’ve been teaching students at all levels for over 20 years and have taught thousands of users around the world. I’ve written and co-authored 23 books on Microsoft Project, Project Online, and Project Server so if you’re like me and like to read over watching a video, you can Check Out My Books on Amazon.


Check Out My YouTube Channel

For the people that like to watch videos, check out my YouTube channel. If you post a question in the comments, I’ll be happy to answer questions or create a new video to answer your question. 

See Other Questions I Answer on the Message Boards

If you’ve got a question about Microsoft Project, Project Online or Project Server, check out some of these community post areas.
Microsoft Tech Community
Reddit Project Online Community
LinkedIn Project and Planner Group


Here’s some other blogs and message boards that I answer questions on:
https://www.mpug.com/author/dale-howard/
https://www.dalehowardmvp.com/microsoft-project-tips-and-tricks/
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_project
https://www.reddit.com/r/MSProject/
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/profile/029b4dc7-350c-48f1-8f44-5f01718b3b30

Dale Howard Microsoft Project MVP

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