Lag in MS PROJECT 2013


these days I’m busy with organizing Conference (, btu I have a question form on of my Blog Readers, so I do not want to disappoint him. Here is the question:

“This is very good information thank you. I do have a question on a type of task that I have not found an answer to. Let me give you two scenarios:
1. You have a charter that needs executive sign off. You cannot proceed with the project until that sign-off occurs. You also know it will take at least a week to get the exec to sign off. But the actual “effort” is maybe 15 min. I need to keep the week because it is a critical path item. but then you have resource over allocation issues unless you set the % for the resource
2. You have a task – “form Xfunctional team. This task, again on the critical path, will take you 18 days by the time you get all the sign-offs agreements etc. You actually only work on it for 15 min a day but need the duration of 3weeks to remain. If you put in 18 days for a resource you will get over allocation unless you set the % for the resource.

Here is the basic question: If you have a task that is that is of a great duration but only will take a small amount of work is there a way to figure out:
the % of work a person should be allocated automatically
Or is there a better way to approach this rather than set the % of work?”

The answer is very simple – Use LAG! What is LAG? It is a waiting time between Taks!.

Let me show you how to use it in MS PROJECT 2013. First I will create three Tasks:


Let’s suppose that Task 1 is Writing The Charter, Task 2 is Signing The Charter, and Task 3 is something like Developing the Software. You can see that Task 2 has only 15 minutes duration. But between Task 1, and Task 2 you should wait one week.

Usually people put another Task between Task 1 , and Task 2 like this:


This is bad Practice, even if you do not (and you should not) assign Resource to that Waiting for Sign Task!

Best Practice is this:


and I’ll get:


You can see that the Task 2 has 15 minutes Duration, but it will wait one week for starting, after Task 2 will finish!

What 1FS+1 wk mean? It means: “Task 2 has Task 1 as Predecessor, it has Finish To Start relation with Task 1, and will start 1 week (LAG), after Task 1 finishes”

That’s it. hope it helps.



About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
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