Myth: Ladder Scheduling is impossible in Microsoft Project as it does not allow two dependencies between two activities.

Some business processes require the creation of multiple dependencies between two activities. Particularly, sometimes activities could be performed in parallel but the successor activity can be executed with a defined delay from the predecessor. It is known as ‘Ladder Scheduling’.

As Microsoft Project only supports a single dependency between two activities there is a popular myth that it is not possible to link activities multiple times. A simple workaround allows solve the challenge.

Ladder Scheduling (Start-to-Start plus Finish-to-Finish dependencies) could be realised by adding an additional dummy milestone. It is inconvenient, but possible to get multiple links.

Ladder Scheduling in Microsoft Project:

Saying that it is not the best practice to create SS + [duration lag] and FF + [duration lag] dependencies, as such an approach may cause hidden planning issues. When the predecessor activity commenced but the required volume hasn’t been achieved, the schedule incorrectly shows that the successor activity can start. Alternative approaches were discussed in these posts:

Point-to-Point Dependency

Volume lags


Alex Lyaschenko

PMO | Portfolio Planning & Delivery | PMP | P3O Practitioner | AgilePM Practitioner | Six Sigma