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How to Set Dependencies on monday.com

When we started our Automation journey, a main goal of ours was to create a stable foundation for dependency connections between different items. Drum roll.... we're happy to present stage one, Due Date Dependencies 🙌


Note:  This column is available on our Pro and Enterprise plans 



Add the Dependency Column

Have items with due dates that are dependent on one another? Can one item not start until the other is complete? That's where the Dependency Column comes into play! The Dependency Column creates vital connections between items that will help to better manage projects

Add the column by clicking the '+' icon to the right of your last column, and select "More columns":


Now you can select the Dependency Column from the Column Center in the "Board Power-Up" section or search for it in the search bar!



Set up Dependencies

As soon as you add your column, a window will pop up prompting you to choose the time column your items will be dependent on. You can connect any time column including:

If you have more than one time column on your board, you can choose one of them from the drop-down menu. If you only have one time column (like in the example below), it will automatically be selected for you unless you choose to add a new time column. 


When you have made your column suggestion, click "Connect columns". 

When your columns have been connected, you will see that there's a little link icon beside the column's name, indicating that the connection was successful! Now you can begin outlining which items are dependent on other items! To set dependencies, click a cell in the Dependency Column. 


When you click a cell, a drop-down menu will open, allowing you to select any of the items on your board. 


Note:  You can select multiple items and your item will be dependent on all selected items!


It's important to note that the Date Column or Timeline Column will not auto-populate after you set your dependent items in the Dependency Column. You must fill in your Date Column or Timeline Column for each item for the dependencies to work. Once all of your dates are set, you will only see an automatic change in a date once a change is made in the date's dependent date.


Our "Westmount Boulevard Project Tracking" board follows the progress of one of our construction projects from beginning to end! 



Since we develop our project in an order critical to the success of the project, we've organized our board in chronological order with the first task in our to-do list at the top of our board and the last stage at the very end. In order to set up our timeline and dependencies to reflect this, we've set up our Dependency Column so that each item is dependent on the previous item. This means that the first item on our board has no dependency, the second item is dependent on the first item, and the third item is dependent on the second, etc. We'll only see a change when there is a change in a dependent item.


Automate it 

When adding the Dependency Column, an automation is automatically added to your board! To check it out, click the 'Automations' icon at the top of your screen:


The automation that's added ensures that the dependent item never starts before the item it is dependent on. 


This comes into play whenever an item is delayed. Let's say, for example, that the "Excavation and earthwork" phase of our Westmount Boulevard construction project is delayed by two weeks. We haven't yet changed our phase's status to "Done", and we've lengthened the phase's timeline by two weeks. This automation will ensure that the start date for the "Concrete and framework" phase that comes next will be automatically delayed by two weeks. 

  • Other recipes

If the pre-programmed automation doesn't suit your needs, you can head over to the Automations Center to choose from our dependency recipes: 



Note: The ability to populate dates that have not been previously set by a user is not yet supported. All dates must be filled into a Timeline or Date Column for the dependency recipe to trigger successfully. 


Skipping Weekends using Dependencies

You are able to skip weekends on the timeline column but not date columns with these automation recipes. 

To make sure weekends are skipped, you'll first need to set this up in your Admin Settings. To do so, go to your profile picture/avatar on the bottom left corner of your account. Under the "General" heading, click on the tab "Account". There, you'll see the option to "Hide Weekends" under Timeline Weekends. To learn more about this, check this out




Dependency Recipes and Use Cases

1. Ensure that the {date} of an item always starts after the date of its {dependency} item:


In this use case, using the dependency column and recipe above, we've maintained our waterfall workflow and assured that no timeline will start before the other ends: 



2. Adjust the {date} of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its {dependency} item

This recipe will serve us when a change has happened and now we need to push out the dates of the dependent items. In the below example, when a timeline date is shifted out 'x' days, the items dependent on this date are shifted out 'x' days accordingly.


Important Note: If you'd like to use both "ensure" and  "adjust" recipes (1 & 2) together on the same board you'll have to add an additional date column as choosing the same date column will create a conflict between the two recipes.



3. Ensure that the {date} of a item always starts after its {another date}



For this example, we have a set of tasks under "Phase A" and we want to maintain the chronological order of our workflow. To do so, we need to make sure that the "Review status" due date will always start after the "Design status" due date. This is where the below dependency automation comes into play:



4. Adjust the {date} of a item according to the change in this other date

In this use case, every item has two date columns that are dependent on each other. By using the recipe above with the addition of the second recipe (Adjust the {date} of a item according to the change in the date of its {dependency} item) we managed to set a workflow where all dates are shifting dependently and accordingly:



Dependency Recipes

  • Ensure that the date of an item always starts after the date of its dependency item
  • Ensure that this date in the item always starts after this other date has passed
    • Note: The "ensure" recipes will allow you to set a date that occurs prior to the date that item is dependent on. The "ensure" automation only triggers when a change is made to a dependent date.
  • When a status changes to something, change the status of its dependency to something 
  • Adjust this date to reflect the changes made in this other date of the same item
  • Adjust the date of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its dependency item

If you are intrigued to learn more about our variety of automations, please check out this article.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our team by using our contact form. We're available 24/7 and happy to help!

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