How to Ladder Scheduling with Microsoft Project

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Microsoft Project

How to Ladder Scheduling with Microsoft Project, click here to download a pdf of this paper>>>>

Large negative lags are often considered unacceptable and Ladder Scheduling is a technique used to link a set of tasks that have substantial overlap, such as pipe laying operations.

Some contracts do not permit Leads (Negative Lags) in contract schedules and thus creating a program without either open ends or Leads becomes very difficult with Microsoft Project because Microsoft Project does not allow two relationships (links) between two tasks as most other products.

Most other scheduling products allow multiple relationships between two tasks. For example:

  • Oracle Primavera P6 allow four relationships between two activities and thus Ladder Scheduling may be simply achieved using a SS+ Lag and FF + Lag between two activities.
  • On the other hand products like Elecosoft (Asta) Powerproject allows an unlimited number of relationships between tasks because leads and lags are placed on the task and not the relationship which in my opinion is far mor logical.
  • The example below was create in P6, where the tasks are linked using two relationships, a SS+3d and a FF+3d,

Ladder Scheduling with Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project does not allow two relationships between tasks but Ladder Scheduling may be achieved by:

  • Commencing a chain of tasks with a Start Milestone,
  • Connect the Start Milestone to each task with a Start to Start plus the appropriate lag and
  • Connect each task to their successor with a Finish to Finish relationship plus the appropriate lag:

How to Ladder Schedule with Microsoft Project

Eastwood Harris Resources

Accelerate your understanding of scheduling software to advance your scheduling career and be able to prepare better schedules with Eastwood Harris books, training courses and online videos on the following software packages:

  • Microsoft Project,
  • Oracle Primavera P6 and
  • Elecosoft (Asta) Powerproject

Online video training is available through Udemy through following these links:

Please follow these links:

  • Eastwood Harris books and training materials are available here
  • Eastwood Harris inhouse, one-to-one and public training courses are offered through Primaskills Pty Ltd, more details here>>>>.
  • Resources for Oracle Primavera P6 users such as third party software that works with P6 and technical papers on Primavera P6 at

Paul E Harris

Director Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd

18 August 2023