The Task Link symbol is used to connect all elements in a TaskMap. Task Links are directional, that is, the arrow is drawn to show where the Task Link begins and ends.
You enter or update Task Link details by right-clicking on a Task Link and selecting the first menu option, Define Task Details… The Shape Datadialog (called the Custom Properties dialog in Visio 2003) allows you to add, update or remove Task Link data.
The Task Link Description typically describes a requirement or need that causes a task to be performed, or it describes the result following completion of a task. For example, the very first Task Link in a TaskMap might be Proposal needed, which describes the impetus for the first task in the process. Other examples of Task Links include Payroll issued, Maintenance schedule verified, Loan approval required or Report distributed.
Time Between Tasks
Time Between Tasks is an optional value that indicates the interval between the preceding and following tasks. It may represent either estimated or actual time depending on the application. Time Between Tasks often represents preparation or waiting time before the next Task can begin.
Documenting the Time Between Tasks can be extremely useful if you are trying to analyze and optimize a work process. For example, you might record a four-hour estimated waiting period before a subsequent Task may be started. Or if you are documenting an "As Is" process, you might use the Time Between Tasks to show the actual delay, due to backlog, before a person is able to start the next Task in a process.
Times can be entered in any of the following time units:
The default time unit for new Task Links is minutes, however, you can change the default for any TaskMap drawing by using the TaskMap Options button on the TaskMap toolbar. You can also change the time units for individual Task Links by selecting a different unit type from the pulldown list displayed when you select Define Task Link Details… for the shape. If you change the time units for a Task Link, the software automatically converts the Time Between Tasks value to reflect the new units. For more information refer to Working with TaskMap Time Fields.
Controlling Task Link Data Display
By default only the Task Link Description is displayed. However, you can show the time and an abbreviation for the appropriate time units by turning on the display of additional data for the Task Link shape. Doing so for a Task Link with a 30 minute Time Between Tasks produces this result:
Hint: The width of the Task Link Description text is linked to the width of the Task Link, that is, as the distance between the endpoints of the Task Link increases or decreases, the width of the text box increases or decreases. If you find that the text on a particular Task Link wraps awkwardly, try increasing or decreasing the distance between the shapes at either end of the Task Link.