Scheduling Advice Please............ RRS feed

  • Question

  • Good morning friends

    I am constructing a schedule within which there are a number of tasks that have clear, unmovable 'Must Start On' constraints (due to issues such as road closures which are booked months in advance and are unmovable). There are a number of predecessor tasks on which these 'Must Start On' tasks are dependent along with a number of successor tasks following them. The successor tasks are easy to schedule but I'm struggling to understand the best way of auto-scheduling the predecessor tasks.

    Essentially I need to schedule the predecessor tasks from a defined finish date (i.e. the date of the first 'Must Start On' task).

    I don't want to enter dates manually as, at some stage, I need to use Project to enter and balance resources across a number of similar projects (which all have their own specific 'Must Start On' constrained tasks).

    I have estimated durations for all the predecessor tasks but how should I best schedule these back from the first 'Must Start On' task date to indicate when predecessor tasks should be starting please?

    Thanks folks

    Kind regards


    Friday, November 4, 2016 10:10 AM

All replies

  • Peter,

    Simplistically, do not use "Must Start on Constraints" in Project even though the tasks must start at a specified time on the calendar.  Indeed, your project execution has to be planned to enable the project to make the commitments promised by the dates (road closures, etc.).

    So ... what I would recommend as a starter for your consideration

    : create a Milestone Task "Start Road Closure on Highway 35" (or whatever) with zero duration.  Schedule "As soon as possible", e.g. with no constraint.  In the Deadline field, put in the date/tiime for when this closure must start.

    : setup a network of predecessors that must be completed, in whatever logical order they must be completed, and tie them into this road closure milestone.  All tasks scheduled as "as soon as possible", e.g. don't manually schedule.

    : compute the schedule in Project.  if your project logic pushes out the road closure past the deadline, Project will put up an alert on the task and tell you.  Re-think the execution plan by changing the activities that must be completed before the road closure.  Keep working it until you get a workable plan that can achieve the schedule you have promised. 

    : Baseline it and then do it.


    Friday, November 4, 2016 11:06 AM
  • Thanks for the prompt reply and suggestion Rob

    I'll give that a go



    Friday, November 4, 2016 12:11 PM