Circular predeccesors, destroying planning? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear all,

    For the 3rd or 4th time this week, I have had a circular predecessor suddenly appearing in my project and completely destroying information for 2 huge summary tasks out of 8. And jumbling up the rest of the tasks, basically making my whole planning unusable, only way to solve this is restart from an earlier backup, which is awful.  The occurrence of this is completely random, one minute I save, close the file reopen it, it works, then I save again did not change anything, I reopen it 5 minutes later and the file suddenly has a circular predecessor. A strange thing about this is that then the whole project becomes jumble up with parts just disappearing...

    The only thing I can think of is that because I produce files using MS Project 2010 in MS Project 2003 format as this is the version most of my colleagues use, some sort of compatibility issues are destroying the project. I in fact have both versions installed 2003 and 2010, however due to the enormity of the data I normally just use 2010 as it is the only sane way to work with over 1000 tasks. The strangest thing is that I have been working in this way for the past 2 months without noticeable problems, so I do not understand why this error would suddenly happen.

    I have write-protected my file so only 4 of my colleagues can edit it so as to avoid compatibility issues or unexpected planning. However, I know of 1 of these colleagues that has Microsoft Project 2007, he claims he has not saved anything ever, assuming this is true, would simply opening the file with a different version change anything in the project?

    Well if anyone has seen this error before and has a solution then please let me know, it's driving me insane.

    Thanks a lot.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 3:38 PM

All replies

  • Stef --
    Although I have not personally experienced this issue, a number of users have reported problems when sharing a project file with others who use either Microsoft Project 2003 or 2007, and when those other users are expected to update the project file and send it back to you.  The main issue I have heard from users is that the Project file loses data in the process of saving to an older format, updating the project in an older version, sending it back to the original PM, and then reopening the project in the 2010 version of the software.  It is because of this that we warn people NOT round trip 2010 files with anyone who does not already use the 2010 version of the software.
    Beyond this, are you absolutely certain that you have not set task dependencies on summary tasks?  To confirm this, display the Gantt Chart view of your project and then apply the Summary Tasks filter.  Drag the split bar over to the right side of the screen so that you can see the Predecessors column.  Right-click on the Resource Names column head, choose the Insert Column item on the shortcut menu, and then select the Successors column.  Examine every summary task in your project.  The Predecessors and Successors cells should be blank for every summary task in your project.  If you see anything in either column for any summary task, this might be the cause of your circular reference error problem.
    Just a couple of thoughts.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:57 PM
  • Hi Stef

    I've encountered similar issues, with chunks of information simply disappearing before my eyes. I had converted a 2003 file to 2010 and was using the standard version of both of these.

    Follow Dale's advice to check for dependencies on your summary tasks and if you don't have any of those, maybe check out the hot fix issued on October 30th, which may also help. I haven't looked at this yet but I'm sure someone on here can give you some feedback on it.

    I can say I've had a significant reduction in errors since upgrading to Pro...nothing's been lost or moved or broken since I did that. Getting everyone on the same version will probably help as well.

    Good luck!



    Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:35 PM
  • Try making sure that the file has no deadlines set. I have found that tasks with deadlines do not save or convert to/from different versions properly, and they do cause what looks like, but is not, circular references.
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:56 AM