How do I get Project 2010 to update task dates when some tasks are partially or fully completed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a project schedule with about 1,000 tasks/subtasks and all of the tasks have predecessors assigned. The tasks all basically run in sequence.

    The issue is that when:

    • a task/tasks other than in sequence gets updated with a percentage of completion


    • tasks scheduled before the task that was updated with a percentage of completion are updated with a longer/shorter duration


    • tasks scheduled after the task that was updated with a percentage of completion no longer adjusts to reflect a later/sooner start/end date.

    Note: All tasks are set to occur as soon as possible.

    Is there a way to get the new project/tasks finish dates to be reflected in the schedule without clearing the percent completed fields and then re-entering the percents completed?



    Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:38 PM

All replies

  • StrategicWebs,

    An example would have been a little easier to understand so let's see if I got it right. I'll use a simple sequence of three tasks, you can extrapolate for your scenario.

    Task A has a duration of 10 days. Task A drives task B which has a duration of 5 days. Task B drives task C which has a duration of 7 days - a dynamic linked network of tasks

    Task B is updated with a completion of 50%. As soon at that happens, task B is no longer dynamic, it now has a fixed start date and the link between it and task A is now null and void regardless of the status of task A. Since task C is linked to task B, it can only move forward or backward as dictated by task B (i.e. if task B finishes earlier than scheduled, task C will move up. If task B is delayed, task C will be delayed. But in no case is task C linked to task A any longer.

    If task B is showing some progress before task A has finished, then the link structure was either incorrect from the start or things have changed such that the link structure needs to be updated. For example, task B was not really dependent on task A finishing, although it may be true that task B cannot finish before task A is complete. If for some reason task C still needs to be dependent on Task A, a new link between them must be made.

    Hope this helps.


    • Edited by John - Project Friday, February 1, 2013 3:05 AM third person clarity
    Friday, February 1, 2013 1:00 AM
  • I share John's opinion that an example would be helpful in diagnosing the issue. To add a couple of questions/thoughts to his response:

    • You would expect the link between tasks A and B to be superseded. You have effectively given Task B a hard start constraint date. Any changes you make to task A by way of duration or schedule will not affect the start of Task B. It's not clear why Task A's duration should change. More likely would be a warning that the A-B task dependency can't be respected.
      Do you make any changes to Task A which cause its duration to change? Does Task A have any date constraints? I can imagine a mechanism that would cause the duration of Task A to change to fit the available time before Task B but that would be unlikely to happen without deliberate effort.
    • What do you expect to happen to Task C? As you describe it Task C start date will continue to be driven by the scheduled finish date of Task B.

    If you are interested in an accurate schedule (which is one of the most obvious reasons for using a scheduling tool like MS Project), I suggest you do not use the % complete column in the Gantt Chart view for data entry. This approach always applies the scheduled start/finish date as the actual dates.

    Instead, use the Mark on Track->Update tasks function (from the Task:Schedule tab on the Project 2010 ribbon) - enter the specific Actual Start date and Actual Finish date when applicable. If you want to enter a %complete other than 0 or 100 you can do it in the same dialog box. Accurate % complete values are notoriously difficult to assess and many managers will only use the 0, 50, 100 values to indicate unstarted, in progress or complete for tasks.

    Note: you don't mention this, but if you are using resource assignments then you should definitely not use the %complete approach for updating task status. In that case use the Assignment Information Tracking dialog box from the Task Usage view for updating the assignment Actual Start and Finish dates.

    Sunday, February 3, 2013 2:44 PM