Project Planning RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a fundamental question about a common scenario and Project. I'm wondering what the 'Pros' do with Project to handle this common scenario.

    Let's say you have a project concept and kind of a kick off. You use Project to start doing WBS and activity planning. You estimate work, create tasks, plan for some milestones and rough in a schedule. So you are using project at this point pretty much to break down the work and activities and work estimates. Project is handling auto-scheduling from the start date in the project properties.

    Now, let's say two weeks later, you try to meet with the client sponsor to review the plan and it's already behind because it never got kicked off. The client wants to start the project a week from today's date.

    When you open the project file, all the dates you have autoscheduled in are behind now, even though the project didn't get OK'd and approved.

    How do you tell project to re-schedule all tasks from the new date?

    How do you handle this in the real world? I often use project to do WBS and activity break downs, WORK estimations, resource estimations. I often do this as a part of the planning / initiation process. But frequently, the project never actually starts or is officially given the "green light" until later.

    So I use project kind of as a calculator for roughing in work estimates and duration, but the dates in the original file don't reflect the actual dates of assignments once the project is kicked off.

    Is your project really behind schedule? Is there a global "move all tasks to this start date" and have end dates adjust accordingly due to the work / duration? Or do you go through each task manually and move things forward?

    In other words, I often use Project just as a tool for calculating work, linking dependencies (F/S, S/F, etc.) as a part of project initiation. But frequently the project never actually starts until weeks later and I have to figure out how to move everything forward from that start date.

    I know this is kind of a basic question on Project Management and Project.

    Perhaps a more relevant question is: Are we really behind? And how do you update the project tasks given the fact that they all are in the past in terms of the schedule?


    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 4:27 PM

All replies

  • Bob,

    Have you looked at the Update Project function?  From the menu go to Project  then select Update Project from the ribbon.  From here you can "reschedule uncompleted work and selected tasks to start after: [date].   Another option that I typically follow is to create 1 kickoff task and link tasks together as you described back to the kickoff task.  That will move everything out accordingly by changing the project start date. If you use the 'move project' ribbon feature you can also move the deadline dates.   Good luck.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 7:05 PM
  • You're behind when you can no longer meet agreed dates. So your original schedule is never behind as no agreement has been made. What I do is:

    1. Set the project start date to any Monday that is the first of a month (EG Aug '13)
    2. Set timescale labels to month1, Month2 and W1,W2
    3. Schedule as you do, but Task 1 is always the event that triggers the first task in the schedule, EG Customer signs order and resources made available.
    4. Once a start date is agreed, set the Project start date to it. Use Project, Move Project (Project 2010+) to reset teh start as it moves constraints as well.

    Your initial schedule now shows things like Project will take 10 weeks after approval to proceed given and resources made available. Sets expectations nicely!

    I create a new View for the Month1,.. timescale so I can hide milestone dates as well.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013 7:11 PM