Actual Start Date Question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello All, 

    I'm using MS PRoject Standard 2013 and am practicing creating a new project

    Whenever I enter the field Actual Start Date it changes the projects start date to something else and it doesn't allow me to change the date. Why does it do that and from where would the date be pulled if i'm entering something else?

    Ex: My project was expected to start on 11/16/15 and then i enter the actual start date as 11/16/15 - the row above where the overall project start date is located has shifted to start on 10/28/15 - where did this date come from and why did project enter it? I'm not able to change it either. I've hidden/deleted the column a couple of times and it's the same thing.

    Any help would be most appreciative


    Thursday, April 7, 2016 6:53 PM

All replies

  • Tina,

    I don't quite follow what you are saying but let me ask a few questions. Are you using auto or manual scheduling? I recommend you stick with auto scheduling mode as that is more straightforward.

    Just for reference the Project Start Date is not entered anywhere on the Gantt Chart view, rather the Project Start Date is by default the current date or you can set it to something else under Project/Properties group/Project Information/Start Date entry. Note, if you manually enter a start date of a task that is earlier than the Project Start Date, you will get a warning message telling you so.

    You sound like you are new to Project so let me clarify something. There is a Start field and an Actual Start field. When a plan is first developed, the estimated/expected start date is in the Start field, and it is either driven by a predecessor task or the Project Start Date. Except for very special cases, a user should not manually enter a start date for any tasks. Once the task begins the user can enter an actual start date into the Actual Start field, if the task started earlier or later than the scheduled start date. If progress is initiated by an entry into the % Complete field, then Project will assume the task started as scheduled and it will automatically enter the Start date into the Actual Start field. If the user enters an actual start date that is different from the scheduled start date, Project will update the plan by changing the date in the Start field to match what was entered into the Actual Start field.

    When you say the line above where you enter the actual start date, is that a summary line?

    Let's start with that and then go from there. It would be extremely helpful if you could post a screen shot, but your account may not yet be "verified".


    Thursday, April 7, 2016 8:12 PM
  • Hi John

    Thank you for replying you are right I can not post an image yet - anyway

    on Row 1:  Task Name| Duration| Start Date| Finish Date|

    I added Actual Date Column

    So now it reads:  Task Name| Duration| Start Date| Finish Date| Actual Start Date| Actual Finish Date

    In the original start date column it reads 11/16/15 and when I enter the same into the Actual Start Date column it changes the date to something differnent

    Why do that

    Thursday, April 7, 2016 9:20 PM
  • Tina,

    Still not quite clear on what you have, but before we go any further, is your version of Project 2013 updated with the latest Cumulative Update (March 2016)? If you go to File/Help and click on "Additional Version and Copyright Information" in the middle on the right side of the screen, it will bring up the About Microsoft Project Window. The version should be 15.0.4805.1000 (first part of version number). If you are not fully updated, run Windows Update.

    Okay, let's assume you installation of Project 2013 is fully up to date. I created a simple two task plan with the field columns you noted (see screenshot). For "task b" I entered the start date into the Actual Start field. So, what changes when you do that?


    Thursday, April 7, 2016 11:19 PM