Scheduled Start date and Actual Start date displays the same date RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there,

    I have been facing a problem while using Microsoft Project 2010. I have created a plan wherein I put Scheduled Start date, Actual Start date in the plan; my question is - I have scheduled a task for 23 July 2015 but the tasks actually starts on 24 July 15 when I update and enter Actual Start date as 24 July in my plan the scheduled start date and start date changes to the actual start date. Please help and will appreciate your quick response.



    Friday, July 24, 2015 10:36 AM

All replies

  • Rupesh --

    What you are seeing is the default behavior of Microsoft Project and there is no way to change it.  Remember this important fact about the software:  Actuals always replace estimates.  A task was planned to take 40 hours of work, but the task actually took 56 hours of work.  So, how much work is there for this task?  56 hours.  See how the actuals replaced the estimate?

    To capture your ORIGINAL estimates (Duration, Start, Finish, Work, and Cost) for every task, resource, and assignment, you need to save a Baseline before you begin entering progress.  To save a Baseline, click Project > Set Baseline > Set Baseline and then click the OK button.  When you do this, your Baseline captures the planned values in your project.  From there, you can track variance using the Tracking Gantt view, along with the Variance, Cost, and Work tables.

    Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Friday, July 24, 2015 11:28 AM
  • Hi Rupesh,

    What you are seeing is the expected behavior. As soon as you update the actual start date, it will overwrite the start date. The start date is not intended to keep track of your initial start date, it is a dynamic information which gets updated accordingly with your plan updates. 

    The scheduled start will have the same behavior if you do not assign resources on the task. The goal of the scheduled start date is to be used for assignments, not for the task itself. For example, if your task starts on july 24th with resource A, you might have a resource B starting working on the task on july 31st. In this case scheduled start for resource A will be the same as the start date, but you can set that scheduled start for resource B will be july 31st. This is how to use the scheduled dates: for configuring different assignment start dates on a single task.

    I suggest to split your screen displaying the task form in the lower part, then right click on the grey right part of the lower panel and select "schedule". You'll be then able to update the scheduled dates at assignment level and not task level.

    Note also that in case you want to keep track of your initial dates (23 july 2015) which is strongly recommended in term of project management methodology, you should use the baseline feature from the project tab in the ribbon in order to take a picture of your project plan at a certain time.

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Friday, July 24, 2015 11:29 AM
  • This is not a problem. This is how it works. Once an actual start exists, there is no scheduled start date. A task can have a scheduled start date or an actual start date, but not both at the same time. Actuals trump everything.

    But you will say that you want to see what the scheduled start date was before you input the actual. If you baselined the plan before inputting the actual, that's where it is. Otherwise, if you saved the file before you inputted the actual, that's where it is. Otherwise, it's gone.

    Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:27 AM