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Where does MS Project saves start date for a sub-project? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I am working with a main project file in which several sub-projects are inserted and linked.

    In the project info all sub-projects have the same date. The sub-projects are now linked in a cascade in the main project file: sub-prj-A --> sub-prj-B --> sub-prj-C. This causes the actual start date in sub-prj-B and sub-prj-C to be shifted accordingly.

    If I open sub-prj-B or C separately, the actual start date is still shifted in accordance with the cascade in the main project. However, there is no restriction and the start date of the project is unchanged.

    My question is this: Where is the actual start date saved by MS Project?

    ============================

    Here is an example as an additional illustration of my question:

    There are four  files: main.mpp, sub-prj-A.mpp, sub-prj-B.mpp, sub-prj-C.mpp.

    In each file the project start is specified as 2012-01-01.

    Each of the sub projects has a duration of one week. After building a cascade in main.mpp, sub project B starts on 2012-01-11, which is correct.

    When I open sub-prj-B.mpp separately, its earliest date is changed to 2012-01-11 while its start date is still 2012-01-01. This not a problem, but where does MS Project saves this information? There is no restriction on the first task in the sub-project B. What am I missing? Does MS Projects saves the back link somewhere?

    Friday, June 22, 2012 10:18 AM

Answers

  • Otto,

    If I may intervene. I see a problem right away with your structure. In your master project you link summary lines which are in fact part of the master project itself and do not exist at all in the individual subprojects. Remove the summary line links (i.e. link only to performance tasks) and see it that doesn't solve your problem.

    John

    Sunday, June 24, 2012 3:29 PM

All replies

  • Hi Otto,

    The Start date of each project should be saved by Project -> Project Information -> Project Start Date (if 2010). Then when inserted in the Master Project, these projects come with their own Project Start Date.

    Please let me know if I missed something. Also, tell us the project version.


    Sapna S

    Friday, June 22, 2012 10:40 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Sapna,

    thank you for the reply. However, my question is till not clarified. I am using Project 2007.

    There are several ways known to me to save a start date of a first (!!!) task in a project:

    1. project start date

    2. restriction (start not earlier than date)

    Now let's go back to my example with sub-projects. Sub project B has project start date 1st Jan. But after insertion into the main project it starts on 11th Jan.

    Now let us send the sub project B to a customer who is not aware of the fact, that his project is a sub project. He access that single project and nothing more. And here comes the discrepancy:

    - Project start date: 1st Jan.

    - First task in the project starts on 11th Jan.

    - Restriction type: start as soon as possible - this would meant starting project on 1st Jan NOT on 11th Jan!

    Friday, June 22, 2012 11:00 AM
  • Let me first clarify on your 2 points on aliging the Project start :

    1. project start date - [This is the only way to define Start Date for a Project, which logically gets exercised on first task of the project.]

    2. restriction (start not earlier than date)  [ Never set constrain on tasks, this makes project in-flexible.]

    I m not clear on the fact whether you want Project B to start on 1st Jan or 11th Jan? When you say its Start Date is 1st Jan then why do you want first task to start on 11th Jan, please tell us if there is any specific reason behind?

    Still, if you want that be the case - add a first task named as Contigency and add 7d to it and link your Task 1 to this with FS that will shift its Start Date to 11th Jan.


    Sapna S

    Friday, June 22, 2012 11:47 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello Sapna,

    I hope you are OK with German interface of the Project  :-)

    Here is an illustration for my original question: we have a master project, which contains two sub projects:

    Within the master project, the first task for the second project starts on 29th June. This is OK, because you see the dependencies.

    Now let us give the second subproject to a person who is not aware of the master project. This person only gets the sub project 2. Now he is confused: the start date in the project information is 24th June. But the start date of the first task is 29th June. He does not understand why this is so, because there is no restriction on the first task and the first task has no visible dependencies.

    It would be logical for me if Project would shift the start date of the sub project to satisfy the dependencies. But the start date remains unchanged as you see. How does Project knows that first task of the second sub project starts on 29th June?

    Sunday, June 24, 2012 9:09 AM
  • Let me first clarify on your 2 points on aliging the Project start :

    1. project start date - [This is the only way to define Start Date for a Project, which logically gets exercised on first task of the project.]

    2. restriction (start not earlier than date)  [ Never set constrain on tasks, this makes project in-flexible.]

    I m not clear on the fact whether you want Project B to start on 1st Jan or 11th Jan? When you say its Start Date is 1st Jan then why do you want first task to start on 11th Jan, please tell us if there is any specific reason behind?

    Still, if you want that be the case - add a first task named as Contingency and add 7d to it and link your Task 1 to this with FS that will shift its Start Date to 11th Jan.


    Sapna S

    Hi Otto,

    I don't understand German, but as already suggested in above post, you can create a Contingency as first task to map difference of Dates between Project Start -24th June and first task - 29th June. Please let me know if this works or you need more input on this.


    Sapna S

    Sunday, June 24, 2012 9:18 AM
    Moderator
  • Otto,

    If I may intervene. I see a problem right away with your structure. In your master project you link summary lines which are in fact part of the master project itself and do not exist at all in the individual subprojects. Remove the summary line links (i.e. link only to performance tasks) and see it that doesn't solve your problem.

    John

    Sunday, June 24, 2012 3:29 PM