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Need to have a milestone occur at the first occurence of several tasks RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am using MSP 2007 Standard, no Project Server, no PWA.

    I am making a template schedule for Planning, Engineering, and Construction projects.  Management wants a "Milestones" section at the bottom of the schedule - no problem.  For the "Start of Construction Milestone", I need the milestone to fall on the earliest of construction start dates for several disciplines.  To explain, there are five disciplines of construction - Civil & Structural, Mechanical, Piping, Electrical, and Instrumentation & Automation.  I have a start-to-start link from each of the discipline start dates to "Start of Construction Milestone".  The problem is that the milstone date shows as the last of the start dates, rather than the first of the start dates.  All projects may not have all disciplines, or the construction may proceed in different order from project to project.

    How do I get the milestone date to be the earliest start date of the construction disciplines?

    Thanks for the help.


    DLMcKirdy
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 2:49 PM

Answers

  • Actually, now I think about it, there's perhaps an easier way:
     
    1) If all of your Construction tasks roll up into a single summary bar....
    2) Create a milestone and set it outside of the Construction summary rollup
    (either the same level as the summary or under another summary).
    3) Set a SS dependency between the summary and the milestone.
     
    Usually it's frowned upon to add dependencies to a summary bar, but in this
    case it's just for reporting purposes and shouldn't impact the schedule.
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Blog: http://azlav.umtblog.com Twitter: @alavinsky
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:28 PM
    Moderator
  • After reading your first post, and the light turned on, I did as you suggested in the second post.

    I am the first one to chastize someone for linking Detail Tasks to Summary Tasks, so I re-read your first post.  I then linked the Summary Start Date to the Milestone Start Date and it worked, without the nasty little black link line from the summary task.  I did add a task note explaining what I did.

    Thanks again,

    Doug


    DLMcKirdy
    • Marked as answer by dlmckirdy Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:39 PM
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:36 PM

All replies

  • dlmckirdy,

    I kind of see what you are trying to do but I believe the thinking is backwards. Milestones don't occur after something has started, they INITIATE the start of something (or mark the completion of something).

    To illustrate, forget about the milestone for a moment. What action starts one or more of the disciplines? Is it contract award, funding approval, permit approval, etc.? Whatever action that is should drive the start milestone. The successors of that start milestone are then the disciplines.

    Now to answer your question directly. No, it is not possible using normal constraints or task dependencies. In order to do what you want, some code (e.g. VBA) will be required. Now, watch someone prove me wrong by coming up with a clever alternate approach.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 3:24 PM
  • John,

    As you noted, there are several tasks that need to complete before any of the construction disciplines can start, therefore, I used the start-to-start relationship with the construction disciplines.  I understand your answer that MSP cannot trigger on the first occurrance of many.

    Can anyone help me with a formula using dates to trigger the actual milestone date?  If not a formula, is there some simple vba code that can be used?  I recently received Rod Gill's book, but have not had time to work my way through it yet.

    Thanks,

    Doug


    DLMcKirdy
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 4:00 PM
  • OK - here's an "easy" hack that may do the trick.
     
    1) Create a new custom Flag field.  Call it "Construction Tasks."  Flip it
    to Yes for the construction activities
    2) Create a new Date field.  Call it "Construction Rollup." 
    3) Set the Date field to use the following formula: "IIF([Construction Tasks]=Yes,[Start],ProjDateValue('NA'))"
    4) Set the Date field to rollup to the Minimum.
    5) Insert the Project Summary Task if it is not visible.  That should now
    display the earliest start date for the Construction Activities.
    6) Copy (Ctrl-C) the cell with the earliest start date from the Project Summary
    Task.  Click on the Start field for the milestone.  Paste Special, select
    Link.
     
    This will shift the milestone based on the earliest start date of the construction
    activities.
     
    That being said, a macro may work better.
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Blog: http://azlav.umtblog.com Twitter: @alavinsky
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Actually, now I think about it, there's perhaps an easier way:
     
    1) If all of your Construction tasks roll up into a single summary bar....
    2) Create a milestone and set it outside of the Construction summary rollup
    (either the same level as the summary or under another summary).
    3) Set a SS dependency between the summary and the milestone.
     
    Usually it's frowned upon to add dependencies to a summary bar, but in this
    case it's just for reporting purposes and shouldn't impact the schedule.
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Blog: http://azlav.umtblog.com Twitter: @alavinsky
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Andrew,

    Thanks for turning on the light!

    There is already a Construction Summary Task in the schedule.  I just linked the summary start date to the milestone start date as you said.

    No formula, no code.

    (sometimes Project makes me feel like an idiot!

    Thanks a lot!

    Doug

    ps: Andrew's second post came in while I was writing this.


    DLMcKirdy
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:31 PM
  • After reading your first post, and the light turned on, I did as you suggested in the second post.

    I am the first one to chastize someone for linking Detail Tasks to Summary Tasks, so I re-read your first post.  I then linked the Summary Start Date to the Milestone Start Date and it worked, without the nasty little black link line from the summary task.  I did add a task note explaining what I did.

    Thanks again,

    Doug


    DLMcKirdy
    • Marked as answer by dlmckirdy Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:39 PM
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:36 PM