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One Day Duration Tasks Spanning Two Days RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm using Project 2013 and am having troubles with one day tasks. When I schedule a one day task manually, it starts at 8am and finishes at 5pm the same day, however when I auto-schedule tasks a one day task starts at 8am and finishes at 8am the next day so it appears the tasks span two days.  I need all one day tasks to start and finish on the same day.  My project is setup with the default settings of 8 hours / day, 5 days / week, 20 days / month. 
    Monday, April 23, 2018 3:24 PM

Answers

  • Nicole and others who may be interested in this thread,

    Nicole sent me her file and once I saw it, the answer to her issue wasn't something I had thought about before but it has to do with the subtle nature of a start-to-finish type link. With a normal (default) finish-to-start link the successor task can NOT start until the predecessor task is finished, pretty straightforward. However with a start-to-finish link the meaning is less obvious. It does NOT mean that the "driven" (successor) task must finish before the "driving" (predecessor) task starts but rather that the successor task cannot finish until the predecessor task starts, INCLUDING not finishing until the predecessor task finishes.

    This seems quite strange but is more easily understood by way of example. In the example I show two sets of 1 day tasks. The first two have a start-to-finish relationship (like the tasks of question in Nicole's schedule) whereas the second two have a normal finish-to-start relationship. I've added the Early Start and Late Start field along with the Early Finish and Late Finish fields to better show what is happening. Note that with the first two tasks  the start-to-finish relationship requires that Task 1 not finish prior to Task 2 starting, and also allows Task 1 to finish as late at Task 2 finishes.

    This is one reason why we (i.e. those of us who normally respond on this forum) do not recommend the use of reverse scheduling. Forward scheduling is always the preferred method. In Nicole's plan Project has properly scheduled out the tasks in reverse order but the finish date and time of the reverse scheduled tasks isn't quite as clear, or as expected.

    Hope this helps and I hope I've explained it in an understandable manner.

    John

    • Marked as answer by Nic2024 Friday, April 27, 2018 1:59 PM
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:39 PM

All replies

  • Nic2024,

    What is your Project Start date and time?

    What is your Project calendar?

    Do you have resources assigned to the one-day task?

    If resources are assigned, what is the resource Base Calendar?

    Do you in fact know the task is starting at 8:00AM or are you assuming it does because you have the option for Default start time set for 8:00AM (i.e. set the date format option to include the time and look at the Start field)?

    John

    Monday, April 23, 2018 4:21 PM
  • Hi John,

    Thanks for taking a look at this!

    My project start date is 1/1/18 (defined in Project Information).  I have the default working day settings:  Monday - Friday, 8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm (defined in Working Time).

    I do not have any resources assigned to any tasks at this point - only tasks, dependencies, and durations (all in days) have been defined.

    I've confirmed all tasks are starting at 8am via the date format option that includes start and finish hours for each task.

    Nicole 

    Monday, April 23, 2018 5:38 PM
  • Nicole,

    Create a new file with two tasks as shown. Do you get the same result as I show in the screen shot? If not, describe what you get. Note, you will not be able to post an image yet as you are to new to this forum to be verified.

    John

    Monday, April 23, 2018 6:48 PM
  • Hi John,

    I see exactly what you have, only for "Task a" I have to enter a duration of 1 day so the "?" is not present, and enter 4/23/18 as the start date.

    The hours of 8am-5pm appear for both tasks.

    Nicole

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:07 PM
  • Nicole,

    So I gather that it works properly with the test file.

    The question mark associated with the Duration field is an option setting under File > Options > Schedule group > Scheduling options for this project. Check the option "New scheduled tasks have estimated durations".

    John

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:58 PM
  • Hi John,

    That option is already selected but the question mark isn't appearing for new manual tasks.

    Nicole

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 7:10 PM
  • Nicole,

    You're right, you won't see a question mark on the Duration field of a manually scheduled task. The reason it shows on the screen shot I posted is because I entered the task data before I changed the task to manually scheduled. If I select manually scheduled first, then enter the duration, there is no question mark. Sorry for the misinformation.

    Okay, so where are we? If you enter the test case of two tasks, one manually scheduled and one auto-scheduled, a duration of one day shows a start time of 8:00AM and a finish time of 5:00PM for both tasks, but in your plan you have some one day auto-scheduled tasks that start at 8:00AM on one day and finish at 8:00AM the next day. Is that correct?

    Do the auto-scheduled tasks that show the odd finish time have a Task Calendar other than "none"?

    John


    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:33 PM
  • Yes, your second paragraph is spot on, and the Task Calendar is "none" for all tasks.
    Wednesday, April 25, 2018 4:27 PM
  • Nicole,

    Okay let's try this. First, on the one day tasks that show the strange finish time, set the task as Start-no-earlier-than with the current start date as the constraint and then remove any predecessors. Does the finish still extend to the next day? If it does not then re-establish the link and remove the constraint. Does the finish time stay or does it move back to the next day?

    If setting the constraint and removing the link makes no difference or the extended finish time returns after re-establishing the link, save the file as XML. Then re-open the XML file in Project. Note, you will lose any custom formatting with this process. Does the file still show extended finish times? If it does, would you be able to send me the file?

    john

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:47 PM
  • It doesn't really mean "none". If you have a task calendar "none", then that task will get the project calendar that is set in project information.
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 7:57 AM
  • Hi John,

    When I follow your instructions to set the task as "Start-no-earlier-than," use the current start date as the constraint, and then remove the dependencies, the finish no longer extends into the next day.  However, as soon as I re-establish the link the task end date flows back into the start of the next day.

    I saved the file as XML and re-opened in Project but the problem still exists.  I've made all task names generic to remove any potentially proprietary information but all other settings remain the same.  What's the best way to send this to you?

    Also, I've noticed the issue only occurs on tasks with Start-to-Finish dependencies.

    Nicole


    • Edited by Nic2024 Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:32 PM
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:14 PM
  • Nicole,

    It's quite apparent the predecessor is causing the issue but I'd like to look at the file to give you a full assessment. You can send it to my address below. I will ask some questions. May I assume you have no dates later than Dec 31, 2049?

    John

    jmacprojataticlouddotdotcom

    (remove obvious redundancies)

    Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:33 PM
  • Sending your way now - thank you!
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 8:20 PM
  • Nicole and others who may be interested in this thread,

    Nicole sent me her file and once I saw it, the answer to her issue wasn't something I had thought about before but it has to do with the subtle nature of a start-to-finish type link. With a normal (default) finish-to-start link the successor task can NOT start until the predecessor task is finished, pretty straightforward. However with a start-to-finish link the meaning is less obvious. It does NOT mean that the "driven" (successor) task must finish before the "driving" (predecessor) task starts but rather that the successor task cannot finish until the predecessor task starts, INCLUDING not finishing until the predecessor task finishes.

    This seems quite strange but is more easily understood by way of example. In the example I show two sets of 1 day tasks. The first two have a start-to-finish relationship (like the tasks of question in Nicole's schedule) whereas the second two have a normal finish-to-start relationship. I've added the Early Start and Late Start field along with the Early Finish and Late Finish fields to better show what is happening. Note that with the first two tasks  the start-to-finish relationship requires that Task 1 not finish prior to Task 2 starting, and also allows Task 1 to finish as late at Task 2 finishes.

    This is one reason why we (i.e. those of us who normally respond on this forum) do not recommend the use of reverse scheduling. Forward scheduling is always the preferred method. In Nicole's plan Project has properly scheduled out the tasks in reverse order but the finish date and time of the reverse scheduled tasks isn't quite as clear, or as expected.

    Hope this helps and I hope I've explained it in an understandable manner.

    John

    • Marked as answer by Nic2024 Friday, April 27, 2018 1:59 PM
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:39 PM
  • Thanks for figuring this out!  I will prioritize left to right scheduling where possible moving forward.  Appreciate your help and timely responses John!
    Friday, April 27, 2018 2:01 PM
  • Nicole,

    You're very welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    John

    Friday, April 27, 2018 2:43 PM
  • Hi John, 

    I am getting the same issue as Nicole above, however I am scheduling from start to finish. Do you know if there are any other reasons why this would be occurring. I have still got my days finishing a day after their allocated 1 day duration. I have no resources allocated, and everything I've entered is in days.

    Would you be able to have a look at my file for me and see if you can find what it is? 

    Thanks in advance. 

    Andrew 

    Sunday, January 20, 2019 2:49 AM
  • Andrew TBL,

    Sure, send your file to me at the address I posted in an earlier response to the thread. Again, I will ask some questions.

    John

    Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:27 PM