Auto is creating tasks to start at the end of the day 5 PM... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am using project 2010 standard for a client and noticed that when I create tasks that have predecessor the task start time is 5 PM.  I prefer to have the tasks start at 9 AM.  Where is this configuration managed? I already checked "options" "schedule".  I have a 7 hour work day and 35 hours a week but still cannot get tasks to be created at the beginning of the day.  When I manually force the start date then a constraint is created and then when changes occur they are not automatically updated like a constraint of 'as soon as possible with predecessors would do.  I prefer to have no constraints and use "as soon as possible" for all the tasks.

    Any insight on how to fix this issue is appreciated :)

    Thank you,


    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:27 PM

All replies

  • Looks like you may be running into a conflict with the default calendar.  Try to update the calendar in Project > Change working time to reflect 7 hour work days. 
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:39 PM
  • Here is an article on updating the calendar if you are not familiar with the process:
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:41 PM
  • Hmmmm... actually I had already change the working times calendar but that did not help.  Below is an image to help illustrate the issue.  Task #42 ends at 5 PM on Friday.  The Milestone task #45 has task 42 as the predecessor.  I expect task 45 to start at the beginning of the day: 8 AM, however it appears to start on the same day the predecessor ends.   There must be a configuration issue but I don't see it.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:18 PM
  • Milestones have zero duration - so task 45 is scheduled at the same time as task 42.  Change the duration of task 45 to something other than zero and see if it doesn't schedule the task as expected.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:40 PM
  • I was able to reproduce your issue when the default calendar was set to 8 hours per day but the file> Options> schedule 'hours per day' was set to 7 hours per day (as you described in your post).  If you can ensure that the project is using the default calendar 'standard' and that that calendar it is set to 7 hours per day then I think that might resolve your problem. 
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:09 PM
  • Hi Dora --

    Milestones are intended to depict an important point of achievement in a project schedule... much like mile markers on the side of the freeway in the United States that tell you how far you have traveled. A milestone is not intended to represent an activity that should be performed; that is what tasks are for. Although MS Project allows you to mark a task having non-zero duration as a milestone, it is not a leading scheduling practice to do so. Typically a task (representing work that you need to plan and track) has a finite, non-zero duration, and a milestone (representing an important achievement) has a zero duration.

    Having said that, it makes perfect sense to me that a milestone (i.e. ID #43) appears at the end of the workday after the task (ID #42) is completed; that milestone indicates the achievement that you completed an important task ('Pre-launch / Pilot Complete Wave 1'). If you link multiple milestones in sequence, they will all occur at the same time because they have zero duration.

    However, I can see why you might want MS Project to schedule the next milestone (ID #45, 'Begin IATAM Pilot Wave 1') at the beginning of the next work day, since it is intended to indicate the BEGINNING of something important. Milestones are not intended to be used that way (the BEGINNING of something important, instead of the FINISH of something important), but people do it all the time.

    To get that second milestone to occur at the beginning of the next day without a 'Start No Earlier Than' (SNET) constraint, try this:

    • Add a 1 minute lag into the dependency that is driving the second milestone (ID #45, in your case). Assuming that the milestone was originally at the end of the first day, this forces the milestone 1 minute into the next day.
    • Add a -1 minute lag into any dependencies between the second milestone and their successor tasks. Without this negative lag (or "lead time") pulling them back 1 minute, all successor tasks will be pushed forward by 1 minute... potentially throwing off many other subsequent dates / times in your schedule.

    Good luck!

    -- tz

    Tony Zink | Vice President, EPMA | | Blog: | Training:

    Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:17 AM