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MS Project Pro 2010 - Can't seem to get rid of "Start No Earlier Than" constraint RRS feed

  • Question

  • I entered all of my tasks using defaults which should have given me "As Soon As Possible" for my constraint type.  When I try to "Update Project" to "Reschedule uncompleted work to start after <today>", I get an error indicating it can't do it because of a constraint date assigned to the tasks.  I manually went through and updated all of the tasks that had the wrong constraint set, also clearing the date, and saved the .mpp file.  Then I tried the "Update Project" again.  I got the same error.  It somehow appears that even though I've updated this parameter, it is "stuck" somewhere internally (or it's being reset).  This is a large schedule and it's taken me a while to get the input done, but it's scheduling quite erratically, like putting tasks before today.  I haven't used Project for a number of years and didn't remember having to manually link all tasks assigned by a person to make the resource allocation work but it's looking like that's what I have to do.  I would have hoped the resource leveling would handle this but it is splitting tasks, taking things out of priority order, etc.  Can you suggest anything to salvage this work other than exporting to Excel, cleaning it up and then importing back into Project?
    Friday, November 4, 2011 1:40 AM

Answers

  • Karen --

    Have you been dragging tasks around in the new Team Planner view?  If so, Microsoft Project 2010 sets a Start No Earlier Than (SNET) constraint on any task you drag, whether you drag it from one resource to another or from one time period to another.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 3:40 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Well, that idea didn't work either as it appears to export ok but can't seem to import using the "default task information" map with the import wizard.  Also does not work with the Task "Export Table" map.
    Friday, November 4, 2011 1:56 AM
  • kherrold,

    The most likely cause of a constraint is manually entering dates (i.e. start and or finish). In your case, it appears you built your schedule by manually inputting the start dates for each task. The proper way to create a schedule is to enter the task description in action verb format. Enter the estimated duration and then link tasks in a logical sequence. All tasks must have a successor and most tasks must have a predecessor. A few select tasks may have a delayed start date, for example when a particular resource isn't available. In those cases it is okay to manually enter the expected start date, but be advised that will set a start-no-earlier-than constraint. After the basic schedule is built then you can enter estimated work content and assign resources.

    Linking and leveling are independent concepts. Linking relates to the logical sequence of tasks. It normally has nothing to do with resource assignments. Resource leveling on the other hand is strictly about the availability of resources. Project's leveling algorithm looks at resource allocation and task priority and then moves tasks as necessary to avoid resource overallocation. However, the algorithm isn't perfect, a thorough review by the project manager is essential.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Friday, November 4, 2011 2:11 AM
  • Kherrold,

    Without knowing what version you are using, this will be a genric answer for the last three versions.  Linking the tasks is a requirement, if you want the software to do its job correctly.  If you have entered dates in the start or finish fields you have set constraints.  As a general rule, the use of constraints limits the software's ability to schedule dynamically. 

    Check to make sure you have not set the software to schedule from a finish date.  This can be found on the project information dialog box.  If this is set to "Project Finish Date", then all constraints on the tasks entered while in this mode are set to "as late as possible."

    Resource leveling does not affect the relationships between tasks.  In fact, the relationships affect leveling.  IMHO, resource leveling should be addressed in the following order:

    1. Adjust the assignment manually, by changing the work amounts of the resources or replacing the overallocated resource completely.

    2. Adjust the links (relationships) and/or inserting leads and lags.

    3. Use Project's leveling engine.

    If you have one of the constraint icons in the indicators field on most or all of your tasks, then you have an issue.  To correct this, first remove the constraints (select all tasks, open the task information dialog box, select the advanced tab, then set all tasks to as soon as possible).  Then I suggest going through the schedule, determine and enter the predecessors.  You should have fewer problems once you have done this.

    Regards,


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
    Friday, November 4, 2011 2:23 AM
  • I entered most of the tasks and linked the dependencies.  Was planning to use resource allocation to drive the rest of the scheduling.  I only entered the tasks and their durations plus their resources.  Project is set up as "schedule from".  The only time I used fixed dates was for milestones.  I did try to drag/drop a few of the tasks to get them in the right place when Project did erratic things with them.  I'm totally confused and not sure whether to hang in their with the tool or just do the schedule in Excel.

    I did what you suggested on removing the constraints (which I didn't explicitly enter) but they keep coming back.

    For a last resort, I tried exporting the data using the provided template which appeared to go well.  However, when I tried to import it, Project crashed.

    No clue what's going on and running out of time and patience to figure it out.

    --Karen

    Friday, November 4, 2011 4:43 PM
  • Hi,

    Running out of patience? I understand. Send the file to jandemesATprom-ade.be (replace AT by @) and I'll have a look.

    Greetings,

    Friday, November 4, 2011 6:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Karen,

    I wonder if you have resources levelling turned on to automatic?   Project levels only by delaying tasks until the overallocated resource is  available. It sets these delays by constraining them to Start No Earlier Than.

    Mike Glen
    MS Project MVP (97-11)
    See http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc for my free Project Tutorials

    Friday, November 4, 2011 11:15 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Sorry Mike, Leveling does not set a constraint. It moves tasks by introducing Leveling Delay.

    Greetings,

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 10:19 AM
    Moderator
  • Sorry folks!  Jan is correct - I must stop responding late at night!

    Mike Glen
    Project MVP (97-11)
    See http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc for my free Project Tutorials

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:25 PM
    Moderator
  • Karen --

    Have you been dragging tasks around in the new Team Planner view?  If so, Microsoft Project 2010 sets a Start No Earlier Than (SNET) constraint on any task you drag, whether you drag it from one resource to another or from one time period to another.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 3:40 PM
    Moderator