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Reply To: Predecessors and Task Dependencies

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Thomas Boyle

Heather and Larry have got it right. In MS Project as well as other scheduling tools, “Actual” dates will always override any logic-driven dates – if an FS successor is able to start (and even finish) before the predecessor finishes, then the FS logic is clearly incorrect. (While such out-of-sequence progress is common in real projects, I believe it is particularly prevalent in MSP schedules.) Any “feature” to prevent this would likely lead to an unacceptable user experience.

MSP’s most obvious response to out-of-sequence progress depends on the “split-in-progress tasks” checkbox in the Schedule Options. Checking the box enforces the predecessor relationships on the un-completed parts of out-of-sequence tasks; i.e. MSP suspends the in-progress work until the predecessors are finished. If the box is unchecked, then MSP ignores the predecessor relationships and allows the task to proceed without disruption until it is complete.

Out-of-sequence progress also affects logic flow through the schedule. Depending on the MSP version employed, there may be unintended and potentially severe consequences for the schedule dates, Total Slack and the “Critical” flag. See Avoid Out of Sequence Progress in Microsoft Project 2010-2016.