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Can Project Tell you the Date to Change a Previous Task?

Home Forums Discussion Can Project Tell you the Date to Change a Previous Task?

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  • #378875 Reply

    My user has a project which ends on Feb 28 2017. He wants to change the end date to July 29, 2016 and have Project change the upstream task dates to allow the project to complete on July 29 2016.

    I would typically play with previous dates until I get the end date to what I want.

    He does not want to do that …

    Can MS Project Pro do what my user wants?

    Thanks
    John

    #378921 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    Sorry John, I’m struggling a bit understanding exactly what he wants to do. Does he want Project to do what you did but automatically? The easiest solution is to enter a milestone with a constraint on 7/29/2016. That will set the project end date (but probably not what you want). Another option is to play with the critical path. This will modify the fewest tasks as each change will affect the end date. You could even filter tasks to Critical-Yes and then figure out how many days each task needs to increase to end on the desired end date.

    I’m not recommending that and actually don’t recommend it at all. Best practice isn’t taking an end date and figuring out how many days each task needs to get there. I might suggest using contingency tasks so that you can track real actuals to estimates. Anyway, I’m just trying to provide an answer to you your question. Hope that helps…

    #379039 Reply

    Larry,

    My User has a project of about 200 steps which rely on on each other … each task’s dates/timing is based on predecessor task(s). Project does this naturally …

    However, my user basically wants to do the reverse. Set the end date of the last task and have Project tell him the date to set the first task to.

    I do not think Project can do that. I think he change the dates of the early tasks until the end date of the last task is what he needs. Your idea of changing the critical path tasks’ dates could speed things though.

    Does this make more sense now?

    Thanks
    John

    #379040 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    Yes, and is a very different question (or at least a different answer). Microsoft project typically schedules from the start date but can also schedule from the finish date, which seems to be exactly what your PM is wanting. Go to the Project ribbon, then change the Schedule From option to Project Finish Date. This opens up the entry for the desired finish date. It is a different paradigm to schedule from the finish date which is part of the reason it isn’t used that often. One tip: If it is an existing project you might want/need to change all tasks to Finish as soon as possible. This is the default for new tasks added to the project. Good luck and I hope it works for you.

    #383769 Reply

    Larry,

    I just saw your response. It helps.

    Sorry for not replying sooner … I was “head in sand” for a project and then on vacation/holiday the rest of 2015. I am just coming up for air.

    Happy New Year!
    John

    #383771 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    You’re welcome. I just re-read my first response and obviously didn’t read the question correctly. Glad I had a second chance…:-). Good luck and Happy New Year, Larry

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