Inside Out

Beware of entering dates

If you enter a date in the Start field (in a project scheduled from the start date), the Start No Earlier Than constraint is applied. The Finish date is recalculated based on the new Start date and the existing duration.

If you then enter a date in the Finish field of the same task, the constraint changes to Fin ish No Earlier Than. The Start date remains as you set it, but the duration is recalculated to reflect the difference between your entered Start and Finish dates.

Always be aware that any dates you enter change the As Soon As Possible or As Late As Possible constraints to something more inflexible. If you enter both the Start and Finish dates for a task, Microsoft Project recalculates the duration.

Entering your own start and finish dates imposes often unnecessary restrictions on Microsoft Project's capability to create the best possible schedule. It can also adversely affect results when you have Microsoft Project level overallocated resources. In the majority of cases, you get the best results when you enter durations and task dependencies and then let Microsoft Project figure out the best start and finish dates for tasks to be done as soon as possible. Use date constraints only when there is a hard and fast date that you must work toward.

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Project Management Made Easy

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