Scheduling from a Start or Finish Date

Your first scheduling decision is whether you want Microsoft Project to calculate the schedule of your new project from a start date or from a finish date. Often, you have a finish date in mind, but you can still schedule from the start date and then make sure you hit the targeted finish date. You'll get more predictable results when you schedule from a start date.

For example, suppose you set up a project with 100 tasks. You specify task durations and sequence, link the tasks in the order they are to be done, and indicate whether any tasks have specific dates by which they must be completed. When you do not enter specific task start or finish dates, Microsoft Project schedules tasks to be done as soon as possible. Using task durations, links, and date constraints, Microsoft Project schedules the first task to start on your project start date and the remaining tasks from that point forward until the last task is completed. If that last task is done on a date that is too late for your project requirements, you can adjust the duration and sequencing, as well as the scope and resources assigned, to bring in the finish date where you need it to be.

However, you might know the project finish date but not when your project will begin because you're receiving work from another source that could be delayed. Or the project management methodology you use might require you to schedule from a finish date.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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