Changing task constraints

Task constraints are the usual culprits when projects fall behind schedule. By default, Project uses the Planning Wizard to warn you when you are about to take an action that is likely to throw your project off schedule. For example, if you impose a Must Start On task constraint on a task with no slack time and with other tasks linked to it, Project displays the Planning Wizard dialog box, as shown in Figure 9-6.

Similarly, if you impose an illogical start date on a task when recording actual dates, Project displays a Planning Wizard dialog box that resembles the one that is shown in Figure 9-7. For example, you see a Planning Wizard dialog box if you accidentally enter a start date for Task 2 that is earlier than Task 1, and Task 2 is linked to and succeeds Task 1.

Planning Wizard _fcj

You set a Must Start On constraint on the task Task 2\ This could result in a sthediiing conflict either now or later because this task has at least one other task Inked to it.

You can:

[Cancel ,1 No t^i&art ^be sefcn^asfcXj f Continue, but avoid the conflict by usfig a Start No Earlier Than constraint instead.

f Continue. A Must Start On constraint will be set.

OK | Cancel | Help f" Qon't tea me about this again.

Figure 9-6: The Planning Wizard appears by default when you apply a constraint that is likely to lengthen your project schedule.

Planning Wizard

This action wil cause a scheduling conflict. Task t of T3904-2002.mpp' has a task constraint or is linked to a task that camot move, and as a result the constraint or the Ink cannot be set.

You can:

[CajjeL. Ayojfl'tfeajjaiJ^ .^jM-i i" Continue, Allow the schedUIno conflict.

1" Qcnt tell me about this again.

Figure 9-7: The Planning Wizard also warns you if you try to record a start date that will cause a scheduling conflict.

Notice that you can turn off the Planning Wizard warnings by placing a check in the Don't tell me about this again check box at the bottom of the Planning Wizard dialog box. (Some people just don't like to have wizards popping up all the time.)

If you turn off the Planning Wizard, Project still warns you if you take actions that cause scheduling problems. Instead of the Planning Wizard, Project displays a more traditional message, as shown in Figure 9-8.

Task "1 Task 1" in "09O^-2GQ2" cannot be completed h the time allocated because there is a scheduling conflict beh^en this task and another one to which it s linked.

»Change the type of constraint en the successor tasks to "t Task 1" to As Soon As Possitie or some other constraint that doesn^ fix it to a specfic date.

* Remove the link between the corillcbng tasks.

* change the start and finish dates of one of the taslts.

* If the task to which '1 Task 1" is Inked is not consiraned and it is a summary tasfc.

Figure 9-8: When you disable the Planning Wizard and take an action that may cause a scheduling problem, Project displays this warning message.

Project makes suggestions concerning actions that you can take to avoid these kinds of conflicts — these suggestions all refer to the predecessor task. Notice also that, unlike the Planning Wizard, this message box does not give you the option of canceling your action.

So, although you may find the Planning Wizard annoying at some levels, it can actually save you effort at other levels. Sorry that you turned it off? To turn it on again, choose ToolsOOptions and click the General tab, as shown in Figure 9-9.

Select the Advice from Planning Wizard check box, and then select the Advice about errors check box. (You also can control the other types of advice that you receive in the same location.)

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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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