Auto Schedule adjust to the fixed start date (constraint task)

Copper Contributor

Hi all,


I hope you're doing well! I'm currently working on a project that involves creating a separate project schedule that needs to connect with our master schedule. I have around 4000 lines of tasks with various details and dependencies, and I'm looking for some feedback on my approach to ensure timely execution.


To integrate my schedule with the master schedule, I'm using two connection points: the system handover date (earliest start of my testing) and the scheduled execution date (the planned/projected execution dates) from the master schedule. My plan is to update the start dates of different activities based on these connections.


I'm considering setting all the tasks in my schedule to be "Auto scheduled." However, I want only the "Execution" related dates, which are fed from the master schedule, to have a constraint date of "Must Start & Must Finish" based on the monthly master schedule update. This way, I can maintain synchronization between the two schedules.


Here's where I could use your expertise. Do you foresee any potential problems with this approach? I want to ensure that all 4000 tasks in my schedule begin and end on time. Should I predominantly use Finish-to-Finish (FF) or Finish-to-Start (FS) dependencies to achieve this?


Your feedback and insights would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns regarding this integration approach. Thank you for your time and assistance!

1 Reply


First of all, all tasks in your master and your other project should be auto-scheduled. Manual scheduling should only be used for initial conceptual planning.


It isn't clear if your structure is a dynamic master with the separate project inserted as a subproject, or if you simply have two separate files, one called your master and the other called whatever. If you want to link the start of certain tasks in the second file with tasks in the master, one way to do that is with external dependencies wherein the Predecessor of a task in the second file shows a file path to the driving task in the master. For example, here is a test file I have that contains both an internal and external dependency from a task in another file. But a warning, inter-project links in Project are susceptible to corruption as is a master/subproject structure.



As far as hard constraints (must-start-on, must-finish-on), yeah everybody wants their plan to be ironclad with respect to start and finish but that's not the real world. There is nothing wrong with linking a task to start when another task finishes (finish-to-start) or starts (start-to-start), those are normal (and desirable) dependencies to form a good logic network. But attempting to fix a finish date is unrealistic. Project does have a Deadline field that is very useful for establishing a "stake in the ground" so the project manager can dynamically manage the plan to achieve that goal. But forcing the issue by "fixing" the plan isn't going to help anybody.