Can Finish1 and Start1 fields auto update

Occasional Contributor



I’m using project to build a schedule of activities that will run at several implementation events (e.g dress rehearsal and live events).  Whilst the dates will be different, the tasks, dependencies and predecessors will be pretty much the same.


I’ve used the standard start and finish fields for my first event- these update automatically using the predecessors I’ve added.  I’d like to insert an additional column to track the dates for the subsequent event (largely the same activities and dependencies, just a couple of months later).


When I use start1 or finish1 for the subsequent event dates, the dates don’t seem to auto update using the predecessors- so whilst I can manually enter dates they do not auto populate and/or take account of the predecessors.  


Is this just the way Project works- I’d rather not have to track the dates for the subsequent event in a separate project file if I can help it.







3 Replies


Yeah that's the way Project works. Extra fields like Start1, Finish1, etc. are not part of Project's scheduling engine, that is, they cannot be linked into the plan, but, they can be customized with formulas such that they will automatically update based on the formula. For example, you can set Start1 to be x number of calendar days after a task's Start date with the simple formula



However, since customized extra fields cannot be linked with other tasks they will have no dynamic relevance.


You could create a separate file for the plan of each dress rehearsal/live event, and you could link those through external predecessors/successors but that will create a linked structure which is more complex and will be prone to corruption. I suggest you create separate summary groups for each event. Link appropriate tasks in one summary group with those in successive summary groups but do NOT link summary lines. For example, let's say you want the first task in the second event to be delayed by 2 calendar months from the finish of the first task in the first event. The predecessor of the second event's first task could be:


meaning, start this task 60 elapsed days after the finish of task ID 2. It might look something like this:



Hope this helps.




perfect- thanks for clarifying!

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