Timesheet entries move task's start date

Copper Contributor


we started to charge time into Timesheet on Project Server. We realized that, when someone starts to load time on a task, the task start date is changed by the system to the first day in which someone charged time on that specific task and, being the task "fixed work" it changes also the finish date.


After this, there is no way to restore the defined start date because Project does not allow to change the start date when someone has charged time on it.


This behavior completely jeopardize the possibility to manage the project using Project Server.


How can I prevent this behavior? If some task starts later the expected, I accept to be warned about that, but it's inacceptable that I cannot have full control on my tasks.


Is there some documentation to read that explains some best practice to manage a project with people charging time on it through Timesheet? (e.g.: is the "fixed work" definition that makes Project Server to seize my project timing? )


Thank you.

3 Replies
Paolone67 --

The principle that you need to understand about Microsoft Project and Project Server is this: "Actuals always replace estimates." Suppose that the Start date of a task is Monday, but the team member assigned to the task did not start until Wednesday. The Actual Start date of this task will now be Wednesday, which means that the task Start date is now Wednesday as well. This is behavior that you CANNOT change.

So, how do you know the ORIGINAL planned Start date of each task? You need to save a Baseline for your project (click the Project tab and then click the Set Baseline button). The Baseline will capture the original Start date, Finish date, Duration, Work, and Cost for each task in the project. Microsoft Project will use the Baseline information to calculate the variance on each task. You can see the variance information in the Tracking Gantt view, plus the Variance, Work, and Cost tables.

To state that you will not use this tool to manage your projects UNLESS it works the way you want it to work is kind of silly. You need to learn how this tool works and how to use it correctly. If you are looking for best practices on using Project Server, I would recommend you purchase our company's book on this topic at:


Hope this helps.

Hi Dale,
after some more in depth reading of the documentation available online, I discovered that we could possibly reach some of our goals by unchecking the "Single Entry Mode" option in Timesheet Settings and setting a "Hours of work done per period" in Task Settings.

Is there any warning or point of attention in doing this, according to you?

Thank you.

Paolone67 --

My advice for you is DO NOT uncheck the Single Entry Mode option. This option ties the Timesheet page and the Tasks page together, which is a good thing. My guess is that you are trying to get the software to work the way YOU want it to work, which I believe will fail you. Please re-read my previous post, which describes how the software actually works, and why you need to save a Baseline in each of your projects. And then I hope you will heed my advice.