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Task Scheduled Dates

Task scheduled dates are flexible dates, calculated in the project from the template, and then recalculating as the project moves through. The task scheduled date is an indicator of when a task should finish, based on information supplied in the template.

>> Looking for a way to track against inflexible, immovable dates on a project? Tasks can be fixed in the Project Create process or within an Open Project.

How are the task scheduled dates calculated when a project is first created?

Every project is built from a template. The workflow, which is the sequence of tasks and their dependencies, is defined in the template. When you create a new project, the list of phases and tasks that appear in your project is inherited from the template chosen in the project create process.

Within the template, each task has a few attributes that the project uses to create the schedule:

  • Each task must have a length, which is measured in working days (e.g. 5 days)
  • Each task can have dependencies, which are parent/child relationships with other tasks. The only exception is the task marked as Start Project with this Task, which can only have child relationships. The sequence of dependencies creates the project’s dependency network.
Each task in a template must have a length assigned to it, measured in working days.
Example of a workflow dependency network, showing parent and child relationships between tasks.

When the template is applied to the project, it looks at a) the date the project started, b) the length assigned to each task and c) the string of dependencies. It then it creates a ‘scheduled’ date for each task based on the calculations of a, b and c.

Example:
In the template:
  • Task A = 5 days
  • Task B = 2 days
In the Project:
  • Date that the project was created = 03.07.2019
  • Task A due = 08.07.2019
  • Task B due = 10.07.2019

What causes task scheduled dates to change?

Because of the dependency structure, the task scheduled dates are flexible – they will change and move depending on actions that team members take in the project.

As we mentioned before, the task scheduled dates are calculated based a) the date the project started, b) the length assigned to each task and c) the string of dependencies.

In an active project, the project start date (a) cannot be modified. The dependency network (c) also cannot be modified. However, the length of each task (b) can be modified.

The length of a task in an active project can be directly modified in the following ways:

  • Closing an individual task before its scheduled date (closing early)
  • Closing an individual task after its scheduled date (closing late)
  • Individual task was rescheduled by project administrator

In an active project, when one task’s length changes, all tasks below it in the dependency network will be rescheduled.

So therefore, the scheduled date of a task in an active project will be indirectly modified in the following ways:

  • A task higher in the dependency network (a parent or grandparent task) was closed before its scheduled date (closing early);
  • A task higher in the dependency network (a parent or grandparent task) was closed after its scheduled date (closing late);
  • A task higher in the dependency network (a parent or grandparent task) was rescheduled by the project administrator.

So in summary, a task scheduled date may be rescheduled because:

  1. The system recalculated the date as a flow-on effect from the rescheduling of something higher in the dependency network, or;
  2. A project administrator has directly edited the task scheduled date.

How does the project administrator edit the task scheduled date?

If you start a project and the calculated scheduled dates need to be modified, you can do this from the task page, using the task toolbar ‘edit’ button. You must have Project Administrator Authority to be able to do this.

Why are there some dates I can’t select in the Task Edit screen?

A particular date will either be inaccessible if a) the date is in the past or b) the date is earlier than its parent’s scheduled date.

Example:
In the Project:
  • Date that the project was created = 03.07.2019
  • Task A due = 08.07.2019
  • Task B due = 10.07.2019

If you want Task B to be due any time earlier than 08.07.2019, you’ll have to change the date of Task A to be earlier.

Once you’ve changed Task A, you can go and change Task B to start earlier.

  • Task A new date due: 04.07.2019
  • Task B new date due: 07.07.2019

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