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Topics: Scheduling
MS Project Duration Calculated based on the dependencies and end date?
For MS Project is there a way to have the longest duration calculated based on dependencies and an end date constraint?
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Rachel -

MSP will always calculate a critical path for you if you are using automatic (not manual) scheduling.

You can see it visually using the Tracking Gantt view.

Let me know if I have misinterpreted your question?

Kiron
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1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Jan 30, 2020 12:40 PM
Rachel Atencio
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Kiron,

Thank you for your help. It is good to know that if I use manual scheduling the critical path function will not work.

Thanks,

Rachel
Hi Rachel, in the Project Information box there is an option to Schedule from Project Finish Date. I'm not all that familiar with it but I understand if you set that then add all your tasks with durations and dependencies as usual it should schedule the project backwards from your end date. If you use the critical path feature that will also highlight the tasks that are involved in that overall duration
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1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Jan 30, 2020 12:39 PM
Rachel Atencio
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Thank you, I will give it a try.
I appreciate you help!
Jan 30, 2020 11:41 AM
Replying to Tim PM
...
Hi Rachel, in the Project Information box there is an option to Schedule from Project Finish Date. I'm not all that familiar with it but I understand if you set that then add all your tasks with durations and dependencies as usual it should schedule the project backwards from your end date. If you use the critical path feature that will also highlight the tasks that are involved in that overall duration
Thank you, I will give it a try.
I appreciate you help!
...
1 reply by Thomas Boyle
Jan 30, 2020 1:12 PM
Thomas Boyle
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Rachel,
I would strongly recommend against backward scheduling (scheduling from the finish date) if you are not an absolute expert. Toggling that option can impose some changes that require some effort to undo. Your question implies you are a beginner, so I think Kiron has given the best advice. Good luck, tom
Jan 29, 2020 10:15 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Rachel -

MSP will always calculate a critical path for you if you are using automatic (not manual) scheduling.

You can see it visually using the Tracking Gantt view.

Let me know if I have misinterpreted your question?

Kiron
Kiron,

Thank you for your help. It is good to know that if I use manual scheduling the critical path function will not work.

Thanks,

Rachel
Jan 30, 2020 12:39 PM
Replying to Rachel Atencio
...
Thank you, I will give it a try.
I appreciate you help!
Rachel,
I would strongly recommend against backward scheduling (scheduling from the finish date) if you are not an absolute expert. Toggling that option can impose some changes that require some effort to undo. Your question implies you are a beginner, so I think Kiron has given the best advice. Good luck, tom
...
1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Jan 30, 2020 1:40 PM
Rachel Atencio
...
Thanks for the advice. I am new to MS Project and I am trying to develop a version of my schedule that will show me the worst case scenarios. My main issue is getting realistic durations.

My project has hard deadlines and dependencies. So I was going to try and see the longest each task could possibly take within the set deadlines.

Thanks again,

Rachel
Jan 30, 2020 1:12 PM
Replying to Thomas Boyle
...
Rachel,
I would strongly recommend against backward scheduling (scheduling from the finish date) if you are not an absolute expert. Toggling that option can impose some changes that require some effort to undo. Your question implies you are a beginner, so I think Kiron has given the best advice. Good luck, tom
Thanks for the advice. I am new to MS Project and I am trying to develop a version of my schedule that will show me the worst case scenarios. My main issue is getting realistic durations.

My project has hard deadlines and dependencies. So I was going to try and see the longest each task could possibly take within the set deadlines.

Thanks again,

Rachel
...
1 reply by Thomas Boyle
Jan 30, 2020 5:25 PM
Thomas Boyle
...
Rachel, re. "the longest each task could possibly take within the set deadlines..." I'd suggest a review of Free Slack, Total Slack, Early Start/Finish, and Late Start/Finish fields in MS Project. I believe the date fields are in the default "Schedule" table that you can apply to a gantt chart view. As long as you are relying on dependencies, (few) deadlines, and NO manual scheduling, then:
Free Slack tells you how much a task can slip before delaying a successor, and Total Slack tells you how much a task can slip before delaying the project or violating a deadline or late constraint. Total Slack is shared among all the tasks on a given logic path, so be careful not to give it away early. If total slack is negative, then at least one deadline is going to be missed. Good luck, tom
The issue with hard deadlines and constraints is that the software's dynamic scheduling ability is "disabled" such that it creates other issues, and as Thomas has pointed out, unless you are an expert, you really won't understand what is going on.
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1 reply by Rachel Atencio
Jan 30, 2020 2:31 PM
Rachel Atencio
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Thanks, Steve!
Jan 30, 2020 2:10 PM
Replying to Steve Ratkaj
...
The issue with hard deadlines and constraints is that the software's dynamic scheduling ability is "disabled" such that it creates other issues, and as Thomas has pointed out, unless you are an expert, you really won't understand what is going on.
Thanks, Steve!
Jan 30, 2020 1:40 PM
Replying to Rachel Atencio
...
Thanks for the advice. I am new to MS Project and I am trying to develop a version of my schedule that will show me the worst case scenarios. My main issue is getting realistic durations.

My project has hard deadlines and dependencies. So I was going to try and see the longest each task could possibly take within the set deadlines.

Thanks again,

Rachel
Rachel, re. "the longest each task could possibly take within the set deadlines..." I'd suggest a review of Free Slack, Total Slack, Early Start/Finish, and Late Start/Finish fields in MS Project. I believe the date fields are in the default "Schedule" table that you can apply to a gantt chart view. As long as you are relying on dependencies, (few) deadlines, and NO manual scheduling, then:
Free Slack tells you how much a task can slip before delaying a successor, and Total Slack tells you how much a task can slip before delaying the project or violating a deadline or late constraint. Total Slack is shared among all the tasks on a given logic path, so be careful not to give it away early. If total slack is negative, then at least one deadline is going to be missed. Good luck, tom
Rachel,

You should check for activities with Open End, they will not be considered in your end date.
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