I want to tet MS Project adjust previous dependent tasks' schedule based on last task's due date. I'll try to tell my requirement via image below:

last row is a milestone (final report) and has a due date that CAN'T, MUST NOT change. So I chosed it's constraint as Finish No Later Than and entered its due date manually. I also entered its predecessor task.

I also entered 1-5 tasks' duration and predecessor tasks.

I don't care about start and finish date of the first 5 tasks. I require MS Project adjust the start-end date for these 5 tasks automatically based on due date of the last row + predecessor relations.

As you can see from image, milestone (last row) is not at the right of task 5; but it should. Milestone point is fixed and MS project should layout all other previous tasks at the left of it with proper start and end dates.

I'm using MS Project 2007.

I also tried start-to-finish relations but I created conflicts. So the image is best I could do but it's not reflecting what I need. I have hundreds of rows and relations like this, so I need to cope with this simplified scenario firstly. Googleing also didn't help me.

In my real case, I will use resources with percentage values. (I gave this info because it may effect your answer, I'm not sure)

I am not good at MS Project so this was my best.

Can you please tell me the correct way to achieve this?


enter image description here

2 Answers 2


You can allow Project to schedule backwards from a finish date. Select Project > Project Information and in the "scheduled from" select finish date. As you add your tasks, all tasks will align themselves with the finish date. You may add F to S predecessor relationships and Project will move the predecessor task to earlier dates. Using this method, Project will calculate when you should start the proejct.

Now that I have told you how to do it - I'll tell you why NOT to do this:

  1. Project will calculate when you should have started the Project. If it is before today - you have a problem that Project will NOT fix for you. It cannot adjust the finish date so you must figure out how to shorten the task path.

  2. Your estimates of work and duration must be spot on. When Project calculates the Project start date - it will be based upon the estimated work and durations you entered. Again, if you missed a work estimate by 40 hours, Project cannot move the finish date.



Let the project push a date out. That's what you want the tool to do for you. That is how you can determine if you are creating an unfavorable variance that you need to mitigate. If you constrain the schedule, you will mask the milestone delayed finish threat.

The baseline finish date does not change. So that remains fix. The calculated finish date needs to be dynamic, i.e., it moves left and right as you plug in your actuals. That way, you can see the damage done by previous late tasks based on your schedule network logic.

So, in your example, if you unconstrain your milestone, it will show x days unfavorable finish variance (FV). That's your risk. Then you have the information you need to go mitigate it.

  • thanks sir, I understood what you pointed and I agree with you but I have to achieve what I explained (my chief wants in the way I explained) If MS Project is capable for my requirement can you please explain the methodology. regards Commented May 21, 2014 at 18:15
  • I think that, if your schedule was resource loaded, and your tasks were fixed duration, and you had that constraint loaded, then the resources will become over utilized. But I am not 100% sure that is the case. A more of a tool jockey will have to jump in to help. That said, try to persuade your chief. :) Good luck and sorry I can't help more with the tool. Commented May 21, 2014 at 18:33
  • he has goat stubborness :-) you gave valuable information, thank you. Commented May 22, 2014 at 6:24

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