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i am tasked to take over a project that has recently taken off the ground. However, there has been no project plan and we need to create one now. Due to circumstances, I can only fix the next milestone in time and need to arrange tasks around that milestone.

This is fine for future tasks, but current tasks don't align so that they culminate into the milestone, even if they are assigned as predecessors to the milestone. If I assign the the previous tasks to the milestone as predecessors, the milestone is moved.

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How can I arrange all the tasks around the milestone?

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The problem looks to be that you are scheduling the very first task from "today"... If you link them nose-to-tail the entire project will schedule from "today" and the milestone must move to accommodate that.

If you set the start date of the first task sufficiently far in the past that there is enough time to fit all the first tasks in before the milestone then all will be well. This might mean you have to set the Project Start Date in the past too.

Once you have done all that:

  1. Fix the start of the milestone by making it a "Must start on..." or "Start no later than..."

  2. Make the milestone a dependant of the last task in the first section (i.e. make the final previous task a predecessor of the milestone).

  3. Make all the prior tasks "Finish as late as possible"

Hope that helps.

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  • Thanks for the answer. On another note: How would I handle the case that my milestone lies in the future, and I need all the previous tasks to align to that milestone? – JoeyD Feb 17 '15 at 8:48
  • The same way. Fix the milestone at the future point using "Start no earlier than" or "Must start on". Connect all the predecessor tasks in the usual way, finishing on the milestone and then schedule the tasks "As late as possible"... You could also investigate setting the project to "Schedule From: Project Finish Date", which is found on the Project Information screen, which will force the entire project to be scheduled back from the end point instead of forwards from the start point. – Marv Mills Feb 17 '15 at 9:10

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