I inherited a 1265 line project that I believe was created in Project 2007 several years ago (~2013). It is now in Project 2010 and has had several different people working on it, along with periods of complete neglect.

There seems to be some funky things going on, for instance if I select the Critical Tasks check box in the Gantt Chart format tab I get an error stating "The argument value is not valid. Verify that the value is spelled correctly, and that it is of the type that this argument expects." I have also found that a lot of the tasks have a leading and trailing space when I go to edit the task name. I think this may be an artifact from copy and paste or maybe converting from Proj2007. Another thing is that after meeting with stakeholders and updating durations and predecessors, Finish dates will appear to be inline with the project teams expectations. I save and check in to SharePoint, when I re-open, the Finish dates have changed. A lot of Resources are overallocated since Project is only being used to manage tasks and durations. And when Project asks if I want to assign more resources or reschedule, I tell it no and leave the resources overallocated. Might Project be changing durations, start/finish dates in the back ground?

So, with that my primary question is do you think it will be easier to fix the problems or start over with a fresh Project 2010 schedule.

2 Answers 2


I had similar issues in a past project. After some testing i came to the conclusion that it was caused by using different MS-Project version for the same project file.

You can try testing this by making a simple project file. Send it to other team members who use a different MS version for some editing. If the project is all fucked up when you open it again: Problem found! Note that you will have to make screenshots or pdf exports for comparison, because the project might seem consistent on each computer yet be totally different (other task names, other dates, etc...).

Our workaround was to only have a few people with the same version edit the project file. External actors were given PDF or JPEG exports. (This prevent them from wanting to edit and accidentaly send back corrupted files.)

It's likely you have to start a fresh project to clear the corruption. Stick to strict editing rules or it will be corrupted again pretty soon. (also: NO copy/paste from the old to the new project, create all again manually).

On the topic of MS-project automatically changing duration, dates, and various things. It can happen on purpose. MS-Project may automatically adjust tasks based upon the constraints you gave it (start date, finish date, duration...). It can make some extremely complex dependencies in the long run. You notice that when changing one thing will cause many tasks to adjust. (Please note that your symptoms are consistent with a case of project-file-edited-with-multiple-version-gone-wrong, not a case of vicious-constraint-hidden-somewhere.)

I personally don't use the resource allocation in MS project either. Can't comment about it.

Hope this can help you. Good luck.


Regarding the leading and trailing spaces in the task names (as well as unwanted double spaces between words), it often happens as a result of sloppy typing and sometimes as a result of copying and pasting from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. To fix, copy the entire list of tasks and paste into a column (say column A) in Excel. In the next column, use this formula:


This will do what the three functions do: sets to upper case on the first letter of each word, deletes non-printing characters, then strips out leading, trailing and double spaces. Then you need to copy the whole lot and paste back into MS Project.

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