I am running into a strange problem with project and was wondering if anyone has been able to solve this problem. I don't want project to change any of my dates based on changing %complete OR have anything to do with the status date. I simply want the task to remain scheduled "as is" with a fixed duration, irrelevant to resources or % complete, or the status date, and based solely on the predecessor constraints setting the start and completion dates. Things I've tried: "unchecked" all the boxes in the advanced calculation section, and removed all the resources. Used fixed duration and fixed units. No matter, it continues to move my tasks around putting these strange little dots before or after the task on the Gantt chart whenever I edit the %complete. The only thing that seems to "fix" the problem is putting in 0% complete and 0 days for the task duration and then adding the days back into the task duration. It then puts the task back into the correct start and finish window and I can re enter the %complete. Does anyone know how to fix this annoying problem?
These people are completely wrong. It is not inconsistent with the design of Project. Project is absolutely designed to deal with tasks that have to start on a particular date regardless of what comes for before them, how long those tasks, or when they are scheduled. They are called constraints and can be set in the Task Information under the Advanced tab.
I don't currently have access to MS-Project, but I clearly recall there being an option to set the scheduling to MANUAL (or "Do not recalculate automatically").
IIRC this option can be set globally and for each individual project.
answers.microsoft.com says it can be found under
File > Options, Schedule - Calculation.
There are probably other settings that affect your dates, like making tasks dependent on each other and sharing resources for tasks.
You are asking the schedule to function in a manner inconsistent with its design. The dates are supposed to move. The baseline dates never change so use those fields if you want to see constant dates. Else, use a spreadsheet.
"these people" are not wrong at all. MS project and every other critical path based planning tool will always update the dates based on user input and the movement of time or data. If you don't want this to happen, use another type of tool.