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In MS Project... I have a project that will ultimately be released by a third party, who have their own, fixed release schedule. The releases happen every two weeks. How can I attach the end of the software development phase to the next available release date?

Can Project automatically find the nearest release date (a milestone?) and attach the task to that one? Or do I have to do it by hand every time the timelines change?

I'm using MS Project 98 on Windows XP

Thanks!

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In modern versions of MS-Project you could employ a Task Calendar to ensure that the Release milestone task was only ever scheduled on dates that are relevant. I cannot really remember the functionality present in MS-Project 98, but I don't think it included Task Calendars.

An alternative way of achieving this would be to apply a special "Release" resource to the Release milestone and set the working time for the Release resource such that they are only working on dates that are relevant to the release. That way the milestone itself can only be scheduled by MS_Project for those dates. However it will be a fully manual (though not too onerous) task to set up the special release calendar for the Release resource such that only fortnightly dates are marked as 'Working Time'. Start by making the calendar all non-working time and then set the "special" days as Working Time.

So you can then make the release milestone a predecessor of all subsequent tasks safe in the knowledge the release date will always be scheduled to the next relevant period.

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What value are you getting by using a project scheduling tool in this case? It sounds like releases are temporally scheduled and work leading up to it, if not finished by the release date, will simply advance to the next release date. This is operations and maintenance work, not project work. Use a calendar tool.

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  • Yes, I know what you mean. However in this case (releasing CMS software) there are tasks that need to happen after deployment (setting up the actual content) that I want to project in the plan as well so the client understands the full life cycle. Thanks for reading my question and commenting. – Rebecca Mar 2 '16 at 10:34

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