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I'm working on a school project and we are having trouble updating our MS Project 2016 file.

For a little background: The tasks all have fixed duration and some have dependencies on others being completed. We baselined the file the day we started the project.

We then completed task one about three days past the finish date listed in project. If I update the line to say it's finished three days late, it pushes all other tasks after to be started three days later, resulting in the project itself being late by three days.

We compensated for the lost three days by working more resources on the following task, finishing that task in the original finish date for that task, not the new one that Project created for it because the first task was finished late. We did this because cost was not an issue, but deadline is.

How do I correct for this in the Project file? Do I remove the dependencies so things don't auto-adjust?

  • Please note, you should also baseline the project so you can easily see and track how the start dates of subsequent tasks are impacted by delayed finished dates from preceding tasks. – Patrick Jan 16 '18 at 16:02
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First, you will need to make sure your task type is correct so that it responds in a correct way when you add resources. As far as I understood your explanation, you will likely want 'Fixed Units' for your task.

Second, if the dependencies represent the real-life constraints, I advise against removing them.

Instead I suggest you do the following:

Step 1: Start with your original schedule Original schedule

Step 2: Indicate the actual situation (will lead to schedule overrun): Schedule overrun

Step 3: Add resources and indicate a way how to reflect this in the other task: Add resources, choose Reduce Duration

Step 4: Work with the new schedule without the overrun: New schedule

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No! You want your schedule to adjust! That's how it is designed. Based on your dependency logic, the tool will reschedule based on the actual values you enter into it, causing your finish variances to accrue, either favorably or unfavorably. It's working exactly how it's supposed to work and you want this to occur so you can see where your schedule risks are growing. If you "recover" by reducing the actual duration of a subsequent task, then the schedule will bring the dates back in accordingly.

If you try to "correct" the file, you're actually breaking it. Let it adjust, read the finish variances so you know where your risks are, mitigate, and then let the schedule re-adjust to show your mitigation accomplishments.

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