new to the site and to Project so please bear with me. I'm tinkering with Project and have set up a simple schedule, 4 auto schedule tasks, all effort driven and linked FS.

Task 2 has a duration of 2 days assigned to it and is due to finish let's say 9th August.

If I update on the 9th and find that after 2 days the task is only 50% complete yet it has had labour there for 2 days. I go to Project Update and ask it to re-schedule from the 9th August but it doesn't move Task3 start date onwards. The delay is reflected in the Gantt chart but not in the entry table view. Do I need to manually alter the start date for task 3 so it shuffles things forwards? Also, if I look at task usage the task has been spread across 3 days instead of 2 but it has put 0.5 hrs into the second day and 7.5 hrs into the third. Do I need to manually re-assign the hours for the three days from 16 to 24? Hope someone can steer me straight on this one. Many thanks, Laurence.

MS Project works not only with full days but also with hours and minutes. Let's say Task2 had 7.5 hours of work left, and you reschedule this remaining work on the next day. Instead of finishing on Wednesday 9th of August 17:00 as initially planned, it now finishes on Thursday 10th of August 16:30. MS Project assumes Task3 will follow immediately after Task2 is finished, and since days have 8 working hours, Task3 will start on Thursday 10th of August 16:30. It will plan 0.5 hours on that day from 16:30 to 17:00, and the remaining 7.5 hrs on the following day.

To find out if this is happening, change your options to display time. Go to File / Options and change the date format. There is no really pretty way to correct this behavior while using Task dependencies and automated rescheduling. You either reassign the work manually in Task3, or you tweak the duration of Task2 so it ends at 17:00 (It ends up with a duration of 2.125 days instead of 2 days. If you're assigning resources to your task, make sure you set "Task Type to Fixed Work before making this change).

Also check the columns Actual Start Date, Actual Work and Actual Duration for Task3. If there is any progress information it could explain why the start date will not move. MS Project will not recalculate progress information and will only delay remaining work. Even if there is a dependency between tasks, information in the "Actual" columns will not change, and only the remaining work will follow the dependency. This can look pretty confusing when you're not used to it. In order for your Task3 to be delayed properly, its Actual Start Date should be "NV" (empty).

I hope I was helpful. It can be difficult to find the answer without looking at the actual project plan, because the behavior of MS Project can depend on lots of tiny details. If this does not fit what is happening in your project plan, it would be helpful to see a screenshot of the task usage view.

  • Would it be true to say then that I would be better off entering actual hours worked across the now three days and manually re-scheduling Task3? That would be a true reflection of the actual hours input to the task which would be 24 and not 16. Does this sound feasible? – Lol999 Oct 19 '17 at 17:30
  • Yeah, definitely. If you want an accurate day-by-day representation of the task progress, entering actual work via the Task Usage or Resource Usage view is the way to go. Then you can reschedule the next task, either through the Gantt chart or again by entering the right amount of work per day in one of the Usage views. – lgaleazzi Oct 19 '17 at 20:30
  • The only question really is how accurate does your data need to be and how much time and effort are you going to invest to get that level of accuracy. Some people just care that tasks are planned in the right week for example. You don't necessarily have to reflect the exact daily amount of work in your plan, it depends on your project and your reporting / scheduling needs. – lgaleazzi Oct 19 '17 at 20:30
  • Thank you for clearing that up for me you have put my mind at rest! At the moment the company I work for needs to see very fine detail whilst it assesses working practices etc so almost daily changes are necessary as they occur. Many thanks once again, Laurence. – Lol999 Oct 20 '17 at 21:28

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