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From my point of view, I want to implement a straight-forward dependency in MS Project. As milestones there are:

  • x = project start
  • y = project end

The tasks are:

  • a = define risk management process (takes 20 days)
  • b = conduct regular risk management (which is an ongoing task until the project end once task a is finished)

So task 'a' should start when milestone 'x' started, and should trigger task 'b' once it is finished. So I made milestone 'x' a predecessor (finish-to-start) and "copy special" the date of milestone 'x' as a link to the start date of task 'a'.

Task 'a' is also a predecessor (finish to start) for task 'b', while milestone 'y' is a predecessor (finish to finish) for task 'b'. To enforce the right dates I copied the dates as a link to task 'b'. So the end date of task 'a' is linked to the start date of task 'b' while the date of milestone 'y' is linked to the end date of task 'b'.

So for me this is a very straight-forward connection of tasks to ensure all dates are based on milestones or pending tasks instead of "hard coded" dates in each task.

However, if I change the end date of the project (milestone 'y'), task 'b' also changes to fit the end date. But there is now a gap between tasks 'a' and 'b' which doesn't make sense anymore.

Is there a proper way to implement this with simple dependencies in MS Project?

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  1. Link the milestones/tasks in the sequence you described.
  2. Right-click the Finish date of Task A and Copy Cell.
  3. Right-click the Start date of Task B > Paste Special > Paste Link > OK.
  4. Right-click the Start date of Milestone Y and Copy Cell.
  5. Right-click the Finish date of Task B > Paste Special > Paste Link > OK.

If Milestone Y gets delayed for some reason, its Start date will move the Finish date and extend the duration of Task B.

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