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locking a task start date

howdie...how do I make sure a start date of a task doesn't move...but the end of the task does move if linked to/dependent on the end of a previous task that takes longer to finish? help please! :-)


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 08/06/17


    So you want Task B to start on the date entered and move the end date is Task A is late?

    You can't. I don't know if other PM tools will either.

    Let's make sure we are talking about the same thing.

    Task A is scheduled to start 2017-07-31 and take 5 days, ending on 2017-08-04.

    Task B is scheduled to start 2017-08-07 and take 5 days, ending on 2017-08-11

    They are dependent, somehow.

    If Task A ends two working days late, on 2017-08-08, you don't want the start date of Task B to change. Can Task B start anyway, regardless of where you are in Task A?

    That means the relationship is NOT finish-to-start, as B can start before A is finished.

    It also can't be finish-to-finish because in the original plan, A finished a week before B.

    It COULD be start-to-start or start-to-finish. Start-to-finish seems unlikely.

    Start-to-start means that Task B can't start until Task A starts. In this case, but there is no reason to shift the duration (and thus the end date) of Task B AUTOMATICALLY. Perhaps Task A is done by two people and both also work on Task B. One person could finish there task A duties and are ready to work on Task B but the other isn't. That person could start Task B, but need more time to do it alone or must wait for the other person (or other resources) to join to finish Task B - requiring it to take longer.

    But this is a PM decision, not a tool decision.

    Also, locking a date (must-start, must-finish) is called a CONSTRAINT. Smartsheet does not have them. 



  • We should probably add the restriction that, while you can put "finish-to-finish" in the predecessor field, once you put ANYTHING in the predecessor field the dates are reset automatically based on the dependency.

    This is unlike MS Project, that leaves completed work where it was on the schedule based on the start date/date of work completed, and moves the remaining work to align with the other task finish date dependency.

    Dependencies and manual dates are mutually exclusive in Smartsheet.

    My suggestion in this case is to break down the task into 2 component tasks: Activity that starts on the start date, and activity that is dependent on the completion of the other task.  You can group those two tasks under a summary task which will automatically adjust based on the two tasks underneath.

    Will that work?




  • This does not work. if we broke down every activity that no longer relied on a predecessor or that was completed prior to a successor, we would have thousands upon thousands of activities. We need dates to freeze once they have completed. This is needed for the integrity of look back analysis on projects and throughout portfolios. 


  • Andrew Gross
    Andrew Gross ✭✭✭✭

    I was about to pose this as a request until I found this thread.  There comes a point in a (waterfall) project when planning is "done" and commitments have been made to executives/customers.  And once that time has come, the PM needs to do whatever it reasonably takes to make good on the project team's promises...hence the need for such a feature.  This is not to say that if a predecessor can't be honored the tool should just ignore this.  Rather, raise a flag like what is done with the resourcing tool when a resource is overbooked.  

This discussion has been closed.