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Changing actual start date - Predecessors delete




I wonder if someone can assist me.


I am running schedules for construction projects with predecessors (Finish-Start relationships) set up.


If myself/or another employee change the actual start date of a line item then it deletes the predecessors.


I know that to avoid that from happening - You must either change the duration of the predecessor or add lag.  But I do not want the employees to spend time apply this and figure it out.


As far as I know MS Project does not do it.


Can this be fixed that you are still able to change the actual start date without deleting the predecessors?




  • Shaine Greenwood

    Hi there—


    You're correct, when the start date of a dependent task is changed, the predecessor relationship is broken. This is because the finish date of the predecessor task is in control of the start date of the dependent task. 


    I'll pass your feedback along for our Product team to explore a different behavior. Just so I can make sure I'm understanding you, aside from the dependency relationship not breaking, what effect would you like to see? Would you rather lag days be automatically added if the start date is changed? Or would you prefer the duration to automatically change?

  • Hi Shaine,


    Thank you for the feedback.


    Yes you do understand correctly.


    It is preferrable for the lag or duration to automatically be adjusted.


    Because both have the same effect, I am sure it won't matter which one change.


    Please keep me in the loop.  This is something our team really needs.




  • Roland Horwood
    Roland Horwood ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Shane,


    yes the option to add (+/- ve) slack time when you drag a task would be very useful.

    At the moment I am using extra tasks in between critical ones to add lag or "start no earlier than".

    Incidentally the option to add a "start no earlier than" date to a task would be useful too!


    Regards - Roland

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    re: "start no earlier than..." 


    In Smartsheet, constraints don't work like they do in other PM tools, like MS Project.

    I doubt they ever will (and I'm not expressing an opinion whether that is good or bad here), only that the design choices made may preclude them, in my limited opinion.




  • Wade Harshman

    I like the lag option, that the predecessor remains but adds lag time, similar to the way a task duration automatically changes when the finish date is manually changed.

    Another option would be to keep the predecessor, but indicate that the date has been manually set.  This could be done with an icon in the "Row Action Indicators" column, or by adding a "Conditional Formatting" option for manually set dates.  Either way, I could keep a dependent relationship between two tasks, but be able to see that some tasks aren't automatically calculated to the earliest possible dates.

  • Craig Moss
    Craig Moss ✭✭✭


    I am getting ready to deploy a solution in Smartsheet for onboarding new clients and am currently looking at the process we will use for entering actuals.  Since this thread is closer than not to 2 years old and the enhancement to preserve predecessors even when a start date is manually entered has not materialized, I'd like to ask everyone a different question.  

    What would the downside(s) be if we captured the actual start date by manually entering it in the start date field?  I tried it and all the subsequent tasks downstream are still automatically rescheduled by the appropriate number of days.  What am I missing?  

    I'd really like to see all sides of this before making a long-term decision.  

    Thanks Craig

  • Venus

    Hi Shaine


    Why is the predecessor relationship broken when the dependency is finish to finish. I understand it can have an impact on the finish date of the dependent task, but why on the start date?

    Can the dependent task's start date not be manually entered provided it is before the finish date?

This discussion has been closed.