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Let's say for the sake of simplification that I have a project with 3 tasks: A B and C.

Task A is scheduled to be completed in 10 days. Tasks B & C are 1 day each. Since all 3 tasks are being performed by the same resource they happen one after the other, making the project 12 days long.

Now let's say that we are on day 3 of the project and we find out that task B is completed (the developer had some spare time and was stuck with task A).

So I set task B to be 100% complete, and expect the project end date to reflect that change.

In real-life this would make task C start a day earlier and eventually the entire project would finish 1 day earlier.

This is not reflected in MS Project automatically, and I wonder if I'm missing a setting somewhere or some action to be done.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 3 '10 at 12:25

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3 Answers

The short answer... because the MS Project team doesn't have to dog-food their own product.

Really MS Project isn't going to recalculate the rest of the project every time you change the completion of a value (and it may not be appropriate either). It can also screw things up nicely (ask anyone who has accidentally "rebalanced" their project - everything goes fubar)

You can sort of do what you want by re-leveling the resources:

Go to Tools
-> Level Resources
-> (select "Level only within available slack" and click OK)

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If you have set start dates to your tasks that's how they remain. You have to make each task a predecessor to the other for them to shorten up if one finishes sooner then planned. What you will see (based on your description) is that the resource is less utilized then previously reported over that work period. So, if you had the person 100% utilized, they are 1/12 less utilized now, allow you to add additional tasks to him.

I'm not a big MS Project fan - but it does function as it's designed...overly complex and confusing.

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When you mark a task as 100% complete, MS Project assumes the task when exactly to schedule. The application does not consider the system date when calculating (as often project managers would be updating a schedule based on information received on earlier days).

MS Project will dynamically calculate a new end date for your schedule, but you need to set up the schedule appropriately and enter the correct information as well.

Look for a book called Dynamic Scheduling with Microsoft Office Project 2007 to learn more.

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