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I am writing a feature to import tasks from an online bug tracking / project management tool into Microsoft Project, primarily for resource leveling. Currently I am importing all tasks in as Fixed work, and giving them an assignment to a single resource for 100% of the work. The duration is then dynamically calculated, which at import time is equal to the amount of work.

However, I am not a project manager by any means, and am having difficulty on how to get the start dates to calculate correctly. I've never used Project either. I am using Schedule From Start and setting the Project Start Date to the date the contract was signed / work was approved. However, this can be in the past, and I do not want current tasks scheduled from that date. Should it be today then? Another problem I have is with tasks that were already started. I have remaining work set, and I was placing a constraint on them to be started on the day the work was first applied. However, the remaining work for the task would be scheduled from that date, which was sometimes in the past.

Using task constraints, a project start date, and whatever other settings available to me that I don't know about, what is the correct way to have the tasks scheduled?

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1 Answer 1

This question is so wide ranging, it's hard to know where to begin.

Honestly, given what you have said about both your tool and PM experience, I would focus less on a specific tool (MS Project) and concentrate on getting the job done. Project can make simple tasks simple, but it can very quickly grow in complexity - I have seen project managers spend MASSIVE project resources trying to maintain a "perfect" project schedule and then end up having the project blow it's schedule, budget or both.

Try to get it close and then focus on communicating with your team and your stakeholders - users managers and sponsor.

Some basic tips: 1. Always make sure your project start date is accurate. 2. Never schedule a task to start in the past - one the project starts, schedule from the current date by default and adjust the date to be sorrect once you get the task in 3. Try to keep your schedule as simple as possible. 4. Use linked tasks to help manage dependencies.

Good luck!

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