Undefined starting date in MS Project RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I'm new to MS Project 2010 and I would like to create draft of my research project. This project did not start jet and I have undefined starting date. I know duration and tasks. Can I create such project which will have undefined dates? How to do it? I would like to use "months of project" and not months connected with any real or unreal time.

    I will be grateful for help.

    Best regards!


    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2:00 PM

All replies

  • Adam,

    You could use "Manually Scheduled Task" for this. Read about it more here:

    Prasanna Adavi,PMP,MCTS,MCITP,MCT

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2:03 PM
  • Hi Adam,

    You can definitely do that. In the "Project" tab, click on project information and enter an estimated project start date.

    Then any new task will be created by default to this date.

    If you follow the best pratices for scheduling, the very first task/milestone could be "project kick-off" and will be by default scheduled to the specified project start date. Then all subsequent tasks will have dependencies (ie predecessors), thus when you'll know more precisely the project start date, you'll update it in the project information. Your project first milestone will move consequently updating your whole plan as expected.

    Be aware that specifying directly start and/or finish dates will create constraints on tasks, preventing them to be updated accordingly when you'll update the project start date.

    I strongly advice to proceed like this because your project duration/work should not depend on the start date. You should schedule your entire project plan with all activities and then just update the start date that will update the subsequent tasks (assuming as I said that the tasks are correctly scheduled with no unnecessary constraints).

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MCP, MCTS |

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2:13 PM
  • Hello Adam,

    While manually scheduled tasks can be created without dates, once you start entering durations and task links, Project will add dates to the schedule.  You can however, change the display in the Gantt chart to a more generic look by modifying the Timescale.

    1. Right click in the timescale at the top of the Gantt chart to show the shortcut menu.
    2. Select Timescale to display the timescale dialog.
    3. Assuming you are using a two-tier timescale (the default), click the "Middle Tier" tab.  Select Months from the Units. Select Month1, Month2.....(From Start) to set the timescale to a more generic setting.

    You may certainly hide the Start and Finish Fields in the table portion (left side) of the view and show just task names and durations.

    I hope this helps.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2:26 PM
  • H,

    For the sake of completeness, changing project start date will definitely change constrained tasks if you do not enter the new start date through Project Information but through Move Project (button on the Project ribbon)


    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 3:00 PM
  • Go with Guillame's suggestion of a Project Kick off milestone as task 1. Then make sure all tasks are linked directly or indirectly to it.

    Next double-click the timescale then set the label to Mont1, Months. Do W1, w2 for teh Bottom tier and you now have a very flexible schedule. Ideally set the Project start date to any Monday 1st of the month.

    When the project starts, set the correct project start date and zoom in or out to reset date format to real dates.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:29 PM