task cannot break overnight or over weekend - must be started/finished on same day

Posted on 2009-04-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Let's say I have a 6h task duration, and as the plan slides around, I can't have this task scheduled where it starts on one afternoon and finishes the next morning. Let's pretend it's pouring concrete. Is there any way to tell Project that if the plan is ready for this task, but there's only 4 hours left in the business day, to make it start the following morning instead? Appreciate the help!
Question by:nbozzy
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

dbase118 earned 50 total points
ID: 24107372

I hope someone proves me wrong because I would be very interested but I dont think you can have Project  automatically make this determination. Essentially it sounds like you want Project to use a variable for Lag time which it can not do.

Project tries to schedule optimally your resources against available working time to give you the shortest distance between First and last tasks in the project.

You can certainly "hard-code" this lag if you know that a task must be scheduled like this, but as you say when thing start moving around the hard-coded lag may become incorrect to fit the situation.

Author Comment

ID: 24107529
Exactly, dbase118! Can't use a deadline (etc.)  because who knows how the plan will ultimately schedule this task? I'm rather amazed that the folks in Redmond didn't think about this need......or if anyone knows of a solution, I'll be thrilled and so will a lot of other people! Anybody.....????
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 24108073

Its not so much that they didnt think of it , but rather the fact that it kind of goes against the basic philosophy of stright-line scheduling that Project adhere's to.  We all know what happens to those who do not conform to the almight M$.

They would view the kind of process you are looking for as the exception rather than the norm. But most of Project Management is certainly not the norm. Hopefully someone else will chime in as you said. Im certainly interested in this one now as well. I had a similar issue with different circumstances where  I had $1000 a day consultant getting assigned to 6-8 hour tasks that were split over Friday to Monday. I ended up managing it manually with lag time but an auto option would be nice.

LVL 13

Accepted Solution

jbfraser earned 450 total points
ID: 24116413
To keep a task from splitting you should use the "Elapsed" durations, ehrs, edays. When you enter the duration, just type 6eh for 6 elapsed hours. Then the duration will ignore non-working time.

But, this doesn't help with dynamically changing the lag. You could write a macro to do this without too much grief, but I don't think it would get used that much.
Some problems:
1. The default calendar has noon to one PM set as non-working time. So your 6 hour task would never be completed: It would get pushed out forever.
2. If this setting existed, what if you set your task to 10 hours, then what should happen? (Similar to number 1.)

Ths basic idea in the macro would be to look at every task in the project: if a certain custom field was set and if the task started after (5PM minus the task duration), then move the start to the next day.

James Fraser

Author Comment

ID: 24124254
jbfraser: good point about the lunch causing a 6-hour task to never get scheduled .... and thanks for the idea of the elapsed duration; that will help a good bit. And now I guess we're all sure that there is no existing way to force Project software to schedule a task to begin the next morning if it can't be completed on its calculated start date (can't be interrupted once it starts). Using the elapsed duration at least causes work to be scheduled through lunch and past the day's end time, so that's something. Thanks, jbfraser and dbase118!

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