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MS Project: Task has 1 predecessor, but won't start unitl 1 month after predecessor ends

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have two projects using a shared resource pool. I want the schedule for project A to have priority over project B. I used load leveling. It worked -but I did not set priorities before load leveling. In project A I have task #8 with only one predecessor -task #7. I did not specify any lag time. #8 is to start ASAP after #7. Task #7 ends in October. Project sets task #8 to begin in December. The one resource for the task is "Bob".
In project B, "Bob" is a busy guy all through November. I reset the priority of project B to 300. I also set the Nov. tasks, and the summary tasks, all to priority 300.
I reset project A, and the relevant tasks to priority 900. In A, it still won't start #8 before December -even if I manually set it to start Nov 1, it won't save and blips back to Dec for start date.
How do I get task #8 to do what I thought I told it to: Start right after the only predecessor -task #7, and bump any tasks from project B due to higher priority?
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Question by:DB_hack
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Expert Comment

by:leopolde
ID: 36895452
Did you clear previous leveling values before running leveling again?
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Author Comment

by:DB_hack
ID: 36904290
I had not been clearing previous leveling values -saw that button today. I also turned off automatic leveling which has been a big help.
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DB_hack earned 0 total points
ID: 36904621
It turns out that MS project default setting ("standard") is to ignore task priority when load leveling. I saw there was a drop down box in the leveling dialog where sorting by priority was one of three options.

This fixed the problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DB_hack
ID: 36935221
Now I'll have to look up what the "standard" option means for leveling.

Two odd things:
1. Standard leveling method ignores priority. Never would have guessed that, and since its a drop down instead of radio buttons, there's no hint.
2. Users don't get to create a custom choice for leveling -perhaps to edit "standard" ans save as anohter opion. Who knows what other odd choices it makes.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36920430
Automatic leveling using the priorities only comes into play when you have a conflict on the scheduling.
Since you already have a successful schedule, changing priorities will not move the task.
BUT, you can move the December to task to follow task #7.  You will now have a conflict with the other project.   Leveliing can resolve the issue OR you can move the other task to start after task #8.
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