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How to Manage Dates in the Project

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Level 1
I built up my project in Workfront and have the Planned Dates set with predecessors. As I am working in the project the designer gives me the document 2 days ahead of my planned due date that I gave. The next task is printing the file but since the designer gave me it to me early what date do I just adjust for the Printer task. Since the designer finished early the Printer task is ready to go. In general, Most tasks are either early or late never actually on the planned time. Is there a way for for PMs to not have update the durations manually for every task that's either early or late? Whats the best practice for PMs managing dates while working in the project?
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6 Replies

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Level 5
John, remember that the plan is the plan. Reality is almost always a bit different. In the case you mentioned, task 1 finished early, allowing task to start early (perhaps -- may depend on other factors). So, by marking task 1 as complete, the ACTUAL completion date will be earlier than the PLANNED completion date. Shouldn't be a need to update the planned dates. You may wish to re-plan a project along the way, if you find that the complexity you anticipated (planned) is lower than expected.

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Level 10
Hi John, There are many dates available within Workfront, as this help article explains. For what you are describing, I would expect that the subsequent Task's "Projected Start Date" (and Handoff Date, for that matter) would advance by two days when the prior Task finishes early. So, if you are monitoring Projected Date instead of Planned, that might be all you need. For more information and ideas, I'd invite you to also read http://store.atappstore.com/2011/02/as-soon-as-impossible/ and http://store.atappstore.com/product/expedite-tasks. Regards, Doug

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Level 1
I understand readjusting the project plan, however if tasks are continually 1 day early is there a way to adjust dates without a PM manually doing it for every task? It would seem like a project manager is always adjusting dates.

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Level 7
It gets to knowing the definition of the dates. What we're saying is you may not have to adjust any dates if tasks finish early (or late). We display the Estimated Due Date (and Start Date) on tasks (as well as planned). These dates change automatically when other tasks (predecessors) finish early or late. There are some issues we're dealing with this, but it works pretty good.

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Level 1
Interesting that you use Estimated Due dates. Is this what you send to your Creative Teams or users who work directly off of dates? What obstacles have you faced using this?

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Level 7
We're not a marketing team. We do professional services (software consulting). But if you have a task that is planned to take a week (say starting on Monday and ending on Friday), and the next task is planned to start the next Monday (assuming there's a standard predecessor on task 2 of task 1), if you finish the first task on Wednesday (EOD), the the estimated start date for task 2 changes to Thursday without you having to change any dates.