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Workfront Tasks - update based on end date


Level 1

Apologies if this has been asked and answered. I tried searching for it before asking.


Does anyone know how to automatically update the tasks in reverse order, meaning you update say the Launch Date which would be at the bottom of the tasks list and it automatically updates the previous tasks based on predecessors being set? I essentially am looking for the inverse effect of predecessors updating tasks that follow. Thank you!

5 Replies


Level 4

It sounds like the Schedule Mode is what you would want to update. When the Schedule Mode is set to "Completion Date", it will allow you to define the completion date for the project and the timeline for the tasks will be built so that the last task (determined by the predecessor) will be completed on that date and all the previous task dates will be built to support that completion date. 


You can find the Schedule Mode in the Overview section of the Project Details or when you click the three dots next to the Project name and Edit.


Level 10

Be warned:

We wanted to work that way as well, but our onboarding specialist strongly advised against it. They advise just manually adjusting dates to make the end date work out (active rather than passive).

We tried it anyway, of course, and boy does WF act wierd when working backwards.


Community Advisor

It's interesting, we have a few people on our team who have worked from Completion Date in another application and they have zero problems with doing it in Workfront. 

But I JUST CAN'T wrap my head around it and get it to work the way my brain thinks it should.


I also don't like that if I need to change that completion date for whatever reason, my predecessors cause the planned date of completed tasks to change. I'm sure I could remove a predecessor somewhere to keep those competed tasks as-is, but that seems too manual.

I also don't like that I can't just move out the planned completion date of the last task without first updating the project's planned completion date - it seems like a lot of manual work to schedule that way.


Level 10

I got the impression that "working backwards from Completion Date" is something legacy that they really don't support (or want to). Every time I tried to get details or get some hand-holding, the basic answer was "I wouldn't if I were you."

It does seem to really, really, really mean you have to be super strict about predecessors and dates. That was a tough ask to launch like that while people learned the tool. We had one planner who decided to try it because she was determined to make it work and we decided to let her as a trial (since we didn't have time to test it ourselves) and…she gave up.

Props to anyone who gets it to work, but I figured I'd warn anyone going down this road.


Level 10

We almost universally use this feature to plan by completion date and the last final due date in the plan is the same as the completion date of the project and it is Must Finish On so the plan populates backwards as long as there are no predecessor constraints and all the tasks are As Soon As Possible. I see why they don’t recommend it, it’s harder and more complicated to control the project plan however we have very strict deadlines and nobody is allowed to change the final deadline without my review so planning by completion date is the way we make sure a project is on time …, that doesn’t mean people actually finish their tasks on time or mark them done. The other reason I use this is because everyone absolutely trusts that final due date, it can’t change, and so even if their tasks are late, they know what the drop dead date is and in reality our projects always finish on time even if our task deadlines are not adhered to. And finally, that final due date (which is always the “in market” date) drives our calendar view of our projects which is where a lot of people spend their time seeing what’s going on and I am very confident the calendar is correct both for the future and for the past when we need to report on a project and need to know what date it went public.