Set a project start date or finish date

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Set your project start date or finish date

Schedule from a start date or finish date

Set your project start date or finish date

  1. On the Project tab, in the Properties group, click Project Information.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To schedule from the start date, click Project Start Date in the Schedule from list.

    • To schedule from the finish date, click Project Finish Date in the Schedule from list.

  3. In the Start date or Finish date box, enter the date that you want to schedule from.

You can change the project start date or finish date whenever you want to, even after you build the project plan. To move the project start date or finish date, on the Project tab, in the Schedule group, click the Move Project.

Troubleshoot start and finish dates

If the finish date doesn't change after you change the start date, then one or more tasks may have a date constraint applied. Review the constraints in your plan to make sure that they are all necessary and appropriate. To view a task's constraints, select the task, and then on the Tools tab, in the Properties group, click Details.

If the start date doesn't change after you change the finish date, one or more tasks may either have actual progress reported or have a date constraint applied. Review the constraints in your plan to make sure that they are all necessary and appropriate. To view a task's constraints, select the task, and then on the Tools tab, in the Properties group, click Details.

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Schedule from a start date or finish date

Nearly every project should be scheduled from a known start date. Even if you know the date by which a project must be complete, scheduling from a start date gives you the maximum amount of flexibility.

Note:  A project can only be scheduled from the start date or from the finish date at any one time. It cannot be scheduled from both dates simultaneously.

When to schedule from the finish date

  • You want to identify the date when a project must start in order to finish on a specific required date. It is often still a good idea to switch back to scheduling from the start date when work on the project begins.

  • You are not sure when your project will begin.

  • Your project management methodology requires you to schedule from a finish date.

How Project handles scheduling from the finish date

  • When you enter new tasks, Project automatically assigns the As Late As Possible (ALAP) constraint to those tasks. You should set other constraints only if they are necessary.

  • If you drag a Gantt bar to change the finish date of a task, Project automatically assigns a Finish No Later Than (FNLT) constraint.

  • If you use automatic leveling to reduce resource overallocations in your project, Project automatically adds a negative number for the leveling delay for the sake of balancing resource availability. Because the project is scheduled from the finish date, negative leveling delays add time after a task, rather than before a task.

  • If you change a project that was previously scheduled from a start date so that it is now scheduled from a finish date, Project automatically removes all leveling delays and leveling splits from tasks and assignments.

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