Linking manually and auto scheduled tasks


I will show you what happens when you link manually scheduled tasks and auto scheduled tasks in MS PROJECT 2010. First, I will enter four tasks in manually scheduled mode:


Now I will link them. I will make Task 1 as predecessor of Task 2, Task 2 as predecessor of Task 3, and Task 3 as predecessor of Task 4. I will get:


You can see that every task has 1 day duration. Now I will break the links (I will erase predecessor field) and I will get:


Duration, Start and End date remains same, but links are broken.

Now I will start all over again. I will put description in all task (in Duration field, and Start and End date field):


and I will link them in the same way I did before:


You can see that Task 1 and Task 3 has still unknown duration, but they have same start and end date. They have also question mark in Task mode field.

Task 2 and Task 4 has 1d (estimated) duration, and they also have Start and End date set by MS PROJECT 20101. Remarks in Start date and End date fields are overwritten.

Now I will have 4 Tasks but two of them will be in auto scheduled mode.


Task 1 and Task 3 has 1 day duration by default and Start date is same as the project start date. I put 02.06.11 as a Start date for Task 2 (manually scheduled) and 01.06.11 as a End date for Task 4 (manually scheduled). OK. Now I will link them as I did before and I will get:


You can see that Start date and End date field are overwritten for manually scheduled tasks and that they have 1 day duration now.

But, what if I really want 02.06.11 as a start date for Task 2? I will enter that date in Start date field and I’ll get:


Do you see red line below Start date for Task 2? Put the mouse on that field and you’ll get:


Now I will right click on that field and I will get:


If I click on Respect Links, MS PROJECT 2010 will overwrite Start date for Task 2:


If I click on Fix in Task Inspector instead I will get:


From Task Inspector you can choose Respect Links, and you will get the same result as I show you in previous picture or you can select Auto schedule and you will get:


Now, the Task 2 is in Auto scheduled mode.

From my point of view, be extremely cautious with  manually scheduled tasks. Use auto schedule mode whenever you can! When you use auto scheduled mode you let the control to MS PROJECT 2010  and you are avoiding unpredictable results.

In my next blog I will show you how can you use manually scheduled task in (from my point of view) best way.


See you,


About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
This entry was posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Linking manually and auto scheduled tasks

  1. Taff Falvey says:

    Hello Nenad,
    I am running MS Project 2010, but I do not see the ‘task mode’ field. How can i get the software to toggle this field on. Many thanks for your help.

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      I will send zou an email with explanation at Monday, 24.10.2011 with the explanation. Is it too late? I am out of the country right now, and I have problems with Internet Access!


      • Taff Falvey says:

        Thank you Nenad, I am in Egypt now but will be in the UK for a week and then back to Egypt. i have access email at all times and will wait for your kind reply. MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        One question! Are you in Gantt chart View or some other, and if in some other, which one?

  2. Pingback: Develop a Scope for my Project! Should I choose Manually or Auto scheduled Tasks? | Nenad Trajkovski

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