Is it possible to make a Project plan without Project Start Date in MS Project 2016!



I’ve got very interesting question from one of my blog readers: “Is it possible to create project plan without Start date, and the let MS PROJECT 2016 to calculate finish like t0 + ndays?”

I will show you an example in MS PROJECT 2016, but first I have to give an answer. NO! you can not do it.

When you open a brand new Project you will get something like this:


I will add some Tasks to it:


As you can see I’ve got end date = 29.04.2016, Friday, because all days are working days, there is no Resources with their Calendars, or any other exceptions other than Weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Microsoft Project will always calculate End date (if your Project is scheduled from Project Start Date), or Start date (if your Project is scheduled from Project End Date).

It must be that way because when you have (and you always will), a lot of exceptions like, for example:

  1. Specific Exceptions for all Tasks (National holidays for example)
  2. Specific Exceptions for Resources (Vacation period for them)
  3. Various Task Types (e.g. Fixed Units, fixed Work, and Fixed Duration)

all of this must be taken into consideration when calculations. So, without dates (e.g. Start Date) it will be impossible for Project for making right Schedule.

So, what can you do if you do not know specific or right Start Date. Pick one, and make your schedule. After you will find out right Start date, do this:


and move whole Project to new Start Date (like, in my example, to 25.04.2016). But be aware that you enter all exceptions before that (for example if you have Holiday at 26.04.2016, put it in exceptions)! then you will get your right Schedule!

More about exceptions and Task Types you can se in my previous Blog Posts.




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, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Is it possible to make a Project plan without Project Start Date in MS Project 2016!

  1. Sam ALARA says:

    Beautiful as always!

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