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:
- Specific Exceptions for all Tasks (National holidays for example)
- Specific Exceptions for Resources (Vacation period for them)
- 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.