Duration, Start, and Finish relationship with Tasks in Microsoft Project for the Web

Hi, Today I will show you relationship between Task Duration, Start and Finish date in Microsoft Project for the Web.

First I will create a simple Project with one Task:


A you can see, Duration Start, and Finish date are empty.

Now let’s say that Duration is 3 days:


As you can see, Start and Finish dates are calculated according to Calendars (which are beyond this Post).

Now Let’s say that I have situation shown in a first picture where all three fields are empty), and I know that Start Date is August 27th:

imageDuration is calculated as 1 Day, Finish date is calculated according to Calendar (in my case it is same as Start date), and Constraint – Start no earlier than is set for the Start Date:


Now I will repeat steps described above, but this time with Finish Date (I will put August 27th), and I will get:


Start date is Project Start Date (which is in my example – August 24th), and Duration is calculated as 5 Days, and Constraint – Finish no earlier than is set for the Finish Date.

If I remove either Duration, Start or Finish Date, all other two fields will be removed as well.

Now Let’s say that I have a Project with two Tasks:


All three fields are empty for both Tasks. If I choose that Task 2 is predecessor for Task 1, I will get:


Task 1 will start at Project Start Date, and it will have 1 day Duration. Task 2 will also have 1 day Duration. All other Dates (Task 1 Finish date, and Task 2 Start and Finish dates), are going to be calculated according to Calendars.

Finally If I erase Duration, Start or Finish date at any of those two Tasks, the link between them will be lost. For example, I will erase Task 2 Start date, and I will get:


So, be careful when you put or delete Duration, Start or Finish date for Tasks.



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)!
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