When you schedule a project you must take many factors into consideration, such as:
● Basic dates for the project and individual phases, for example, specified by the customer
● Empirical values, for example, for the duration of phases and tasks
● Dependencies between tasks which, for example, specify the time frame of execution (see Editing the Relationship Between Tasks).
To meet these requirements, the system offers you a scheduling function. For each project type, you can choose whether you want to use bottom-up scheduling or top-down scheduling.
You specified a scheduling type in Customizing for Collaboration Projects under Define Project Types.
● You can enter fixed dates for the project elements. If you do not enter fixed dates for the project, the system sets the current date as the start date. The finish date field remains empty. The system calculates the finish date from the remaining project data during scheduling.
● In order to change attributes that influence dates and to carry out scheduling, you require administration authorization.
● You can enter phase dates that overlap as well as task dates or checklist item dates that are outside the phase dates. The system informs you if the dates overlap by displaying messages in the log.
The system uses messages to inform you of any conflict situations during scheduling, for example, if task dates are outside the time frame of phases during top-down scheduling.
● The time unit for the duration of project elements is Day.
● You can enter a duration for project definitions, phases, and tasks, fixed dates for the planned start and the planned finish, and create a calendar. Checklist items do not have a duration or a start date and you can only enter a fixed date for the planned finish.
● You can schedule each project element individually. When the dates are scheduled, the dates of the dependent project elements (lower-level elements and linked elements) are taken into account and also scheduled.
● The system calculates the start and finish dates of the project elements (for checklist items only finish dates) in earliest and latest position:
○ Dates in the earliest position are determined by forward scheduling starting from the start date of the project definition.
○ Dates in the latest position are determined by backward scheduling starting from the finish date.
● The dates of the checklist items are determined from the latest finish date of the assigned tasks, or if no tasks have been assigned, from the finish date of the phase or project.
● The dates of the phases are calculated on the basis of the dates of the project definition, taking into account their order, duration, and fixed dates. Tasks are not taken into account.
● The dates of the tasks of a phase are calculated on the basis of the dates of the phase, taking into account their links, duration, fixed dates, and actual dates, if any exist. The dates of the subtasks are calculated in the same way, using the dates from the higher-level tasks.
● The dates of the tasks that belong to a checklist item are calculated based on the dates of the phase or project to which the checklist item belongs.
The dates of a project element are calculated from the dates of the lower-level project elements. This takes into account the order and the duration, as well as the fixed dates.
● Provided that a project element has the status Created, the dates of this project element and its dependent elements are recalculated automatically when you make date-relevant changes to a dependent project element. The system recalculates once you perform the next action in the system (for example, if you change to a new tab page or save your data) or choose Enter on your keyboard.
● After releasing a project element, the system no longer automatically calculates the dates of the lower-level project elements, it only does this if you call scheduling manually. If you make changes to a project element below a released project element, only the dates of this one project element are recalculated.
● Once you release the project, the system automatically schedules only the project elements that still have the status Created.
You can define the earliest or latest calculated dates as fixed dates in phases, checklist items, and tasks, thereby preventing dates from being changed when scheduling is carried out again. To do so, choose the Earliest Dates and Latest Dates pushbuttons located in the detail view of the relevant project element on the Basic Data tab page. In scheduling, fixed dates have priority over outline dates specified by the higher-level project element, and have priority over links to other tasks.