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Why are new tasks created on the start date of the project, not today? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
When I enter in a new task, it gets inserted on the start date of the project, not today. How do I get it to insert them on today?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwoodside View Post
When I enter in a new task, it gets inserted on the start date of the project, not today. How do I get it to insert them on today?
New tasks are inserted on the start date of the project because by default, a task is set to start "as early as constraints allow". Since there are no constraints holding the task back from being completed as early as possible, it gets scheduled at the beginning of the project. If you simply drag the task to a new start date on the gantt chart, you'll be changing the task scheduling from "as early as constraints allow" to "start on specified date". Doing this will disrupt dependency connections and leveling functions because OmniPlan sees this as "don't move my task, I set it here for a specific reason".

To get a task to start on a date you want without upsetting the "as early as constraints allow" setting, you'll need to set a start date constraint for the task in the task : information inspector. Other constraints that might force it to start on a certain day other than that would be dependency connections or resource availability.
 
Wow, I don't really understand that. Let me put it this way. I want all my new tasks to be automatically inserted starting today, not at the beginning of the project. How can I do that?

To be honest, I can't even think of a reason why anyone would enter a new task and have it backdated at all.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwoodside View Post
Wow, I don't really understand that. Let me put it this way. I want all my new tasks to be automatically inserted starting today, not at the beginning of the project. How can I do that?
Sorry about my explanation, rereading it I admit that it's confusing. Allow me to try again. :-) To answer your question, there is currently no way to set a task to automatically start on today's date. We have a request for this in our feedback database so I'll be sure to add a vote to it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbwoodside View Post
To be honest, I can't even think of a reason why anyone would enter a new task and have it backdated at all.
As to why OmniPlan will create a task "in the past", here's an example of how the current "As early as constraints allow" schedule setting in OmniPlan works. This schedule setting is located in the "Task : Information" inspector.

Let's say you're creating a new OmniPlan document for a future project and the start date for the project is set for January 1st, 2050. If you create a new task today, the task will not be scheduled to start today. It will be scheduled to start on January 1st, 2050 because the project start date is the only constraint present and since the task is scheduled to start "as early as constraints allow", OmniPlan sets the start date of the task to January 1st, 2050.

Now, let's say we're adding a new task today in a project that has already been started. The behavior stays the same. when you create a new task it will be scheduled at the project start date because that's the only constraint that applies to the task.

This current behavior brings up questions about the new task like:
  • Does this task need to start today because it depends on a specific staff member's availability?
If it does, then the task's scheduling can be adjusted by assigning the staff resource to the task and letting OmniPlan set the schedule based on the staff resource's available working hours.
  • Was a prerequisite task supposed to be finished first before work could begin on this new task today?
If so, then you would need to create a "finish to start" connection between the prerequisite task and the newly created task. When you create the connection the new task will automatically be rescheduled.
  • Is this task a last minute addition and doesn't require a prerequisite task or a specific resource's available work time?
If this is the case, you would need to enter in today's date as the start constraint date in the "Task : Information" inspector to tell OmniPlan that this task can not start earlier.

One method we've been considering to address this desire to have a task start today instead of the project start was to set the task's start constraint date to today's date as a default. That way the new would also be scheduled on "today" by default and if you were to drag the task around the gantt chart, OmniPlan would set the start constraint date on the fly after each drag.

What do you think about this?

Last edited by skwirl; 2008-04-21 at 01:03 AM..
 
I have also wondered about this too. Please add my vote to the request. I think your solution would work...but maybe you could make this an option in preferences so that it would satisfy both type of users?
 
I think that would be a definite improvement. I can understand that if you have a project that starts in the future, you might want it to automatically start in the future though.

I spent a while looking for a preference along the lines of "new tasks automatically start today" and was surprised there wasn't one there.
 
One thing I'd really like to avoid in this, though... if you're planning the Battle of Hastings, set the start date to October 14, 1066, then add task one "Gather Army" (Duke William), you don't want it set its start date or start constraint automatically to 2008. You'll suddenly be looking at a 1000 year project and performance will degrade.

-Tom
 
I agree with you Tom. Hence, I think having this as an option in preferences would be ideal. That way you can turn on the behavior for certain plans and turn it off for others.
 
rather than put it in app preferences, we could save it in the document. You'd have the project start date and the default event start date. Edit the former and the latter assumes the same value by automatically, but you could edit this to some other value if you wanted.

Boy, i should really add this to our feature request database, shouldn't i? ;-)
 
The way I've been trying to use OmniPlan -- as a multi-project management tool -- this has made it very frustrating.

Our OP document (having a single doc containing all of our in-house projects is the only way currently) effectively has a "project start date" of a year ago, and will end when we all retire. It will be years.

In just the first few weeks with OmniPlan, this behaviour has driven me to the point of no longer using OP, which is Not Good™.

The fact is that I was spending all my time dragging start-points around the Gantt chart -- in addition to an odd snapping behaviour that makes it difficult to be precise with the mouse -- have actually kept me from using OmniPlan.

As time goes on, this problem is only going to get much, much worse.

I'd really like to see this changed.

As for people planning the Battle of Hastings, I'd like to humbly submit that this is neither a large nor a growing market. :-)
 
 


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