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Old 09-12-2018, 11:19 AM
ThinAirDesigns ThinAirDesigns is offline Windows 10 Office 2003
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Default ALAP constraint behavior question

Hi there. Moderate Projects user over the years with a scheduling need I've never encountered and I'm hoping I'm just ignorant of an easy solution. I'm currently using a very old 2002 version.



Attached is an image with three figures (all different screen shots from a simple 'project' created just to illustrate my issue). This sample project has 3 floating activities and a 'project completion' milestone which has an artificial hard completion date. The behavior of Activity #2 is what I'm attempting to control (I want the float gone).

All relationships are simple 'FS' with zero lag. Activities 1 and 3 are constrained 'ASAP' in all three figures.

In figure 1, Activity 2 is constrained 'ASAP' with the expected float reflecting the difference in duration between activities 1 and 2.

In figure 2, Activity 2 is constrained 'ALAP' which has taken the float out of Activity 2, but pushed Activity 3 down to the project end and the float is now reflected in the start of Activity 3.

Figure 3 is what I'm trying to achieve (without a hard constraint). I want the float gone between activities 2 and 3, but I can't have 3 pushed down to the end of the project. In other words, I want Activity 2 to be ALAP while Activity 3 is ASAP. This may sound like a directly conflicting requirement (and it may be as related to Projects' capabilities), but it's not conflicting if one thinks of activity 2 being ALAP relative to Activity 3 while Activity 3 is ASAP relative to the project as a whole.

Can this be done in Projects 2002? Any version of Projects? Any version of a CPM software?

Remember, it's the described principle I'm interested in -- it would be easy in this little snippet to just 'hard constrain' and get away with it, but I'm involved in a relatively large scheduling project and in such any hard constraints will really create issues as things are updated.

Thanks.
JB
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Last edited by ThinAirDesigns; 09-12-2018 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:48 AM
ThinAirDesigns ThinAirDesigns is offline Windows 10 Office 2003
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So to answer my own question for the purposes of thread quality, turns out what I was looking for was a "zero free float" constraint (ZFF) and it's not available in MS Projects.

Did find a work-around that for my purposes serves about 98% of my needs.

http://www.boyleprojectconsulting.co...osoft-project/
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:18 AM
Guloluseus Guloluseus is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit
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the easiest way is to use a finish to finish (FF) constraint. this will ensure that task 2 always finishes at the same time as task 1, while allowing the start date to move if necessary (see pic )

It is important to note that task 2 must be a successor to task 1 for this to work (ie you work downwards).

I did look at your link, and frankly it seems to be written by someone that hates Project. I started on Project and overlapped with P6 for 4 or 5 years, and now have to us P6 for most of my work. People going from P6 to Project tend to expect things to work as in P6 and if they dont, assume it isnt there.
If you stick with Project, you will find its actually a lot better than it gets credit for. Its just a case of learning the software, and it will come
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:59 AM
ThinAirDesigns ThinAirDesigns is offline Windows 10 Office 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guloluseus View Post
the easiest way is to use a finish to finish (FF) constraint. this will ensure that task 2 always finishes at the same time as task 1, ...
That would work fine if I wanted task 2 to always finish at the same time as task 1, but I don't.

I want task 2 to *without fail* finish just as task 3 is scheduled to start - it's a 'just in time' thing. A FF constraint with task 1 is not guaranteed to accomplish that and I need that guarantee.

Thanks for your suggestion though ... wish it would work for me.

Quote:
If you stick with Project, you will find its actually a lot better than it gets credit for.
I love Project -- started using it in the '90s. Have also used Primavera and Suretrak.

JB
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