Auto Updating Project Plans

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donebeforebrekky
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Joined: Sat 24 Oct 2015 12:29 am

Mon 18 Jan 2016 3:16 pm

Hi guys,

Here is a quick idea for auto updating project plans. The concept uses the Kanban categories to enable the automatic shifting of non-active tasks. This will enable the plan to be quickly and easily kept up to date and allow the formation of new critical paths to be tracked.

In Kanban, tasks can be categorised as 'done', 'in progress', 'to-do', etc. It is possible then to apply such categorisation to a waterfall plan, and for those tasks not yet in progress to have their dates shifted. The rule applicable in the task shifting would be that for planned start dates that are before the current date and have not yet started to have their start date updated to the current date. I implemented a demonstration macro in MS Project which can be downloaded if you want to experiment with it.

I am not great at programming so cut me some slack on the coding. It required the Flag1 column to indicate if the task is active. Note, this is for demo only, do not try this on your professional plans!

I know this is not applicable in all circumstances. For example, where problems emerge or the start date is well beyond the current date.
For such cases, manual intervention is still needed. However, for simple updating of unstarted tasks, this may be a useful tool and
it is often the case that people start later that the planned start date, especially for non-critical path items.

Thanks.
Fuzzynavel
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Joined: Fri 19 Feb 2016 2:06 pm

Fri 19 Feb 2016 2:20 pm

If you are having to update multiple lines due to delays, have you got your dependencies set up correctly? Have you got your initial dates and timescales set up realistically?

If you have it set up right, you can change one date and the rest will knock on as a consequence...don't forget to use baselines so that you can do "lessons learned" at the end and see where your timing issues were.

Hope this helps
donebeforebrekky
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Joined: Sat 24 Oct 2015 12:29 am

Sun 21 Feb 2016 12:23 am

Hi Fuzzynavel,

That is a great tip - comparing end of project plans to the baseline planning for a lessons learned.

What I have proposed is not a substitute for correct setting of dates nor dependencies. However, for many non-critical path tasks the start date can shift without impacting overall project schedule - and they frequently do which ends up with maintenance of the project planning. What I have suggested provides an efficient way to do that.

DBB
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