Out of Sequence tasks


T

TM in Cal

My customer complains when I have a task statused "out of sequence". His
definition of "out of sequence" is if task 1 was scheduled to start in
January-thru March with a FS link to task 2, but task 2 started in Feb, ahead
of schedule, he says it's out of sequence, so I'd have to change the link to
SS. Is there a way I can create a macro to find all of these "out of
sequence" tasks. I'm using Project 2000.

Thanks.
 
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D

davegb

TM said:
My customer complains when I have a task statused "out of sequence". His
definition of "out of sequence" is if task 1 was scheduled to start in
January-thru March with a FS link to task 2, but task 2 started in Feb, ahead
of schedule, he says it's out of sequence, so I'd have to change the link to
SS. Is there a way I can create a macro to find all of these "out of
sequence" tasks. I'm using Project 2000.

Thanks.

Or you could use a lead time (negative lag) to overlap the tasks.
Assuming that you actually meant the first task starts in Jan and runs
through Mar.

But there is a bigger issue here. If you had an FS link, it should be
impossible, or nearly so, for the second task to start before the first
finished. So it begs the question, why were they linked FS to start,
when the first one wasn't a true predecessor to the second? Generally
speaking, it's best to decide what the relationship between the 2 tasks
is and reflect it in your planning, rather than to put something
arbitrary down and change it later to match reality.

Hope this helps in your world.
 
T

TM in Cal

It was planned correctly initially, but due to a work-around an actual start
was taken which is why it is out of sequence.

Tom
 
D

davegb

TM said:
It was planned correctly initially, but due to a work-around an actual start
was taken which is why it is out of sequence.

Tom

I'm not clear what you mean, Tom. Either there is a dependency or there
isn't. If you mean you originally planned to do one and then the other,
even though the second task didn't need to wait for the first, then in
was not realistically planned. Maybe you should have scheduled it so
that the second task started when the first task was 50% complete or
something like that?

Either way, that's the way to schedule it now, since that's how it's
been done.
 
T

TM in Cal

davegb said:
I'm not clear what you mean, Tom. Either there is a dependency or there
isn't. If you mean you originally planned to do one and then the other,
even though the second task didn't need to wait for the first, then in
was not realistically planned. Maybe you should have scheduled it so
that the second task started when the first task was 50% complete or
something like that?

Either way, that's the way to schedule it now, since that's how it's
been done.
 
T

TM in Cal

I'm sorry I'm not being clear. The initial planning was correct with a fs
relationship from task 1 to task 2. Task 1 slipped 2 months. Task 2 was
started out of sequence by taking an actual start feb 1. The link was not
changed it remained fs but I took an actual that overrode the logic, causing
an out of sequence occurance. I am just looking for some kind of macro to
highlight these tasks if I should do it again. The schedule is about 6000
lines and people are giving me status all of the time and sometimes I miss
some of the one that are out of sequence.

Thank you all for your help. That's it from me for now.

Tom
 
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D

Dale Howard [MVP]

Tom --

To piggyback on Dave's excellent assessment of your situation, I'll add my
two cents worth as well. I think you are wasting your time on this issue.
In fact, I would recommend that you tell your customer to stop complaining
and to learn to live with the out of sequence progress. Sure it looks goofy
in the project, but so what?

The out of sequence progress is the way the project REALLY happened and
nothing is going to change it. In fact, why even TRY to change it? The
current state of the project is the historical record of the way things
happened during the life of the project. Assuming you baselined your
project initially, at any point in the project you can show your customer
the difference between the baseline schedule and the current schedule to
help the customer understand what is going on.

Believe me, Tom, I'm not beating on you. In fact, my sympathy is with you
entirely. I simply don't understand why your customer is complaining and
making you waste valuable time on this issue. Just a thought. Hope this
helps.
 
T

TM in Cal

Dale Howard said:
Tom --

To piggyback on Dave's excellent assessment of your situation, I'll add my
two cents worth as well. I think you are wasting your time on this issue.
In fact, I would recommend that you tell your customer to stop complaining
and to learn to live with the out of sequence progress. Sure it looks goofy
in the project, but so what?

The out of sequence progress is the way the project REALLY happened and
nothing is going to change it. In fact, why even TRY to change it? The
current state of the project is the historical record of the way things
happened during the life of the project. Assuming you baselined your
project initially, at any point in the project you can show your customer
the difference between the baseline schedule and the current schedule to
help the customer understand what is going on.

Believe me, Tom, I'm not beating on you. In fact, my sympathy is with you
entirely. I simply don't understand why your customer is complaining and
making you waste valuable time on this issue. Just a thought. Hope this
helps.
 
T

TM in Cal

Dale Howard said:
Tom --

To piggyback on Dave's excellent assessment of your situation, I'll add my
two cents worth as well. I think you are wasting your time on this issue.
In fact, I would recommend that you tell your customer to stop complaining
and to learn to live with the out of sequence progress. Sure it looks goofy
in the project, but so what?

The out of sequence progress is the way the project REALLY happened and
nothing is going to change it. In fact, why even TRY to change it? The
current state of the project is the historical record of the way things
happened during the life of the project. Assuming you baselined your
project initially, at any point in the project you can show your customer
the difference between the baseline schedule and the current schedule to
help the customer understand what is going on.

Believe me, Tom, I'm not beating on you. In fact, my sympathy is with you
entirely. I simply don't understand why your customer is complaining and
making you waste valuable time on this issue. Just a thought. Hope this
helps.
 
T

TM in Cal

Dale,

Thanks for your input to my question. You have expressed my thoughts
exactly and I appreciate the time you and all of the other posters have taken
to help my predicament.

Again,

Thanks.

Tom
 
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S

Steve House [MVP]

But Dave's point is that a FS link means that it is physically impossible
for task 2 to start before it's predecessor task 1 has completed. Perhaps
task 1 is digging a hole and task 2 is filling it with concrete to anchor a
pole. It is impossible to pour that concrete until the hole to accept it
has been dug. Links imply that sort of physical causality and should not be
used merely to express a desired sequence.
 
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There is a macro and I have used it and reported it because ppl ignore logic and give tasks progress on accident at times bc they think it should have started and say yes it started, when in reality its late and they need to fix the progress given or realign the relationship so that it is not out of sequence. Sorry I am years late on answering this question.
 
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Why does it matter if items in the project have progress posted out of sequence?
First of all, performing tasks out of sequence may result in the need to perform rework, and/or greater exposure to cost, technical and schedule risk on a project. Of course, working on tasks out of sequence may be part of a work around plan with known, but acceptable risks. This report may be informative only if work is performed out of sequence intentionally.

Resolving Progress Posted Out of Sequence

  • Perform the Audit and Click on each item in the resulting tasks list to go to the offending task. You can also click Filter for Items Below to display tasks with audit issues and record the offending condition in the Integrity Note log field.

  • Progress posted out of sequence may not be something the scheduler must “resolve” because it may be desirable to retain the original work logic and compare it to actual performance. SSI, however, recommends that you consider changing the dependencies to reflect actual performance rather than your original intention. If you do change dependencies, you should have a mechanism in place that captures and documents the change to the original plan.

What Else to Consider
Microsoft Project may "split" a task if progress is posted out of sequence. For example, if Task A is Task B's Predecessor and Tasks B started before Task A is complete, Microsoft Project may split the unfinished portion of Task B placing it after the finish of Task A regardless of how many days of duration are remaining for Task B

What Does Progress Posted Out of Sequence Looks Like in a Project?

Example 1 - Task B Started Before its Predecessor is complete

In this examples, Task B Started even though Task A (its predecessor) is not complete. The arrow points to the out-of-sequence dependency which bends backward from the finish of Task A to the start of Task B Notice that Microsoft Project has "split" the task into two parts with the first part showing the actual work amount performed and the second part showing that the unfinished part of the task still needs to wait until Task A is complete. Note - splitting tasks is an option in Microsoft Project that can be turned on or off.
 

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