Sunday, June 10, 2012

Earliest of multiple tasks successor

The question below is from Dan who has the following scenario:
I have three programming tasks with three successor testing tasks as described below:
P1 > T1
P2 > T2
P3 > T3
I want to have one task to define the test environment that starts 14 days before THE FIRST programming task is completed.

The answer contradicts a well-known best practice of never assigning dependencies to or from summary tasks.  But then, as I've found there are exceptions to most rules.  To summarize you want a predecessor against the earliest completion of a set of three tasks.  To accomplish this you group the successor tasks under a summary task.  Then place the test environment as a predecessor with a 14 day lead on the summary.  The result will schedule the Define test environment task to start 14 days before the earliest task completes.  The figure below shows the solution.

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