MSP: Start Dates change to Project Start Date when exported to MSP

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Article ID: 47129

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Updated On:

Products

Clarity PPM On Premise Clarity PPM SaaS

Issue/Introduction

In the New MSP (Microsoft Project) Driver, some task Start Dates change to the project Start Date when the project is exported to MSP.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Create a new project in Clarity with a Start date of 5/1/2018
  2. Create a new task in the project in PPM with a Start date of 5/4/2018
  3. Export the project to MSP and observe the task Start date

Expected Results: Task Start date matches that in PPM (5/4/2018)
Actual Results: Task Start Date changes to the project Start date (5/1/2018)

Cause

This is working by design - It's recommended to use either the Clarity Gantt or MSP for scheduling for a project, but not both the Clarity Tasks section/Gantt and MSP, to avoid issues such as the dates changing unexpectedly. 

In the MSP New Driver:

  • Tasks that are not started (% Complete equals 0%), are without specific constraints such as "Start no Earlier Than" or "Must Start On" and no dependencies are exported to MSP as the project start date.
  • If there are dependencies involved, then this may cause tasks dates to be earlier/later depending on the dependency chain setup.

In the MSP legacy driver (No longer supported):

  • Tasks that do not match the project start date automatically export with constraints.

If the prior dates of the tasks were set to the project start date in Clarity, the symptoms may seem that old project data is being pulled up / prior version of the schedule is being loaded instead of the current schedule from Clarity being pulled in, but the root cause is the same in that case if no constraints, dependencies, etc are set. 

Environment

Clarity 14.x and higher using the MSP New Driver.

Resolution

To keep task Start Dates from changing to the project Start Date in the MSP New Driver, the solution would be one of the below:

  1. Add a task constraint (See steps below).
    • Note: "Start no Earlier Than" or "Must Start On" constraints work best to resolve this issue as other constraints such as "Start No Later Than" can still change the task Start Date to the project start date. Example: If your project start date is 05/01/2018, and the Task Start date is 05/05/2018, adding a "Start No Earlier Than" constraint of 05/04/2018 will keep the task from exporting to MSP as the project start date of 05/01/2018. 
  2. Add a dependency to other tasks
  3. Change the % Complete value of the task to be greater than 0% (IE 1%). If the task has a % Complete value of greater than 0 (such as 1%), this will add an Actual Start date for the task, so when the task is exported to MSP, the Start Date is pulled from that Actual Start Date

To add a constraint in MSP:

  1. Export the project from Clarity to MSP.
  2. Double click on the task and click on the 'Advanced' tab.
  3. Add a Constraint type (other then As Soon As Possible) and Constraint date and click OK.

Notes:

  • To update multiple tasks, you can instead add the Constraint Type and Constraint Date to your Task/Gantt view in MSP and update the fields from the column. 
  • Other factors can impact dates being exported including
    • The Actual Start date of the task, which can override constraints set. Once the % Complete of a task is higher than 0%, this will populate the Actual Start Date which drives the Task Start Date.
    • Another factor is non working days or Holidays set on the Clarity calendar. This also can cause task Start/Finish dates to be pushed out.

To add a constraint to a task from within Classic Clarity:

  1. In Classic Clarity, go to Home->Projects then click on the link for the project.
  2. Click on the Tasks tab.
  3. Click on the link for the task.
  4. Select the 'Properties' tab and then click 'Constraints'.
  5. Populate a date in one of the Constraints fields based on how you want the task to behave, then click Save and Return.

To add a constraint to a task from Modern UX Clarity:

  1. In Modern UX, click on a project then go to the Tasks tab/module
  2. From here you can add the various recommended constraint types:
    • Start no Earlier Than
    • Must Start On
    • Finish No Earlier Than
    • Must Finish On
  3. Populate a date in one of the Constraints fields based on how you want the task to behave
  4. Save the view as a separate view to refer back to when constraints need to be changed. 

Note: You can also click on a Task, select the Details option, then click Configure to add the fields to the task Details view instead

Additional Information

Reference KB: Getting Started with the MSP New Driver with Clarity 

See MSP Integration - Master KB of Known Issues

See MSP Integration Known Defects - Master KB