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Ganttic Update | How to Postpone (or Advance) a Project

Categories: Ganttic Updates
There are several reasons why you might be on a brink to postpone a project. Most frequently, it's because of resource constraints or complications with the budget. Even more often – since you are in the project portfolio management world – it's because of both. 

how to postpone a project.

Two terrible scenarios


The first act

Imagine this terrible scenario. I know, a great way to start a blog post. 

A new project with a high priority has been taken on. You find out that there is no way you have enough resources to finish the ongoing projects and the new project. You draw a resource planning report and the senior management has to decide if the sales team has to drop the new contract or if you need to postpone the other projects.

The first option is bad for the business. The second is bad both for the business and bad for every team member involved, including you.

A pretty terrible place to be, huh?

The second act

But that's not all. Next, imagine another equally unfortunate scenario that tends to happen even more frequently.

A project is already experiencing delays. It seems that the only way to fix the problem is to allocate more resources. You don't want to do it since you know reallocating resources might make even worse. Furthermore, if you allocate the resource you need to allocate, their utilization percentage will raise significantly over what would be optimal. Although the other projects that the resource is busy with are important, they are lower down on the priority list.

You are either going to have to reallocate some tasks to vacate some busy hours or postpone the other projects altogether.

The happy ending

Both scenarios, you are probably on for a ride. In the first terrible proposed scenario, you need to let the concerned clients know about the situation. In the second, you need to brief the team or even brief the team member that needs to take on a whole new project. In addition to that, you are probably going to need to assure the senior management that you are on top of it all.

However, the real-life hurdles are not where it ends. You also need to reschedule. Lucky for you, Ganttic just got updated with a feature that allows you to shift the whole project or a part of it on the timeline.

The update

It is now possible to shift all of the tasks and milestones connected to the project forth or back on the timeline. You can also choose to split the project and only shift the tasks and milestones before or after the split date.

How it works

Since you want to see the troubled project you are going to shift in its entire glory, you need to open a single project view.

opening a single project view

Single project views are good for scheduling since you don't need to select the project each time you are scheduling a task. You can also schedule tasks without assigning resources and view the list of tasks. 

You can learn more about single project views here.

Next, you must open the project dialog and select 'Shift project' from the menu.

open project settings and shift project in Ganttic

Shifting projects

The first and the most straight-forward is the option to shift all the tasks and the milestones that are connected to the project. To shift the whole project, the two things you need to two is select the indicator for the offset and the date that is going to be used to pin the project to the timeline.

There are two types of indicators for the offset – the start time of the first task of the project and the milestones you have set. While it's pretty easy to comprehend how using the start time of the first task will work, the milestones might be trickier but still useful.

selecting the start date of the project as an offset for the shift

If you select the start time of the first task, the new start time of the task will be the new date you are going to select. All the other tasks will be either pushed forward or moved back accordingly.

However, milestones are most often in the middle of the project rather than at the end of it. Meaning that the new date you will select will be the new date for the milestone, and all the other milestones and tasks will be placed accordingly. If the milestone is at the end of the project, the other milestones and tasks will be backcasted.

It's the same thing as the first option but might need a bit more mental gymnastics to get a hang of it.

The last step is to confirm the shift. Remember that the undo button doesn't work for this action. If you have made a mistake, you need to shift the project once more or manually move the tasks on the timeline.

Split-shifting projects

The second option is to split-shift the project. To do that, you need to select 'Shift a part of the project'.

select the option to postpone a part of the project

As the next step, you must select a date for when the project will be split into two.

selecting a new start date

Once that's done, select the part of the project that you want to move. The part that you don't select, will remain as it is on the timeline. If there are tasks that are overlapping with the split date you have chosen, you should consider if you want those tasks to be moved with the split or left untouched (i.e. the overlapping tasks won't be split into two either way).

Before you can confirm the shift, you must again choose the offset and the new date.

How is it going to benefit you?

1. You will save time on rescheduling. Resource planning is a never-ending process with a change after a change. Some adjustments are small and only take a minute to implement, others take more time. Shifting an entire project or even a part of it without the new feature is one of the latter. However, with the update, it will only take a minute.

2. There will be less manual errors. If you don't need to manually reschedule all the tasks, there is a lesser of a chance that you will misplace a task or two. However, even with the shifting option, you should always check for conflicts.

3. You don't have to worry when scheduling a project that isn't confirmed. Often, you need to allocate resources to projects that have not been confirmed yet. If one of those projects gets canceled, you can easily move the other projects on the timeline.