Scheduling is the process of positioning tasks on a timeline. In general, you can schedule your tasks manually or use the auto-scheduling feature to generate the project schedule for you. This way, you can save time and keep hundreds of tasks under control and within deadlines. 

Period mode change

You can switch between manual and auto-scheduling at any time and in multiple ways. You can set the 'Period mode' for:

  • selected task or tasks 
  • all tasks within the scope of the Box
  • newly added tasks 

You can change the 'Period mode' in one of the following ways:

  • using the Box Configuration - change the default mode for newly added tasks
  • using the Gantt module - change the period mode for a selected task or tasks (using multi-select) or bulk change option, regardless of the relationship between tasks
  • by editing the task - you can add the 'Task period' field and edit the field value

By default, the Period mode is set to 'Auto bottom up' for all newly added tasks when you create a new Box. However, we recommend using the 'Manual' mode to avoid unintentional changes to your schedule during a synchronization process.

Manual scheduling

Manual scheduling means you can set the start and end dates of individual tasks as you please. The App doesn’t automatically re-schedule tasks based on the structure of the tasks (the active structure builders will not affect tasks in manual mode), it ignores all dependencies of each task, and your task can start or finish on a non-working day. This gives you the flexibility to schedule each task when you want it to start and with no risk of unintentional rescheduling of dependent tasks.

Using manual scheduling means greater flexibility and additional work, as you have to schedule every task manually.

For example: The task BU-31 'Select the property to build on' starts before the BU-29 'Phase 1 - Finding the location' and the BU-30 'Survey the footprint the house' which is linked with the BU-31 using the 'end to start' dependency starts before the finish date of the BU-31:


Automatic scheduling

Automatic scheduling aids you with the positioning of tasks. Instead of scheduling every task manually, the App plans your tasks by following scheduling rules. Scheduling is done based on the following data:

The fourth factor that determines your project schedule is calendar constraints and other settings and restrictions. It ensures work items are perfectly aligned with your Boxes or other events on the calendar, like public holidays or corporate events when nobody is in the office.

For example: The Period mode is set to Auto bottom-up for all tasks. The BU-29 is calculated based on the four children tasks (including the milestone), and due to the defined dependencies, each of the tasks is aligned one after the other: 

 

The scheduling rules

According to multiple rules, the auto-scheduling function aims to calculate the task's period (start and end dates). Those rules are applied simultaneously, but each has its own priority. This way, depending on implemented rules, you can end up with different setups of scheduling functions for each task.

The table below lists everything that directly impacts task scheduling. Click the links to view the documentation pages explaining each item in more detail:

PriorityApplicable rule / Constraint
1.
2.
3.


independent

Task period alignment
  • Smart Adjustment
  • Precise Alignment

Additional concepts

A couple of additional concepts indirectly impact the auto-scheduling or ability to manually reschedule a task by drag-and-dropping it using the Gantt or Resources modules or changing the dates directly.

The task is system-wide →  it is evenly impacted by all the rules that apply to it across the whole system, not just the currently viewed Box.

This means that if a task is within the scope of multiple Boxes and each of the Boxes is configured differently (has its own, different set of rules such as different task structure, dependencies, etc.), the resulting task's period will be 'evenly shaped' by the rules of each Box. The task's position and duration on the timeline will be the same in all of the Boxes.

This information is crucial in troubleshooting problems such as being unable to drag and drop a task or being unable to change the start/end date of a task as the App keeps reverting it to the previous value. In such cases, the task is most likely constrained by rules in other boxes that prevent the change.

You can find more information on this topic and troubleshooting steps in FAQ (Troubleshooting) and Loops and Cross-Box relationships.

All of the aspects influencing auto-scheduling function might work "behind the scenes."

You can configure the Box in such a way that the 'period mode' or 'Dependencies' information is not displayed.

For example, if a Box is set up so that only the Resources and Scope Modules are enabled, you will not be able to see the 'period mode' and 'Dependencies' information, as there is no place to display it. But that doesn't mean that they don't impact the task's scheduling.

You can add the 'Task Period' field to the issue screen or enable the Gantt module, which displays both the 'Task period' or 'Dependencies.'

For example: Resources module vs. Gantt view

You can turn off the auto-scheduling rules for selected tasks by setting their 'Period Mode' to 'Manual' or 'Locked.'

When you switch the 'Period mode' to 'Manual' or 'Lock,' the task will not be influenced by the auto-scheduling rules listed in this article. This means that depending on your needs, you can disable selected tasks from being influenced by the rules while others are still affected. 

To fully enable the auto-scheduling feature, use one of the auto-modes: Auto bottom-up or Auto top-down mode. The table below summarises the constraints caused by applying different "Period modes":

When in 'Manual' mode, you can enable the "Period warnings" to show how your tasks impact other tasks in the task structure.


Applicable constraintsAdditional constraints caused by the task's 'Period mode.'
Task Period ModeTask structure (task hierarchy)Default Holiday Plan or Assignee's working scheduleDependenciesHierarchyDependencies
NoYesNoNo
Yes
NoNoNoNoYes
YesYesYesYesYes
YesYesYesYesYes


Automatic Task Period modes

The 'Task Period' modes dictate the scheduling of a task according to its position in the task structure (hierarchy) and the defined dependencies. There are two auto-modes that influence the task's position. As each of them realizes the different priority of rules, they have a different impact on the outcome.

The behavior of the Parent tasks is determined by the "Period mode' set for this task. In other words, the mode you set for the children tasks will not have any effect on the parent task.


When the parent task is in Auto Top-down mode, but the child task is in Auto Bottom-up mode, the parent's mode will have higher priority, forcing children to align to the parent's duration.


Period ModeImpact on Children tasksRules priorityDescription

Auto top-down

The parent tasks determine the earliest start and the latest end date of the children tasks:

  • a task can not start before its parent starts and cannot end after its parent has ended.
  • if you try to set those dates outside of the parent's period, the scheduling engine will immediately revert them to the closest dates that fit the rule above.

Children in 'Manual' or 'Locked' mode that are outside of the parent task's duration are not impacted. In this case, you can be notified of possible discrepancy by showing the 'Period Warning' (an orange baseline under the parent).


The task will be affected by:

  1. Assignee's working schedule
  2. Position of its parents
  3. Dependencies

Most importantly, the app will take the Default Holiday Plan or Assignee's Working Schedule into account - the app will exclude the non-working days from planning.

Next, the task will be affected by the position of its parents (from multiple levels of the hierarchy if applicable).

Then, if possible, Dependencies will be taken into consideration.

The position of children's tasks will not be able to change this task's duration.

(warning)The parent's 'Top-down' mode has priority over the child's Bottom-up mode.

Auto bottom-up

The parent task's duration is calculated based on the children tasks:

  • Start Date will be set to the earliest Start Date among the children tasks.
  • End Date will be set to the latest End Date among the children.

Any change to the children's tasks exceeding the parent duration will cause the parent task to auto-recalculate.

(warning) You can drag and drop the parent to automatically move all the children accordingly without changing the task structure.

(warning)Exception - if a parent is in Auto Top-down mode, then it has higher priority and will force the children's tasks to align to the parent's duration.

The task will be affected by:

  1. Position of its children
  2. Assignee's working schedule
  3. Position of its parent, if in Auto top-down mode
  4. Dependencies

The task's period will be automatically aligned according to its children's positions.

Next, the assignee's working schedule will be considered - their non-working days will be excluded from planning.

The parent's position will not impact this task unless the parent itself is in Auto top-down mode - then this task will align to its parent.

Then, if possible, dependencies will be taken into consideration.

For example: PR-1 and PR-2 are both in Auto Bottom-up mode. The dependency between them is in ASAP mode and has Lag Time set to 1 day. However, their parent PR is in Auto Top-down mode and has a 1-day duration. As stated in the table above, the parent's Top-down mode has priority over its children's Bottom-up mode; both children are rescheduled to fit under their parent. The dependency has the lowest priority among the rules, and since there's no room for it to be considered, it's not respected.