There are two (2) Project Scheduling Modes available in Inspire Planner - Manual and Automatic. The Project Scheduling Mode determines the behavior of the Inspire Planner Scheduling Engine when you make an adjustment to your Project Tasks that violate your dependencies (predecessor relationships). By default, the Project Scheduling Mode is set to Manual.
This is the default scheduling mode for Projects in Inspire Planner. When the scheduling mode is Manual, you do not get a prompt when you make a change to your tasks that violate your predecessors (dependencies).
Take for example the two tasks highlighted in the project below. Project Kick-off Meeting (B) has a Start-to-Start relationship with Prepare Kick-off Presentation (A), which means that Task B cannot start until Task A has been started. This means that Task A drives the start for Task B.
When in Manual scheduling mode, if we move Project Kick-off Meeting (B) to have a different Start Date that Prepare Kick-off Meeting (A), we do not get a prompt even though the change we are making no longer aligns with the Start-to-Start predecessor relationship defined between them.
Inspire Planner will allow you to save your change. However, the next time you make an update to any of your project tasks (i.e. establishing baselines, defining non-working days, etc), the Inspire Planner Scheduling Engine will recalculate and plot your tasks according to the predecessor relationships you've defined. This means it will move Project Kick-off Meeting back to where it should be - with the same start date as it's predecessor since they have a Start-to-Start relationship.
Therefore, when in Manual scheduling mode, if you need to adjust your Project Task dates where they violate your predecessor relationships, you need to add Lag/Lead Time to it's predecessor or manually add Constraints. This prevents the Inspire Planner Scheduling Engine from moving it back since it recognizes the Lag/Lead time and/or Constraint you specify.
In the example below, notice that when we added a lag of 10 days to the predecessor, it moved the Start Date of Project Kick-off Meeting to 10 days from the Start Date of its predecessor - Prepare Kick-off Presentation. The Inspire Planner Scheduling Engine considers the lag time when calculating and plotting task dates so it will not move it back despite the Start-to-Start predecessor relationship.
When the scheduling mode is Automatic, when you create new Tasks, the Task Duration, Start and Finish Dates are blank by default. They will automatically calculate when you start populating Dates and defining Task dependencies. You will also get a prompt when you make a change to your tasks that violate your predecessors (dependencies).
When in Automatic scheduling mode, if we move Project Kick-off Meeting (B) to have a different Start Date that Prepare Kick-off Meeting (A), we get a prompt that lets us know that the change we are making no longer aligns with the Start-to-Start predecessor relationship defined between them.
You are presented with three (3) options:
Cancel the change and do nothing - cancels the adjustments you made.
Remove the dependency - will proceed with your change and will remove the dependency (predecessor relationship) between the affected tasks.
Keep the dependency and move the task to <date and time> - will proceed with your change and keep the dependency (predecessor relationship) between the affected tasks. When you choose this option, Inspire Planner will also automatically populate a Constraint and Constraint date for your task. If you do not see the Constraint and Constraint Date columns, you just need to add them to your project view.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the default Scheduling Mode for Projects is Manual. However, you can change the default Scheduling Mode to Automatic if preferred. This section will walk you through how to change the default Scheduling Mode for your Projects.