Microsoft KB Archive/103139

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Project Err Msg: "Late Date" with Start to Finish Relationship


kbusage kberrmsg

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Project for Windows, versions 3.0, 3.0a, 4.0
  • Microsoft Project for the Macintosh, versions 3.0, 4.0


If a task has a Start to Finish (SF) relationship with its predecessor, and this task has successor tasks with Finish to Start (FS) or Finish to Finish (FF) relationships that are involved in a chain of successors that span to the project end date, a late date message will be generated (while scheduling the project from Start).

Although the constraints are As Soon As Possible (ASAP) and there is no negative slack, there is a unique problem when using the SF relationship that will cause the following error message:

Late date before scheduled date in task x. The task cannot be completed in the time allocated. Choose the Help button....

This is not the expected behavior.


"X", the task mentioned in the late date message, can be used to find the pair of tasks that have the SF relationship. Keep in mind the following general rule, which holds in all cases: the predecessor to the task mentioned in the message is involved in a SF relationship.

The two more-specific rules follow:

  • Task x is the successor in the SF relationship if task x is also a predecessor in a FS relationship.
  • Task x is a successor with a FF relationship to a task that has the SF relationship with a predecessor.

Steps to Reproduce Behavior

  1. Enter three tasks, task1, task2, and task3, giving each a one day duration.
  2. Give task 1 a Start-No-Earlier-Than constraint that is two or more days later than the start date of the project.
  3. Give task1 and task2 a SF relationship, and give task2 and task3 a FS relationship.

A "late date" error message will be produced.

Additional query words: 4.0 3.00a

Keywords :
Issue type : kbprb
Technology : kbHWMAC kbOSMAC kbProjectSearch kbProject400Mac kbProjectMacSearch kbProject300Mac kbProject300 kbProject300a kbProject400

Last Reviewed: November 5, 2000
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