Fixed or fluid schedules, Zoho Projects handles both.

When you think of groundbreaking visual effects and incredible box office numbers, you think of the movie “Avatar.” Spanning for almost 15 years from the inception of the idea to the final release, this film is a classic example of a project with fixed goals yet flexible timelines. When you take up projects like this that involve creativity and innovation, you can afford to go easy on deadlines if that ensures better results at the end of the day.

But this might not be the case for all filmmaking projects. The tables turn when you’re in a timed filmmaking competition like the acclaimed 48 hour film project. 48 hours is all you get for the entire movie, from coming up with a story, shooting the sequences, and editing the scenes, to turning in the final product. In this case, the timeline here is crucial, so the project requires a stricter schedule in order to advance from one task to another.

fixed-fluid-blogThese examples are testimony to the fact that both types of projects (and people) exist: the ones with a fixed schedule  and the ones with flexible deadlines. Any project management tool should be made to handle both of these needs and personalities. Here’s how Zoho Projects does.

First, we’ve added two new fields: Start Date and End Date. Now, you can define the  precise time period your project covers. The second thing we’ve done is made it so you can label projects as “strict,” if you need your project to have a set schedule. Once you do that, the start and end dates for the project’s milestones will be contained within the project’s date range. Similarly, subtasks will fall within the start and end dates of the parent task, and tasks will fall within the start and end dates of the associated milestone.

project-creationTo help you stick to these restrictions, only the allowed dates will be enabled in the calendar when you set the start and end dates for your tasks. So, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently setting a wrong date and confronting an error message, not to mention messing up your set schedule.

create-task

calendar-tabIf, on the other hand, you want your project to have a definite time frame while not imposing strict restrictions for the date ranges of tasks and milestones, this is what you can do: Only set the start and end date. This way you can have the best of both worlds: Your project can have a fixed timeline, but with a flexible schedule.

What projects are you currently working on? Whether you’re out to give the next box office hit, or you‘re up for an adrenaline rush, Zoho Projects is the right choice.

14 Replies to “Fixed or fluid schedules, Zoho Projects handles both.”

  1. Related to this, is there a way to move tasks from one milestone to another, so that if I need to start a new milestone at a specific time but haven’t finished a task yet, I can reassign that task to the next milestone?

    1. Hi Steve,
      Yes, you can move a task from a tasklist of one milestone to a tasklist of another. Please refer this link for detailed steps.

    1. Hi Juan,
      We have enabled a 15-day trial of the Enterprise version for you. Check it out and let us know what you think.

  2. If I have a series of tasks that are dependent on each other and one gets completed ahead of time, is it possible to have the timeline automatically move up? Or vice versa- if a task is late and all tasks have assigned lengths of time, is it possible for everything to be delayed in the calendar?

    1. Hi Melissa,

      The timeline will not automatically move up or down based on your completion dates. When you manually change the end date of a task to a later time, then the start and end dates of all subsequent dependent tasks will be automatically delayed in the calendar.

      1. I think Melissas suggestion would be a great feature addition. This would enable for the project schedule to adopt to the more fluid reality of work. I second the suggestion. however, it should be made a feature that can be turned on or of. Much inspiration for this feature can be taken from liquidplanner.com that have implemented this feature.

        Cheers

    1. Thank you for coming up with this suggestion, Calvin. We do not have any immediate plans of introducing Baseline task dates. We will keep you informed when we take this up in the future.

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