Manual Vs Auto Scheduling in MS Project

Manual Scheduling or Automatic Scheduling ?  A Microsoft Project Question

OK so I recently made a nice video for a corporate client which can be found on

In essence MS Project has two options for scheduling: Manual and Automatic.  These can be found in the Task Mode column.


By default (and I suggest you change this- see video) it is set to manual scheduling.

Manual Scheduling: Useful if you have set dates, Project will consider this date as fixed and it will not be affected even if its predecessor is.  Whilst this may be of use for an event, in many cases we actually want project to shift our tasks as delays are experienced.

Automatic Scheduling: Ok so now you are using MS Projects scheduling engine.  By selecting automatic scheduling you are allowing Project to automatically shift dates to accommodate for delays in preceding activities.

In action: at first glance they appear to provide similar functionality


However once the preceding events duration changes (in this case increases to 5 days) the differences can be appreciated.


As you can see the Manually Scheduled activity stays put, however the Automatically Scheduled activity moves with the preceding activity.

They both have their purpose, consider the nature of the individual task prior to selecting.

Enjoy- PS check out the video on youtube (link:

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