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Scheduling mode (previously period mode)

Introduction

The scheduling mode determines whether a task is scheduled manually or automatically, which gives you the option of deciding how much control you want over task scheduling in a Box.

The default scheduling mode depends on Box Configuration settings. To learn more about the scheduling rules, go to this page.

There are four different modes explained further below:

  • Auto bottom-up

  • Auto top-down

  • Manual

  • Locked

The 'Auto bottom-up' scheduling mode is applied to tasks with empty date fields to avoid data corruption when the tasks are structured automatically using presets.

Configuration

  • You can enable the Task scheduling by mapping the fields - go to App configuration (wrench icon at top right)  > BigPicture configuration > General > Fields. Only Jira administrators can access this page. The App creates a select list (single choice) custom field 'Task modes' during the installation.

  • The App admins can set the default mode of a Box type in the Administration.

  • The Box admins can change the default scheduling mode of a Box in the Box configuration.

Setting the task scheduling mode

Inline editing

You can use inline editing to change the scheduling mode of a task:

  • Gantt

  • Scope

  • Board

  • Risks

Keep in mind, a change of a task scheduling mode can have a significant scheduling impact. If needed, switch to a different module to assess the situation before making a change.

Gantt module

In the Gantt module, there are multiple ways of changing a scheduling mode. 

You can change the scheduling mode of a single task (or a group of tasks, using the multi-select option) by using the right-click dialog:

You can also select multiple tasks and click on the three-dot menu in the middle:

Available scheduling modes

Manual

 The start/end dates of a task have to be manually changed. 

Start/end dates are unaffected by:

  • dependencies

  • scheduling mode of other tasks (an "auto top-down" parent task won't reposition a "locked" child)

  • a move of a parent task on a timeline 

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

Locked mode

 The duration and position of Locked tasks can't be changed.

Start/end dates are unaffected by:

  • manual changes of start/end 

  • dependencies

  • scheduling mode of other tasks (an "auto top-down" parent task won't reposition a "locked" child)

  • a move of a parent task on a timeline 

To change the start/end dates of a "locked" task, you have to change the scheduling mode first.

Auto top-down mode 

Child position - affected

A parent task in an "auto top-down" mode repositions its children ("auto top-down" and "auto bottom-up") to fit within its period:

When a child is longer than the parent, start dates are matched (child duration is NOT changed):

Child duration (period warning) 

An "auto top-down" parent doesn't change the duration of a child.

When period warnings are active, the discrepancy of task periods is indicated:

Auto bottom-up mode

 An "auto bottom-up" task period changes based on its children's period, i.e.:

  • start date of the "auto bottom-up" task = earliest start dates of the child tasks

  • end date of the "auto bottom-up" = latest end date of child tasks

General rules and outcomes

The general rules and outcomes are presented in the table below:

Scheduling mode

Task impacted by other tasks or dependencies?

Task impacted by non-working days?

Does moving the task affect children?

Task start / end date editable /movable?

Scheduling mode

Task impacted by other tasks or dependencies?

Task impacted by non-working days?

Does moving the task affect children?

Task start / end date editable /movable?

Locked 

No

No

Yes

No

Manual

No

No

Yes

Yes

Auto top-down

Yes, by either

  • parents

  • dependencies

Yes

Yes

Yes

Auto bottom-up

 

Yes, by either

  • parents

  • children

  • dependencies

Yes

Yes

Yes

Scheduling mode of new tasks

When you add a new task in a Box, the default scheduling mode of that Box applies.

When you add a new task directly to the task source (for example, to a Jira project), the default scheduling mode is selected automatically.

For this, the App considers the default scheduling modes of all Boxes that the task falls into and then selects the dominant one, following the prioritization below:

Locked,

  1. Auto bottom-up

  2. Auto top-down

  3. Manual

  4. Locked

Default scheduling mode

The scheduling mode of newly created tasks depends on Box settings and the element the task is based on. 

Extra tasks - manual

By default, the mode of extra tasks is always set to "manual":

  • project

  • version

  • component

  • sprint

  • agile backlog

Other tasks

The default scheduling mode of tasks can be set in Box Configuration.

Limitations

Tasks based on Jira sprints

A sprint cannot have the scheduling mode set to "auto bottom-up".

You can add the following Jira task types to the scope:

  • Project

  • Version (Start date and Release date can be synchronized)

  • Agile Backlog

  • Sprint (start date and end date of the Sprint can be synchronized)

  • Component

Period mode vs strong dependencies

Strong dependencies do NOT affect auto bottom-up tasks (if the child tasks conflict with the change).

An auto bottom-up task can have children nested underneath it in the tree structure. In this situation task period is limited by the periods of its children (won't be affected by a strong dependency, if there is a conflict):

Possible changes to make a strong dependency affect the tasks:

  • changing the scheduling mode of the parent to top-down:

  • drawing the Strong dependency to a child under the auto bottom-up parent (moving the child will expand the parent, but not move it).
    Before:

    After: