Two 4-hour Tasks Take Two Days Instead of One 8-hour Workday?

(tried to find this in the forums, could not)

I have multiple tasks, each a few hours long. If Task A starts at 8am and runs 4 hours the calculated duration is 8am - 12pm. Great. Now I add Task B, which is where I’m confused.

If Task B:

  • is set to be “blocked by” Task A as “finish to start” (meaning, Task B will begin when Task A finishes)
  • and Task B is set to be 4 hours duration
  • I would expect that the combined duration of Task A and Task B is 8 hours on a single day.

However, what Timeline presents is that Task A begins at 8am on Day One and, on the following day, Task B starts at 8am. My expectation would be:

  • Task A: 8am - 12pm
  • Task B: 12pm - 4pm

Is there a way to set work hours and the expectation that a task be started but not necessarily finished on the same day? I would expect the ability to set duration of work days and which days of the week are working days.

Thanks in advance for help and guidance.

I played with this a little and I think I see what’s going on.

A finish-to-start block means Task B can’t start before Task A finishes. It doesn’t pin Task B’s start to Task A’s finish.

Try this. Go into the Dates panel for Task A. Set start and four hour duration (or start and finish) to what you want. Click the lock icon.

Set Task B for four hours duration at any time after Task A finishes. All’s well and the connector in the timeline view is green.

Now set Task B to start before Task A finishes, or even before Task A starts. The connector turns red.

Click on Task B in the timeline and go into the Constraints panel. In the blocks, there’s a red triangle beside Task A and a Resolve link.

Click Resolve and choose move selected item. Task B moves so its start equals Task A’s finish.

If the lock isn’t set on Task A, Aeon will take you at your word you want to change when Task B starts. If Task A currently finishes later than that, it will move Task A appropriately.

Note that when you use the Resolve feature you can do so from either constrained event.

Constraints don’t lock dates to dates. Finish to start means the start of the selected task has to be equal or greater than the finish of the other task.

Hope that helps. If I’ve missed the target, let me know.

Yes Amontillado is correct above. If you use Dependencies such as “blocked by”, this only specifies orders of events, not the exact timings. Therefore it only resolves if your initially added date violates the dependency.

For more advanced scenarios, including those that specify an exact timing, you should use Constraints instead. You can read more about both of these here: Dependencies and Constraints - Aeon Timeline 3 Knowledge Base

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to set working days and duration of work days currently though.

Thank you. Yes, that is helpful. However, as Jess follows up and notes, the complicating issue is that Aeon Timeline isn’t managing these events within the constraints of a reality-based working environment. IE, it isn’t presently able to take into account the working ours in a day and days in a week in order to figure out, if one is being as efficient as possible, how long the combined and waterfall of events would take to complete as a whole.

From a project management point of view, the two critical elements involved in managing a project (and why you want to break down a project into tasks) are:

    • to figure out the proper order in which to complete tasks (based on dependencies) for maximum efficiency and
    • to calculate the sum effort in time and manpower comprehensive in all tasks under a given project

what currently makes Aeon Timeline a hard sell for me in project management (as a writer, I was hoping this would be a tool that could adequately serve both interests), is the inability for it to calculate these factors. for small projects I can make these calculations but, as you know, it gets very complicated when you start making changes within a list of tasks. without the application recalculating and having to do it manually you end up in a world of hurt.

Thank you, Jess. I had seen that article. As noted in my reply to Amontillado, the issue is more complicated than dependencies. It’s unfortunate, but maybe not surprising, that the app doesn’t (currently) calculate the duration within constraints of a work day or work schedule. I’m sure that’s on the list of features to add.