The Start field shows the date when an assigned resource is scheduled to begin working on a task. You can have Microsoft Office Project calculate the start date for the assignment, or you can enter it yourself.
There are several categories of Start fields.
Data Type Date (date field: A type of field whose content is a date. Examples include the Baseline Start and Early Finish fields.)
Start (resource field)
Start (assignment field)
Entry Type Calculated or entered (calculated or entered field: A field in which the value is determined by Project based on information in other fields. Information that you enter in the field yourself overrides calculated values.)
How Calculated Project calculates the assignment start date based on the resource calendar (resource calendar: A calendar that specifies working and nonworking time for an individual resource. A resource calendar differs from a base calendar, which specifies working and nonworking time for more than one resource.) and task dependencies (task dependencies: A relationship between two linked tasks; linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies: Finish-to-start [FS], Start-to-start [SS], Finish-to-finish [FF], and Start-to-finish [SF].). It also takes into consideration the task start date and any assignment delay as follows:
Start (assignment) = Start (task) + Delay (assignment)
If you enter a start date for the assignment that is later than the start date for the task, Project enters the difference as assignment delay.
Best Uses Add the Start field to the Task Usage or Resource Usage view when you want to review, filter, or edit scheduled start dates for assignments.
Example You need to review all the start dates for the seven people assigned to the "Write proposal" task. In the Task Usage view, you add the Start field. Under the "Write proposal" task, you can see the start dates for each resource assigned to the task.
Remarks When you enter percent complete or actual work, Project might reschedule remaining work around the status date, and this can change scheduled start dates of successor tasks and associated assignments. If you prefer, you can leave these tracking fields in the project as originally scheduled, even if completed work is shown in the future or remaining work is shown in the past. On the Tools menu, click Options. On the Calculation tab, clear the Move end of completed parts after status date back to status date and Move start of remaining parts before status date forward to status date check boxes.
To set the status date to a date other than today's date, click Project Information on the Project menu, and then enter the date in the Status date box.