Automated dates in tasks working back from a deadline!

Hi, we are an events company trying to plan each event on a separate board.

We are trying to use Monday to work backwards from a ‘deadline date’ (the event date) and for it to automatically set dates for the tasks that need to be done for the event.

For example, the event (‘deadline date’) is on 1st March.

  • 7 days before we require PowerPoint slides and content to be shared with us
  • 14 days before we need to confirm who is presenting
  • 28 days before we need to receive a signed final quote

Is there a way for Monday to automatically set dates backwards based on a final deadline date? I know we can get dates to move forward but we need it to go back. Equally, event dates do change and we’d need the tasks associated with the ‘deadline date’ to also change accordingly.

In my opinion this is a fundamental requirement of a Project Management tool in order to scope out a project based on a delivery date.

Hopefully someone can help!

Thanks,

Ash

hi @ashley.smith

Are those dates all in separate columns in the row? The recipe for pushing a date can also push “backwards” by using a minus sign.

Off course that 2nd (or 3rd etc) date column need to have an initial value. Does that help?

Hi @basdebruin,

Appreciate the reply. I’m not quite understanding it fully but let me try and explain myself a little better.

So, the date examples I used above would be separate items / rows so each one would have one date only. The dates below would (in my ideal world) auto-populate based on the Event Date (1st March).

Receive a signed final quote - 1st February
Confirm who is presenting - 15th February
PowerPoint slides and content - 22nd February
Live Event - 1st March

Does that make sense? Thanks for your help

@ashley.smith Sure, that makes sense. There is now way (without going to develop something in Integromat / Zapier or custom apps) you can reference a data from another column. It looks like you are looking for a better version of the dependency column. We are working on an app that does a better job (like S-to-S, F-to-S, F-F) etc. but nothing at the moment I’m afraid.

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Yes S>S; F>S & F>F dependencies are certainly something that the Monday Gantt module is missing! Any serious project planner has them. I’d certainly be interested in an app that would do that.

Hey @ashley.smith my company is also an events company and we had exactly the same use case as you. We found a solution using a plugin called General Caster. Let me know if you’d like some help setting it up… feel free to email me at mark@dineable.com

I’ve been begging for backward dependency options from the start. It’s pretty essential/basic for project management automation. Forward dependency works great but doesn’t help when you’re planning from a deadline backwards.

I have an entire schedule (about 15 items) that are all dependent on a launch date. What I did was create a general timeline board, map out the recurring events and the number of days from the start date they begin and end, and used that to calculate all future dates using formulas. It’s a little bit of work in setting up (didn’t take me very long), but it’s free and works like a charm! Happy to share if you’d like!

Not sure if I’m misunderstanding your need, but from what it sounds like, all you need is a dependency column and to make sure your “Live Event” has a row (pulse) of it’s own that’s the last in the series of deadlines, and then an Automation to “adjust Date of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its Dependent On item” (see screen shot #3). Then you just make your items all dependent on the Live Event pulse and set your initial date ranges (Mar 1 for the Live Event, Feb 1 for Receive A Signed Final Quote, etc.). Once you have everything set, create a template from this set up for use later.

We use this all the time for our proposal creation protocol. I simply create a new board each time we have a new proposal. Then, when I change the final deadline (in your case Live Event), all the other dates changes in sync based on how far apart they were originally set from Live Event (so Received A Signed Final Quote was set at 1 month prior, etc.). See my two screen shots - the first is the set up with all dates assigned. The 2nd screen shot is of how it automatically adjusts the dates when all I changed was the Live Event deadline from Mar 1 to Mar 8 (see red circled date).

Hope that helps!

Andrea



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This was a super common request within our company so we came up with a workaround. I will caution that this workaround involves the subitem/task date not actually being a “date” column type, so if you will use this to work with other automations or My Work board based on the “Date”, it won’t work the same. It basically operates solely as a visual guide.
We first set up our item for whatever the “event” is; with each subitem as a task that needs to happen (in your case, the powerpoint slides, or preparing the presentation). In our subitems, we have a Formula, Date, and Numbers column. We fill out our parent item’s Date column (actual date column type) with the final end event date, then we mass-click and fill out each subitem’s Date column with that end event date. (you don’t actually need the Date column in the parent item because it won’t automatically interact with the subitem dates, we just have it for visual and quick convenience).
We have an established amount of days it takes to complete a task, so on each subitem/task, we fill out the subitem Numbers column with that amount of days (for you, 7, 14, 28).
Your subitem formula column should be set with “Subtract Days ({Final End date}; {Numbers})”. This is why you need your final end date in your subitems, the formula won’t read up to the parent item. By setting this formula, your formula column actually becomes the date for each subitem and when it needs to get done (this date reads as text, not a Date column type as I cautioned above). Because the formula is “subtract days”, set a positive number to work backwards and a negative number to work forwards with dates.
We like to premake a “default” parent item with all of the subitems tasks and their Numbers already filled out so that we can just duplicate the default parent item and update the information for that deadline without having to fill out the basics every time.

Sorry this was lengthy, but I hope this helps in some way!