The period 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 period mode depends on Box Configuration settings. To learn more about the scheduling rules, go to Manual and auto-scheduling.

There are four different modes explained further below:

  • Auto bottom-up
  • Auto top-down
  • Lock
  • Manual

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


  • You can enable the Task period field in App configuration - go to App configuration (wrench icon at top right)  > BigPicture configuration > General > Tasks. 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 period mode of a Box in the Box configuration.

Setting the task period mode

Inline editing

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

Keep in mind, change of a task period 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 Gantt, there are multiple ways of changing the period mode. 

You can change the period mode of a 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 period modes


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

They are unaffected by:

  • dependencies
  • period 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 

Locked mode

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

They are unaffected by:

  • manual changes of start/end 
  • dependencies
  • period 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 period mode first.

Auto top-down mode 

 A parent task in an "auto top-down" mode repositions its children to fit within its period:

  • "auto top-down" and "auto bottom-up" children are moved
  • "locked" and "manual" children remain unaffected

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 - unaffected (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:

Period 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?





Auto top-down

Yes, by either

  • parents
  • dependencies

Auto bottom-up

Yes, by either

  • parents
  • children
  • dependencies

Period mode of new tasks

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

When you add a new task directly to the task source (for example, to a Jira project), the default period mode is selected automatically. For this, the App considers the default period modes of all Boxes that the task falls into and then selects the dominant one, following the prioritization below:

  1. Locked,
  2. Manual,
  3. Top-down,
  4. Bottom-up.

Default period mode

Period 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 period mode of tasks can be set in Box Configuration.


A sprint cannot have Period Mode set to 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