hi, I have certainly seen issue one happening before. ran Windows update on NP server machine and restared, problem went away so didn't dig deeper into the problem. i have also backed up the scheduler.xml and allow it to be recreated automatically to fix another problem where jobs were not running at all.
on item 2 I have a number of tasks that have dependencies with each other so I set them up as individual tasks and sequence them within the same job (use the uptown arrows) so the order in which they execute ensure the dependencies are fulfilled.
hope this helps
1. How many scheduled reports are setup to run on that day? If you have multiple reports that start running from 6 am-8:15 am and some of these take a while to complete then the next scheduled job will be delayed before it can begin and so on. This is due to single threading in NP16. Only one scheduled job at a time can complete before the next one begins.
2. I agree with David and use this process as well. It is important to try and time your schedule out for reports as you suggested ( When A completes, B kicks off)
3. There are a number of factors as to why a report can run long. For one nsq you may have 10 scheduled tasks with independent filters, emailed users, etc for each one. So these jobs take longer. I typically run these reports late at night or early in the morning when other smaller jobs are not run. If you have an environment with multiple NPrinting servers then positioning/timing your reports on different servers is much easier to manage. This is one area where NP 17 should help since it is multi-threaded environment.