Task Calendar and Resources – how they fit together in MS PRIJECT 2016?

Hi,

I had a lot of question about the Topic I will write about today. Basically it is about relations between Resource (with no Calendar, or, to be more precise, which has Standard Calendar assigned), and specific Task with Specific Calendar working time.

I will explain this with MS PROJECT 2016 with Very simple Project, which has only one Task, and only one Resource.

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Task has 1 day Duration. Suppose, that for some reason work on Task can be done only from 08:30 to 13:30, and from 14:30 to 17:30 (let’s say for security reasons), and this will apply only for this Task.

First, I will create separate Calendar:

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and:

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OK! Now I will assign Task Calendar to the Task:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, duration for the Task is 1 day, but for the Project is 0,94 days (and the Project has only one Task).

As you can see on the right side of the screen Task will be worked on from 08:30 to 17:00.

How to explain this? first, if you choose File->Options->Schedule you will notice this:

image

In  Task Calendar work can start at 08:30, so it will start at that time. On the Task Calendar, work can end at 17:30, but because the Schedule (see screenshot above) says that end time is at 17:00, the work will end at that time. So, the Task will be worked on from 08:30 to 17:00 with on hour break  from 13:30 to 14:30 (according to the Task Calendar9, and that is 7,5 hours of total work. But, because on Schedule Option it says that it is 8 hours per day, duration for the Project is calculated as 7,5 / 8 = 0,94.

Now I will assign Resource – John to the Task. he has no specific calendar, so he is supposed to work from 08:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. When I assign him, I will get this (I will show you on the Task Usage View):

  • Monday, 10.07.2017:

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  • Tuesday, 11.07.2017:

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I will explain this result, step by step:

  1. Task Duration is 1 day, and this is 8 hours of work to be done on it (see 3 pictures above)
  2. John can work from 08:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00
  3. Task Calendar says that on Task work can be done from 08:30 to 13:30 and from 14:30 to 17:30
  4. According to that, John will start to work at 08:30 (because of Task Calendar) and he will work to 12:00 (because of his Calendar), and this is 3,5 hours. He will continue at 13:00 (because of his Calendar) and he will work to 13:30 (because of Task Calendar) and this is 0,5 hours. Then he will continue at 14:30 (because of Task Calendar), and he will work to 17:00 (because of his Calendar) and this is 2,5 hours. So he will work 3,5+0,5+2,5= 6,5 hours at Monday. At Tuesday John has to work remaining 1,5 hours and he will start to work at 08:30 (because of Task Calendar) and he will work to 10:00.
  5. Duration for the Project says that it is 1,19 days. It is confused. Why? Because you will think that the calculation should be 6,5 hours on Monday /8 hours per day (in Schedule options) + 1,5 hours on Monday /8 hours per day (in Schedule options) = 1. But MS PROJECT calculates it like: Monday = 1 day because it was worked on it the whole day (whenever it was possible to work!). On Tuesday it was worked 1,5 hours of 8 available, so it is 1,5/8 = 0,19. Do the Total duration is 1 (Monday) + 0,19 (Tuesday) = 1,19 days

To conclude, it can be confusing, but you should get use to it.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish fields in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

today I will explain two fields, not so often used in MS PROJECT 2016: Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish. First I will create one simple Project with three Tasks, connected like this:

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As you can see Scheduled Start is equal to Start field, and Scheduled Finish is equal to Finish field. and this is always true as long as Task is in auto scheduled mode. BUT! I wil schange, for example Task 2 from Auto to Manual scheduled mode:

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As you can see, nothing has changed. But, let’s say that I do not know, Start and Finish date for this Task, And I will put TBD in those fields:

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So, even I do not actually know when my task is about to begin  (maybe because I do not know who will work on it, when those Resources will be available), I still have Scheduled values based on the known data  8which is Duration in my Example).

Good to know that, and very useful fields.

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to show duration in different units for the same Task in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

today I’m going to show you ProjDurConv function which is very useful in MS PROJECT 2016.

Here is the Scenario. Suppose that I have a simple Project with one Task, and it’s Duration is 5 days:

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I want to see Duration in hours as well. So, in my example I should see 40 hours because my Project is set up like:

image

and:

image

and:

image

So 5 days are 5 * 8 = 40 hours.

To show this 40 hours I will use custom field with ProjDurConv function (follow this example step by step):

image

then:

image

then:

image

then:

image

So, MS Project will convert duration from Days  (which is in Duration field), to hours (mention in pjHours).

Now I will show this column in My Gantt Chart:

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Now you can see for one Task, Durations in two different Units of Measures.

I will now Define two resources, John and Mary:

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Now I will assign John and Mary to the Task (notice That john will be assigned with 50% Units):

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As you can see in Work column (which I put in the Gant Chart View), it is 60 Hours (5 days * 8 hours per day for Mary = 40 hours + 5 days * 4 hours per day for John = 20 hours in Total = 60 hours).

OK! Finally I want to see Duration in days but according to work (I want to see how many man days will I spend to this Task). In this case I will use third Custom filed called Man Days:

image

So, MS Project will convert Work from Hours  (which is in Work field), to Days (mention in pjDays).

Finally I will but this custom field on the Gantt Chart:

image

As you can see, in Man Days I’ve got 7,5 days (60 hours of total work / 8 hours per day shown in Hours per Day = 7,5 days).

As you can see ProjDurConv is powerful Function and I use it a lot.

Regards!

Posted in Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Multiple Costs types for Resource in a same Task

Hi,

I have very interesting question from on of my Blog readers:

“I have a problem with MS Project: I don’t know how to manage 2 type of cost for 1 person, I mean, I have 1 employee with 100USD cost per hour but I need to give him 200USD more each day of work for food. I can manage 100 USD/hour, but I don’t know how to manage 200USD/day in a new column or something?”

I will explain this problem in MS PROJECT 2016. First, as I always do, I will create a new Project with only one Task:

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and I will create one Resource, John:

image

As you can see, I can put $100 per hour for John, and it means that each and every hour he will spend on a Task, it will be multiplied with $100. But, I can not add another cost for same Resource, for example $200/day, and to apply both of them to the same Tasks.

To make this possible, you can write a Macro, but if you are not familiar with that you can have another Resource with, for example John-food with $200/day. But, then you can’t see all costs for John.

With the custom field you will have no help. Because Custom field is for Task, or for Resource. And, if you create Custom field for Resources (for example: Food Cost), you will not be able to have total cost for the Task, because you have to create Task custom field which have to multiply duration of the Tasks with all Resources custom fields for all resource assigned, and this is not possible.

Where is the solution? There is no easy one. you should do manual calculation for each resource for each Task and assign it to the Fixed Cost. For example, if you know that Task will have 3 days duration, and John and Mary will work on it, and you wish to give them $200 /day, than in a Fixed Cost field you should put: $200 * 3 days * 2 (John + Mary) = $1200:

image

And, yes, this is not a very good solution, because you should track if Duration is changed (for example, from 3 to 5 days), and/or if you add or remove additional resource to the Task.

Final solution is to Calculate cost for food for resource per hour. For example it can be $25 /hour instead $200 per day. But, in that case, for example, John+s food cost is $200 if he will work 8 hours, but if he will work 10 hours it will be $250.

I know this wasn’t so much helpful, but it has to be clarified.

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New way of choosing Predecessors and Successors in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

If you work with the latest version of MS PROJECT 2016, and you have update it regular you will notice one great improvement in Predecessor field.

Let me show you that. First I will create brand new Project with two Phases:

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Before improvement, in the Predecessors field we we able to put the Task number. If you have a lot of Tasks you will not see them all in one screen, and that is what usually is the fact. And, as you can see in my example above, there are times when you have more than one Task in your Project with the same name. So, it was easy to put wrong Predecessor for the Task, which made a lot of trouble. Now, there is a new way to put Predecessor.

 image

Now, you can actually choose which Task (or Tasks) are predecessors of the current Task. So, Task for which you are going to choose Predecessors is bold, and all to all other Task you can put checkmark to choose them. So it is now much harder to make a mistake. 

And what about Successors? Same thing! Let’s suppose that I have Project like this:

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Now I will add the Predecessors Column and you will see that I can choose it in the same way like I can choose Predecessors:

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Do you see this little minus sign beside each Summary Task (in my case Phase 1 and Phase 2)? If you click on this sign you can hide all subtasks for this Summary Task (of course, if you don’t need them for predecessors or successor), and you will see only Tasks which you want to see, below Summary Tasks that you didn’t hide:

image

To conclude, great, GREAT improvement.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Multiple assignments on the same Task in MS PROJECT 2016

 

Hi,

my Blog Reader has a very interesting question:

“Hi Nenad

I have a problem, and I hope you can help me, I’m a follower of your blog. I have some task on project and resources, but I want the resources to be placed in task in phases I mean for example:

I have the task painting, but I want George to paint in 5 phases, from day 1 to day 4 and stop for 3 days, and I want Mary to paint in those 3 days, then she stops and George starts again, but sometimes I want Mary and George paint at the same time. That is possible?.

Thank you.

Regards.”

OK. Let’s say that task Painting has 10 days Duration. I want to distribute Resources to this Task like this:

  • From day 1 to day 4 – George will paint
  • From day 5 to day 7 – Mary will paint
  • At day 8 – George will paint
  • From day 9 to day 10 – George and Mary will paint

I will show you how to do it with MS PROJECT 2016.

First I will create new Project with task Painting, 10 days Duration:

image

Next I will create two Resources for my Project: George and Mary:

image

Now I will assign them as follows:

  • From day 1 to day 4 – George will paint (22.05-25.05)
  • From day 5 to day 7 – Mary will paint (26.05-30.05)
  • At day 8 – George will paint (31.05-02.06, because he will paint the rest with Mary, see below)
  • From day 9 to day 10 – George and Mary will paint (for Mary 01.06-02.06)

image

After I click on OK button I will get:

image

So, I can not achieve what I want in this, easiest way. What can I do? Well, I can get it on the hard way.

First I will assign George and Mary to whole Task:

image

Now I will switch to the Task Usage View:

image

Finally, I will Manually adjust Resources per each and every day, as I want:

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Now I have what I want. But this is harder way because I had to do all adjustment manually, and I will prefer that I can do it like shown in my first example. But, this is not possible (at the moment, we will see what will Microsoft do in the future).

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Resource with assignment 0%–what is it?

Hi,

You can find a lot of examples when you can see that it is possible to assign Resource to Tasks with 0% Units. In this post I will show you how can you do it, and what would happen if you do it. Of course, I will use MS PROJECT 2016!

First I will create very simple Project with 2 Tasks:

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and two Resources – John and Mary:

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As you can see, for this example, John has 0% Max Units by default, and Mary has 100%.

Now I will assign John To Task 1:

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and I will get (I will show Task Usage View):

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As you can see, John is over allocated, because by default (since I did not enter Units in the Units field shown in a picture above) Units are 100%. So, in Resource sheet his default Max. Units field is 0%, but he is allocated (or assigned) to Task 1 with 100%, and now he is Over allocated, and he is suppose to work 8 hours per day, e.g. 40 hours for the Whole Task.

Now I will assign Mary to the Task 2 with 0%:

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and I will get (I will show Task Usage View):

image

As you can see, Mary will work zero hours (because she is assigned with zero %), and Task duration is now 0 days, so it is Milestone now.

OK! Now you know combinations with 0% units assigned. But, the most important question is WHY? Why will someone assign Resource to the Task with 0% Units, or why will someone have Resource in Resource sheet with default Max units = 0%?

If you have Resource with 0% Max units in Resource sheet it means that you have Resource which is unavailable all the time for all Project activities, and every assignment with Units > 0% will result in over allocation. This can be use in rare situation when you know that you, actually do not have Resource available, but in urgent case, where you have no other option you will use it so these Resource will work over time, e.g. it will be overrated.

On the other hand, if you assign Resource to the Task, and you put 0% in Units, it means that this Resource will do no work on the Task, e.g. it will not spend a single second on it. So, the right question will be: “Why should someone assign this Resource to the Tasks?”. The answer is (from my point of view): There is no reason for that, except if you have some administrative procedure, let’s say that you want to assign Mary, as a Project Manager responsible for this Task, but she will actually do nothing on it.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment