Scheduling problems in MS PROJECT 2010

One of the biggest problems in MS Project is to understand how to manage the time. A friend of mine told me that he is not using MS PROJECT because each time he would change the calendar or working time, the whole Project “crashed”. Well I will try to explain how to avoid this kind of problems.

In MS Project 2010 you can choose between two types of scheduling: Manually or Automatic schedule. If you choose Manually you will have the whole control over the scheduling and you will not get the whole power of MS Project 2010. For my examples I’ve chosen Automatic mode and it is shown on picture below:

Next we will set up daily, weekly and monthly working time:

And then:

We have told to MS Project that regular working time will be Monday – Friday from 08:00 AM until 16:00 PM, 8 hours without lunch break.
Now we will set up our standard calendar:

  1. Select Project TAB
  2. Click on Change Working Time
  3. On The For Calendar choose: Standard (Project) Calendar
  4. Click on Work Weeks
  5. Select Default
  6. Click on Details
  7. Select days: Monday – Friday
  8. Choose: Set day(s) to these specific work times
  9. Type 08:00 in From field and 16:00 in To field
  10. On the same form click OK button
  11. On the Change working time click OK button

Now you can enter two tasks: Task 1 with 1 day duration, and Task 2 with 2 day duration (type 1d and 2d respectively):



I have put the duration for Task 1 of 1 day and for Task 2 of 2 days. You can see that the start dates for both tasks are the same, but the Task 1 has end date 22.03.11. and Task 2 has end date 24.3.11. How is it possible? I said in duration field that I want for Task 1 duration of 1 day and for Task 2 duration of 2 day but it seems that those tasks will take much longer. WHY?
Well it is easy to explain. When I put (in duration field) that I want for Task 1 to have 1 day duration I said: “I want my task to last 8 working hours”. WHY? Well I told that in scheduling options:

And because I have calendar with 4 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 12:00 (4 hours), so it will be 2 days X 4 hours = 8 hours

When I said (in duration field) that I want for Task 2 to have 1 day duration I said: “I want my task to last 16 (2 days X 8 hours) working hours”. And because I have calendar with 4 working hours per day it will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 24.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 12:00 (4 hours), so it will be 4 days X 4 hours = 16 hours

Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till Friday from 08:00 – 15:00 (7 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:

Because I have calendar with 7 working hours per day, Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 21.2.11, and from 8:00 till 09:00 (1 hour) at 22.3.11 so it will be 7+1 = 8 hours

Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 23.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 21.03.11 and 22.03.11 and from 08:00 till 10:00 (2 hours) at 23.3.11, so it will be (7+7+2 = 16 hours)

Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till Friday from 08:00 – 17:00 (9 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:

Because I have calendar with 9 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 21.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 16:00 (8 hours)

Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 17:00 (9 hours) at 21.03.11 and 22.03.11 and from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 23.3.11, so it will be (9+7 = 16 hours). You can see that the calendar working time is respected (9 hours not 8).

OK, now I will change working hours in the scheduling options.

We have told to MS Project that regular working time will be Monday – Friday from 08:00 AM until 17:00 PM, 9 hours without lunch break.

Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till
Friday from 08:00 – 12:00 (7 working hours)
. Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:


Because I have calendar with 4 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 23.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 12:00 (4 hours) at 21.2.11 and 22.1.11, and from 8:00 till 09:00 (1 hour) at 23.3.11 so it will be 4+4+1 = 9 hours

Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 25.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 12:00 (4 hours) at 21.03.11, 22.03.11, 23.03.11 and 24.03.11 and from 08:00 till 10:00 (2 hours) at 25.3.11, so it will be (4+4+4+4+2 = 18 hours)

Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till
Friday from 08:00 – 15:00 (7 working hours)
. Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:

Because I have calendar with 7 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 21.2.11, and from 8:00 till 10:00 (2 hours) at 22.3.11 so it will be 7+2 = 9 hours
Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 23.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 21.03.11 and 22.03.11 and from 08:00 till 12:00 (4 hours) at 23.3.11, so it will be (7+7+4 = 18 hours)

Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till Friday from 08:00 – 17:00 (9 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:


Because I have calendar with 9 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 21.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 17:00 (9 hours)
Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till
17:00 (9 hours)
at 21.03.11 and 22.03.11, so it will be (9+9 = 18 hours).

Because calendar working time matches schedule options, those times are exactly the same.

Next time I will work with start and end dates.

See you

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About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
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57 Responses to Scheduling problems in MS PROJECT 2010

  1. ikolasm says:

    Hi mr. Trajkovski,
    Thank you for this wonderful and helpful article!

    I’m facing some problems , with formulating a plan as you can see in to below picture.
    http://bit.ly/1U5Cf5p

    I am trying to enter the working times but when i gone to put the
    restaurant 7pm – 12pm i cant change it. i can change it to 11:59pm but not to 12pm.

    Please let me know What am making wrong?

    I’ve already send you an email at nenadtrajk@gmail.com
    you will find attached the mpp file.

    Kindly regards!
    Nikolaos M.

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Instead of 12:00 pm, try 00:00. This is the same

      • ikolasm says:

        I’ve already do this but nothing happen. when i insert the 7pm automatically the next cell are display 8pm. The same happen when i try to put time range 7pm – 2am.

        Any thoughts?

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        Well, send me your mpp file and tell me what do you want to do, and I will help you

  2. hiba says:

    Hi Nenad,

    I tried to change the schedule to be 7 hours, from 9: am – 12:00 pm & from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. It works fine if the tasks are scheduled automatically, but if they are scheduled manually, I get results such as (.86) when entering dates (starting: 8/28/15, end: 8/28/15). I noticed that resources are assigned 6h..what is going on? I could not fix this.

    Thank you.
    Hiba

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      To help you I need additional information. If you can send me an explanation with mpp file to nenadtrajk@gmail.com

      • hiba says:

        Thank you,
        Another blogger fixed it for me. It was the start date of the project having the wrong starting hour.

  3. MohMohsen says:

    Hello Mr: Nenad
    I hope this finds you well. I am new to MS projects 2013 and I do face a problem with working hours. I created a new calender that meets our work in which Friday is a non-working day, working hours from 9AM to 5PM including 1 hour lunch break.

    Now, on the gantt-chart Saturday and Sunday remains non-working days!
    and if I made these changes to the standard calender, and starts a new project, changes reverts back to its default values!

    Thanks a lot for your time and patience.
    Mohamed Mohsen

  4. aouak mokh says:

    I M involved in a shutdown planning

    Resources are identified in two sets Day group and Night group.

    HOW TO created two separate resource calenders and assigned to all the respective resources as per their availability . Day and Night.

    The main issue is……How to plan an activity that requires different set of resources at different shift requirements.

    Kindly advise.

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Let me make this piucture clear. For example, you have a Task with 5 days duration, and John who should work at Day, and Paul who should work at Night, and you want both of them to work on the same Task? Is this correct?

  5. sanjya says:

    Hi

    Thank you for the article. Please provide the solution for the below problem

    In MS project , we have created new calender , which has only Friday as holiday. The same calendar is applied to the project schedule .But the duration is considering the non working days and due this correct duration is not giving.

    Please provide the solution, as early possible.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sanjya Vyda

  6. Lee says:

    Hi i am just getting into using project to plan my work schedules and for the mos part i am finding it very useful. the problem i seem to encounter is that when changing the majority of tasks between manual and auto i get a fluctation in dates that even with editing the properties still avoids giving me the date i need. i sense i am inputting something slightly wrong but cant figure out what as its an intermittent problem .

    Regards

  7. Jimmy P John says:

    Very Helpful

    Thanks,
    Jimmy

  8. Sara says:

    Hello Nenad,

    I am using a 24 hour calendar for resources and the project. (it is a factory and the guys’ shift are all different and switching from day to night at different times) When a resource is scheduled for different tasks at the same time, it is not showing as over allocated. Could you please tell me why? Also, I have not found very much information about using the 24 hour calendar. Any help is very appreciated!

    Thank yoiu,
    Sara

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      I’ll write a Post about this. But, to answer you question why someone is not over allocated, please send me an mp file to nenadtrajk@gmail.com

  9. Faris says:

    What if you work 9 hrs per day mon to thurs and 8 hrs per day friday for week 1, and for week 2 you work 9 hrs per day mon to thursday, no work on fri. So week 1 is 44 hrs and week 2 is 36 hrs. I can specify all this in the working calendar, but in the scheduling options, you can only choose a certain no of hrs per day, and a certain no of hrs per week, and this would differ from the working calendar, which would lead to errors. What’s you advice on such a situation?

  10. Jetaban says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for this wonderful article, I’m facing some problem with a schedule, I have 2 activities each starting with same date and have a start to start relation. Also their duration are also as can be seen in the pic.

    But the main WBS is showing total duration of 185.55 days whereas I’ve put 224 days as duration for both activities having SS relationship. Below are my calendar settings:

  11. James says:

    I liked your article and thought you may have an answer to a question I have.
    In Project 2010 with tasks set to Auto schedule if you schedule the start date for a task that has a resource assigned to start on a Non-working day, the planning wizzard prompts you to either allow it to move it to the next working day or to change the day to working. The issue is that it changes the base calendar day to working and not the resource calendar. Do you know why or any setting that I need to alter so it changes the Resource calendar and not the Base Calendar.

    You can over come this by changing it to manual after you have manually changed the resource calendar day to working, but this takes time.

    Any suggestions greatfully appreciated.

    JR

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      I will write a Blog post about it. For now the Best way is to Create brand new Resource Calendar and assign it to your Resources for specific work days!

  12. Sheila says:

    My issue is that while I am using MS Project 2010, I will save a file and open it back and there are duplications of some (not all) tasks. I thought it may be an issue with using 2010 and others using 2003 but it appears the others are using 2010 as well.
    Needless to say this is very aggrevating. PLEASE HELP!

  13. TK says:

    Found an answer in the mean time .. We need to open resources sheet and update the calendar there to the desired one .

  14. TK says:

    Very useful info . I initially defined project specific calendar including official holidays based on std calendar . But forgot to select it even before i start planning tasks .I had defined my tasks to get auto scheduled -in the mid found that holidays are taken into schedules – I found this and selected the project calendar and clicked ok. But I don’t see the tasks getting automatically updated..can you help to resolve this issue.

  15. V says:

    Nenad,
    I am creating a schedule starting from May 15th, 2013 to Oct 31, 2013, duration of 170 days. I already created my calendar having 7 working days , 10 hours per day. However, when I enter my start and finish dates, it gives me 178 days of duration. Can you please help me with this ! thanks

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      It depends of many Factors. Resources, working and non working day etc. If you want me to help, send me mpp file at nenadtrajk@gmail.com

  16. zain says:

    Very informative article. Here, we don’t use MS Project server. So is there another way to define fiscal periods? Like many organizations, the start and end dates of our fiscal period don’t necessarily match the standard Gregorian Calendar.

  17. Vivek says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for this article. solved my problem. Very informative and explained in detail….

    thanks..!
    Vivek

  18. Saravanan AN says:

    I’m impressed with this page. Very useful for beginners.

  19. Alex says:

    Thanks indeed. It’s really helpful. Bright!!!

  20. hariharavelan says:

    Nenad Trajkovski
    Hai, do you have any MS project case studies or journal paper?if so mail me @ msgtoharry@gmail.com

  21. Bil Muh says:

    Hello Mr. Nenad,
    Thank you very much for the article.
    One thing confused my for a while. At “Now we will set up our standard calendar:” list, you have written that “9. Type 08:00 in From field and 16:00 in To field”. But on the screenshoot, it is written as “08:00 – 12:00”. Because of this, I could not understand your explanations at first. Because I have set the working hours as written “Item 9” 08:00-16:00, not 08:00-12:00.
    Is this a typing mistake or intentionally written?
    Thank you

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Hellp Bil,

      The mistake is in the sentence. It should be: Type 08:00 in From and 12:00 in To field!
      Thank you for finding my mistake and best Regards!

      Nenad

      • Bil Muh says:

        Hello Nenad,
        This article is very useful to understand the Calender and Scheduling.

        One another type mistake could be at :
        “Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till
        Friday from 08:00 – 12:00 (7 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:”

        –> “Friday from 08:00 – 12:00 (4 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:”

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        It should be from 08:00 to 15:00. I owe you a dinner!

      • Alley says:

        Hi Nenad,

        I’m trying to understand the below that you also explained earlier. It is based on an 8 hour day set in the scheduling options. Could you please review because I think their might be some errors. In particular the calculation in the last paragraph does not make sense. Originally you mentioned that task 2 will finish on the 22.3.11 but then after that said it would finish on the 23.3.11?

        “Now, suppose that in my calendar I choose that working time will be from Monday till Friday from 08:00 – 17:00 (9 working hours). Duration of Task 1 and Task 2 will be:

        Screenshot here

        Because I have calendar with 9 working hours per day Task 1 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 21.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 16:00 (8 hours)

        Task 2 will start at 21.3.11 and it will end at 22.3.11. Working time will be from 08:00 till 17:00 (9 hours) at 21.03.11 and 22.03.11 and from 08:00 till 15:00 (7 hours) at 23.3.11, so it will be (9+7 = 16 hours). You can see that the calendar working time is respected (9 hours not 8).”

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        Thanks,
        that was an error, thank you

  22. Jayme says:

    Nenad,
    I am looking to change the duration for working days to calendar days. Is there a way to do this. They will all still be working 8 to 5 monday through friday. Thanks so much.

    JAyme

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      You must set up proper working days in calendar days, and then put duration in days, and they will match!

  23. MOH says:

    THANK you Very much for the article. It was the very helpful.
    I was struggling to change the non working day, now i have done it .

    • Harikrishna says:

      Hello Mr.Nenad,

      Please let me know how to make a different working hours per resource in calender.
      Example:
      I have few resources working at one lacation where working hrs is : 6hrs per day
      And few resources working in another location where working hrs is 8.5 hrs per day.

      Kindly help.

      Many thanks in advacne
      Hari

  24. Flávio says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for the article. Would you happen to know if there’s any way to set up (different) working hours on an individual base (i.e. per resource) on MS Project 2010? Thanks.

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Flavio,

      the answer is YES! If you want to make a different working hours per resource, you have to set up the Resource Calnedar(s). If you need more information, give me a mail.

      Regards!

      • mike says:

        Hey Nenad,

        It seems from your advice above that you are quite knowledgable with MS Project and I would be very grateful if you could answer my question for me and help solve my query.

        I recently bought 2010 version having in the past used previous which I know also had their problems. One thing which was easier was setting the non working days… I have it worked out but there could be a software fault (or maybe user fault… I am hoping you can tell me which it is, and how to overcome it)…

        I have incorporate the dates as non-working days for a construction project, so that they as the help tells me to, but for some reason only some of them appear after a certain date on my program.. (approximately half way through the program). The earlier non working days do not show up.

        Do you know why this is and do you know how I can fix the problem?

        Thanks

        Mike

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        Hi Mike,

        Can you send me yout mpp file, or give me some more information. My mail is nenadtrajk@gmail.com.

        I would like to help you!

        Regards,

        Nenad

      • Harikrishna says:

        Hello Mr.Nenad,

        Please let me know how to make a different working hours per resource in calender.
        Example:
        I have few resources working at one lacation where working hrs is : 6hrs per day
        And few resources working in another location where working hrs is 8.5 hrs per day.

        Kindly help.

        Many thanks in advacne
        Hari

      • Nenad Trajkovski says:

        Hello Hari,

        there is a simple solution for your problem. Just apply diferent Calendars to those two group of resources, and that fill work fine. If you need any further assistance, do not hesitate to ask me.

        Regards,

        Nenad

  25. Pingback: The “Wedding” Project! How to set up Calendars in MS PROJECT 2010, and why?–PART 1 | Nenad Trajkovski

  26. Pingback: Setting up MS PROJECT 2010 for my Project and Creating the Project Plan | Nenad Trajkovski

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