Task Types and how they affect the Schedule–Part 1

 

Hi,

In next few posts I will explain task types and how do they reflect on Schedule in MS PROJECT 2010.

Basically, there art three Task Types:

  1. Fixed Units (Default)
  2. Fixed Work
  3. Fixed Units

What are those?

  1. Units or Assignment units. It reflects Resource availability on the Task. 100% means full time, 50% means half time etc.
  2. Work.  This is amount of time (hours, days, weeks…) that resource will work on the Task
  3. Duration. This is the time span from the start to the finish date of the Task.

Above this three Task type, all of them can be Effort or Non effort driven! Where is the difference? Suppose that you have two Tasks on your Project.

  • Task 1 = Reading the book. If one person is assigned on that Task and it needs 2 days (for example), and you assign another resource to that Task, it will still take 2 days for each person to read that book. You can not reduce the Task duration on that Task with adding more resources on it. This is Non effort driven Task.
  • Task 2 = Painting the wall. If one person is assigned on that Task and it needs 2 days(for example), and you assign another resource to that Task, it will take shorter duration for completing that task . You reduce the Task duration on that Task with adding more resources on it. This is Effort driven Task.

Now, you MUST REMEMBER THE MAGIC FORMULA

DURATION * UNITS = WORK

In MS PROJECT 2010 when you add new Task to the Project, and/or assign new Resource to it, the default type is: Non effort driven, fixed Units Task!

You can change this default settings for your Project:

image

and then:

image

I will leave everything “AS IS”!

Now I will describe what will happens if I change something in the Magic Formula:

TASK TYPE If you change: ASSIGNMENT UNITS If you change: WORK If you change: DURATION
FIXED UNITS Changed: DURATION
Unchanged: WORK
Changed: DURATION
Unchanged: UNITS
Changed: WORK
Unchanged: UNITS
FIXED WORK Changed: DURATION
Unchanged: WORK
Changed: DURATION
Unchanged: UNITS
Changed: DURATION
FIXED DURATION Changed: WORK
Unchanged:
DURATION
Changed: WORK
Unchanged:
DURATION
Changed: WORK

FIXED WORK is always EFFORT DRIVEN!

Where does Effort or Non effort driven task comes “in action”? When you assign or remove  additional resource to the Task:

TASK TYPE ADD OR REMOVE RESOURCES (UNITS)
FIXED UNITS – non effort driven Changed: WORK
Unchanged:
DURATION, and UNITS
FIXED UNITS – effort driven Changed: WORK and DURATION
Unchanged:
UNITS
FIXED WORK – effort driven Changed: DURATION
Unchanged:
WORK, and UNITS
FIXED DURATION – non effort driven Unchanged:
DURATION, WORK, and UNITS
FIXED DURATION – effort driven Changed: WORK
Unchanged:
DURATION, and UNITS

When Should a Task  HAVE Fixed Units? This is default type and protect your resource to work more than he or she should. If resource is assigned to the Task 50%, whatever you change this resource will work only 50% of his capacity on that Task!

When Should a Task HAVE Fixed Work? When you assign a resource to the Task, , the task’s duration is translated to the work. If you want (know) to remain those hours constant when you change duration or work for the Task, choose this Task type!

When Should a Task HAVE Fixed Duration? Very simple! If you want that work on the task should be conducted with fixed duration, you will choose this task type, and it will be no change on that duration when you change units or work on it.

From my next post on, I will show you those tasks types in the real examples!

 

Regards,

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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)!
This entry was posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Task Types and how they affect the Schedule–Part 1

  1. Vishnu says:

    Nenad, as our friends are saying – Your blogs are really informative and excellent.

    At the end of this blog you said you will task types with example, can you please direct me to examples by providing the link

  2. Joanne says:

    Hi Mr T

    Just a question. When I assigned a task to Fixed Duration, WITH EFFORT DRIVEN I see that Project has calculated some of the resources to work 50% or 33%. How does that work then? I had a 5 days work, with 4 resources. So after calculating, they still work for 5 days, still with four resources but of course less work. Thing is, I get two of these resources working 100% and one with 50% and the other with 33%! I cannot, for the life of me, work out WHY WOULD PROJECT calculate that when ALL RESOURCES are 100%.

    I do hope you can help! (YOU HAVE HELPED ME WITH PROJECT MOST EFFECTIVELY MATE!)
    Joanne xxx

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Please send me a mpp file to nenadtrajk@gmail.com, and tell me at which task do you have that problem!

  3. Ismael says:

    I think the admin of this site is truly working hard
    in support of his site, because here every information is
    quality based material.

  4. Nadeem says:

    Thanks for your help Nenad. I put both resources on the same calender and it fixed the issue.

    You really are providing a super service!…keep up the good work

  5. Nadeem says:

    Hi Nenad,

    I have added a task to my project which changes duration when i assign a particular named resource. When i assign other named resources to the same task the duration does not change and i get the desired response. Would be grateful if you can highlight the problem. Thanks,

  6. Mohamad Abedinzadeh says:

    Dear Sir,
    I got confused in this topic.
    according to Effort Driven definition, to have a “constant Work value”, there would be compensation between Duration and Unit when one of them chenges. which means(my idea) to keep Work value fixed, when Duration(Unit) changes, Unit(Duration) will change automaticly.
    now the question is:
    when I create a task which is Effort Driven, I also select the task type as fixed Duration.
    now when I change units, I will have changes in Work value(as it is fixed Duration) which has contradiction with the Effort Driven definition which says “Constnt Work value”
    I do appreciate if you clarify the issue.
    Regards,
    Mohamad

  7. Tauseef Abidi says:

    Dear Sir,
    I’m grateful for your quick reply. I’m in the process of putting activities and their Predecessor, duration in excel file, hope the link you have posted will be helpful me inserting the required info from excel into MSP.
    I’ll be in touch with you with a hope of your kind response.

    Regards.

    Tauseef Abidi

  8. Tauseef Abidi says:

    Hello Sir,
    Im very new to MSP, have an assignment to make Schedule of a construction Project in MSP 2010.
    I want to ask how to start. I have all the activities and durations, can I insert those activities in MSP from excel coz inputting all activities(about 1000) in MSP is a tuff job.
    Also please help me to know that without resource assigning can we prepare a schedule in MSP 2010.

    Regards

    Tauseef Abidi

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      Hello,

      here is the link for the post in which you can find how to import your tasks list from the excel: https://ntrajkovski.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/develop-a-scope-for-my-project-is-it-easy-or-notpart-1/

      You can prepare the schedule without assigned resource, as well. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

      Regards,

      Nenad

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