Duration, Work and Units relation with no Resources assigned


I have a question from my Blog Reader: “If you are not using resources in the scheduling, should you always just leave the Effort Driven box unchecked?”

I will answer this question right away: “”It doesn’t matter. Effort driven is always about :”More hands less work!”. Since you do not have resources you will get same results with effort and non effort Tasks.

But, I’m going to show you what will happens if you enter Work and Duration for The Task, and you do not assign Resources to them.

I will use MS PROJECT 2016, and I will create a simple Project with three resources:


As you can see, I put two extra Columns: Work and Type, and I have created three Tasks with different Types. All of them have 5 days Duration.

Now I am going to put 16 hours for Task 1, 32 hours for Task 2, and 8 hours for Task 3 in work field:


As you can see, Duration remains same for all three Tasks, no matter of their Type, and Work is spread equally through Duration.

Now I will put 3 days in Duration field for all three Tasks, and I will get:


As you can see Finish date is changed, but work remains same for all three Tasks, no matter of their Type, and it is spread equally through Duration.

To conclude, Magic formula: WORK = DURATION * UNITS does not work here because UNITS are zero. And they are zero because we do not have Resources assigned to Tasks.

So, when you have work and Duration in Tasks with no Resources assigned to them it doesn’t matter what kind of Task Type you have, nor if the Task is or is not effort driven.



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 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Duration, Work and Units relation with no Resources assigned

  1. Svein Setten says:

    Hi Nenad, lfirstly I must praise you for all the good work you are doing here it is most interesting to read your articles and I must truly say that some of the techniques you are sharing are adding great value to the MS pro.ject.
    Now I was wanting to ask you a question in regards to handling the relations between resources and tasks.
    Are there any other ways than fixed duration to a task in order to assign resources to a project without altering the duration?
    Reason I ask this question is that I want to track the manpower with hours put int the project but it is the duration of the task (given by my client) that is the driving factor.
    If i´m not very clear in my question I would be happy to clarify.

    Best regards
    Svein Setten

  2. Erik van Hurck says:

    Hi Nenad, nice post! I wrote my own post about work on tasks without a resource assignment in an Project Server environment. It’s called “About the unassigned resource”, have you read it?

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