Duration vs. effort in Microsoft Project for the Web


today I will show you connection between Duration and Effort (known as work).

I will create simple Project


As you can see, I have two Tasks. Task 1 has no resource assigned, Task 2 has John as resource! Now, I will put three days in Duration, and I will get:


As you can see: No Resources – no effort. For John, since he is working from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM (e.g. 8 hours per day) effort is 24 hours (3 days * 8 hours per day).

Now, let’s say that for Task 1, and Task 2 40 hours are needed. So I will put 40 hours in effort field for both Tasks, and I will get:


As you can see, Duration is unchanged, e.g. 3 days? Why? Because (as I explained in one of my previous posts), Tasks are Fixed Duration type! OK! Now I will change duration to 5 days, and I will get:


As you can see, nothing happens with Task 1, because no resource is assigned. And when now resource is assigned to the Task, there is no relation between Duration and Effort.

On the other hand Effort in Task 2 is 66,67 hours? How is that possible? Task had 40 hours Effort and 3 day Duration. When I changed Effort from 3 to 5 days, effort is calculated: 40 hours / 3 days =  13,33 hours per day. 5 days * 13,33 hour per day = 66,67 hours.

So, when I have Task with Resource assigned there are two things:

  • change Effort – Duration is not affected
  • Change Duration – Effort is affected

Be careful!



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 for the Web, PMI, Project for the Web, Project for Web, PRoject Management and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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