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Understanding How Microsoft Project Thinks
 

Understanding How Microsoft Project Thinks

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An overview of Task Type and the Scheduling Formula within Microsoft Project

An overview of Task Type and the Scheduling Formula within Microsoft Project

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    Understanding How Microsoft Project Thinks Understanding How Microsoft Project Thinks Presentation Transcript

    • Understanding How Microsoft Project ® Thinks
      • There are a number of factors that dictate how Microsoft Project “thinks”.
      • The two main factors are:
      • The Scheduling Formula
      • The Task Type
      • The Scheduling Formula leverages three variables:
      • Units
      • Work
      • Duration
      • Units - The percentage of time required by a resource or resources to complete the task
      • Duration - The number of working days required to complete the task
      • Work - The effort required to complete the task
      • Many people say that the scheduling formula is:
      • Units x Duration = Work
      • When you initially assign a Resource to a Task, this is the formula that is leveraged.
      • See Example 1
    • Example 1 Task 1 is 5 days in Duration
    • Assign a Resource
    • Example 1 Work changes to 40 hours Units x Duration = Work 100% x (5*8) = 40 Or 100% x 40 = 40 hours
      • But using simple math, we can re-write our equation to solve for a different variable
      • Our original formula solves for Work:
      • Units x Duration = Work
      • But we could re-write the formula to solve for Units:
      • Work / Duration = Units
      • Or we could re-write the formula to solve for Duration:
      • Work / Units = Duration
      • Units x Duration = Work
      • Work / Duration = Units
      • Work / Units = Duration
      So we have shown that The Scheduling Formula can actually be written three different ways! Now let’s prove that Microsoft Project also thinks this way.
      • In order to demonstrate this, we must introduce The Task Type or the Type field
      • By default, Type is set to Fixed Units
      • There are actually three different Task Type variables:
      • Fixed Duration
      • Fixed Units
      • Fixed Work
    • Using our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Duration
      • 80 / 100% = 80
      • Or
      • 80 / 100% = (80 / 8)
      • Or
      • 80 / 100% = 10 days
      We will leave Type set to Fixed Units and change Work to 80 hrs Work / Units = Duration
    • The Task Type in combination with the variable Entered dictates which variable Microsoft Project solves for Fixed Units Type Fixed Calculated Entered Units Duration Work
    • Returning to our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Work
      • 100% * 10 days = 80
      • Or
      • 100% * 10 days = (10 * 8)
      • Or
      • 100% * 10 days = 80 hours Work
      Leave Type set to Fixed Units and enter 10 days Duration Units x Duration = Work
    • Fixed Units Type Fixed Entered Calculated Units Duration Work
    • Returning to our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Units
      • 20 / 5 days = 50%
      • Or
      • 20 / 5 days = 20 / (8 * 5)
      • Or
      • 20 / 5 days = 20 / 40
      • Or
      • 20 / 5 days = 0.5
      Change Type to Fixed Duration and enter 20 hours Work Work / Duration = Units
    • Fixed Duration Type Calculated Fixed Entered Units Duration Work
      • To Review:
      • There are three different Task Types:
        • Fixed Units
        • Fixed Work
        • Fixed Duration
      • There are three different variables of the Scheduling Formula:
        • Units
        • Work
        • Duration
      • The moral of this story:
      • Depending upon how the Task Type is set in combination with which Scheduling Formula variable is altered dictates which variable Microsoft Project solves for
      • The Task Type and Scheduling Formula Cheat Sheet will help you control how Microsoft Project “thinks”
    •  
      • Purchase
      • “ The Microsoft Project ®
      • Cheat Sheet”
      • Mouse Pad
      Here