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# 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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### Transcript

• 1. Understanding How Microsoft Project ® Thinks
• 2.
• There are a number of factors that dictate how Microsoft Project “thinks”.
• 3.
• The two main factors are:
• The Scheduling Formula
• 4.
• The Scheduling Formula leverages three variables:
• Units
• Work
• Duration
• 5.
• 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
• 6.
• Many people say that the scheduling formula is:
• Units x Duration = Work
• 7.
• When you initially assign a Resource to a Task, this is the formula that is leveraged.
• See Example 1
• 8. Example 1 Task 1 is 5 days in Duration
• 9. Assign a Resource
• 10. Example 1 Work changes to 40 hours Units x Duration = Work 100% x (5*8) = 40 Or 100% x 40 = 40 hours
• 11.
• But using simple math, we can re-write our equation to solve for a different variable
• 12.
• Our original formula solves for Work:
• Units x Duration = Work
• 13.
• But we could re-write the formula to solve for Units:
• Work / Duration = Units
• 14.
• Or we could re-write the formula to solve for Duration:
• Work / Units = Duration
• 15.
• 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.
• 16.
• In order to demonstrate this, we must introduce The Task Type or the Type field
• 17.
• By default, Type is set to Fixed Units
• 18.
• There are actually three different Task Type variables:
• Fixed Duration
• Fixed Units
• Fixed Work
• 19. Using our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Duration
• 20.
• 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
• 21. 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
• 22. Returning to our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Work
• 23.
• 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
• 24. Fixed Units Type Fixed Entered Calculated Units Duration Work
• 25. Returning to our original scenario, let’s force Microsoft Project to solve for Units
• 26.
• 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
• 27. Fixed Duration Type Calculated Fixed Entered Units Duration Work
• 28.
• 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
• 29.
• 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”
• 30.
• 31.
• Purchase
• “ The Microsoft Project ®
• Cheat Sheet”