How Microsoft Project Calculates Durations in Days

Microsoft Project effectively records task durations in hours and the value of the duration in days is calculated using the parameter entered in the Hours per day: field in the File, Options, Schedule tab, Calendar options for this project: section.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that all users understand that the durations in days are calculated using ONLY the one parameter and this parameter is used with EVERY calendar. This makes Microsoft Project difficult to use when calendars with a different number of hours per day are being used.

Click on this link to see an article on how Microsoft Project calculates durations in days.

To see more explanations like this then please consider purchasing this Microsoft Project book by Paul Harris which is available in many formats, paperback, spiral, Kobo, Kindle and iTunes.

The book is intended to be used:

  • As a self-teach book and user guide, or a training manual for a two-day training course.
  • PowerPoint slide shows are available for training companies to purchase and pdf versions are available to educational organisations.

More information and links to book sellers visit this this web site: https://www.eh.com.au/MSP2019.html

Microsoft Project Information form

The Project Start date of a Microsoft Project schedule may be changed in the Project Information form, which is opened from the ribbon by selecting Project, Properties group, Project Information.

This article is an extract from the book Planning and Control Using Microsoft Project 2013, 2016 & 2019 by Paul E Harris and explains how these dates and fields operate, click here to read the article.

To see more explanations like this then please consider purchasing this Microsoft Project book by Paul Harris which is available in many formats, paperback, spiral, Kobo, Kindle and iTunes.

These books are intended to be used:

  • As a self-teach book and user guide, or a training manual for a two-day training course.
  • PowerPoint slide shows are available for training companies to purchase and free pdf versions are available to educational organisations.

More information and links to sellers at this web site:

https://www.eh.com.au/MSP2019.html

 

Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd,

Paul E Harris

Director Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd

Planning books and training material publishers for:

  • Microsoft Project,
  • Oracle Primavera P6 and
  • Elecosoft Powerproject

https://www.eh.com.au

Project Management Training – Understanding Start and Finish Milestones

EastwoodHarris_project management trajningUnderstanding Start and Finish Milestones in Project Management

A Project Milestone is created by assigning a task a zero duration:

  • A Milestone is a Start Milestone when it has no predecessors, see Task 1 below.
  • A Milestone is a Finish Milestone if it has one or more predecessors, see Task 3 and 5 below
  • A Start Milestone is at the Start of a Time Period, for example, 8:00 am, see Task 1 below.

A Finish Milestone is at the End of a Time Period, for example, 5:00 pm, see Task 3 and 5 below.

  • A task may also be made to look like a Milestone by checking the Mark as a milestone in the Task Information form General tab, see Task 2 below.
  • The Milestone may be set to display at the Start or Finish of the Tasks by editing the From and To fields of Milestones in the Bar Styles form:

Note: Unlike some other scheduling software it is not possible for the user to assign a Milestone as either a Start or Finish Mile Stone in Microsoft Project.

Converting a Finish Milestone into a Start Milestone

Sometimes it is important to have a Start Milestone with has a predecessor. For example, Task 5 in the picture below may be required on Friday morning not Thursday afternoon:

One workaround to achieve this in MS Project 2010:

  • Assign a short duration to the intended Start Milestone. The duration is not important, say I min.
  • Check the Mark as a Milestone in the General tab of the Task Information form.
  • Ensure all successors of the Start Milestone are Start to Start, otherwise all successors will span 1 day longer than their assigned duration:

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

MS Project Management Training – Negative and Free Float Bars

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectExcerpt from 99 Tips and Traps for Microsoft Office Project by Paul Harris of Eastwood Harris

The Gantt Chart Wizard, available by clicking on the  icon or selecting Format, Gantt Chart Wizard…., is a straightforward method of formatting your bars but will not format and display the Negative Float (Slack) and Free Float (Slack) bars. These will have to be added manually using the Bar Style form by:

  • Selecting Format, Bar Styles…, or double-click anywhere in the Gantt Chart area except on an existing bar (this will open the Format Bar form to format an individual bar).

Then add two additional bars as indicated below:

  • Negative Float is generated when the Late date is calculated earlier than the Early date and represents the amount of time that the schedule must catch up or how much earlier a project must start to finish on time. Setting a Late constraint or Deadline date earlier than the calculated Early Finish date normally causes Negative Float.
  • Free Float is the amount of time a task may be delayed without delaying a successor task.

Note: Unlike some other some software, the Negative Float is drawn from the Start Date of a task and not the Finish Date. Therefore one bar is required for Negative Float and one for Positive Float.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.