Microsoft Project – Task Type and Effort Driven Options

Task Type and Effort Driven Options in MS Project

If you are not sure which option to use thenms project 2010 training manual - spiral edition. This option prevents changes to Task Durations and/or existing Resource assignments as Resources are added or removed from a task.

– Select Fixed Units for activities when the Units per time period must stay constant as either the Duration or Work is changed. For example, a crew of 1 Excavator and 3 Trucks must stay constant as the Duration or Work is changed.

–  Select Fixed Duration for activities when the duration must not change as either resource Units per time period or Work is changed.

–  Select Fixed Work if you wish the Work to stay constant as the duration is changed. The Task will be made Effort driven automatically with the Effort driven option grayed out.

For example, a programmer assigned full-time for a week will have 40 hours’ work. When the duration is doubled to a week, the programmer will work 50% of the time over 2 weeks but still work 40 hours.

If you assign another person to help then the total Work will remain at 40 hours and the Duration not change.

The default for new Tasks is set in the Tools, Options…, Schedule tab. Click on the  icon and new projects will have these as their default options.

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

Related Article

Task Effort Driven Vs Non-Effort Driven – MS Project Tips

99 Tips and traps for microsoft project - ebookMS Project Tips and Tricks – Effort driven or Non Effort driven?

The Task Effort is the sum of the Work (hours) of all Work Type resources assigned to a task.

The Effort driven option determines how the effort is calculated as resources are added or removed from a Fixed Units or Fixed Duration task.

There are two options in MS Project:

Effort driven When a resource is added or removed from a task, the Task Effort assigned to a task remains constant. Therefore the Work of existing Resources is reduced when a new resource is assigned. Adding or removing resources from a task will leave the total effort assigned to a task constant, unless all resources are removed or a change is made to the work of existing resource assignments.
Non Effort driven When a resource is added to or removed from a task, the Resource Effort or Work of other resources remains constant. Adding or deleting resources increases or decreases the total task effort and will not change the effort of assigned recourses.

In summary, as you assign resources:

– If you want the total number of hours assigned to stay constant then make the Task Effort driven.

– If you wish to assign each resource with its own hours or units per time period then make the task Non Effort driven.

Note: A Fixed Work task is automatically Effort driven.

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

Related Article

MS Project Tips – How to Set-up and Edit Gantt Chart Bars

99 Tips and traps for microsoft project - ebookRounding Gantt Chart Bars to Whole Days

In Microsoft Project, the Round bars to whole days is used to make it easier to see short duration bars on a long duration schedule:

– When this option is unchecked, the length of the task will be shown in proportion to the total number of hours worked per day over the 24-hour time span.

For example, an 8-hour working duration bar is shown below:

round gantt chart bars

– When this option is checked, the task bar is often displayed and spanned over the whole day irrespective of calendar working time:

round gantt chart bars2

Bar Text

Text may be placed on all bars using the Format, Bar… form or selected bars using the Format, Bar Styles… form.

Note: The length of the Bar Chart may be reduced by placing the text on top of the bar instead of the end:

editing gantt bar text

Format Gantt Chart Bar Colors

Colors are formatted in a number of forms and there is no single form for formatting all colors:

  • Nonworking time colors in the Gantt Chart are formatted in the Timescale form; double-click on the timescale.
  • Text colors are formatted in the Text Styles and Font forms, found under the Format command.
  • Gridline colors are formatted in the Gridlines form, also found under the Format command.
  • Hyperlink colors are formatted under Tools, Options…, Edit tab.
  • Timescale and Column Header colors are formatted with the system color scheme used in the Desktop, Start, Control Panel, Display option.

The Logic Lines, also known as Dependencies, Relationships, or Links, inherit their color from the predecessor’s bar color in the Gantt Chart view and may be formatted in the Network Diagram view by selecting Format, Layout….

Read More About MS Project

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

The Best Way to Create “Views” in Microsoft Project

99 Tips and traps for microsoft project - ebookThe Smart Way to Create Views in MS Project Software

A Single Gantt Chart View is made from a Gantt Screen and includes a Table, an optional Group and an optional Filter. A View also holds the Bar formatting and Print settings.

If your project requires multiple but similar Views, for example, headers and footers may need to contain the same print settings and bar formatting consistent, then the following process is recommended:

– Create the first View and make sure the Bar formatting and the Print settings are correct.

– The print preview Header, Footer and Legend should read all the text data from the File, Properties form. Thus a change to the header or footer text can be made in one place for all Views, the File, Properties form.

– Ensure that you have hidden all the bars that you do not want displayed in the Legend, by placing an “*” in front of the bar name in the Bars form.

– Create new Views by copying the first View only after it has been checked, double-checked, and checked again.

– Each new View should have a unique name. This name is also used for the Table, Group and Filter names associated with the View, so each view has its own unique Table, Filter and Group.

These uniquely named Tables, Groups and Filters should not be displayed in the menus to avoid their inadvertent application and corruption.

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