month we’ll have a closer look at setting up working patterns.
7, I touched on the importance of setting up the project calendars
before entering any task data. This is because the settings in Tools/Options…/Calendar tab
work for the future and not the past. So, if you’d like to open up that
little Garden project with a Make Terraces task we’ve been playing with,
we’ll set up some different calendar times. It would also help if we could
see the times of day, so in Tools/Options…/View tab select a Date
Format: 28 Jan 12:33.
I’m using clips from Project 2003, but earlier versions are very similar.
the screen via Window/Split, noting that the Make Terraces task
has a 10 day Duration with a resource called Gardeners entered to
give 100% Units and 80 hours of Work. Now reset the Start Date to
3 May 04. The easiest way to do this is to use the Adjust_Dates macro
in the Analysis toolbar (or Tools/Macro/macros… in earlier
versions), or you can reset the project Start Date in Project/Project
as we learned in Lesson 7, the settings in Tools/Options…/Calendar tab
tell project how to represent calendar data. So, the Week starts on: and
the Fiscal year starts in: settings tell Project to start from the
day/year you choose.
note that the Fiscal year can be misleading, particularly in earlier
versions of Project. If you change it to, say April, then the fiscal year
for 2004/5 will start in April 2004, but it does not finish until the end
of May 2005. The Gantt chart timescale thus does not change the year on
1 January but waits until 1 April as can be seen in this clip:
it out and see the result. My advice is therefore; if you need a fiscal
report, change the setting to what you want and when you’ve finished, change
the fiscal year setting back to January as this will avoid confusion.
Standard (Project Calendar) Working Hours
let’s suppose we want our Garden project to work form 09:00 to 16:00, this
will give us a 6 hour working day and a 30 hour working week. This might
be done to allow a couple of hours per day for resources to do other things.
Enter these details:
is a Set as Default button which will tell Project to always
use these settings on all future projects.
a look at the Duration of the Make Terraces task: it is now 13.33
days. This because the 80 hours of work at 6 hours per day takes 80/6 =
13.33 days, but still starts at 0800 and finishes at 1700.
entering new task “Swimming Pool” for 10 days. You will see it still starts
at 08:00 because new tasks are starting at the project start date of 3
May 04 08:00. This setting can be changed to Start on Current Date by
selecting from the pick list for New tasks: in the Tools/Options…/Schedule tab.
the project Start Date to 09:00 (Project/Project Information...)
and you will see both tasks now start at 09:00 - we’re getting there! Meanwhile,
assign Gardeners to the Swimming Pool task at 100% (click in the Resource
Name cell and use the drop-down arrow to select from the pick list – better
than typing in the name in case you get the spelling wrong). You will see
the assignment is 60 hours, which is based on our new working week. Now
observe the Gantt bars for each task, they don’t seem to tie in with the
number of days the Duration requires.
but it does! You see, Project is still using the default calendar of 8
to 5, 40 hour week. So we need to change that too – Tools/Change Working
Time… Click and drag across the weekday letters (M, T, W, Th, F) so
that the whole of the weekday part is highlighted in black, and change
the start time to 09:00 and the Finish to 16:00 and click OK.
should now see that the Swimming Pool task is correctly showing on the
Gantt chart as 10 working days as that task was entered after we changed
the Tools/Options…/Calendar times: ie that was in the future.
the Make Terraces task is still showing 13.33 days, as Project does not
change what you entered in the past – hence the importance of getting the
working times and calendars set up correctly before entering data. You
will now have to make the decision: was the Make Terraces task an estimate
of 10 days Duration or 80 hours of Work? If the 80 hours was correct, you
can leave well alone at 13.33 days, but if the original estimate was 10
days, then you need to retype the Duration of 10 days giving 60 hours of
work – let’s do that.
that, if you zoom in to the maximum (15 minute intervals) you can see the
tasks begin at 9 or 09:00 and finish at 16 or 16:00 as we demanded.
Let’s have a look at setting up shift patterns. Firstly,
enter a new task for the Flower Beds, give it a 7 day duration and assign a resource Fred who should be working 42 hours.
Let’s say that Fred only works afternoons, say 13:00 to 19:30 with half
an hour for tea at 16:00, ie a 6 hour working day. If we want a resource
to work different shifts, then we must set up a new calendar specifically
for that resource. In Tools/Change Working Time… (if it is greyed
out, you are still in the bottom pane – click in the top pane to make it
active), select the Resource name Fred from the
pick list in the For: box.
Again, select the weekdays and enter the times 13:00 to
16:00 and then 16:30 to 19:30. Make sure the radio button for Nondefault working time is set and then click OK.
If you are still zoomed in to 15 minutes, then you can see Fred’s task
now starts at 13:00 and finishes at 19:30, as we directed.
Resource Gantt Chart
Supposing we wanted to show a Gantt chart for Fred, then
we can show Fred’s calendar. Format/Timescale…/Non-working time tab;
in Calendar: select Fred, and select a Colour and Pattern, OK.
You can see the selected pattern in the Preview panel
as you change the style. The resulting Gantt chart is now based on Fred’s
Whilst we are here, we could make quite a powerful report
by filtering for Fred’s tasks (Project/Filtered For: All Tasks/Using
Resource… and select Fred from the pick list) and giving Fred a print
out of his tasks with his calendar applied.
Finally, if you want a night shift, there is a little
trick you need to know. Project’s calendars start and end at midnight.
So, to set up a shift working from 20:00 to 08:00, we have to do it in
2 stages: 00:00 to 08:00 and 20:00 to 00:00 (insert any breaks similarly).
summarize: the values in Tools/Options…/Calendar tab for the working week or day affect the way project
presents your entries in the Duration field. If, in the task Duration field,
you type in 1 week, Project looks to the setting you've made to define
the number of hours (and thus man-hours) that a week contains, and similarly
for the working day. Equally, if you don't specify a time, a task starts
at the default setting of 08:00, and if you schedule from the finish, tasks
will end at the default of 17:00, both leaving the Duration to determine the other date. So, set these default times
first. Remember that it is best to do this before entering any data as changes to Tools > Options generally apply to the future entry of data and not what
has already been entered.
Next month we’ll have a
more detailed look at costs.