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Change Default Work Schedule in Project Options

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    Colleen Conley

    Microsoft Project Standard 2013
    Is it acceptable to change the Default Work Schedule on the Project Options tab in the middle of a project plan timeline? Are there any ‘gotchas’ for making this change mid-stream?

    Tom Boyle

    Hi Colleen,
    As long as you have good and justifiable reasons for it – e.g. “the original calendar was wrong, and this one better reflects our plan going forward” – then it should be acceptable to anyone focused on an accurate schedule forecast. If a calendar change reflects a revised management approach, then be prepared to fully document what that change entails and why. In case of future schedule claims this may be a key piece of evidence either way.

    Some “gotchas”:
    1. Project resources automatically adopt the project calendar in effect at their creation as their base calendar, and they keep that same base calendar after the change. Differences between the old and new calendars may not be reflected in resource-loaded tasks.
    2. The forecast schedule will change according to differences between the two calendars. If you have existing baselines, then the variance analyses will be affected.

    Good luck, tom

    Larry Christofaro

    Hi Colleen, Tom’s answer is right on when dealing with the calendar…nice job If you are talking about the options within the Schedule tab such as Default task type and Effort Driven, I do that all the time when I take over a project but it does have some considerations. Changing these options doesn’t affect tasks already created and is only set for new tasks. That means you will end up with tasks with different schedule configurations, which may be a problem depending on how you use Project. I configure all my tasks the same, so for me I need to change the options and then change all existing tasks to match. Making these changes to existing tasks won’t have an immediate affect, only when making future changes to those tasks. In short you can make these types of changes without changing your schedule, and your schedule will act accordingly with future changes and task additions.

    On the other hand changing tasks from manual to/from auto scheduled will change your schedule, so it does depend on what you are changing. Let me know if you have questions on any specific option. Hope that helps…

    Colleen Conley

    Thank you for the excellent responses. I feel confident that I can proceed with changes as I now understand the necessary considerations! Thanks again!

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