Scheduling with Multinational Calendars.

Here is a question I received from one of my readers:

“I’m managing a project for resources in multiple locations using MS Project 2007: US and 3 countries in Europe. I have multiple resource calendars to reflect the different countries. One (1) of my German resources started a task on Nov 28 which is a holiday for the US. When I attempt to change it to Nov 28th MS Project states that Nov. 28th is a non-working day; this is correct for US resources. However since Nov 28th is a working day for the German resource why is MS Project giving me this error. I understand that the standard calendar is used for the Project tasks, but how can I use the resource calendar assigned to the task versus the standard calendar?”

I will answer this question using Project 2013, but the steps will be the same for Project 2007 as well.

First, I’m going to create a brand new Project:


Now suppose that in my project I have a guy from USA, and a guy from Germany. And suppose that in USA we have two holidays: one at Thursday, Jan 8th, and second at Monday, Jan 12th. I will create Calendar with name “USA Calendar”:


and then:


Forget about reoccurrence for a moment, it doesn’t matter in this Scenario.

Now suppose that in Germany we have two holidays: one at Tuesday, Jan 13th, and second at Friday, Jan 16th. I will create another Calendar with name “Germany Calendar”, at the same way I did with USA Calendar. I will get:


And now, I am going to create two Resources, John from USA, and Hans from Germany:


As you can see, John has USA Calendar as Base Calendar, and Hans has Germany Calendar as Base Calendar.

Finally I will assign both of them to my Task:


As you can see, Duration is now 12 days. Let’s see at the Task Usage View:


As you can see, John will not work at USA Holiday, and Hans at German’s Holidays. Both of them will work 80 hours per Task (because initial Duration was 10 days, and that means 10 days * 8 hours per day = 80 hours).

But they will work according to they own Calendar.

Hope this helps.


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Written by Nenad Trajkovski

MVP – Project

Nenad Trajkovski was born in Zagreb in 1963. year. After completion of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Nenad has started on the development and implementation of enterprise systems (ERP) in companies of various areas (banks, card houses, production companies, auto industry, wholesale businesses, oil companies, and others). He has extensive experience in working with business processes, people and knowledge in information technology and financial accounting activities.

Currently, Nenad works as a consultant for the implementation of business systems, and as Project Manager. He is trainer for Project Management and Risk Management in Microsoft Innovation Center in Varaždin. At WinDays08 conference he has been declared as the best speaker, and his session as the best one. He was among TOP 10 speakers in the Microsoft Sinergija 2009 and at the Microsoft Vzija 2009. Shared first place as the best lecturer at KulenDays 2009 and the PMI Forum 2009 in Zagreb. Regular speaker at the Microsoft Community. On WinDays10 conference Nenad was among the top three speakers; at the conference Microsoft Vision 9 in Skopje between the top 5 speakers as well as on Microsoft Synergy 11 which was held in Belgrade. Certified Accountant, PMP (Project Manager Professional), PMI – RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS – Microsoft Project 2010 (Microsoft Certified Technical Professional).  and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

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  1. Great explanation Nenad! One more point, there are two other calendars that need to be looked at in MS Proj. The PROJECT calendar and TASK calendars (if any). It the Project Calendar has a non-working day, it will take precedence over the resource calendar, in other words if Nov 28th is a non-working day on the PROJECT calendar, project will not schedule work for any resource on Nov 28th. To fix this, ensure that ALL days are working days on the PROJECT calendar, and then use Nenad’s excellent guidance above to set up RESOURCE calendars.

  2. Larry, I do not believe that is correct. The project calendar impacts tasks without assignments and would impact the display of the non-working days on the Gantt chart, but a non-working day on the project calendar would not impact a task with resource that does not also have that as a non-working day.

  3. I think Larry is correct because the Project Calendar settings are immediately copied to the Base Calendars (if you choose so) and, hence, copied to the Resource Calendars as well IF you created the Project Calendar first.
    However, if you create the base calendars first and then the Project Calendar, then Gord is right, since the base calendars can only copy from the Project Calendar when they are first created; they are not dynamically linked.
    (Disclaimer: this is written from the top of my head without trying it out first to make sure I’m right.)

  4. We have custom calendars configured in EPM which include the public holidays for each State in which our staff work, and additional calendars for working 8×365 and 24×365 to cover after hours work. The default calendar for each staff member is set to the appropriate calendar. Generally, the project calendar is set to the State calendar appropriate for the majority of staff. As suggested in the article, the custom calendar could also be for a country rather than a State.
    If the resource calendar is different to the project calendar, you need to uncheck “Scheduling ignores resource calendars” in the advanced properties of each task. We don’t use the “standard” calendar at all.
    I don’t think MS Project is able to account for time zone differences using calendars; resources in different time zones could be effectively working on different days. This could be problematic.

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