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Tag Archives: duration

The Magic Formula and Manual Work Assignment

We all know that the heart of MS Project is the “magic” formula: Work = Duration * Units. This formula works with automatically scheduled tasks, but does it always work? Let me illustrate my point by creating a simple project with two tasks: As you can see, Work is 0 hours, because there are no…

About Those Pesky Question Marks in the Duration Column

When working within a new project, have you ever noticed those question marks in the Duration column for every task that has the default duration of 1 day? If memory serves me correctly, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Estimated Durations in Microsoft Project 2000. In fact, I distinctly remember how very experienced users of…

Managing Negative Slack: Dos and Don’ts

Much has been written about Critical Path, Slack, Constraints, and the various forms of Duration and Dependencies. But, have you looked for Negative Slack? This is generally defined as the amount of time required to complete a task or project beyond its scheduled finish date. Think of it as the minimum amount of time to…

Task Planning using Microsoft Project

Start a free trial to watch the full training session and earn 1.5 PMI®​ PDUs Event Description: In this video viewers will learn how to plan out their tasks within Microsoft Project. They will learn how to add tasks to a schedule, the difference between Auto and Manually scheduled tasks, how to estimate duration and work for tasks, and…

Microsoft Project Do’s and Don’ts: Enter Task Durations

The following in an excerpt from chapter 4 of Microsoft® Project Do’s and Don’ts by Sam Huffman. Part of the MPUG Essentials Training. Download full version of chapter 4. Once the outline is entered in Microsoft® Project, you are ready to estimate and enter task durations. This is accomplished by typing the estimated duration in minutes, hours, days, weeks…

Scheduling the Shortest Duration Possible

A user posed an interesting question recently in the Microsoft Project Standard and Professional TechCenter forum on the Internet. He asked how to assign resources to a task to generate the shortest Duration possible for the task using the following requirements: The task requires 100 hours of total work for all assigned resources. One resource…

How Microsoft Project Calculates Task Duration

Ever wondered why a task starting on 1/2/17 and ending on 1/30/17 displays a duration value of three days while a task starting on 1/2/17 and ending on 1/6/17 displays a duration value of five days? Or why an allocation of three hours on one day is a duration value of 0.75 days, while an…

Best Practices for Initiating a New Project Schedule with Microsoft Project

Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs): This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical category of the Talent Triangle. Event Description: In the first webinar of this multi-part series, Microsoft Project expert Ira Brown will present techniques for initiating a new project that is consistent with established organizational standards. This presentation…

Do’s and Don’ts: Using Hammock Tasks

Every so often I’m asked to reproduce a project management technique in Microsoft Project that isn’t a named feature in the software. Such is the case with “hammock” tasks. A hammock task is a task that has a variable duration. The duration is controlled entirely by other tasks in another or the same project. The…

3 Incorrect Ways to Do Scheduling with Microsoft Project

Want to continue creating great Microsoft Project Schedules. Last time I shared three best practice “DO’s” to follow on scheduling. This time I’ll share three things to avoid. DON’T Use the Start and Finish Columns Microsoft Project is a scheduling tool with a true passion for dynamic information. In other words, it works best when…

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