Calendar Days Ver. Working Days RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to figure out how to enter the project duration in calendar days in MS Project. When the project duration is fixed in calendar days, and activity durations are in work days, how do you enter the project duration?

    Saturday, December 1, 2018 5:25 PM

All replies

  • Fuad56 --

    Because the task (activity) Duration values are entered in working days, the project Duration value will also be calculated in Working days.  There is no way to force the project Duration value to be displayed in calendar days instead of working days.

    Also, you cannot enter a Duration for the entire project, since the project Duration value is always calculated by Microsoft Project.  Enter the list of all of your tasks, specify dependencies between them (Predecessors and Successors for each task), and enter a Duration for each task as well.

    To see the Duration for the entire project, make sure that you have the Project Summary Task (Row 0 or Task 0) displayed in your project.  To do this, display any task view (such as the Gantt Chart view) and then click the Format tab to display the Format ribbon.  In the Show/Hide section of the Format ribbon, select the Project Summary Task checkbox.

    Does that help?  Let us know.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Monday, December 3, 2018 11:21 PM
  • Fuad56,

    Dale's answer is absolutely correct, but there is a simple workaround.  Instead of relying on the Project Summary Task (always ID 0)...

    1. Insert an alternate project summary task (ID 1), making it the outline parent of all other tasks in the project.
    2. Create a 7dx8h calendar and assign it to the alternate project summary task.

    Many users already insert this alternate project summary task because...

       a. They are not familiar with the technique Dale laid out for exposing Task ID 0; and/or 

       b. They like the additional options available for such a task.

    With automatic scheduling, the duration of a summary task is the difference between its Start and Finish dates, computed according to its applicable calendar.  The "applicable calendar" of the Project Summary Task (ID 0) is always the Project Calendar.  The applicable calendar of other summary tasks may be different because task calendars and/or resources may be assigned to them.  For more information on calendars, have a look at Dale's excellent article on the subject.

    I've attached an example that shows the workaround.  (You could always hide Task 0 to reduce confusion.)

    There are numerous other ways to display what you want: e.g. other creative mixing of project, task, and resource calendars; using a custom duration field for "Calendar Duration" computed using the ProjDateDiff function and a suitable calendar; using a hammock task instead of a summary - still with appropriate assigned calendar or resource.  I've found the custom field approach the most useful over time.

    Good luck, tom

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018 4:22 PM