2013 Project Professional - Task duration RRS feed

  • Question

  • I won't lie, I'm a Project Pro newbie.  I just started with a new company and I am tasked with improving business processes. One of which includes our adoption of Project Professional the way it's designed. We have been using it already for finanial management only. So they just threw in what would be acounted for on the money side. We are now using it to it's potential and correctly.

    The question I have is this, if you have a task that spans over 2 months for example, and lets say 40 hours one month (January) and 10 the next month (February). If at the end of January, how do we account for the dollars from a budget perspective if the task is not complete and spans 2 or even 12 months? A work around i've been told we do currently is create a task that ends at each month and tag it as 100% complete. I just feel like there is a more efficent way of doing it. 

    I hope this isn't a question that gets laughed at since I'm sure the solution is simple.

    Thank you in advance,


    Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:39 PM

All replies

  • TMeezy75 --

    In your description of the 2-month task, I am assuming that you mean that the Duration is 40 days (40 working days is about 2 months.  And I assume that 40 hours in the first month and 10 hours in the second month means that this is how much work the resource will do.  You can manage this by using Work Contours in the Task Usage view.  In your example, you would need to do the following:

    1. Apply the Gantt Chart view and select the task in question.
    2. Right-click anywhere in the Gantt Chart pane and select the Show Split item on the shortcut menu.  This displays a split screen view with the Gantt Chart in the top pane and Task Form view in the bottom pane.
    3. In the Task Form pane, set the Task Type to Fixed Duration, enter a Duration value of 40 days, and then click the OK button.
    4. In the Task Form pane, select the resource you want to assign and enter 50 hours in the Work column, and then click the OK button (ignore the Units value after you click the OK button, as the new Units value shows up somewhere else in a column called Peak).
    5. Right-click in the Gantt Chart pane and deselect the Show Split item on the shortcut menu.
    6. Display the Task Usage view.
    7. Zoom the timescale shown for the timephased grid (timesheet-like grid on the right) to Quarters Over Months, where you see month time periods on the bottom half of the timescale bar.
    8. In the timescaled grid, enter 40h for the first month and 10h the second month for the resource assigned to this task.

    At this point, your project costs will now match up with your requirements.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, December 18, 2014 7:10 PM
  • Hi Tony,

    For a slightly difference perspective than Dale's - I'm guessing you mean that after the first month the work has not progressed as it should have and you need to extend the task beyond February to accomplish the planned work.

    First, you should save a baseline before you start working on tasks in the Project.  The baseline will serve as the original plan for a two month task with 50 hour of work.  The baseline value will be unchanged as you track work on the project and will enable Project to calculate variance -- the difference between what you planned (50 hour two months) and reality.

    Then you track. (you can use the tracking table or other views).  You record the actual amount of work in the first month.  If you planned 40 hours but accomplished only 20, Project will move the remaining 20 hours of work into the next month and extend the duration of the task (assuming it is not fixed duration).  You need to ask the resources performing the work 1) how much work they estimate to complete the task and 2)how much more time (duration) they need to complete the task.  Update the remaining work or remaining duration field to project the new dates.

    Assuming you have costs resources performing the work - the cost will be spread out or possibly increase if it is more work.

    I hope this helps.

    Friday, December 19, 2014 2:14 PM