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Fixed Work and Fixed Duration

    Question

  • Hello,

    I am a construction project planner and have used Microsoft Project on and off for a long time mainly with contractors that don't have Primavera (another planning tool)

    My preferred tool is Primavera because it allows you to have a task that has both Fixed Work and a Fixed Duration. I need this functionality as I have fixed budgeted hours and I want to spread those hours over time by manually changing the duration without Project automatically changing my budget. This is a problem that a lot of users I talk to have with Microsoft Project.

    As far as I am aware there is no solution to this in Microsoft Project. MS Project allows you to have a task with Fixed Work but that changes the duration when you change Work, or you can have Fixed Duration but that changes the work when you change duration.  I don't want either of these behaviours to happen.

    I have searched these forums but have not found a workaround or macro. Has anyone seen a solution to this?

    Cheers,
    Max

    Friday, March 17, 2017 4:31 AM

All replies

  • Max,

    As far as having two fixed parameters, Project's underlying work equation (Duration = Work/Units) doesn't support it. However, your stated desire to be able to change the duration and have the work remain fixed is easy with a Fixed Work type task. That allows you to change the duration and Project will automatically re-spread the fixed work content over the new duration. Obviously the resource assignment level will also change.

    Does this not meet your needs?

    John

    Friday, March 17, 2017 4:00 PM
  • Hi John,

    Thanks for your response.

    Yes I thought someone might suggests this but it is a messy exercise and hard to explain to my users.

    For instance if an error is found in the Work hours or you want to change your forecast Work hours to show future labour demand it will change the duration. If you are not paying enough attention to Project changing this it could mess up your file quite significantly. 

    Unfortunately people that I work with would prefer to not resource their schedules in Project because it is too difficult for them to understand and doesn't do what they want, hence why they use Primavera

    I feel Project is one step away from being just right. Hopefully the developers can enable both Fixed Work and Fixed Duration in the future. I'm not sure where to suggest such a feature though

    Cheers,
    Max


    Monday, March 20, 2017 3:57 AM
  • Max,

    If your preferred tool is Primavera, then why not use that?

    Nonetheless, you can submit suggestions via the following:

    https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com/forums/218133-microsoft-project

    John

    • Proposed as answer by James Boman Monday, March 20, 2017 10:27 PM
    Monday, March 20, 2017 3:42 PM
  • Hi John,

    I love Primavera and find it very useful however MS Project is a cheaper, easier to implement and readily available solution compared to Primavera. Primavera also needs specialist training and can be confusing to some project managers

    If Project can do Fixed Work and Fixed Duration it will be another step towards not needing Primavera

    Thanks for the link, I will have a look at it and see if someone else has suggested it

    Cheers,
    Max

    Monday, March 20, 2017 10:02 PM
  • Max,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    John

    Monday, March 20, 2017 11:56 PM
  • I have posted a suggestion to Project developers through the link below. If anyone shares a similar opinion with me I would appreciate if you vote for this suggestion. Thanks

    https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com/forums/218133-microsoft-project/suggestions/18684346-new-task-type-required-for-fixed-work-and-duratio

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017 10:53 PM