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Need help with setting up Project 2013 for a huge personal project! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey, I'm a complete noob on project 2013. I've watched a lot of video guides on youtube explaining the basics.

    But since my project is so freaking huge and I have a lot of parallel projects going on, I'm having a hard time getting them in line.

    I'm wondering if I could have a back and forth chat/mail exchange with someone to help me figure out the settings and some general questions.

    Basically this is what I've done. I have 4 sub projects with each 100 tasks. One master project handling the resources.

    These resources are all me. They are different daily/weekly things I should do, and that is what I have used to categorize my tasks. Some are actionable and only gets 1 hour a day everyday like reading, others are weekly like writing, and the others are goals/projects that span over a time period to a finish line or are never ending.

    Right now, I'm struggling with levelling and distribution of resources. I've set working hours for the hole calendar as 24 hours and for the resources also as 24. I've tried limiting the working hours to 1 hour a day for Reading, but when i enter 1 day duration it still gives me the calendar option time default. Should i limit the resources in max. percent? 1 hour of 10= 10%.

    I want 1 hour to be one day for certain resources and distribute my waking hours 15-16 hours a day to the resources.

    I've also set the priority levels but the levelling still fails.

    Sorry this is a mess, I'm having a hard time formulating my question because I don't really understand the problem myself.

    enric001@hotmail.com

    Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:23 AM

Answers

  • If you want to work 10 hours per day you need to set the Project calendar (Project ribbon > Change working time > work weeks, default) to 10 hours per day.  8:00 am to 7:00 pm with a one hour break or what ever adds up to the time you want to work on these projects.  If you want to "work" Saturday and Sunday then you'll need to make Saturday and Sunday working days.  Then, click on Options from the Change working time dialog and set the Start and end times equal to what you have set in the calendar.  Set your hours per day and hours per week to 10 and 70.

    If you are only going to work 10 hours per day - DO NOT set 24h and 168.  Do NOT use Months as a duration measure.

    No, the project calendar should be standard - the one you just changed.

    No - the resource works 10 hours per day. The task is 14 days the task type is fixed and the work is 14 hours.  The one hour per day will be spread evenly across the 10 hours and project will calculate 10% assignment unit.  Assuming the resource's max units are 100% they still have 90% (or nine hours per day) left to perform other tasks.

    Below is a picture showing the left side of the Task Usage view.  Multiple tasks - same resource (Project Turtle assigned).  You can see the duration and work as well as the calculated assignment units.  The second image is the Resource Usage view showing the work per day for Project Turtle for all assignments and the total work of 6 hours per day.

    Sunday, July 12, 2015 10:05 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    In the MSP. Goto File -->options --> Schedule. Check the Start Time, End Time, Hrs/day, hrs/week & days/month. You will need to set these options also according to 24 hrs/day.

    Hope it helps.


    Cheers, Amit Wairkar

    Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:56 AM
  • Enric,

    as you say "These resources are all me. They are different daily/weekly things I should do, and that is what I have used to categorize my tasks" ... in all honesty, I wonder if Microsoft Project is a good tool for this. Just a thought. You have lots of details to fine detail.  What you appear to be doing is getting your own personal to-do's in order. (?).  A very good thing to do, but are you running the risk of spending more time building and maintaining the "project" vs. spending time doing things?  

    There are other tools more suited to purpose for managing "todo's", even allowing prioritising, scheduling, etc.  I use OmniFocus.  There are many others.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:31 PM
  • First, I suggest removing your email from your post above.  You'll likely collect more spam than anything else.

    I'm not clear on a lot of your post:  you write that you are using the 24 hours per day calendar but then say you want to work 15-16 hours per day.  I also don't know what you mean by "I want 1 hour to be one day for certain resources".

    So, starting at the top - if you intend to work 15 - 16 hours per day, you'll need to create a calendar to show that.  Start at Project > Change working time.  I would create the project calendar with the number of working hour per day and then click on Options in the Change Working time dialog and set the start, end, hours per day, and hours per week to match the calendar.

    If you want to say you'll spend 1 hour per day reading - create the task with the correct duration.  Set the task a Fixed Duration and assign your self at the equivalent of 1 hour per day.  For example - you figure you have to read for a week - duration is 5 days, work is 5 hours.  Project will calculate the assignment unit necessary to spread the work (5 hours) out over the duration (5 days).

    All that being said - unless you need to learn MS Project for something other than tracking your own to-do list, I'm with Rob.  You will spend more time managing the Project file than getting your list done.

    Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:46 PM
    Moderator
  • Enric,

    as you say "These resources are all me. They are different daily/weekly things I should do, and that is what I have used to categorize my tasks" ... in all honesty, I wonder if Microsoft Project is a good tool for this. Just a thought. You have lots of details to fine detail.  What you appear to be doing is getting your own personal to-do's in order. (?).  A very good thing to do, but are you running the risk of spending more time building and maintaining the "project" vs. spending time doing things?  

    There are other tools more suited to purpose for managing "todo's", even allowing prioritising, scheduling, etc.  I use OmniFocus.  There are many others.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Hey, you're right on this. I'm using wunderlist for todos, onenote to collect all information and outlook tasks to keep track of what to do. I like omni, but I'm on Pc.

    The thing is that I don't have a project/goal setting app that helps me prioritize and keep track of what I should be doing and how much time it requires so that I know, how much I really can do over the span of weeks/months/years.

    I'm almost thinking of using an excel premade template that pretty much just gives me duration over time and completion. But I like project management and might just as well learn it for future use.

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 11:20 AM
  • First, I suggest removing your email from your post above.  You'll likely collect more spam than anything else.

    I'm not clear on a lot of your post:  you write that you are using the 24 hours per day calendar but then say you want to work 15-16 hours per day.  I also don't know what you mean by "I want 1 hour to be one day for certain resources".

    So, starting at the top - if you intend to work 15 - 16 hours per day, you'll need to create a calendar to show that.  Start at Project > Change working time.  I would create the project calendar with the number of working hour per day and then click on Options in the Change Working time dialog and set the start, end, hours per day, and hours per week to match the calendar.

    If you want to say you'll spend 1 hour per day reading - create the task with the correct duration.  Set the task a Fixed Duration and assign your self at the equivalent of 1 hour per day.  For example - you figure you have to read for a week - duration is 5 days, work is 5 hours.  Project will calculate the assignment unit necessary to spread the work (5 hours) out over the duration (5 days).

    All that being said - unless you need to learn MS Project for something other than tracking your own to-do list, I'm with Rob.  You will spend more time managing the Project file than getting your list done.

    I want this:

    1) All my resources to be limited to x hours a day. So Write & Read work maximum 1 hours a day.

    I double click the resource > change working time ... > Work Weeks > Details > Set days to specific working times > 15:00-16.00

    But then I set a task with the resource Read to 1 day duration it auto gives me 10 hrs work. Which is the deafult "hours per day" set in project options.

    It doesn't seem to respect neither the specific working hours nor the project calendar which is set to 24 hours, the resources also use base calendar 24 Hours.

    2) I've tried to do what you say. Limit the working hours to 8-23 for all subprojects. But when i open the master projects the working hours are not respected. No matter what it changes back to 08-17

    3) How do i set a fixed duration, on the gnatt chart view, i type in a new column with fixed and all i get is fixed cost. In the option > schedule i do have "default task type", it's set to fixed units. Does fixed duration or work suit my needs better?

    Basically what you sayd is what i want.  1 day duration is one real day. 5 days are 5 actual days, 13/7-17/7, the working hours are fixed also, 1 day is 1 hours, 5 days 5 hours.

    What should I set the Project options to for the sub tasks and the master, what should i set the resources base calendar to, and the project default calendar to in terms of working hours.

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 12:17 PM
  • Enric,

    My best advice is to learn Project for a real project that has a beginning, middle, and end.  Not well suited for what it is I understand you are trying to do.  You'll just get the wrong end of the stick and not make the progress you expect. If you can bend Project to your will to make it be what I think you are expecting, ... well, ok then, but likely difficult and you'll not be happy with Project.  You'll then likely miss the opportunity to learn Project for what it can and should be used for.  Just my two-bits.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 12:45 PM
  • I understand, but I think it looks pretty good if i can just get the duration=work hours to stay constant for each resource and be able to level the task auto according to priority.

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 5:40 PM
  • But if the resource is going to be working longer (more hours per day) on other tasks - changing the resource's calendar will not work.

    For question 1:  If you just assign a resource, Project will calculate work based upon duration X assignment units.  If the task is one day duration, you get 8 hours of work. (assuming you have not changed the definition of day).  I have no idea where the 10 hours is coming from - I thought you were talking 15 hours per day?

    If you want to work as I suggested - a task may span multiple days in duration (day = 15 hours) but a resource will only work 1 hour per day, set your default task type to fixed duration and when you assign the resource, manually enter the work - rather than allowing Project to calculate it.

    I don't understand why if you are the only resource - why you are using a master project?  How many tasks are you trying to keep track of?  If you want to have activities of a certain "type" use one of the Text field to enter your identifiers.

    If you really want to use Project and have it create something meaningful, you're going to need to invest some time in training.  There are hundreds of videos on Youtube.  I would suggest keep it simple - I don't see the need nor the complication of master projects.

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 6:39 PM
    Moderator
  • But if the resource is going to be working longer (more hours per day) on other tasks - changing the resource's calendar will not work.

    For question 1:  If you just assign a resource, Project will calculate work based upon duration X assignment units.  If the task is one day duration, you get 8 hours of work. (assuming you have not changed the definition of day).  I have no idea where the 10 hours is coming from - I thought you were talking 15 hours per day?

    If you want to work as I suggested - a task may span multiple days in duration (day = 15 hours) but a resource will only work 1 hour per day, set your default task type to fixed duration and when you assign the resource, manually enter the work - rather than allowing Project to calculate it.

    I don't understand why if you are the only resource - why you are using a master project?  How many tasks are you trying to keep track of?  If you want to have activities of a certain "type" use one of the Text field to enter your identifiers.

    If you really want to use Project and have it create something meaningful, you're going to need to invest some time in training.  There are hundreds of videos on Youtube.  I would suggest keep it simple - I don't see the need nor the complication of master projects.


    No, the resources(habits like reading) always have the same working hours on all tasks they are assigned to. I always read 1 hour a day and I will only assign that resource to books. I just want the tasks to fill themselves in to the resource until they are all completed one after the other. Meaning: book1 2 3 4 and 5 are have different priorities ranging from 500-900, I want them to auto level themselves so that i read highest priority first, book 1 that requires 14 hours of work, so after 14 days I should be done and the next book starts.

    I deleted the master project and put them all in the same project. There are 360 tasks, there will be 1-200 more soon.

    * I want 1 day duration to be an actual day so, 4 days work are monday to thursday. 1 week is really 7 days mon-sun.

    * I want 1 hour of work for resource A to be 1 day, I've also want to set resource B to 3 hours/week.

    How do i do that?

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 10:10 PM
  • This is what I have done.

    1. Project Options > start time: 00:00 > end time: 00:00

    Because when I set the duration to 5 days i want the dates to jump exactly 5 days.

    2. Hours per day are set to 10, hours per week to 70 and days to 30.

    Because I'll only work on this project for 10 hours a day. Should this be set to 24h and 168h to get what I want? Can't i set days per month to full days, some months do have 31.

    3. Should i change the default task type to fixed work/duration instead?

    4. Change working time is set to Standard (project calendar), should this be 24 instead?

    5. What should the resource base calendar be set to? It's on standard now.

    6. How should i limit resource hours to 1hrs.  change working time ... > work weeks > details > set days to these specific working times or set Max. to 10%

    When i try this out i delete the duration and work hours. Type in 1 day and i get 16 hours? that's not even any number i've put in anywhere. When i put 2 days=19hrs. 3 days, becomes 10hrs. 4d=13hrs, 5=23hrs, 7d=17hrs.

    This doesn't make any sense!? I've tried different combinations in the settings above. I can get 1day to be 10 hours but i can't limit resources unless i type Read[7%]. I still can't get 10 days duration to be 10 real days.

     

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 10:30 PM
  • Recommend you buy Eric Uyttewaal's book ISBN 978-0-9867339-0-1.  In particular, see pages 93-96 which covers the areas you are asking about Schedule Options.  The rest of that book is a treasure and valuable.

    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Sunday, July 12, 2015 7:16 AM
  • No, the resource is you

    You have tasks (activities):

    Read book 1 - duration is 14 days.  You wish to devote 1 hour per day for 14 days. Create the task - Read book 1.  Duration is 14 days.  Set it to fixed duration.  Assign yourself (the book is NOT a resource) and enter 14 hours of work.  Project will assign you at the appropriate % to accomplish the 14 hours of work in 14 days.

    You have other tasks - create them.  Set the duration - assign yourself to 3 hours per X hours of work across the duration.  

    Creating addition resources will not allow you to see if you are overallocated.



    Sunday, July 12, 2015 9:48 PM
    Moderator
  • If you want to work 10 hours per day you need to set the Project calendar (Project ribbon > Change working time > work weeks, default) to 10 hours per day.  8:00 am to 7:00 pm with a one hour break or what ever adds up to the time you want to work on these projects.  If you want to "work" Saturday and Sunday then you'll need to make Saturday and Sunday working days.  Then, click on Options from the Change working time dialog and set the Start and end times equal to what you have set in the calendar.  Set your hours per day and hours per week to 10 and 70.

    If you are only going to work 10 hours per day - DO NOT set 24h and 168.  Do NOT use Months as a duration measure.

    No, the project calendar should be standard - the one you just changed.

    No - the resource works 10 hours per day. The task is 14 days the task type is fixed and the work is 14 hours.  The one hour per day will be spread evenly across the 10 hours and project will calculate 10% assignment unit.  Assuming the resource's max units are 100% they still have 90% (or nine hours per day) left to perform other tasks.

    Below is a picture showing the left side of the Task Usage view.  Multiple tasks - same resource (Project Turtle assigned).  You can see the duration and work as well as the calculated assignment units.  The second image is the Resource Usage view showing the work per day for Project Turtle for all assignments and the total work of 6 hours per day.

    Sunday, July 12, 2015 10:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Julie,

    You are a saint and diplomat.

    John

    Monday, July 13, 2015 12:33 AM
  • Indeed!

    --rms www.rmschneider.com

    Monday, July 13, 2015 5:04 AM
  • No more than you. :-)
    Monday, July 13, 2015 1:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Godspeed

    You sir are awesome

    Monday, July 13, 2015 3:40 PM
  • Projectturtle,

    Sir!! How about Ma'am.

    John

    Monday, July 13, 2015 4:31 PM
  • You're welcome - but it's not "sir" - Julie will do :-)
    Monday, July 13, 2015 8:26 PM
    Moderator