Home > Microsoft Project, Uncategorized > Part 4 – Microsoft Project Tutorial – Entering Duration

Part 4 – Microsoft Project Tutorial – Entering Duration

In my previous posts, I’ve covered the term Duration and if you’re using Fixed Work as the task type, duration is calculated automatically when you add resources and set their focus factor (units). But sometimes you set the Duration and sometimes tasks have a fixed length and no resources.

We’ll start by adding a number of tasks to our Gantt chart table:

FourTasks

You can see that they all have a ? after their length. That just says that you haven’t entered it manually so you can remove it and nothing is affected.

FourTasksQuestionMark

You can also change the value of Duration. If you just enter a number in the field, the metric used is Days (this is a setting so you can change the default metric to weeks, minutes, months, etc.) If you want to enter another metric you need to type in the number followed by the metric (min, h, d, w, mon – observe that the names of the metrics depends on the cultural settings of the application so if you’re not using a  English version you need to check the names in your environment).

You can also enter an e (which letter is also a cultural setting) before the name of the metric:

FourTasksElapsed

Can you see that the tasks get different lengths in the diagram part? Why is that? Well, if I use the ordinary metrics, the tasks need to be performed during working time and working days. If I enter the e, which stands for elapsed, the tasks can be performed independent of working time. Example of that type of tasks can be concrete drying or if you for example give users “two weeks to test”.

If you change the working time, the duration of tasks without the e in the metric will be affected. You can see this very easy if you add a non working day to you schedule. Select Tools—>Change Working time. Select a day in the calendar and select Non Working time. Confirm with OK:

NonWorkingDay

You can see that the new non working day has been marked as grey and that the duration of the task without the e in duration has become longer:

FourTasksElapsedWithHoliday

So, don’t forget to add your holidays and use elapsed for tasks which are independent of holidays!

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