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Fixed Duration V’s Fixed Work V’s Fixed Units

9 replies [Last post]
Alastair Morrison
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I have a problem that is inherent with MS Project since the day of dawn as far as I can see so here goes , I hope there is a clever planner out there who may be able to help...

What is the best method (correct method) of inputing resource hours and task durations...

For example if I have one man to a task I want to show an overload and not have MSP strech the duration to level the allocation, ie 10d 1 man 1000 hours, therefore I have the choice of increaseing the resorce avaialilty or addn more resources. I get different actions depending on what task type I use and wheher I use effort to drive the task etc.

I want the duation fixed regardless of amout of hours and resourece numbers and in reverse I want hours fixed regardless of duration and manpower.

Help ??

Alastair

Replies

Eugene K
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more experience with msp...
what i normally do...
during initial planning... set to Fixed Duration.
after schedule is OK. assign resources.
after resources allocation is OK... set to Fixed Work.
reason: with Fixed Work... any change to duration will recalc the units required to achieve the Total Work prev calc. and vice-versa chg to units required will recalc duration to achieve the Total Work prev calc.

as for alvin,
when u assign the resource what was the total work? 40hrs?
if the total hrs as ur expect is supposed to be 10hrs, make sure u do not assign 100% (1 person)
because duration = 5 @ 8hrs per day
assigning 1 person fulltime = 5 x 8 = 40hrs Total Work
so if u estimate Total Work = 10hrs
it means u need only 25% of the input (= 0.25 unit of 25%) depend on ur setting for resource unit
i.e u assign 0.25 Designer or 25% Designer
that would give u Total Work 10hrs and later when u progress the work, the actual work should be 10hrs
Rodel Marasigan
User offline. Last seen 20 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1516
Hi all,

Another way is to display your custom form. Select View-> Toolbars-> Custom Form
Click Cost Tracking or Work Tracking Icon
If used Cost Tracking change Work to correct hrs, % work complete to 100% and 0% on duration % complete and click OK.
If used Work Tracking change Total to correct hrs, % complete to 100 and 0% on duration % complete and click OK.

Note: Make sure that duration % complete = 0% otherwise MSP automatically calculate the new hrs/ original hrs as duration % complete.

It’s better to use this custom form especially if you have multiple resources on one task to adjust.

Regards,
Rodel
Alvin W
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James, Alexandre,

Thanks a lot, that approach seems to be working just fine!

It makes perfect sense now that it’s been explained.

I’m using the split-screen approach, thx for suggesting it.

Alvin.
James Griffiths
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Alwin,

If you input a resource onto a FIXED DURATION task, it will automatically assume that the resource is working at 100% for the duration of that activity. Therefore, if you then amend the % Complete to show 100%, it will convert the scheduled hours to actual hours. In order to avoid this, you need to split-screen (show RESOURCE WORK form at the bottom of the screen), input the resouce name and then input the scheduled hours. Only then should you click "OK". When you amend the task to 100% complete, it will convert your 10 scheduled hours to 10 actual hours, appropriately spread across the duration.

If you try doing it any other way round, the gantt bar will probably show lots of little dots.

It’s always a pain in the bum, but if you input the data in the correct sequence, you will get the correct results.

HTH

James.
Alexandre Faulx-B...
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Joined: 20 Jan 2003
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Alwin,
it’s not an easy or quick way of doing it, but you could have a try:
display Task Usage (or Resource Usage),
display Actual Work
key in the actual amount of work by day or week (depending the Time Scale zoom)
key in the value 100% for the task % complete
delete the additional amount of work MSP insists to enter after the task finish date
it would take a macro to automatize this process
Alexandre
I hope somebody will have a better idea, I am interested in
Alvin W
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As far as scheduling a fixed duration task, I understand how to do that -- Task Type = Fixed Duration, Effort Driven = No.

I am then able to allocate resources without MSP2003 changing the start/end dates on me.

But when I try to close the task, that is, when I try to set %complete to 100%, Project insists on forcing Actual Work to match duration.

For example, I have a task with 5 days duration, but the resources only needed 10 hours to complete the task. When I change %complete to 100%, the resources Actual Work gets forced to 40.

Is there a way around this?
Alexandre Faulx-B...
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I meant: the "Effort Driven" checkbox is dimmed, and automatically set to "Yes", I meant you cannot activate / de-activate it
James is right, undrestanding Task Type in MS Project is worth the price of a good training session with a good instructor.
Alexandre
James Griffiths
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Correction to Alexandre’s post.

On a FIXEd WORK task, the "Effort Driven" checkbox cannot be de-activated.

NOTE OF CAUTION: The intepretation and use of the "FIXED XXX" can be cause for confusion, especially when trying to change resource, duration, units or when re-scheduling uncompleted work. The results are never quite what you expect.

James
Alexandre Faulx-B...
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Alistair,
1. Duration fixed regardless of amout of hours and resourece numbers: set the task type as "Fixed Duration" and uncheck the "Effort driven" box
2. Hours fixed regardless of duration and manpower: set the task type as "Fixed Work"; "Effort driven" will automatically be desactivated.
Any decent book or training material on MS Project (any version since MSP ’98) explains that set-up.
All the best,
Alexandre