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Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
I have used Microsoft Project on and off for some time. I would still say I am something of a novice with all its options, but am learning as I go on.

In the past in a different office I have just put in the main details and linked them up through the predecessors. Whilst doing this a duration period of 5 days would relate to a working week and extend for example from a start date of Friday 10th July to Friday 17th July. That way weeks were easy to insert as a multiple of 5 days.

Now when I put in the 5 days duration I am often getting Friday 10th July to Monday 20th July. Which is the right way to show 5 working days duration?

Added to this some of the entries vary even further with a 5 day duration relating to say a 4 day period. I presume its not a bug in the programme and something to do with the settings, but having checked other computers in the office I don't seem to be the only one having difficulties.

Has anyone else had similar problems?

Any assistance you can offer would be appreciated and happy to try to answer any questions.

Thanks in advance.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
PS - I should have added that I think we are using Microsoft Project 2003 at work.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
I will see if I can from work or alternatively will create a pdf and send from home. Thanks.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Do you use standard calendar? What is your task type? (Fixed duration, fixed units or fixed work - this impact time duration calculation)

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager
Belgium

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
With respect to IRstuff suggestion I have attached a microsoft project programme illustrating some of the problems.

There are inconsistencies throughout the programme. For example, task line 18 is for 5 days and starts on a Monday and finishes on a Monday. That's how it has worked in the past for me.

Whereas task line 39 is for 20 days and starts on a Monday, but finishes on a Wednesday rather than a Monday.

If you look at many of the tasks the durations and start/finish dates are not consistent.

With respect to FrenchCAD's comments;

Do you use standard calendar? We are using the Standard (Project Calendar) on the Change Working Time tab.

What is your task type? (Fixed duration, fixed units or fixed work - this impact time duration calculation) All the tasks appear to be stated as fixed units.

Thank you for your advice and assistance to date and hope this reply is of some assistance in return to help identify where we are going wrong.

Syko

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Well, of course.  You specified 7 working hours per day, but MSP still uses 8 hrs of work per "day".  

Had you displayed Start and Finish with the actual hours, you'd see that your line 18 goes from 9am Mon to 3pm the next Mon, 5 hrs more than 5 of your workdays.


Likewise, on line 39, the overage is 2*7+6 = 20 hrs, since your mismatch is 5 hrs/week for 4 weeks.


If you change Options | Calendar to reflect your actual workdays, the schedule will work correctly when you enter 20 days.

TTFN

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RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
IRstuff, we've been somewhat confused by all the different programme changes we've tried over the last week or so that have not seemed to add up. But with your advice it is clearly working much better. There is one task which seems to be adding an extra day, but suspect it could be done to a bank holiday or something similar. But never mind its close enough for now and we will just keep an eye on how it develops in the future.

Thanks for the advice and I am sorry if its seemed rather a basic error on our part.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

No worries...

Just remember to use as much resolution as the program with give you, and you'll often see where the problem lies.

TTFN

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RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
With fear of appearing even more foolish, I will risk asking is the phrase, 'use as much resolution as the program will give you' general advice to visually see as much of the programme as possible on the screen/as much depth as the programme provides, or a specific microsoft project terminology/tool that I have missed?

I only ask because I don't want to miss anything that will help us to identify and resolve problems in the future.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Nothing that obtuse, just that the date format includes time, so when odd things happen, and you can see the time of day when something starts or ends, you get more information for debugging the problem at hand.

TTFN

FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Just what IRstuff said.

MSP is kind of wrong programmed on this kind of topic and this is a typical problem you get when playing with working times/calendars/types of task or any mix of the three. The first step when you meet time calculation problem is to have MSP displaying you detailed time activity to get a clearer view of what's going on.

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager
Belgium

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
Oh I think I see. I think part of the problem then is that I haven't had the date time displayed and to be frank neither knew that you could have it displayed or how it can be displayed.

I will have a look at this at work and try the help function to display it, but if you are happy to advise it would be appreciated.

Thanks again.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
In the Date format box, click the date format that you want to use.

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager
Belgium

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
By chance a colleague had sought to search out the date time display without success so that path was very helpful and we now have those details.

I am attaching my latest test programme which has highlighted that most of the tasks appear to be working. The one exception seems to be task 35 which has a start and finish time of 9am (rather than 8am) and is over a friday to friday period rather than the intended monday to friday period for a 40 day duration.

We've tried to change the start time, but without success. Your assistance once more would be appreciated please.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

There is a calendar type assigned to task 35, that explains why you get this disturbance. You can see it in the column information.

To remove it :

- On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.
- In the Task Name field, select the task to which you want to assign a calendar.
- Click Task Information, and then click the Advanced tab.
- In the Calendar list, select None.

After this, you can reschedule your task correctly :

- click the General tab
- Reschedule Start Date to Mon 03/08/09 8:00
 

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager
Belgium

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

(OP)
Thanks for the clear explanation. That has sorted it.

Fingers crossed that is everyone sorted, but we also now have a few tips to help resolve if other problems emerge.

A big thank you to both of you for your time.

RE: Microsoft Project - Duration Errors

Anytime. Feel free to ask if needed :)

Cyril Guichard
Defense Program Manager
Belgium

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