MS Project Best Practices : Don’t miss to update calendars in your Plan for accurate scheduling


 

Don’t miss to update the Calendar in MS Project for accurate scheduling.

 

You keyed in your Plan with all key tasks, assigned your resources to the task, set the dependencies. But have you accounted for the Organization Holidays or Resource’s Vacation that will come during the project time line? If not then some of the tasks may not reflect the real world start or finish date.

Scheduling in MS Project happens based on the assigned resource’s availability, effort / duration of the task, dependencies and the calendar. To factor in the holidays and vacation plans you need to tailor your Calendar.

Two types of calendars are available in MS Project

  1. Standard Calendar – A Calendar global to the project
  2. Resource Calendar – Each resource assigned in the Project will have an individual calendar.

Standard Calendar is ideal for setting Holidays, Exceptional Working days etc which are global to the Project.

Resource Calendar is the best fit to capture the vacation plans for a single resource.

Calendars can be accessed by going thru “Project” –> “Change Working Time” menu. Depending on the version of MS Project you are using, this may vary.

Once the “Change Working Time” Dialog box is open, Standard and resources Calendars are accessible thru the “For Calendar” drop down. Select the appropriate Calendar. Resource Calendar will have the names of resources working on the project.

To Add a Holiday or vacation, go the “Exceptions Tab” and key in a “Name” and the “Start” and “Finish” dates. Once this is done, you can see the exception days will appear with appropriate legend in the Calendar displayed above. Once done, Click OK to save the changes.

To make a non-working day a working day, say for eg: you are compensating for a Holiday falling on a week day, then after entering the Exception details, click on the “Details” button and Select “Working Time” radio button under “Set working times for this exceptions“. Once selected MS Project will populate the default project work times in the below table. You can change this if you wish. Click OK to save the data entered on “Details” tab. Again click OK on “Change Work Time” dialog box to save the Exception.

If you have already assigned resources or schedule to the tasks, MS Project will update the plan automatically to reflect the changes.

See Also : More articles on MS Project

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