Setting Your Project Calendar

Your project calendar sets the working days and times for your project and its tasks. The project calendar is also the default calendar for any resources working on your project. The project calendar indicates when your organization typically works on project tasks and when it's off work. By setting your project calendar, you're establishing one of the fundamental methods for scheduling the tasks in your project.

Working with Base Calendars in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project comes with three base calendars. These base calendars are like calendar templates that you can apply to a set of resources, a set of tasks, or the project as a whole.

Standard Working time is set to Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. until 5:00

P.M., with an hour off for lunch from noon until 1:00 P.M. each day. This is the default base calendar used for the project, for tasks, and for resources.

Night Shift Working time is set to an 11:00 P.M. until 8:00 A.M. night shift, five days a week, with an hour off for lunch from 3:00 A.M. until 4:00 A.M. each morning. This base calendar is generally used for resources who work a graveyard shift. It can also be used for projects that are carried out only during the night shift.

24 Hours Working time is set to midnight until midnight seven days a week; that is, work never stops. This base calendar is typically used for projects in a manufacturing situation, for example, which might run two or three back-to-back shifts every day of the week.

You can modify the base calendar in any way you need. To modify an existing base calendar, follow these steps:

1 Click Tools, Change Working Time.

2 In the For box, click the name of the base calendar you want to modify (see Figure 3-5).

Figure 3-5. Use the Change Working Time dialog box to modify a base calendar.

3 To change the working time of a single day, click that day.

If you're changing working time to nonworking time, select the Nonworking Time option.

If you're changing the working time to something other than the default, select the Nondefault Working Time option. Then, change the times in the From and To boxes as needed.

4 To change the working time of a particular day of each week, click the day heading.

For example, click the M heading to select all Mondays. Select the Nonworking Time or Nondefault Working Time option and then change the times in the From and To boxes as needed.

5 To change the working time of a day in another month, scroll down in the Select Dates box until you see the correct month.

6 As before, click the Nonworking Time or Nondefault Working Time option and then change the working times as needed.

This is a good method for setting holidays as nonworking time.

7 When you finish changing the selected base calendar, click OK.

Figure 3-5. Use the Change Working Time dialog box to modify a base calendar.

To create a new base calendar, follow these steps:

1 Click Tools, Change Working Time.

2 Click the New button.

The Create New Base Calendar dialog box appears (see Figure 3-6).

Create New Base Calendar

C Create new base calendar

Make a copy of | Standard

j calendar

[

Figure 3-6. You can create a new base calendar from scratch or adapt it from an existing one.

3 In the Name box, type the name you want for the new base calendar; for example, Swing Shift.

4 Select the Create New Base Calendar option if you want to adapt your calendar from the Standard base calendar.

Select the Make A Copy Of option if you want to adapt the new calendar from a different base calendar, such as the Night Shift calendar. Click the name of the existing calendar you want to adapt and click OK.

5 Make the changes you want to the working days and times of individual days or of a particular day of every week, as needed.

6 When finished with your new base calendar, click OK.

Applying a Base Calendar to the Project Calendar

If you're using the Standard base calendar as your project calendar, you don't need to do much—the Standard calendar is the project calendar by default. Just make sure to modify the Change Working Times dialog box to reflect your team's working times and days off, as well as any holidays you'll all be taking.

If you want to use a different base calendar, you must select it as your project calendar. Follow these steps:

1 Click Project, Project Information.

2 In the Calendar box, select the name of the base calendar.

3 Click OK.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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