Troubleshooting

You set the calendar for 20 hours per week, but the tasks are still being scheduled for 40 hours per week

Or you thought you set the calendar for 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 PM., for the project to be sched uled only in the mornings, but the tasks are still being scheduled 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 PM.

Sometimes, the Calendar options tab confuses more readily than it assists. The Hours Per Day, Hours Per Week, and Days Per Month settings can easily be misinterpreted to make us think we're using them to set the schedule for the project. What we're actually doing is set ting start and end times and specifying how duration entries are to be converted to assign ment work.

Suppose you want to specify that work on this project is to be scheduled only in the mornings, from 8:00 A.M. until 12:00 PM. To affect actual task scheduling in this way, you'd need to edit the working times for each day in the Change Working Time calendar. The Default Start Time only specifies the time that Microsoft Project should enter if you enter a start date without a corresponding start time. The Default End Time only specifies the time that Microsoft Project should enter if you enter a finish date without a corresponding finish time.

Also, suppose you want to specify that work on this project is to be scheduled only 20 hours per week because your team is working on another project at the same time. If you enter 20 in the Hours Per Week box and then enter a duration of 2 weeks, it is scheduled as 40 hours—according to the project calendar. That means if the project's working times calendar is still set for Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. through 5:00 PM., the 2 weeks is scheduled as two sets of 20 hours back to back, resulting in "2 weeks" taking place in 1 actual week in your schedule—probably not what you intended.

The solution is to make the corresponding change in the working times calendar. Set the working and nonworking times in the Change Working Time calendar so that there are 20 hours of working time per week. Then, when you enter 2 weeks as a duration, the first 20 hours are scheduled in the first week, and the second 20 hours are scheduled in the sec ond week.

The settings in the Calendar Options tab also determine how durations are translated into work time units when you assign resources to tasks. Think of this as a "Conversions" tab, and it might be more clear.

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