Ms Project

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Objectives - MS Project 2010

* Change the task type settings to control how resources affect task assignments * Apply a preset resource contour to change work value distribution * Working with task information forms

When planning a project schedule, adjustments are often needed to reflect necessary changes in project scope, assignments, etc. In MS Project, when an assignment is changed, the schedule is recalculated to display the changes. You can work with the scheduling method and the task type settings when making changes to the initial resource assignment.

In the previous lesson, the initial resource assignments were made for our project. But we need to learn how to make adjustments to how those resources are used. It is important that you read every part of this lab carefully, if not twice.

Working with Effort-Driven Scheduling

How a task reacts to the addition and removal of resources is defined by the scheduling method and the task type settings. In MS Project, the default scheduling method is effort-driven scheduling. Effort-driven scheduling extends or shortens the duration of a task to accommodate changes to resources but doesn't change the total work for the task.

Work is the amount of effort, or number of hours, resources put into a task.

The total work for a task is determined by the duration estimate for the task and the initial resource assignment using the following formula:

Work = Duration * Units

For example, say you give a task the duration of one day (or eight hours based upon a normal working day). If the initial resource assignment is two units (200%) of a particular resource, the total work for the task will be 16 hours.

16 hours = 1 Day (8 hours) * 200%

As resources are added or removed after the initial assignment, the amount of work is not recalculated, but redistributed among the resources. In other words, the duration is recalculated, not the work:

Duration = Work / Units

So if you assign two more units of the previous resource or two different resources, the total work remains 16 hours; however, the 16 hours is now redistributed among the four resources (16 hours divided by 4 units equals 4 hours of work per resource). The duration is now .5 days (4 hours).

.5 Day (4 hours) = 16 hours / 400%

Effort-driven scheduling assumes that the more (or fewer) resources you assign to a task will decrease (or increase) the duration of a task. "If I can use more people, I can get done faster". The key to effort-driven scheduling is when you make that first assignment (when you press assign or press enter when entering resource assignments), that is when the amount of work is calculated and never changes when you make additional assignments or subtract resources. This effect is very important to understand!

Let's demonstrate this effect.
1. Log onto Windows.
2. Open your completed file MyLab2_XXX.mpp. (or use the MyLab2_XXX.mpp file from Doc Sharing) Check the addendum at the end of this lesson to make sure your beginning file is correct. 3. Save as MyLab3_XXX.mpp, where XXX are your initials.

4. Make sure you are in Gantt chart view and your table is the task entry table. 5. From the View tab and the Task Views group, click Other Views and then More Views.

6. The More Views dialog box appears (figure 1). Select Task Entry and then press Apply.

Figure 1
7. You will notice that your screen "splits" into two separate windows or panes again. 8. The top window or pane is your Gantt chart view with the entry table. The bottom pane is known as the task form window and contains many different formats. The default format you are looking at is known as the resources and predecessors detail view. We will use different detail formats in this window in coming labs. For now, remember this is the task form window. 9. In the top pane, click on task #3, Inventory Current Equipment. Notice in the...
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