Project Management

Change the time to fit your project in Microsoft Project

If you've established a set time for team members to complete projects in Microsoft Project, what do you do when you have to modify the workday or timeframe? Here's a way to change your calendar.

Consultants and project managers who use Microsoft Project 2000 have three basic choices when they’re selecting the time they expect their team members to work: Standard, for the 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. workday; 24 Hours, for round-the-clock work; or Night Shift, a Monday night through Saturday morning option.

To access this feature, go to Project | Project Information from the top of any page. You’ll see a dialog box like the one shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Project will automatically use the Standard workday as its default. But you can deviate from the standard work calendar, represent holidays, or change the calendar to indicate when your team will attend off-site training for a day or two and won’t be available to work on the project. From the main menu, open Tools | Change Working Time (see Figure B).

Figure B

You’ll see that since the standard 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. workday has been scheduled, with an hour-long lunch from noon to 1:00 P.M., Saturdays and Sundays are represented as Nonworking hours.

Let’s suppose that, because of project deadlines, you need to change the time to 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. for the last week in May. You also need to select Memorial Day as a day when none of your team will work.

In the Change Working Time dialog box, use the scroll bar to find the dates you need to modify. Find May 27 and select the Nonworking Time radio button. After you click OK to approve the change, your calendar will look like the one shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Notice that May 27 is now indicated as Nonworking Time and the date is shaded as Nonworking. Also, no times are listed in the From and To fields. Now, let’s change the rest of the week. Highlight May 28 to May 31 and change the time to 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. (You still want to keep that hour for lunch, don’t you?) Notice that the time is now changed to Nondefault Working Time and the dates are shaded as Edited Working Hours (see Figure D).

Figure D

If you find that you have to change the time for the entire project, click the Options button on the Change Working Time dialog box. Enter 7:00 A.M. as the Default Start Time and 6:00 P.M. as the Default End Time and click OK. When you open the Options dialog box again, you’ll see that the number of working hours per day has increased from 8 to 10 and the hours worked per week is 48 (see Figure E).

Figure E

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