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Old 01-06-2015, 07:38 PM
cuseman03 cuseman03 is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 8 getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2013
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getting hung up on duration vs. work
 
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Default getting hung up on duration vs. work

Hi,



I think I have come to the right place for my problem. I have spent countless hours researching the difference between duration and work hours in Project. The way I see it, duration is the timeframe you have to complete something and work is the actual time it takes to complete it. So, if I have one week to complete a task the duration would be 40 hours but if I anticipate the actual doing of the work only taking 2 days, then work would be 16 hours. Is this right?

I always get into trouble with this when I'm building a plan. In my current example the situation is rather simple. It's a short project and I'm the only FTE, so I'm wondering if I should account for both aspects or just one? The problem as I see it is if you use duration to signify how long a task takes the problem is how do you see that within the context of having a window to complete it. Sure, you can start messing around with must complete by, etc. but I try to stay away from this.

In short, I want to be able to look at my WBS at a high level and say for each task, 1) here's how long I'm giving myself to complete the task (e.g, it can be expected within this time frame) and 2) here's how long I expect the actual task to take to complete.

Lastly, when I build my WBS should I do auto or manual based on my statement above.

Thanks,
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:00 PM
JulieS JulieS is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 7 64bit getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2013
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Duration is the span of time (in working time defined in the calendar) from the start of the task to the finish of the task. Work is the amount of effort expended during that time.

For example: You may ask a resource (Jane) to help out on a task. You ask her "when you will have it complete?" Jane tells you she'll have it done on Friday. Assuming today is Monday the duration of the task is 5 days. However, Jane is assigned to three different projects and she know that it really is only 12 hours of work. She has increased the duration to longer than 1.5 days knowing that she is going to try to fit your task in among the other work she's doing.

Another example: You have a 2 hour meeting scheduled. You've invited 10 people to attend the meeting. The duration of the meeting is only 2 hours but collectively there will be 22 hours (10 invited plus you) of work expended during the 2 hour meeting.

Duration drives dates (start and finish). Work drives cost and resource availability.

Regarding your question around your project where you are the only resource. Chances are your boss is going to be interested in duration (dates). It will be up to you to estimate your relative availability to the project. Assuming the project is not your 100% full time job, the difference between work (effort) and duration is a factor of your other, non-project work.

As you are the only resource, you are likely going to want to link your tasks Finish to Start. I would use Auto Scheduled tasks and let Project do the heavy lifting for you.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:10 PM
Cameronk Cameronk is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 7 64bit getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2010 64bit
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Default Duraction vs. Work vs. Actual Work

After reading the above, I believe I understand the difference between work and duration now. I am still having a problem, however. I hope someone can help.

Here is my example:

I have allowed myself two weeks (duration) to complete a task. In actuality, the amount of effort (work) that was exerted to complete the task was only 4 days. How do I reflect the 4 days of work as a task 100% complete?

When I populate 4 days into the "actual duration" column, it shows that the task is only 40% complete.

It would be helpful for the "duration" column to remain at 2w, to show the variance between estimated and actual time when performing the postmortem on this project.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:28 PM
JulieS JulieS is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 7 64bit getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2013
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You have a two week duration task with 32 hours of work. The easiest method is to create the task with the 2 weeks duration. Change the task type to Fixed Duration. Then assign yourself and enter the 32 hours of work. Project will assign you at 40% and calculate 3.2 hours of work for 10 days.

Then when tracking you can either enter the percent complete. In your example below, you are confusing Actual Duration and Actual Work. It took you 10 days (Actual Duration) to do 32 hours of Actual Work.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:37 PM
Cameronk Cameronk is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 7 64bit getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2010 64bit
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I have actually completed the task in 32hrs, not the whole 2w (80h) allotted. Shouldn't the gantt bar for this task shorten and re-schedule successor tasks to actually start when the predecessor task finished after the 32hrs?
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:19 PM
JulieS JulieS is offline getting hung up on duration vs. work Windows 7 64bit getting hung up on duration vs. work Office 2013
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Again, I think we're muddling work and duration. If the resource completed the 32 hours of work in 4 days duration, then you need to update the task. I'd change it off Fixed Duration. The go to the Task Usage view, enter the 32 hours of work on the right side (Actual work) when it occurred. Make sure the remaining duration is zero.
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