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Change Working Days and Time In MS Project

Table of Content for Change Working Days and Time in MS Project-

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Calendar in MS Project?
  3. Task Calendar & Resource Calendar.
  4. Customizing the Calendar.
  5. Setting Working Days
  6. Working Hours per day
  7. Marking Holidays/Leaves
  8. Work Contour

1. Introduction-

The Microsoft Project is a project scheduling tool. It makes the project scheduling easier to visualize especially when the project involves the hundreds of activities. The MS Project has the ability to integrate the project timeline with cost and resource.

The MS Project calculates the cost based on the working time of resources. The concept is as simple as it can be. The more time a resource works the more it costs. Thus, it can be said that the defining time for a resource to work is important to compute its’ cost.

The time duration for an activity to be completed is defined in MS Project along with working time of the resource. The time is defined in terms of working days per week and working hours per day.

For moving ahead, I assume that you are familiar with the basic terminology of MS Project. If you are starting fresh or want to revise the basic terminology of MS Project, I suggest visiting the below two links before moving ahead so that we can directly come to our topic.

MS Project Terminology- Top 20 Terms Everyone Must Know

MS Project Terminology- 20 Must Know Terms-Part 2

Further, I will be using MS Project Professional to explain the features. The features may differ in different versions.

2. What is Calendar in MS Project?

The Calendar is a function in MS project that enables the user to define the working days per week and working hours per day. This feature also provides flexibility to add different working time on different working days.

The holidays and leaves can be also be defined in the calendar so that these holidays/leaves can be omitted when calculating the project completion date.

To change working days and time in MS Project-

Project Tab > Change Working Time

Change Working Days And Time in MS Project
Change Working Time Dialog Box

The MS Project comes with the four numbers of default calendars that can be chosen as per the project requirement.

These calendars are-

default calendar in MS Project
Default Calendar In MS Project
  1. Standard (Project Calendar)– It has 5 days working with 8 hours per day and Saturday and Sunday as non-working days.
  2. Night Shift Calendar- It has with 12 am to 8 am working with Sunday off.
  3. 24 Hour Calendar with 7 days for 24 hours working every day.

3. Task Calendar & Resource Calendar-

The calendar assigned to a task controls it. The task completion date is calculated as per the task calendar. On the timeline, the duration is shown as per the calendar and the non-working days are left off in the calculation.

Task calendar in MS Project
Task Calendar

Similarly, the calendar assigned to a resource controls it and called the Resource Calendar. The working hours of a resource unit are primarily defined by the resource calendar.

Resource Calendar in MS Project
Resource Calendar

4. Customizing the Calendar-

Project > Change Working Time > Create New Calendar > Create Copy/Make a New Calendar

Customising calendar in ms project
Creating a Copy of Default Calendar

To change the working days and time in MS Project, the calendar can be customized as per the project requirement or resource availability.

In create new calendar option, you can either choose to create a copy of any of the default calendars and make adjustments to it or make a completely new calendar.

Once you choose to make a copy of any of the default calendars or make a new one. Click on ‘Work Weeks’ option and then ‘Details’ options to change the working days per week and working time per day.

5. Setting Working days-

Project > Change Working Time > Work Weeks > Details

The workweeks can be defined in Change Working Time Dialog Box. The workweeks are mentioned with start and finish dates.

6. Setting Working Time-

Project > Change Working Time > Work Weeks > Details.

Change Working days and time in MS Project
Changing Working Time per Day

The days are set to working time as per the resource availability each day. On clicking the ‘Details’ option in Change Working Time Dialog Box, a new dialog box opens up. It has three options-

Use Project default times for these days. Click on this option if you want to enter standard 8 am-5 pm working time for the selected day.

Set Days to Non-Working time. Select your non-working day(s) and click on this option to make it a non-working day in the project calendar.

Set day(s) to these working times: If you want to enter customized timing for each day, click on this option and enter the working hours in the below available table.

Tip: To enter the same working time for days, press Ctrl key and select days. Now enter the working time in the table.

7. Marking Holidays/Leaves

Project > Change Working Time > (Select Your Calendar) > Exceptions

change working days and time in ms project- marking holidays
Marking Holiday/Leave in Calendar

The calendar is marked with the holiday(s)/leave(s) to make an exception for that day/period. With the marking of exception for a day, the MS Project doesn’t count that day when calculating the completion date.

The ‘Exception’ feature is also helpful when a resource is not available to work on the project. The unavailability of the resource can be marked in the calendar thus, preventing the allocation of the task to that calendar on that day.

8. Work Contour

The work of a resource is distributed equally throughout the duration of the task. This may not always be true. Some task may require higher working hours in the beginning and lesser hours in the end. Or lesser hours in the beginning and more hours as the work proceeds. Many such trends can be observed when working with a huge number of activities.

The work contour feature helps in distributing the work over the duration of the task in the desired manner.

Task Tab > Gantt Chart (Bottom Half Part) > Resource Usage > (Select Resource & Right-Click) > Information > General > Work Contour

Selecting Resource Usage Sheet
Selecting Resource Usage Sheet

The MS Project offers following pre-defined work contours-

Change working days and time in ms project-work contour
Work Contour
  1. Flat
  2. Back Loaded
  3. Front Loaded
  4. Double Peak
  5. Early Peak
  6. Late Peak
  7. Bell
  8. Turtle

You can also change the working time per day for a resource directly in the resource usage view by typing the working hours.

Liked the article ‘Change Working Days and Time In MS Project’? Let me know in the comment below.

Want to read about Project Schedule? Click here.

Check your schedule quality check here.

For Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Click here.

Happy Engineering!

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