Microsoft Project Tutorial - Work vs Duration

project TM a Microsoft Project training

and consulting services

australia-wide this quick video is

designed to address confusion that a lot

of people have about work and duration

often they mistake them for the same

thing before we get started we really

need to define three terms duration span

and work duration is our best guesses to

the number of working days it should

take to form our task span is the number

of calendar days that it should take to

perform the task and if we set a project

correctly and linked all of our tasks

and taking care of the calendars project

will calculate this on its own work is

the amount of time or effort expended by

a resource while performing a task an

important distinction here is that work

is not the same as duration in this

example we're going to use the standard

calendar and we're not going to modify

the working times during the day it's an

eight-hour day it goes from 8 a.m. till

5 p.m. with a 1 hour break between 12:00

and 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon so all

in all an eight-hour day here we have 5

day tasks called

perform research it begins on Monday and

finishes on Friday so it has a duration

of 5 days but in addition to that it has

a span of 5 calendar days the same

Monday through Friday we've moved the

start date of the same task to the 4th

of December and as you can see it now

begins on Wednesday and finishes at the

end of Tuesday the following week so

while it has a duration still 5 days it

now has a span of 7 calendar days note

that all we did here was change the

start date of the task from monday to

wednesday because we did that microsoft

project recalculated the span of the

but didn't change the duration so we

know the duration of the task is five

days but how much work has been assigned

to that task what we'll do is insert the

work column and check and see how much

work has been assigned as you can see no

work has been assigned to that task and

that's because there are no resources

assigned to that task and it's through

resource assignment that we add work to


I'll now assign a resource to that task

right clicking I'm going to the resource

sheet typing in the name of a resource

double-clicking that task selecting

resources selecting the name of the

resource pressing ok and we can see that

at the right hand side of the bar we

have the name of the resource and work

is now at 40 hours which is 8 hours a

day times the 5 days duration of the

task and that way we assign work to the

task in the example here we've removed

the resource again so you can see it's a

task of 5 days duration with no work

what a lot of people often tend to do

and it's incorrect is to say well we can

express duration in hours as well as

days and because work is mostly

expressed in hours they think that by

putting duration in in hours they're in

fact putting in work so what I'm going

to do is change the duration from five

days to 40 H 40 hours which is the same

period you can see that adding done that

it doesn't record any work as being

assigned to that task even though the

duration says 40 hours so always

remember duration is not tied to work

unless typically it's through a resource

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