As you will see later when you enter tasks, you can enter their duration in a number of different ways. For example you can enter the duration in days, or weeks, or even months. For Microsoft
Project to be able to calculate appropriate dates around these duration it has to have a common set of rules to work to. These calendaring rules are set up in the calendar options.
Working with Project Options in Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project calculates everything based on minutes. When you enter a duration for a task Microsoft Project internally converts that duration to minutes based on the definition of a day in the Options dialog box.
For example, if the Options dialog box shows that there are 8 hours in a day, Microsoft Project will internally convert a 1-day task to 480 minutes (that is, 8 hours x 60 minutes). If the Options dialog box shows that there are 10 hours in a day, Microsoft Project will internally convert a 1-day task to 600 minutes.
Default Start and End Times in MS Project:
These are backup values for Microsoft Project. Usually a task start time is determined by the finish time of the predecessor task. However, the Default start time is used only when you don’t enter a specific start time or one is not calculated for you based on a predecessor. Similarly the finish time of a task is automatically calculated for you based on the task’s start date and time and its duration. If you specifically enter a finish date and don’t enter a finish time the Default end time is used to calculate a finish time for the task.
Don’t worry if this sounds a bit hard to comprehend for the moment. Until you know otherwise you should ensure that the Default start time and the Default end time match the start and end times for a normal working day in your organization.
24 hour versus 12 hour time settings in MS Project:
Windows can be configured to show time in a 24 hour or 12 hour format. Microsoft Project shows time based on how your Windows is configured. You can change the setting using the Clock, Language and Region settings in the Windows Control Panel.
To display a 24 hour clock the Short Time style will need to be set to H:mm and the Long Time set to H:mm:ss. To display a 12 hour clock the Short Time style will need to be set to h:mm and the Long Time set to h:mm:ss (in lowercase letters).
How to set Fiscal Year in Microsoft Project file ?
Another trap to watch out for is the definition of a fiscal year. By default as you can see from above, the fiscal year on a Gantt chart is shown in the American format, beginning in January and running through to December. Australia’s fiscal year starts in July and continues on to June of the following year. If this will be an issue for your projects then you should adjust the Fiscal year starts in setting appropriate to your needs.
How to change the calendar options in Microsoft Project ?
The Calendar options affect the duration of the tasks. In the Options dialog box, the Schedule tab allows us to set our default start and finish times for tasks. We can also set which day the week starts on in our project and which month the fiscal year starts in. Most importantly, however, we can specify how many hours per day and week the project requires.
Steps to set default working time in you project file :
Click on File then Options
Click on the Schedule tab
Change the options as required
Click on [OK]
Working with calendars :
Calendars are used in Microsoft Project to define the working and non-working days of the resources and tasks in your project. While there can be several calendars simultaneously in use
throughout your project there will at least be one standard calendar available as the default project calendar. This calendar should contain settings that reflect the basic working time of your organisation.
Calendars and Working Time
Calendars are extremely important in Microsoft Project and basically provide the guidelines for calculating how much work is required to complete tasks in your project.
Microsoft Project already has several calendars built into it which can, and should, be modified for the project you are working on. These are template calendars, known as bas calendars, which can either be used as is, or modified or even cloned. The three calendars are:
Standard – which includes a typical (at least in America) working time scenario from Monday to Friday, starting at 8:00 am and finishing at 5 pm with lunch between 12 noon and 1 pm.
Night shift – which sets the working time from Monday to Friday, starting at 11 pm and concluding at 8:00 am, with lunch between 3 and 4 am.
24 Hours – where work is scheduled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Calendars and Working Time:
The Standard calendar is the one most commonly used and the one that will be used for our case study. Its hours should be adjusted to match those of the standard working time in our case study. Calendars are accessed from the Change Working Time dialog box. This dialog box displays a view of one month which shows working and non-working days. Normal daily working times are adjusted using the Work Weeks tab in the dialog box. The Exceptions tab is used for specifying things such as public holidays and non-routine non-working times and days.
How to modify the standard calendar in Microsoft Project ?
The Standard calendar, sometimes also known as the project calendar, is the one that will be assigned as the default calendar to any tasks or resources that are entered into the project. The working times in this calendar should be adjusted to match the normal working times of your organisation. This can be done using the Change Working Time command on the Project tab.