Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
assignments, the duration might change but the number of hours of effort
(work) you need to put in to complete the task stays the same. When you add
or delete a resource assignment on an effort-driven task, work is spread
around equally among resources.
Here’s how an effort-driven task works. Suppose that you have a two-day task
to set up a computer network in a new office. With one resource assigned to
the task, working 8 hours a day, it will take 16 hours to complete the work (two
8-hour days). If you assign a second resource, the task no longer takes two
days because the hours of effort required will be completed more quickly by
the two people working simultaneously — in this case, in one 8-hour period.
An example of a task that is not effort driven is attending a daylong seminar.
No matter how many people attend or how many people are present, the
seminar takes one day to complete.
Effort Driven is a simple check box choice on the Advanced tab in the Task
Information dialog box (refer to Figure 4-6). Select this check box to enable or
disable the Effort Driven setting; it’s selected by default. When you clear this
setting, the same task that you set to run two days takes two days, no matter
how much effort your resources put in. In other words, adding resources
doesn’t cause the task to be completed sooner.
Constraints You Can Live With
A constraint is more than something you’re forced to live with, such as
dandruff or noisy neighbors. In Project, constraints are timing conditions that
control a task. You tell Project what, if anything, to constrain for each task.
Understanding how constraints work
When you create a task, the As Soon As Possible constraint is selected by
default. In other words, the task starts as soon as the project starts, assuming
that no dependencies with other tasks exist that would delay its start.
Task start and finish dates — working with dependencies, the task type, the
Effort Driven setting, and constraints — set the timing of each task. However,
when Project performs calculations to try to save you time in a project that’s
running late, it considers constraints to be the most sacred timing settings.
For example, if you set a constraint that a task must finish on a certain date,
Project shifts around almost any other task in a schedule in recalculating
timing before it suggests that that task might finish on another date.