Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
You’d Be Surprised What Assignments
Can Do to Your Timing
The three task types (as described in Chapter 4) are fixed units, fixed work,
and fixed duration. Each defines the relationship that balances a task’s
duration, the work required to complete the task, and resource availability. This is
known as the golden triangle.
Your selection of task type — in combination with a setting that determines
whether a task is effort-driven — has an effect on the timing of your tasks
relative to your resource assignments.
Pinning down your type
Essentially, task types specify what will remain constant in a task when you
add or remove work resources to it after making the initial resource
assignment. Although this whole work and duration and resource assignment
percentage calculation can be complicated, you need to understand it if you
want Project to accurately determine task durations in your plan according
to resource assignments.
The default task type is fixed units. With a fixed-units task, the task duration
you enter and the resource effort (work) assigned to that task jointly
determine the timing of the task. With this task type, the assignment units you
specify for your resources won’t change even if the number of hours required
to complete the task shrinks or grows.
With a fixed-units task, if you increase the duration of Task A from two to
three days, your resources will continue to work on it at the assigned units
for the specified duration; Project increases the Work amount accordingly.
When you add or take away resources, Project changes the task duration
accordingly, based on the assignment units you specify.
The fixed-work task type, on the other hand, takes a specified number of
work units to be completed. A one-day task requires eight hours to be
completed (assuming a Standard calendar). This type of task changes its duration
in response to the number of resource units you assign.
With a fixed-work task, resource assignments may change in response to a
work change. For example, suppose Task A takes four days to complete when
one person is assigned; with a fixed-work task, the same task takes only two
days when two people are assigned. Project doesn’t modify the hours of work
required to complete the task, but it does modify resource assignment units
to complete that work within the specified timeframe. Thus, if you up the
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