Sunday 21 April 2019

Microsoft Project - Key Tips for Calculation of Costs & Time

Calculation of Costs


Calculation of Costs

1.    Calendars (Project, Task, Resource)    * Tools, Change Working Time

Tip: Calendars can be customized to match how you work at your organization using easy-to-use new calendar functionality for defining holidays and exceptions.  You can have multiple custom calendars that can be applied at the project level (project information), task level (task information), or resource (resource sheet – resource information).

2.    Project Start Date    * Project, Project Information

Tip: Define the project start date first and remember you can change it whenever you need to. If you do not define it, Project will automatically define it as the day our open and save your plan. You can also schedule from the finish date and do backward scheduling (Schedule from: Project Finish Date) but we recommend if you choose this approach to switch back to forward scheduling (Schedule from: Project Start Date) once the project plan is finished and it before it begins.

3.    Duration Estimates    * 1d=8hrs; 5d=1wk; 20d=1mth

Tip: Enter your duration directly into the duration column. You can not enter duration at the summary task level as these are calculated fields. You can enter duration in minutes, hours, days, weeks or months. We recommend that you be consistent throughout the plan and try and use the same unit.

4.    Dependencies/Links    *All tasks/milestones should be networked

Tip: If a task does not have a predecessor than it will automatically default to the project start date. All tasks should have predecessors unless it is the first task in the plan or is truly driven by the project start date or has external dependencies.

5.    Task Constraints    * Use with caution>95% = As Soon as Possible

Tip: Stay away from using constraints as they become hard coded dates that can override the other factors that impact time. Use them when you have a compelling reason to for truly fixed dates or you have external links that are not able to be set in your plan. A task can have both a constraint and a dependency.

6.    Resource Assignments    * Work = Duration * Units (which one is fixed?)

Tip: Select a scheduling methodology whether it be duration based (fixed duration) or work based (fixed work or fixed units with effort driven on) and set the default task type under Tools, Options, Schedule prior to entering in tasks to the task name column. Task types can be changed from one task to another and will have no impact on your schedule unless you assign resources.

Calculation of Time

7.    Resource Assignment Levels    *Work = Duration * Units

Tip: Keep in mind if you do not have costs assigned to your resources when you assign them to tasks they will not impact the cost column.

8.    Standard & Overtime Rates    * Assign cost rates if you want costs with your assignments

Tip: Cost rates can be entered into the resource sheet as per minute, per hour, per day, per week, per month or per year (i.e. salary).

9.    Cost/Use    * Lump sum attached to each resource assignment

Tip: You can combine standard rates with cost per use rates. Cost per use will be assigned regardless of hours wherever the resource is assigned if this field is filled out.

10.    Fixed Work Column or Cost Resources    * Assigning costs without regard to hours or units

Tip: You can assign either fixed costs or resource costs at the summary task level without being concerned with work hours or units. If you use just the fixed cost column you can assign costs at any level without having any resources.

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