# Lesson2.2.Estimating Task Duration

### Lesson 2.2. Estimating Task Duration

##### Figure 2-2. You can use abbreviations to indicate duration length in Project.

Once you've entered tasks in the project, you need to tell the program how long each task will take. Project then uses the durations you enter to calculate the amount of time the project will take as a whole.

How does Project calculate how long the task will take? First, Project looks at the amount of active working time you have available from the start to the end of the task. Then, Project looks at the amount of working time you estimate that the task will take to complete, which is the amount of time you enter in the Duration field.

For example, the Standard calendar is dedicated to 40 hours of work on the project each week. Therefore, Project assumes that one day requires eight hours, one week requires 40 hours, etc. When you estimate that a task will take two weeks to finish, Project assumes that you need 80 hours to do it.

Here are some guidelines to help you estimate a task's duration:

• Consider the scope of the project: Durations can be entered in months, weeks, days, hours, or minutes. It all depends on the scope of the entire project. For example, if you are trying to plan a project that will take several years to complete, it is probably useless to plan the duration of a task in minutes.

• Refer to the entire project: Generally, if you have a longer project, you will have longer tasks, and if you have a shorter project, you will have shorter tasks.

Sound confusing? You'll understand better as you continue to work with more of the features in Project.

There is another type of duration you can use in a projectelapsed durations. Elapsed durations ignore working and nonworking time in all calendars and resource assignments. They schedule tasks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until they are finished. Elapsed durations are useful for processes that can't stop once started, such as the period of time it takes cement to cure after it is poured. You designate an elapsed duration by entering an "e" before the duration unitfor example, "4 ed" for four elapsed days. Figure 2-2 describes the various abbreviations used to indicate duration length in Project.

## QUICK REFERENCE

• ESTIMATING THE DURATION OF A TASK IS PROBABLY THE HARDEST PART OF ENTERING TASKS. TO DO A GOOD JOB OF ESTIMATING THE DURATION OF A TASK, RESEARCH THE TASKS OF SIMILAR PROJECTS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED.

Project 2003 Personal Trainer
ISBN: 0596008546
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 156

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