Microsoft Project: The Five Keys - Key 4 Project Calendars
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Microsoft Project: The Five Keys - Key 4 Project Calendars

This course covers the calendar feature in MS Project. The subtleties and quirks in the calendar tool are examined.
0.0 (0 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
8 students enrolled
Created by F. Kevin Gaza
Last updated 2/2018
English [Auto]
Price: $199.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand the different calendar types within MS Project
  • Understand the different options within the calendar feature and how to use them
  • Understand that MS Project tasks always obey the calendar and how to make use of that rule
  • Understand how to create special case calendars (e.g. weekends and night shifts) and apply those calendars to individual tasks
  • Understand the quirks in the calendar tool
  • They should have taken the prior "Five Keys" courses available on Udemy (Key 1 - Navigation, Key 2A&B - Task Linking, Key 3 - Constraints)

The Calendar feature in MS Project is a very important function to understand as your project tasks always obey the calendar. In these videos important concepts such as the Calendar's dialog box is explored, and the functionality found there is explained. At the end of the lectures you will understand how to create holidays and special working time schedules. Important features to understand if you are going to be able to create effective schedules.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is applicable to beginners, intermediate and advanced users.
  • The course covers the basics but also gets into subtleties that intermediate and advanced users need to understand.
Course content
Expand all 14 lectures 01:12:28
+ Five Keys Introduction for Project Calendars
2 lectures 11:28

This lecture explains how this key fits in with all the Five Keys---and it does this review in less than five minutes! Look for the other keys in additional lectures of the same name that you can purchase through Udemy.

Preview 04:50

Microsoft Project schedules always obey the calendar. Always. Understanding how this feature works can be a key to your project schedule representing the work to be done and the time frames more accurately.

This module goes over the key components you need to understand and become competent with, such as creating exception holidays and modifying the work week hours. This is functionality that if understood that can help your projects finish earlier and deliver the value your sponsors demand.

This is one of the essential knowledge areas in MS Project to help you create workable schedules quickly and accurately.

Preview 06:38
+ Key 4 -Project Calendars
6 lectures 31:24

Modifying a Project's task working times begins with understanding how to use the Working Time dialog box.

This lecture introduces the basic components and concepts that are in the Change Working Time dailog box. With these basics in place the stage is set for learning how to modify the calendar and thus get the working time results you need--whether it be a change to the work week or an individual day such as a holiday.

Calendar basics

We next move to the middle of the Change Working Time dialog box and explore the subtleties of the Calendar Legend and the Calendar Grid. The Legend looks impressive, but it merely functions as a key to understanding the Calendar Grid. And unfortunately not all of the potential legend entries are listed!

This lecture goes over the missing legend icons and then delves into the Calendar Grid itself and discusses the importance of the text that appears to the right of the Calendar Grid as you select different days in the Calendar Grid.

Important and often overlooked information is covered in this lecture and it provides important building blocks to understanding the Exceptions tab and the Work Week tab which follow.

Understanding the Calendar Legend

The Exceptions tab in the Working Time dialog box, is where you can create holiday like exceptions to your working schedule. The exceptions tab can also be used to create work day exceptions to your schedule like half days, or days that start at 7am.

This lecture covers how to do these sort of changes to your calendars and thus begins to unlock the secrets to the calendar's working schedule changes and flexibility. This is an important video conceptually for project managers with imagination and difficult schedules that need some calendar working time tweaks!

Understanding the Exceptions tab

The Exceptions tab option in the Change Working Time dialog box has a nifty option for entering in recurring exceptions. It works sort of like how the recurring meeting option works in Microsoft Outlook.

Unfortunately, the implementation of this feature in Microsoft Project is half baked. It doesnt work for "birthday style" holidays and in versions prior to Project 2013, the "last day of the month" option is flawed and buggy.

To see the problems with the recurrence option in Microsoft Project watch this lecture and learn why you should not use the recurring exception feature--no matter how tempting!

Quirks with the Exceptions tab

The Work Weeks tab in the Calendar's Change Working Time dialog box is the key to modifying your default work week. The default work week is what sets Monday through Friday as the work week with a start time of 8am and a finish time of 5pm, with a one hour lunch at noon.

In this lecture the Work Weeks tab will be explored and you will be shown how to make a basic modification to the work week and change it from a 40 hour week to a 32 hour week. This lecture will also show you what not to do on the Work Weeks tab to avoid causing your schedule unexpected problems.

The Work Weeks tab

This story problem covers the use of the Calendar feature in the planning of the Dressge Delights company expanding its operations into Europe---however, in a twist, the story problem focuses on your planning the impact of the move on your family and how you need to plan for the move.

Story Problem: Dressage Delights Expansion Plans for Europe
1 page
+ Key4 - Advanced Calendar Functionality
6 lectures 28:36

In this lecture the concept of a four ten hour day work week is presented.  Covered here includes how to change the calendar for and entire project and also how to target just a single time period.  Gotchas and things to keep in mind to ensure schedule fidelity are included to make sure you use this feature without surprises.

Scheduling a 10 Hour Day / Four Day Work Week

When you start making calendar changes you inevitably will want to change the number of working hours in a day.  When you do this you have to think about what that means for the definition of time and the impact of using a 1 day duration or a 1 week duration on a task.  This lecture explores what the impacts are of these sort of changes that need to be considered.

Changing the Definition of a Day from 8 hrs to 10 hrs

The default start and end times is a setup item found in the Project Options, under the Schedule tab, and it is a setting not understood by most users of Project.  The purpose of this video is to show what the Start and End time defaults mean and how they impact your project schedule. And also when you need to change them (when you change the Default Work Week).

Preview 05:36

The next progression in working in the work weeks calendar is to go beyond modifying the default work week, and carve out a special section in your project schedule where the working time change just for a few weeks or months.  In this example we look at inserting a Summer Work Schedule and look at what that entails and what that impacts.

Creating a Special Summer Work Schedule

Project out of the box comes with three base calendars that are built in.  They can be found in the Change Working Time dialog box.  One of the three is the Night Shift Calendar and can be quite helpful when trying to figure out how to create unusual working time work weeks. This video goes through the nuances of the Night Shift Calendar and how to apply it in your project and then the video ends with a brain teaser on how it could be applied in international project scheduling.

Preview 03:23

In this video the task calendar feature is explored.  Task calendars are the unique ability to assign a task with a different work schedule than the project calendar.  This is useful in situations where you have a task that you would like to be done in the evening or on the weekends while the rest of the project is done during the day.  This video goes over how to do just that and then ends with a teaser about resource calendars---the third and final calendar type.

Assigning calendars to tasks