About this lesson
Learn to standardize the type of duration you add to tasks in days or weeks for ease of use.
Multiple versions of this lesson are available, choose the appropriate version for you:
Add Durations to Each Task
When you add durations to a project, you should standardize on the type of duration you enter. For example, do not create some tasks in days and other tasks in weeks. In most cases, using days is the best method. For example, if a task takes 2 weeks, then enter a duration of 10 days. The real reason for this is more for the sake of yourself and anyone else reading the project. Your eyes will read down a list of durations, and floating in the sea of days is a few tasks in weeks, which you might miss.
You want to avoid using Microsoft Project to micro-manage your team. Unless you really have to, only create tasks that start at 5 days in duration. If they are shorter, you might be putting too much detail into your project. Of course, if there are very important tasks that take 1 or 2 days, you can add them, but try to keep that level of detail to a minimum.
By default, tasks have a question mark (?) next to them. This is a queue to you that you have not yet typed a duration into the task. You can type a question mark next to tasks if you want so you can remind yourself to go back and perform an estimate.
When adding durations, you can enter them in the following fashion:
- If you type 5 and press enter, the default duration type of days will appear, so the task will show as 5 days.
- If you type 5d and press enter, Microsoft Project will assume you want the task to appear in days and will show as 5 days.
- If you type 5d?, the task will show as 5 days?, showing that the task still requires more estimating.
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