Changing the task duration (duration: The total span of active working time that is required to complete a task. This is generally the amount of working time from the start to finish of a task, as defined by the project and resource calendar.) is one method you can use to help meet your finish date (finish date: The date that a task is scheduled to be completed. This date is based on the task's start date, duration, calendars, predecessor dates, task dependencies, and constraints.), resolve resource overallocations (overallocation: The result of assigning more tasks to a resource than the resource can accomplish in the working time available.), cut costs (cost: The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as "budget."), increase scope (scope: The combination of all project goals and tasks, and the work required to accomplish them.), or increase quality (quality: The degree of excellence, or the desired standards, in a product, process, or project.).
Summary tasks (summary task: A task that is made up of subtasks and summarizes those subtasks. Use outlining to create summary tasks. Project automatically determines summary task information [such as duration and cost] by using information from the subtasks.) cannot be edited directly. To change a summary task, change the subtasks (subtask: A task that is part of a summary task. The subtask information is consolidated into the summary task. You can designate subtasks by using the Project outlining feature.) that make up the summary task.
When you change a task's duration to meet a specific target, be sure that the change still reflects realistic time requirements for the task.
- On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.
- In the Duration field (field: A location in a sheet, form, or chart that contains a specific kind of information about a task, resource, or assignment. For example, in a sheet, each column is a field. In a form, a field is a named box or a place in a column.) of the task you want to change, type the duration you want.
You can enter durations in minutes (m), hours (h), days (d), weeks (w), or months (mo).
- If the new duration is an estimate (estimated duration: A duration for which you have only enough information to determine a tentative value. So that its status is clearly visible, an estimated duration is clearly marked by a question mark immediately following the duration unit.), type a question mark after it.
- Press ENTER.