How calendars work in Project 2007

There are four types of calendars in Microsoft Office Project 2007: base calendars (base calendar: A calendar that can be used as a project and task calendar that specifies default working and nonworking time for a set of resources. Differs from a resource calendar, which specifies working and nonworking time for an individual resource.), project calendars (project calendar: The base calendar used by a project.), resource calendars (resource calendar: A calendar that specifies working and nonworking time for an individual resource. A resource calendar differs from a base calendar, which specifies working and nonworking time for more than one resource.), and task calendars (task calendar: The base calendar that you can apply to individual tasks to control their scheduling, usually independent of the project calendar or any assigned resources' calendars. By default, all tasks use the project calendar.). They are used to determine resource availability, how resources that are assigned to tasks are scheduled, and how tasks are scheduled. Project calendars and task calendars are used to schedule tasks, and if resources are assigned to tasks, resource calendars are used as well.

You can modify these calendars to define the working days and hours for the whole project, for groups of resources, for individual resources, and for tasks. These calendars are distinct from the Calendar view, which shows the project schedule in a calendar format.

 Note   If you use Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 and you are connected to Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, calendars are implemented for your organization on Project Server. Contact your server administrator (administrator: Sets up and manages user accounts, assigns permissions, and helps users with network or server access issues. This person can also manage and customize various elements in Project Professional and in Project Server.) to see whether local calendars have been enabled on Office Project Professional 2007.

Learn how to set working times, vacations, and holidays in order to account for resource availability in your project calendar.

In this article


What is a base calendar?

A base calendar is used as a template that the project calendar, resource calendars, or task calendars are based on. It defines the standard working and nonworking times (nonworking time: Hours or days designated in a resource or project calendar when Project should not schedule tasks because work is not done. Nonworking time can include lunch breaks, weekends, and holidays, for example.) for the project. It specifies the work hours for each work day, the work days for each week, and any exceptions, such as holidays. You can select a base calendar to use as the project calendar or as the basis for a resource calendar. You can also apply a base calendar to specific tasks.

Project has three default base calendars:

  • Standard    The Standard base calendar reflects a traditional work schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., with an hour off for break.
  • 24 Hours    The 24 Hours base calendar reflects a schedule with no nonworking time. The 24 Hours calendar can be used to schedule resources and tasks for different shifts around the clock, or to schedule equipment resources continuously.
  • Night Shift    The Night Shift base calendar reflects a graveyard shift schedule of Monday night through Saturday morning, 11:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M., with an hour off for break.

You can also create your own base calendar, which is useful if you have alternative schedules for multiple resources. For example, you might have resources working part-time, 12-hour shifts, or on weekends.

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What is the project calendar?

The project calendar defines the working and nonworking days and times for tasks. This calendar usually represents your organization's traditional working hours. Project uses this calendar to schedule tasks that do not have resources assigned or that have a task type (task type: A characterization of a task based on which aspect of the task is fixed and which aspects are variable. There are three task types: Fixed Units, Fixed Work, and Fixed Duration. The default task type in Project is Fixed Units.) of fixed duration (fixed-duration task: A task in which the duration is a fixed value and any changes to the work or the assigned units [that is, resources] don't affect the task's duration. This is calculated as follows: Duration x Units = Work.). By default, the Standard base calendar is used as the project calendar, but you can reflect alternative schedules by using other base calendars.

Project calendar

Callout 1 The project calendar specifies when project work can occur. In this project calendar, every day of the week is a working day.

Callout 2 In this project calendar, work can occur only on weekdays.

The working days and hours in the project calendar reflect the working days and hours for your whole project. You can specify special days off, such as company holidays. You can also indicate other nonworking times to reflect periods when the whole team will be working on nonproject activities, such as company meetings or department retreats.

The project calendar is set by clicking the calendar in the Calendar list in the Project Information dialog box. For more information about accessing and modifying the project calendar, see Set working times, vacations, and holidays for your project.

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What is a resource calendar?

Resource calendars make sure that work resources (people and equipment) are scheduled only when they're available for work. They affect a specific resource or category of resources. By default, the working time settings in the resource calendar match the project calendar. However, you can customize the resource calendar to show individual schedule information, such as vacations, leaves of absence, or equipment maintenance time.

By clicking Change Working Time on the General tab of the Resource Information dialog box, you can edit resource calendars to indicate nonworking time. You can also create or assign different base calendars for individual resources, or groups of resources, to indicate specific working hours. For example, you can assign a resource to a calendar that you created for carpenters who may be working during a time that is different from other workers.

 Tip   If you have resources that work alternative schedules, such as part-time or the night shift, we recommend that you set up and apply a separate base calendar for each shift. Use resource calendars to accommodate exceptions to individual resource's working times.

When Project schedules the project, it uses the resource calendar to schedule the tasks that do not have a fixed duration and that have resources assigned. For example, if a resource has a week of vacation specified on his or her resource calendar, Project will not schedule the task for that week.

Resource calendar

Callout 1 Initially, the resource calendar settings match the project calendar.

Callout 2 After setting a resource's nonworking time, the resource calendar reflects that this resource is not available for project work this month on the last three days of week two or on the first four days of week three.

If you change a resource's working times by modifying their resource calendar, and the resource is already assigned to a task, the task is rescheduled to reflect the changes to their working times.

For more information about accessing and working with resource calendars, see Assign a calendar to a resource or task.

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What is a task calendar?

Task calendars make it possible to schedule tasks during nonworking time, as defined by the project calendar or resource calendar. For example, you can set up a task calendar if you have a task that needs to be worked on overnight or through the weekend.

You create a task calendar in the Change Working Time dialog box as a new base calendar. You then apply the base calendar to a task by using the Advanced tab in the Task Information dialog box.

If you have applied a task calendar to a task that already has assigned resources, by default, the task is scheduled for the working times that the task calendar and resource calendars have in common. If you want to schedule the task by using only the task calendar, select the Scheduling ignores resource calendars check box on the Advanced tab in the Task Information dialog box.

For more information about accessing and working with task calendars, see Create a calendar for a task within Project or Assign a calendar to a resource or task.

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How do calendar option settings affect working times?

Calendar option settings on the Calendar tab in the Options dialog box (Tools menu, Options command) define the time settings in Project, but they do not determine when work can be scheduled. Only calendars can determine working and nonworking times.

On the Calendar tab, you can specify default settings, such as the day each week starts on, the month in which the fiscal year starts, the time of day for any date manually entered, the total work hours per day, and the number of days per month. For example, the Default start time option specifies the start time that Project assigns to tasks by default when you enter a start date without specifying a time. Additionally, the Hours per day option defines the number of hours that Project calculates for a task when you enter a duration in days, such as the default setting of 8 hours for 1 day. Entering a duration of 2 days is equivalent to entering a duration of 16 hours.

If you change the working times on a calendar, remember that Project uses settings on the Calendar tab to determine how many hours define a day, week, or month. If the working time in a calendar differs from the Hours per day or Hours per week settings on the Calendar tab, the Duration field may not display the duration value that you expect. For example, if a calendar is set up with a four-hour work day, but the default hours per day is set to eight hours (in the Options dialog box), then a one day task will appear across two days. You may want to consider matching the calendar settings to the working time on the Calendar tab.

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Applies to:
Project 2007