Duration (task field)

Data Type    Duration

Entry Type    Calculated or entered

Description    The Duration field is the total span of active working time for a task. This is generally the amount of working time from the start to the finish of a task.

How Calculated    Project calculates the duration of a task by counting the amount of active working time between the scheduled start and end of the task. This is generally the time from task start to finish, not counting time between split tasks or nonworking time.

Best Uses    Enter the duration for tasks when you create the tasks. The Duration field is one of the major elements for Project scheduling calculations. It is the span of time shown by the Gantt bars on the Gantt Chart.

Example    Chris is scheduled to work on the "Write proposal" task on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Jamie is scheduled to work on the "Write proposal" task on Wednesday and Thursday. Sean is scheduled to work on the "Write proposal" task on the following Monday and Tuesday. The working span of the "Write proposal" task, and therefore its duration, is five days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday).

Remarks    In an automatically scheduled task, the default for new tasks is estimated as 1 day (1d?). The question mark indicates that the duration is an estimate. Add a question mark to any duration estimate. Remove the question mark to indicate a committed duration. You can filter or sort by estimated durations.

Note: For Project 2007 and earlier versions, all tasks are automatically scheduled.

You can change the one-day default value, as well as express the durations of new tasks in units other than days, in the Project Options dialog box.

In an automatically scheduled task, Project uses the duration you enter to calculate start and finish dates, along with task dependencies, constraints, calendars, and other scheduling factors.

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