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Decouple Effort and Duration? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Is there a way to decouple Effort and Duration? I’ll use the classic “washing dishes by hand vs. in the dishwasher” example to show what I’m talking about. Washing and drying a sink full of dishes by hand takes 20 minutes of Effort and has a task Duration of 20 minutes. Using the dishwasher to do the same task requires only 5 minutes of Effort (to load and unload), but the Duration is now 60 minutes for the task.

How can I get OP to account for the dishwasher scenario? If I input the Effort of 5 min, then OP automatically sets the Duration at 5 min, which is incorrect and screws up the schedule. If I instead input the Duration at 60min, well then OP sets the Effort at the same length of time and thus I’m calculating costs for a far greater amount of time than needed.


workaround: separate the 'wash in dishwasher' into two tasks.
'load dishwasher' -- duration: 5 minutes, assign to human (and machine?)
'wash dishes' -- duration: 55 minutes, assign to machine or no one
then add a finish->start dependendency from 'load dishwasher' to 'wash dishes'.
Ok, sorry about that, in the above example my main concerns were the cost association of the resource person and the duration association of the task. I guess I should have clarified that. Using a real world example, think of assigning an hourly employee with the task of finding the best fit shipping materials supplier. The employee needs to call a slew of suppliers and talk with them about their products. Naturally, some contacts won't be immediately available and thus the employee will have to wait for a call back. For such a task, I would assign a Duration of 2 days (taking into account 'phone tag' and such), whereas the Effort will likely be at most 3 hours of total work, thereby allowing the employee to engage in other tasks during that 2 day time Duration.

On such a problem, the only solutions I've come up with are 1) adding Lead time to a task, which in effect will delay the start date of the next task, and 2) tinkering with Efficiency percentages. Both are poor substitutes for decoupling Effort and Duration, and so I'd think there has got to be a legit solution.

You can assign the person to the task at about 20% (in the assignments inspector for either the task or resource). This will spread the duration over 15 hours, while keeping the effort (and cost) at 3 hours.
Sure, but that is a workaround.

You really need to have the ability to specify (explicitly) duration separately from effort...they're two very different things and are key to doing any kind of resource leveling.

Is this something slated for a coming release? Thanks.
I just found this thread and am running into exactly the same problem - would like to see this worked out as asked by the other posters
realtyler and Andrew67:

Votes have been added for you guys. :-)
I'd like to create a task that takes two weeks and then assign resources with their own hours. Percentages make it harder. Have to calculate in my head and trial and error.
Originally Posted by cfportaluser
I'd like to create a task that takes two weeks and then assign resources with their own hours. Percentages make it harder. Have to calculate in my head and trial and error.
Your vote has been added.
Please add my vote as well!

Omniplan beats other PM tool in terms of ease of use but this is a show stopper for me. I need to be able to specify the duration of a task and then the amount of effort required. If I then add a resource, I would expect the programme to calculate the % utilisation per day for that resource. So a 10 day task (duration) with 5 days of effort would yield 50% utilisation per day for one resource (if the Resource is given 100% availability).

In this way I can utilise the resource on other tasks at the same time. If the total assignment exceeds 100% at any given point then a small hand will appear and show me the error of my ways...

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