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Separating task effort from duration Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Perhaps I do not understand the distinction between effort and duration.

I have a task that lasts, say, 1 hour, but the assignee can take up to a week to complete the task.

1) Is this the correct way to distinguish effort (the 1 hour) from duration (the week)?

2) In OmniPlan for iPad, can effort and duration be disconnected? (They are locked to equal values now.). How can you disconnect them?

Many thanks!
Doc
 
Welcome to the forums, Doc411!

Effort vs. duration: here's how I think of it. Effort is the total number of person-hours required to accomplish the task. Duration would be what showed on a stopwatch at the end of the task if you started/stopped it every time someone was working on that task.

(Unless the employee never slept or took a break or worked on some other task, the actual duration of the task in your example is going to be about an hour, in other words. )

Here are a couple of examples which may help to illustrate the different options for fixed effort and/or duration...

Imagine sending a group of 10 employees to watch a 1 hour training film. The duration will be 1 hour, but the effort will be 10 person-hours. If I send an 11th person to watch that film, the effort for the task will go up, but the duration won't change, because the movie will always be 1 hour long. (For this task, the duration is fixed, in other words, but effort goes up as more people work on it.)

By comparison, imagine a task like painting a fence. If a person can paint 10 feet of fence in an hour, and I have a 80-foot fence that needs painting, I can either send a single person and have it done in one work day, or I can send multiple folks and get it done more quickly. For this kind of task, the effort is fixed (8 person-hours), but the duration isn't - it drops as you add more folks.

In OmniPlan for iPad, you can control this by tapping the task to select it, then bringing up the Resource Inspector (it's the circular button on the right with a silhouette icon). The control you want is at the bottom of the "Assign Resources" tab.

Hope that helps!
 
A 1 hour long meeting of 2 people has a duration of 1 hour, and an effort of 2 hours. If a third person attends, the duration remains 1 hour, but the effort goes up to 3 hours. Perhaps the most memorable statement of this idea is "9 women can't make a baby in 1 month" :-)

A task which takes an hour of effort by the assigned resource, but can be done any time prior to a week from today, has an effort of 1 hour and a duration of 1 hour, and an end constraint set to the date/time by which it must be completed. The constraint will force OmniPlan to put that hour in the schedule before the deadline, or show a violation if that is not possible.
 
 


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