Creating a New Calendar in Project 2010

Synopsis: In this article we look at how to create a new calendar in Project 2010.

Project 2010 has a standard (default) calendar. There are various situations in which you might want to create a new calendar.

One of these is that the standard calendar is not correct for your situation. In fact, this is quite often the case, as most organizations will have some differences from the “standard”. We will look at this situation here.

However, it’s important to be aware of other situations where you might want to create a new calendar. For example, sometimes a particular resource needs a different calendar. This might be the case for a member of staff who only works a 4 day week, or for a particular piece of equipment that is only available to your project on Tuesdays and Thursday.In this case you will probably want to create a new calendar specifically to deal with the situation, and attach this “custom” calendar rather than the standard oneto the resource so that it is used when allocating the resource to tasks.

Let’s look at the first situation, i.e. changing the standard calendar.

First of all, don’t change the original standard calendar that came with Project 2010 – always make a copy and use that as your new standard calendar.

To change the standard calendar, on the Project tab in the Properties group click Change Working Time.

The Change Working Time dialog shows which days are working days, which are nonworking days, and so on. A legend on the left explains the symbols. You can step through the months using the controls near the middle of the dialog. Select a day and the working hours are shown on the right. There is a facility at the bottom to record exceptions.

To create a new calendar, click Create New Calendar… near the top right. This dialog appears.

First, give the new calendar a name. A principle I always follow is to create a new standard calendar for each project. Let’s suppose that I’m going to work on a new project for Acme Publishing, and I’m going to create a new standard calendar for the project.

Next, decide whether to start with a brand new calendar or whether to base it on an existing one. I’m going to base it on the current standard calendar. The completed dialog looks like this.

Click OK. The new calendar has been created and is now available for me to customize.

First of all, let me record the public holidays that occur over the lifetime of the project. As an example, let’s show Labor Day 2012 as a nonworking day.

On the Exceptions tab type Labor Day in the Name column. Then use the data selector to enter Sep 3 2012 as the start and end dates for this exception.

Use the scroll bar to the right of the month bar to get to September 2012. The dialog now looks like this, with Sep 3 2012 shown as a nonworking day.

Apart from recording public holidays, you may also need to make changes to working times.

If your changes affect the calendar every day, it’s usually a good idea to make changes to the standard working week using Excel options (Schedule page). You can access these by clicking the Options… button near the bottom of the dialog.

However, if you need to deal with specific (and sometimes short-lived) exceptions, you can use the Change Working Time dialog again.

Suppose, for example, that for this project the working week usually ends at 17.00 on Friday, but during the month of April 2012 it will end at 16.00 on Friday. Select Work Weeks and then click in the second row to create a new exception to the working week. Enter Early Fridays and start and end dates that cover the month of April. Click on Details… and change the afternoon working hours so that they end at 4 pm. The dialog now looks like this.

Click OK and the change to the Acme Standard calendar will have been made. If you select any Friday in April in the Change Working Time dialog you will now see the “non-standard” Friday working hours.

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