I am trying to remember my Project Management class from college many years ago.

I have been part of several IT projects where multiple entities are involved. For these projects (or cutovers or planned downtimes) I will create a checklist using Google spreadsheet or Excel. The activities in the checklist typically start in the very early morning hours (typically 1:00am, depending on the customers time zone).

I have been re-familiarizing myself with MS Project and it's alternatives (ProjectLibre, etc). I am copying the information from my checklist into MS Project but I'm trouble specifying days and times that are outside the regular business day.

Is there a work around? Is MS Project the correct tools, or should I stick with spreadsheets? Am I using a hammer when I should be using a screwdriver?


  • 1
    Have you given 'JIRA' any thought? It's not free tool, but great for SW development projects, including planning, time estimation, development model, tracking bugs and development progress ... etc.
    – Hawk
    Apr 8, 2015 at 6:51

2 Answers 2


You have a couple of options:

  1. Use the built-in 24 hours calendar as the Project calendar.
  2. Create calendars that represent the working time for your resources relative to your time. For example, you are located on the east coast of the US but have resources from the UK. Create a base calendar that starts 4 or 5 hours earlier. If your resource start at 8:00 am EDT, the UK resources would start at 4:00 am GMT. When you create the resource(s) set their base calendar to the correct base calendar. When you assign the task to the resource, the time will adjust automatically.

Regarding your question about using Project versus Excel spreadsheets. Up to you, obviously. Project does have a learning curve, but once tackled, the tools will perform the calculations and adjustments you have to perform manually in Excel.


You have to adjust your calendar. Google "how to set working days in MS Project". This should lead you to the interface you need for this function.

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