This may not be a normal request, but I am looking for a way to enter a duration in hours, then have manually entered scheduled start/finish dates, and not have either changed in Microsoft Project 2013.

While we do estimate the amount of hours our projects will take, we may only work on a project for an hour or so a week, so our "timeline" will be many months, depending on the task.

For example, if we have a task that is estimated to take 120 hours, but the scheduled start date is 7/1/2015, the finish date may not be until 7/1/2016.

5 Answers 5


I believe the solution is as follows:

  • Show the "work" column on the Gantt screen
  • Set the "Task Type" (in Task Information / Advanced) to "Fixed Work"

Then you can set the work to 120 hours - or whatever figure is relevant, and specify the start and end dates that you want.


I would not manually enter dates into the schedule. I would still allow for the dates to schedule based on your network logic. Since your duration goes out for an extended period in time, I would make the schedule fixed duration. Load your duration planning values, such as 200 days, load your resources, then load your work planning values. Your resources' utilization will reduce to a very low percentage.

This, however, gives the appearance that your resources are performing work on those tasks every business day at a rate of minutes a day when, in fact, a they may not touch the work for several weeks. When you are reporting to this kind of baseline, it will appear that work should progress evenly across time but actual work will jump in steps. This could be awkward to explain and analyze.

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Instead, you can split the tasks across time. In other words, your planning values might be 200 hours of work and 30 days of duration but 200 days in calendar time. So you would manually split the 30 days of duration x number of times across the 200 days. This might mean you would load work days every Monday and Tuesday, then split the work so it does not start up again until the next Monday, and so on. That would require a ton of assumptions, however, and would take quite some effort to get these tasks scheduled, especially if you have a complex, large schedule with many work packages and resources.

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Surely the answer is to use Manual Scheduling, which you can set on a task-by-task basis. If a task is manually scheduled you set the start and end dates manually and they are never altered by Project.


You are confusing Duration and Work. Duration drives the start and finish dates of the task. Work is how much effort will be expended during the duration. You have a task duration of 263 days (counting Monday through Friday but omitting any exceptions) and work of 120 hours.

If you are going to assign resources to the tasks - then I suggest using Fixed Duration tasks. Set the duration to 263 days then assign your resources and enter the 120 hours of work. Project will calculate the assignment units based upon Work/Duration.

If you don't intend to assign resources, you can certainly enter the work estimate in the Work field and a change in work will not change duration.

Even with manually scheduled tasks, a change in duration will change the finish date of a task.


**DEAR ALL In the Ms project, suppose the task is completed 100 percent .then I don't want to calculate the duration.it is possible in the MS project or not.

note: @ predecessors and successors already linked to so many activities.so I cannot delete. if any option is there .let I know

  • Welcome to PMSE. It sounds like this may be better suited as its own question. Please feel free to post it as a question. Jul 11, 2018 at 17:55

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