ProjectWork and Project Planning
This tutorial helps you to understand:
- Work Breakdown Structure
- Task duration
- Task dependency
- Milestone
- Critical path
- Resources
- Work and duration
- Budget
Quiz questions are included to test your understanding.

At the end of the tutorial you can ask questions on the discussed topics and give recommendations on the tutorial. More tutorials mentioned at the end of this tutorial are:
- ProjectWork and Project Management
- ProjectWork and Google Drive

With general questions you can contact

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Work Breakdown Structure
The project scope is to be broken down in an hierarchical tree structure of tasks. The root node is the project, where branches start and split at higher nodes (summary tasks) and end at leaf nodes (tasks). The distance to the root is called the level. Do not confuse the WBS with the dependencies, the breakdown does not specify the order of tasks, merely the decomposition of the scope.

The WBS can be illustrated by coding the project (summary) tasks:
level 0 - Project
level 1 - 1 Summary task
level 2 - 1.1 Summary task
level 3 - 1.1.1 Task
level 3 - 1.1.2 Summary task
level 4 - Task
level 4 - Task
level 2 - 1.2 Task
level 1 - 2 Task

You can see the WBS as an indented list, where the same level has the same indent.

Based on your Project Management methodology a (summary) task can be an activity with product (verb + noun), like 'make a document', or strictly separated in product summary tasks and activity tasks like in PRINCE2.

Making a WBS is best a team effort to make sure nothing is forgotten. With a brainstorm session you can record the result in a mind map. ProjectWork can import a mind map as a WBS.

Click on to see the WBS example below. The summary tasks can be used to simplify the schedule by collapsing them. When you click on the [-] the summary task collapses, when you click on [+] it expands.

WBS example
How to change WBS code 2 into 1.3 in example:
Make a copy of the WBS example to try for yourself.
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Task duration
In column Duration you can enter the estimated duration for tasks. Based on the duration ProjectWork will calculate the finish date from the start date. For summary tasks you cannot enter duration, ProjectWork will calculate them from their sub tasks.

Default the duration is in days. Decimal days will be recalculated into hours (h) and minutes (m). You can also enter the duration direct in (w)eeks, (d)ays, (h)ours and (m)inutes.

For a workweek of 40 hours, the number of days per workweek is 5 and the number of hours per workday is 8. This is scaled if the workweek is shorter or longer.

A duration of 3,75 days equals to
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Task dependency
Tasks (products/activities) can be linked from predecessor task to successor task. Dependencies result in a flow which is more versatile than the WBS, a task can depend on more than one task and the type of dependency can differ.

In Tutorial Project Planning you can see four dependency types:
- FS (Finish-to-Start) : The successor can start when the predecessor has finished. (Default)
- SS (Start-to-Start) : The successor can start when the predecessor has started.
- FF (Finish-to-Finish) : The successor can finish when the predecessor has finished.
- SF (Start-to-Finish) : The predecessor can start when the successor has finished.

A dependency is noted by the row number of the predecessor(s) in column Predecessors. The dependency type is mentioned after the row number. Without type mentioned the type is Finish-to-Start. Multiple predecessors are separated with a semicolon (;). The row numbers will be recalculated when you insert or delete rows.

When you make a copy of Tutorial Project Planning you can make changes in duration. ProjectWork will recalculate the start and finish dates.

TIP: select a row and click on another row with Ctrl-key pressed to get a link from predecessor to successor. Repeating this will remove the link.

Dependencies can result in a circular flow error.
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Milestones are typically moments to start/end phases, mark a deadline or emphasize a major decision. A milestone is held when deliverables are to be reviewed and plans are to be agreed upon.

A milestone is a task with duration 0 and is clearly visualized in the Gantt.

Milestone in Gantt chart
Critical path
ProjectWork calculates the critical path based on the task durations and dependencies giving the sequence of tasks with the shortest overall duration. The start and finish dates of each task is adjusted by the calculation.

When a task belonging to the critical path is delayed the overall project is delayed. The slack per task is the duration this task can be delayed before becoming critical.

Default tasks are scheduled as ASAP (As Soon As Possible). If a task is non-critical and set to ALAP (As Late As Possible) all slack is removed and it becomes critical. This may be useful for costly tasks.

The critical path can be visualized in the tasks table and in the Gantt chart by setting these options. In the table the start and finish dates of a critical task are in red, in the chart the bar has a red border.

Critical path indication with red dates and red border
Resource assignment
Resources are the people, equipment, parts and material needed to accomplish a project. They are assigned to one or more tasks in the WBS.

In ProjectWork the default resource type is work. The default work assignment is 1 which is not shown. If someone is available part-time, it is shown between brackets after the resource name, 50% available is shown as [0.5]. If a resource is a generic skill, it can can have a quantity of more than 1. Multiple resources assigned to the same task are separated with a semicolon (;).

TIP: select a resource and click on a task with Ctrl-key pressed to assign the resource. Repeating this will remove the resource.

Work and duration
The tasks table in ProjectWork has column Work for the work hours per task. Work and resource quantity give task duration. When you have 8 hours work for a task and two work resources assigned, the duration is 4 hours. This makes sense, but what happens if you assign more work to this task, will the duration be kept constant and will the quantity of resources increase or will the duration increase? It depends on what is selected in the Constant column. The options are:
- Resource (Default)
- Work
- Duration
The default option for a new task can be changed in the settings.
Resource quantity is halved with constant work. What happens to task duration?
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The project budget is calculated from the resources. Work and equipment resources have a rate per hour. Material resources have a cost per unit and parts a cost per part. The project budget is calculated for each individual task and summed up into summary tasks and finally into the project budget. The same is true for the resources which also sum up to the project budget.
Calculate task cost
A task with 15 hours work has a work resource for €50 per hour and 5.5 material resources for €10 per meter.
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Questions about product
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