How Calendars Work in Project 2016

By Cynthia Snyder

To deal with the variations in schedules that occur in most workplaces, Project 2016 offers various calendar settings. Here’s the lowdown on the role of each of the four calendar types in Project 2016 (the next section details how they interact):

  • Base: The template on which all other calendars are built. Three base calendars are available: Standard, Night Shift, and 24 Hours.
  • Project: The default calendar for scheduling. You choose which base calendar template your particular project should use.
  • Resource: Combines the base calendar settings with any exceptions (nonworking times, such as vacation time) that you set for a particular resource.
  • Task: Provides a spot where you can set exceptions for a particular task.

When you create tasks and assign resources to work on them, Project 2016 has to base that work on a timing standard. For example, if you say that a task should be completed in one workday, Project 2016 knows that a workday means 8 hours (or 12 hours or whatever) because that’s how you set up a standard workday in the project calendar.

Likewise, suppose that you assign a resource to work two weeks on a task in a company that uses a standard five-day workweek. If that resource’s own calendar is set for a standard four-day workweek, the two weeks of work by that resource defer to the timing of the resource calendar for a total of only eight workdays.

The nature of a task can affect resource time. A two-week, effort-driven task isn’t complete until its resources have invested two weeks (according to the project calendar or task calendar) of effort.