Define: Effort Driven Scheduling

 Effort driven scheduling: Calculating project task duration based on assigned resources.


When you assign resources to a project task in Microsoft Project, it recomputes the ‘Duration’ field.  The screenshots below illustrate this.  We’ll begin with plain tasks with no resource assignments.  After creating the tasks, we’ll assign the first resource, and then all the rest.  We’ll show that the ‘Duration’ column is changed when more resources are assigned.

Tasks with no resources assigned


Why does Microsoft Project recalculate the ‘Duration’ field when new resources are assigned?  The ‘Duration’ column indicates the calendar time that will elapse as the task is being completed.  That may be different than the ‘Work’.  If more resources are added, the calendar duration will go down.  That is effort-driven scheduling – based on employee effort.


One resource assigned


A magical thing happens when we assign multiple resources to tasks.  Notice that the ‘Duration’ column is reduced to reflect the extra effort applied to the tasks.  Since the tasks are effort-driven, they require less calendar time to complete.


Effort-driven task scheduling