Making effort calculations work in Project for the Web (P4W)

Occasional Contributor

Dear all, 
we are having a hard time with "efforts" in P4W since the system is directly calculating the hours based on the number of assigned resources and the duration of the task. This does not reflect the reality in most organizations so a manual entry of the correct effort is needed. Since this feature seems to be missing for now I'm wondering how all of you are working around this lack of flexibility right now. 

I came up with the following scenarios but none seems to be a great fit: 

Scenario 1 - Split tasks

Create one tasks with the correct effort but ignore the due date and create a milestone to indicate when the task needs to be completed. 
Advantage: Effort would reflect correct # of hours
Drawback: First task would instantly appear as running late or late 

Scenario 2 - Ignore efforts in P4W

Create single task and only pay attention to the duration. Outsource any effort and resource management to another system.
Advantage: Gantt chart view would look correct.
Drawback: Requires a separate system for effort and resource management. Any PowerBI reports are still reporting nonsense. 

Scenario 3 - Extend P4W to outsource efforts to a custom object

Use custom CDS entity to store the actual efforts. 
Advantage: Effort calculation would be correct and appear in the same system.
Drawback: The efforts cannot be entered in the user interface


Please let me know if I missed a scenario or share you best practice! 


7 Replies

@Martin Müller I like the option #3 better, however may need a slightly different approach. Use additional Field for the Task Entity to store the Effort. Use PowerApp to manage these hours. You can use like features from within the PowerApp itself so you keep the modern look/interface and add feature of custom effort column.

Let me know what you think.




Martin, Were you able to find a solution to this? It's 2022 and I cannot find a way to turn effort to manual so it doesn't change when we change people or duration on the task.
Costas --

I did some testing on this using our organization's Project for the Web instance. I did the following:

1. Set the Duration for each task.
2. Assigned one or more resources to each task. Project for the Web calculated the Effort, based on the assumption that the assigned resources are working full-time (8 hours per day) on each task.
3. Change the Effort value to indicate that the resource will not be working full-time. Project for the Web DID NOT change the Duration.
4. Increased the Duration for one of the tasks. Project for the Web increased the Effort proportionately, but did not go back to assigning the resources to work full-time.

This appears to be new behavior that I have not seen previously, and might indicate your problem has been solved, at least in the version of Project for the Web our organization is using. Just a thought. Hope this helps.

Thank you for the reply. What I 'm looking for is to keep the effort from changing while doing changes to other aspects. For instance when trying to change the person assigned to the task the effort is changing. Or when we change the duration it changes the effort. In our organization people may work on multiple tasks at the same time and wait on each other for information (we are a multidiscipline engineering company) so effort is not tightly connected to duration.
Costas --

As currently configured, Project for the Web fixes or "locks" the Duration that you enter for each task. This is known as Fixed Duration tasks. There is no way to currently fix or "lock" the Effort value. This is a limitation of the tool, at least as for now. Sorry for the bad news. Project for the Web is a very low-level tools designed to manage small and simple projects. If you want expanded functionality, you would probably need to use the Microsoft Project desktop application instead. Hope this helps.
It does help, thanks. We will be having a custom field and type in the effort hours so we remember what it was. We would have to manually re-enter the effort if the program recalculates.
Costas --

I applaud you for your creative solution, my friend!