Understanding Microsoft Project Default Start and Default End Time

by | Nov 25, 2023 | Microsoft Project

If you are using calendars in your project that do not start at 08:00 hrs (8.00am) or 17:00hrs (5.00pm) then your need to understand this topic and how the Hours per day is calculate.

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The Default start time: and Default end time: are the times that the software uses when a date is entered and a time is not entered. These times should be aligned to the Project calendar and are used in Microsoft Project when:

  • Constraints are assigned to tasks when a date is typed into a Start or Finish field, and
  • Actual Start or Actual Finish dates are assigned.

These times are set in the Options, Calendar form which may be accessed by:

  • Clicking the Options button from the Change working time form, or
  • Selecting the File, Options, Schedule tab, Calendar options for this project:section:

231201 MSP Default Start and Finish Time

If these times are not aligned then tasks may be displayed one day longer than the duration as per the picture below, where the calendar start time is 8:00am and the Default start time is 9:00am and a 3 -day task spans 4 days:

MSP Default Start and Finish Time

It is essential to match both the Default start time: and Default end time: with your project calendar’s normal start and finish times. For example, when the Default start time: is set earlier than the calendar normal start time, a task set with a constraint without a time will appear to finish one day later than scheduled. Therefore a one-day task will span two days and a two-day task, three days.

Eastwood Harris Resources

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Paul E Harris

Director Eastwood Harris Pty Ltd

25 November 2023