Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Manage Calendars using Recurrence Pattern

One of the challenge of planning with MS Project is to be accurate in the dates and vacations.
Though, statutory holidays coming every year needs to be taken into account!

Let's take the example of the 4 of the US holidays found in Wikipedia:
Official Name Date
New Year's Day January 1 (Fixed)
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Third Monday in January
Inauguration Day First January 20 following a Presidential election
Good Friday The Friday before(western) Easter
Interesting in those holidays is that they happen every year. Some can be set recurring, some not:
January first is always the January first (hopefully for those who are partying all New Year eve).
Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday is the 3rd Monday of January. Strange for an anniversary but still, the public holiday is like that.
For the Inauguration Day, this is not possible to predict when it will happen, recurrence will not help in that case
The Good Friday is arriving before Easter, which is again unpredictable and though, the recurrence will not help either.

MS Project and though Project Server is proposing a nice feature in setting recurrence to exceptions in calendar. 
You will first have to go to the Calendar setting:

After creating an exception, while clicking to the details detail button, you will get the following window:

Now, see how to set the above defined recurring and not recurring holidays.
January first:

Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday:

Inauguration Day:

Good Friday:

Now you can declare enterprise calendars with mostly recurring statutory holidays. Some will still need to be entered one by one.
Obviously, this can be configured for Project Server calendars in going to enterprise calendars in the PWA settings

In the next future, I will share with you some calendars until 2020!

Additional note thanks to Gary Chefetz comment:
While creating recurrence, you will have to identify exceptions such as first of January falling on a Sunday. Then a creation of a specific calendar exception will be necessary. The easy way to identify such case would be to check each calendar exception year after year and verify which day it falls.

Furthermore, try to limit your calendars horizon to your projects horizon to not overload the server and the database with unnecessary information

Hope you will love to avoid defining calendar exceptions every year!
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