When Should I Use Time-Span for Managing Tasks and Activities?

What does Time-Span do?

i-lign's Time-Span feature allows you to plan your Tasks by effort, rather than percentage of time, and then deliver the prescribed effort within a set period, defined by start and end dates.

This means that you can choose, for example, to carry out five days of effort within a thirty day period.

We will assume that you are in a New/Edit Task/Activity screen. In these instructions, we will refer only to to Tasks, but the same applies in the New/Edit Activity screens.

  • In the Scheduling Panel, go to the drop-down box beside Calculation Method, and choose Time-span.
  • You will see that the field for Planned end date goes live. Enter a date by which the Task needs to be finished. For training purposes, choose a date several weeks away from the start date.
Using Time-span, you can edit both Planned Start and Planned End Dates for the Task. In contrast, Effort-based determines the end date based on the effort and Resources assigned, and Duration-based defines the end date based on the number of days assigned.
  • As when you are designing an Effort-based Task, you can assign Action Items to people and click 'Use effort for Task'.
  • The Percentage complete and days remaining fields are manually updated in tasks only. Percentage complete does not apply to activities.

Allocating across the Time-Span

You have four options for allocating the time over the time period:

  1. Distributed evenly across the entire time period.
  2. Distributed across the beginning of the period.
  3. Distributed across the middle of the period.
  4. Distributed across the end of the period.
  • In the Allocation Rates, go to the drop-down list beside Allocation approach.
  • Click between Even spread, Beginning, Middle, and End. Watch the difference that your choice makes to the Allocation graphs of Resources allocated to your Task.