Overallocated fields in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

today I will explain Overallocated fields in MS PROJECT 2013, because they are confusing a lot of my Blog readers.

First I will create Project with three Tasks, and I will add Overallocated field in Gantt Chart View:

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I will create two Resources for my Project, and I will add Overallocated field in Resource Sheet, as well:

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Now I am going to assign John to Task 1 and Task 2:

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As you can see, John is Overallocated in Task 1, and Task 2, but Overallocated field in Gantt Chart View says No! Why? Let’s look at Resource Sheet:

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As you can see, Overallocated field here is Yes for John? Why? Because in Resource Sheet Overallocated field is Resource field, and it says that this particular Resource (John, in my example) is Overallocated among Tasks.

On the other hand, in Gantt Chart View, Overallocated field is Task field, and it says that there in no Over allocation for any Resource in that particular Task (Task 1, and Task 2 in my example). Confused? OK. Let me assign Mary to the Task 3:

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Overallocated field is No, as expected. Since Mary has 100% as max Units Capacity, I will assign Mary on the Task 3 with, for example,  120%:

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and I will get:

imageYou can see that Overallocated field for Task 3 is Yes!

To conclude, if Resource works with more than max Capacity at some Tasks, it will be Overallocated in Task Overallocated field (in my example in Gant Chart View), for this Tasks, and it will be Overallocated in Resource Overallocated field (in my example in Resource Sheet), as well. On the other hand, if Resource work at the same time for multiple Tasks, but within max Capacity, then it will not be Overallocated in Task Overallocated field, but it will be Overallocated in Resource Overallocated field.

Hope this helps.

Regards!

Posted in Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Effort estimate in hours with MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

I’ve got a lot of questions like this one: “Hi, you have a lot of examples with estimating Durations! But we are estimate in hours. We don’t know Duration, but how many hours are needed to complete our Tasks! How to do it with MS PROJECT?”

OK! Let’s do it in MS PROJECT 2013!

First, remember the Magic Formula: Work = Duration * Units! If you want to learn more about it, I wrote Blog Post about it, and I’m not going to repeat it here. When you are estimating in hours, that means that Task Type is Fixed work! It doesn’t have to, but it’s logical!

First I will create new Project, and I will set it up, so all new Tasks will be Fixed Work:

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and then:

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then:

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So, new Tasks are going to be Fixed Work.

Now I am going to add new Column – Work, and some Tasks to my Project:

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Let’s say that for Task 1 I will need 8 hours, for Task 2 I will need 12 hours, for Task 3 I will need 16 hours, and for Task 4 I will need 32 hours. When I put those values in my Project I’ll get:

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As you can see, Duration is Estimated for 1 day, no matter how many hours do I need for specific Task. That is because I do not have Units (I didn’t assign Resources).

Be careful! For example, for Task4 I put 32 hours, no matter who will do it! But what if you can choose between Senior and Junior? If Senior will need 32 hours, maybe Junior will need 80 hours! So, once again this is not about specific Resource!

Now I will add some Resources to my Project:

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As you can see they are all 100% available (for simplicity purposed only). Now I will assign Resources to Tasks:

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I also put predecessors for Tasks. Notice that Duration is Calculated, and that is why It has question mark. Now let’s look at the Task Form for Task2:

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As you can see, according to Formula, Work = Duration * Units, e.g. Duration = Work / Units –> Duration = 12 hours (8 hours per day) / 100% = 1,5 day!

But what if, for example, Mary is only 50% available? I will change this in the Task Form, and I will get:

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Duration is now 3 days! Now what if I add Paula to the same Task with Units = 100%? See below:

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Duration is now 1 day! Why? Paula will Work 100% (Units), and Mary 50%. So Paula will work 2/3 of 12 hours which is 8 hours, and Mary will work 1/3 hours which is 4 hours. And since the longest work is 8 hours, Duration will be (according to formula), 1 day!

To conclude, if you don’t know (or don’t want) estimate your Tasks in Duration, but rather in work, use Fixed work Task Type, but always keep in mind that it can be tricky, because different persons will need different effort according to their knowledge, maturity etc.

One Trick for you! I never put work in a work field in Gantt Chart. I always do it in Task Form for Particular Resource.

Suppose that I have one Task like this:

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Now suppose that John, and Mary will work on that Task! I will ask them: How many hours do you need? And if I get answer like: Well, we estimate that John will need 16 hours and Mary 40 hours, but she will work only 50% per day on This Task, I will put those values into the Task form:

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and after I click on OK button, I will get:

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As you can see, Total work is 56 hours (John 16 + Mary 40), and Duration is 10 days, because Mary will work only 4 hours per day (50%), and that means she will need 10 working days to accomplish this Task.

With this approach you will get much more precise estimating!

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

how to edit Multiple Tasks at once in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

often you will need to edit information not only for single, but for multiple Tasks in MS PROJECT 2013, and you will not want to edit Task by Task because it is time consuming. What can you do?

First IU will create simple Project:

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Now suppose that I want to edit all of them (or some), so I have to select those Tasks and then:

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and I will get:

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I will cover all Tabs, but not all field, just most important:

General Tab

  1. Name – if you put something in this field  (for example: Development), all selected Tasks will have this (same) name
  2. Duration – if you put number in this field, all selected Tasks will have same Duration
  3. Percent complete – if you put number here, all Tasks will have same % Complete
  4. Schedule Mode – you will select for all Selected Tasks Manually or Auto Schedule Mode

Resources Tab

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You can assign same Resources for all Selected Tasks

Advanced Tab

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  1. Deadline – you can put same Deadline date for all Selected Tasks
  2. Constraint Type – you can choose Constraint type for all Selected Tasks (for example, ASAP, ALAP,SNET,FNET,….), and put appropriate date
  3. Task type – you can choose between Fixed Units, Fixed Work or Fixed Duration, and if Tasks are Effort or non Effort driven (Fixed Work type is always effort driven)

As you can see you can not put predecessors for Multiple Tasks, and that make sense!

To conclude, this feature is very powerful, and use it whenever you can, so you will save a lot, and I mean A LOT of time!

Regards!

  1. Calendar – you can choose default Calendar for all Selected Tasks
Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Finish to Finish / Start to Start Dependencies with LAG in MS PROJECT 2013!

Hi,

my Blog reader has a question: “Dear Nenad, can you explain Lag with Dependencies other than Finish to Start, like Finish to Finish and Start to Start?”

I will show you how to do that in MS PROJECT 2013!

First I will create simple Project:

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As you can see Task 1 and Task 2 have Finish To Finish relationship, and Task 3 and Task 4 have Start To Start Dependencies. Now, suppose that Task 2, and Task 4 have 2 days Lag:

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and I will get:

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As you can see Task 2 will have Finish date 4.8.2105, and will start two days later, so it’s Start date is postponed!

I will repeat this for Task 4 and I will get:

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Same result! So, yes you can have Lag (and Lead) with Tasks with Dependencies other than Finish to Start, but be aware of consequences!

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to enable adding Columns in MS PROJECT 2013 Tables?

Hi,

this will be a short one, but I need to help to one of my Blog Readers. The question is:

“Dear Nenad, in MS PROJECT 2013, I can add additional Columns to some Tables, but not to all of them. Is it a Bug?”

The answer is – No, it is not! Let me show you an example. Here is the simple Project:

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As you can see I can Add New Column in this Table. What Table do I’m looking at?

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As you can see currently I’m using Entry Table. I will now choose Cost Table, and I will get:

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As you can see there is no Add New Column here. To enable adding a new column I should follow this steps:

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then:

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and I will get:

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To conclude, if you want to Disable / Enable (default) adding new Column for some tables you should edit this checkmark for each Table.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

Must Finish On constraint and Actual values in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

I’ve got a lot of questions about Must Finish On constraint and Actual values. How MS PROJECT 2013 “reacts” on different actuals whet Task has MFO Constraint.

I will create very simple Project:

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and for the Task I will put Must Finish On Constraint:

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and I will get:

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I will add John as a Resource to Resource Sheet:

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and I will assign John to the Task:

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OK, I have my Setup. Now suppose that Task Actually started at August the 3th, and finished at August 7th. I can put those actuals in many ways into MS PROJECT, but I’ll show you two most common ways.

First, I will use Update Tasks feature:

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and:

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I will get:

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So, Task was moved to actual start and finish date. Now, I will use Task Usage View, and I will track John’s actual start and Finish dates.

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and I will get:

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So I have got a warning message about Scheduling conflict. I can choose Cancel, and those actuals will not be set, or I can choose that I want to continue, and I will have the same result as I’ve got before.

Be aware that if I put actual hours instead of Actual Finish date, I will not get this message. For example if I put:

image

I will not get warning message! I hope this helps!

Regards Smile

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Milestone with Duration greater than zero days in MS PROJECT 2013!

Hi,

today I will write about Milestones in MS PROJECT 2013! Before I started I would like to thank my MVP friend Oleksiy Prosnitskyy from Ukraine (http://msprojectmvp.blogspot.com/), who ALWAYS read my Blog, and he is the first who notice me about any error in it. Thank you my friend, I appreciate it so much!

What is Milestone? According to Wikipedia: “Milestones are tools used in project management to mark specific points along a project timeline. These points may signal anchors such as a project start and end date, a need for external review or input and budget checks, among others. In many instances, milestones do not impact project duration. Instead, they focus on major progress points that must be reached to achieve success”

So it can be a end of Project phase, end of whole Project, Contract signed, etc.! According to that Milestone has 0 days duration! Milestone is achieved or not! Let me give you an example in MS PROJECT 2013. Here is the Project:

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As you can see, I have activities, and Milestone, when Contract is signed, so after that we can continue with Executing phase of the Project (not shown here). When I put zero days duration, Task is automatically marked as a Milestone. To see that Double Click on this Task, and you can see it here:

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When Task has Duration greater than Zero days, I can Mark that Task as a Milestone as well. Just follow the step above.

Now let me assign some Resources to Tasks:

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As you can see I put to Task 5 – Contract Signed 2 days duration. When I Mark it as a Milestone, and I will get:

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You can see that Contract Signed has Mark as a Milestone, and it Predecessor looks like it has LAG 2 days. Now I will look at Task Usage View:

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As you can see, this “Milestone” is in fact, Activity, like any other. It behaves like Activity, but it is only Mark as Milestone!

If you ask me a question: “Why should I Mark Task with Duration greater than zero, as a Milestone?”, My answer will be: “DO NOT! Be consistent and always, ALWAYS put zero days for Milestone.” But that is my opinion, of course. According to Wikipedia, PMI, and other Project Management organization, Milestone is a check point, and it should have 0 days Duration.

Of, course you can disagree with that.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | 2 Comments