When and why assign Resources to Summary Tasks and Milestones in MS PROJECT 2013!

Hi,

I got a question from one of my Blog Readers: “Hi, would you be so kind and explain when to assign Resource to Summary Task or Milestone!”

I will explain how to do it (which is very easy), and when and why (which is my point of view). Of course, I will  use MS PROJECT PRO 2013!

First I am going to create brand new PROJECT:

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and one Resource:

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Now suppose that John is Project Manager, and by default, he is responsible for whole Project. What will you get if you assign him to Summary Task, like that?:image

Notice, that I added Cost and Work columns in Gantt Chart View. First of all you might think (wrong), that since John is assigned to the Summary Task, his work (in hours) will be spread among all Subtasks. No! MS PROJECT will calculate all work from subtasks, and it will assign those hours to the Summary Task, without assigning hours to the Subtasks. Now I will add one new Task but I will not put any Predecessor to it:

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Notice that nothing changed, since New Task is shorter in Duration than whole Summary Task Duration. But now I’m going to put 10 days in New Task Duration, and I will get:

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You can see that Total Cost for Summary Task is $12.000 (10 days * 8 hours per day * $ 150 per hours), and total Work is 80 hours (10 days * 8 hours). TIP TIME! Do not assign any Resource to Summary Task! If you want to get real work in hours and real Cost, assign john to all Tasks, instead of Summary Task like that:

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Here you can see “real” work, “real” costs, and – John is overallocated! HURAAAA!

If John is responsible person for Summary Task, but he will not spend any time during execution, you can assign him to the Milestone:

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With that you do not have any Costs or work Hours, but you can still filter all Milestones and John as Resources and see when something should be finished, and for which milestones is he responsible!

Regards!

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

Manually Scheduled Summary Tasks, and Subtasks in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

Today I will explain how to use Manually Scheduled Summary Tasks and its Subtasks in MS PROJECT 2013

First I will create new Project, and then I will create one Manually Scheduled Summary Task, like in picture below:

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Now I will create three Subtasks, and I will link them:

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Finally I will make those Tasks as Subtasks:

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and I will get:

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Notice that there is a difference between Summary Tasks, and Subtasks, because Summary Task is supposed to have 5 days duration (manually entered), but auto schedule (Subtasks), are supposed to have 7 days duration. Finish date has red underline, and on the left side of the Screen there is a red bar, which warn me that something is wrong:

If I hoover mouse under Finish date field I will get:

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So I will Right-click at the Finish date field, and I will get:

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I will choose: Fix in Task Inspector, and I will get:

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As you can see I have two options:

  1. Move Finish date: It will move finish date to 19.05.2015, which is proper date, according to Schedule, but it will keep Summary Task in Manually Scheduled mode
  2. Auto Schedule: It will switch Task from Manually to Auto Scheduled mode, and move the date to the 19.05.2015, as well

The real question is: Why should anyone has Summary Task in Manually scheduled mode? The answer is very Simple: In planning phase you can have top-down approach, so you will first plan your Summary Tasks, and then you will see the “real” situation, when you will now much more about tasks which should be done to accomplish Summary Tasks. After you see a difference, you should decide what are you going to do. Are you cut the Scope, or maybe crash or fast track your tasks, or you will extend the whole duration. Whatever you do remember this advice: When you are finished with planning phase, and before you save your plan as a Baseline, turn all Summary Task  to Auto Mode. It is best approach!

Regards Smile

 

1.

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Maximal Units and Default Values in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

my Blog Reader is in trouble. He wrote:
”Hi Nenad,

I am in need of a favor from you. I am currently working with the MS project to accomplish the team utilization and also to forecast the team’s availability. I am trying to assign a Generic team (3 developers) . In the resource sheet have set the max % to 300%. But when I assign this resource to a task and set the works hours , it calculates the duration based on 100% units only. Do I need to go and change the units in the resource tab for each task to 300%. When the percentage is below 100% , it does calculate automatically from the resource sheet mentioned.”

First of all, what is Max Units in Resource Sheet? It is Maximal capacity that Resource can work per day on one or multiple tasks without over allocation. For example, if working hours in Calendar are from 0800 to 12:00, and from 13:00 to 17:00, with 8 hours working day, and it’s Capacity is 100% he or she can work 8 hours per day without over allocation. If it’s Maximal capacity is 50% he or she can work only 4 hours per day without over allocation, and if it’s capacity is 300% he or she can work 24 hours per day.

Now let me show this in MS PROJECT 2013! First, I will create one Task:

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I will create two Resources: John with 50% Max Units, and Team A with 300% Max Units:

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Now I will assign both Resources to the Task via Gantt Chart:

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and I will get:

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As you can see John will work only 50% (his Max units), but Team A will work not 300% but 100% instead.

Let’s take a look at the Task Usage View:

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As you can see, John will work 4 hours per day (50%), and Team A 8 hours per day (100%).

If I want to assign Team A with 300% (it’s May units) I must put that amount manually:

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Finally, I will get (in Task Usage View):

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As you can see, now Team A will work 24 hours per Day!

To conclude, if You assign Resource to the Task, it’s maximal Capacity to this Task is:

  • If Max Units in Resource Sheet is 100% = 100% for Task
  • If Max Units in Resource Sheet is less than 100% = Max Units from Resource sheet for Task
  • If Max Units in Resource Sheet is greater than 100% = 100% for Task

And, Max Units that is greater than 100% in Resource Sheet tells you how much Capacity that Resource has per Day, not how much will it work on single Task, unless you tell MS Project that you want that Resource to work more than 100% for that Task!

 

Regards!

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

Multiple Critical Paths in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

today I will show you how to use Option: Calculate multiple critical paths in MS PROJECT 2013!

What is Critical Path indeed?  This is the longest path which show you how long will a Project Duration be. It is also a path in which if any task is late, the whole Project will be late. So, it has no Slack!

OK! Let me create brand new Project:

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or, graphical View:

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Now I’ll switch to Detail Gantt View:

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As you can see Critical path is on upper branch of Tasks. Task 4, and Task 5 have Slack = 9 days. It means that they can slip for 9 days without affecting Project end date.

Because Task 4, and Task 5 are in independent branch you can consider this branch Critical as well. So, if you want to see those Tasks as critical you should follow this steps:

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then:

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and then:

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and you will get:

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Now you see both branches (independent) as Critical.

Let me give you an advice. It doesn’t make a sense to have multiple independent branches in a Project. You should always have one common Task at the end of the Project, or at least, one milestone. I always have a milestone at the end of the Project.

I will create one and I will put Task 3, and Task 6 as Predecessors to that milestone:

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Let’s look at Detail Gantt again:

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Now, I have only one Critical Path, and Option: Calculate multiple critical paths is still on.

And this is best practice how to make right Schedule for your Project. To conclude, avoid independent branches in you Project!

 

Regards!

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

Status Date line in MS Project 2013!

Hi,

I’ve got a simple question from one of my Blog readers: “Hi, in your examples I can see Status Date in a Gantt Chart View. But I can not see it in my Projects. How to get this?”

The answer is very simple, and I will show you how to get it with MS PROJECT 2013!

First I’m going to create new Project like this:

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You can see a thin green line which show the Current Date. Now I’m going to set the Status Date for My Project:

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and I’ll get:

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As you can see It is not visible at the Gantt Chart. Now, follow next steps:

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and then:

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and you will get:

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IT is easy, isn’t it?

Regards!

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

Split in progress Task option in MS PROJECT 2013!

Hi,

My very good friend Ben Howard, find a problem, and a solution. I will share it with you. But before you continue to read this Post please taka a look on his great site: www.applepark.co.uk. Do I have to mention that he is MVP? No, I do not!

I will first create a brand new Project in MS PROJECT 2013:

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I have two Tasks, both with 5 days Duration, and Task 2 is successor of Task 1. I want that Task 1, start exactly at 31.3.2015, and I will make a Hard “Must Start On” constraint on it:

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and I will get:

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Now suppose that I’m 80% done with Task 1:

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and then:

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and I will get:

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Now I will set Status date to Friday, April the 3th:

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and I will move uncompleted work after the Status Date:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, nothing happened, as expected. Suppose now that I started with work on Task 2, at April the 1st:

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and then:

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I will get:

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Is it a Bug? No it is not. Even if I said that I was started with Task at April the 1st, Status date is April the 3th so it can not be actually started before Status date.

But if I want to do it anyway I can first uncheck this option:

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and then:

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and then:

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Now if I move Project to status date, and enter Actual Start to April the 1st (I will not repeat Pictures which you can see above), I will get:

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So I got, what I want.

Remember, with Split in-progress tasks, you can report Task progress ahead of the Schedule once you Reschedule Project after the Status Date!

 

Thanks Ben :-)

Regards!

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

Duration with different Resources working time in MS PROJECT 2013!

Hi,

with permission of my MVP friend Gérard Ducouret I will explain how different Resources working time affect Task duration in MS Project 2013!

I will show you on the example. First, I will create (as I always do), the brand new Project:

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I will create two Resources, one will work 8 hours per day, and the other 7 hours per day:

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I will now change Standard Calendar for Resource – 7 hours:

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and then:

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As you can see, this Resource will work only 7 hours per day.

No I will assign Those Resources to Tasks:

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Both, Task 1, and Task 2 has 10 days Duration, but the whole Project has 11,38 days of Duration. Why? Let’s look at the Task Usage View (I will make two Pictures):

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As you can see Task 1 will be finished at Tuesday 31.3.2015 (two day later than Task 1).

Here is the second part of Task Usage View:

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Both Task need 40 hours of work to be done! Why? Hit File Tab, then Options, and then:

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So to finish each Task with 10 day Duration it will be needed for 80 hours (10 days * 8 hours per day)

Task 2 will be done with Resource who will work 8 hours per day, so it will start at Monday, and it will be Finished next Friday, because 80 hours = 80 / 8 hours per day = 10 days,

Task 1 will be done with Resource who will work 7 hours per day, so it will start at Monday, and it will be Finished at Tuesday after two weeks. Where the 11,38 days is coming from? If you look at the second picture form the Task Usage View, you will see that Resource – 7 hours per day will work 11 full days (7 hours per day), and at last day it will work only 3 hours, eg 3/8 = 0,38 days. So 11+0,38 = 11,38 days.

I know what you do not understand! Why is duration for Task 1 = 10 days! Frankly, I do not know. From my point of view  it should be 11,38

Now let’s look at the Detail View:

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This is Fixed Units Task type.

But what if you want that both Task have 10 days duration, no matter who will work on them, and how many hours will someone work on them?

I will now change this to Task to Fixed Duration type:

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Now Task has “right” Duration, but that is not what I want! I will change Duration to 10 days:

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and I will get:

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or / and (Second Picture):

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It’s tricky, isn’t it?

Regards!

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