Crashing and Fast Tracking in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

in this Post I will introduce two Terms: Crashing and Fat Tracking. When your Schedule is too long, and you want to short it, you will can add additional Resources to Tasks (and this is called Crashing), or you can do some work in parallel (if it is possible, and this is called Fast Tracking)

Now Let’s look how to do it in MS PROJECT 2013! Consider that we have a Project Call – New year celebration. You can not celebrate New year latter than 31.12-01.01. So I will create Project with Schedule form: Project End Date, e.g End date must be 01.01.

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Now I will create Schedule:

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Since Today is December 9, 2014, notice that my first Task should be Started at December 4, 2014, and this is back to the Past and it is impossible. So, for example, I can add Mary to help John to find a Place for Celebration. This Task should be effort driven if I want to short duration:

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and:

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and I will get:

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Now I will make this Task as Effort Driven, and I will assign John to it:

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and finally I’ll get:

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So I’m back in track! But if this is impossible for some reasons (for example, Mary is on the another Project). What can I do? I can perform Tasks: Invite Friends, and Find the Place for Celebration in Parallel:

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and I’ll get:

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But what if this is not possible, either! Then, you are in trouble! What can you do? You can cut off some Tasks (for example, celebrate at your home, and cut Find the Place for Celebration), or you can cancel The Project (in rare cases).

Be aware of this. Both Fast Tracking, and Crashing increase Risks in Project

 

Best Regards,

Nenad

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

Slack and Microsoft Project 2013

Hi,

again my Blog reader has a problem:

Hi,
I have a question about Slack, I am preparing a construction schedule for my small project and using M.S.P. the problem I have is, when I active the slack on the schedule, I realize that on the total slack column, I can not see the total slack for whole project and shows ZERO but on the individual items shows we have slack. How come I can not see total slack on my whole project??? even if I add some more tasks on the critical items again on the top of my schedule ( usually it is name of a project and you can see duration of project, total slack for whole project) show total slack for whole project is again ZERO. Could you please explain me, who can I show on my schedule how many days we have + or – slack for whole project?”

First of all, what is Slack? Slack is available time that Task can be delayed (or extended in Duration) without changing Project Finish date!

Now let me show you in MS PROJECT 2013.First I will create a brand new Project, and I will show it in Detailed Gantt View:

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As  you can see Project Start date is Tuesday, 25.11.2014, and Project Finish date is Wednesday, 10.12.2014. The total Duration is 12 Days. Why? Because Task1, Task 2, and Task 3 are on Critical Path! And Critical Path is path on which if any Task will be delayed, the whole Project will be delayed. I will now extend Duration for Task 3 to 8 days:

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Now, you can see that Finish date is Wednesday, 17.12.2014, and Total duration is 17 days!

Notice that Task 4, Task 5, and Task 6 have 11 days Slack! So if I extend, for example duration for Task 4 from 1 day to 7 days, I will get:

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You can see that Finish date is the same, but Slack time for Task 4 – Task 6 is now 5 days, what make sense.

Task 7 still has 16 days Slack.

Now, why is Total Slack in Project Summary Task (Task #0) = 0. Because Total Slack is not sum of all slacks, but it must be zero because on every Project there is a Critical Path, and on Critical Path, there in no slack! And because there is no slack the Total slack is 0. Btw, what would be, on my example, Total Slack? 16 days (because it is the longest slack on Task 7), or 5 (because it is on Task 4 – Task 6), or 21 (sum of two slacks), or 31 (sum of all slacks). Doesn’t make sense at all to have Total slack for Entire project different then zero.

Hope this helps!

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

Rescheduling Project or Tasks, and Constraints in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

my Blog reader ha a question:

Dear Nenad,

After  we update the  progress (% Complete) on various tasks on a baselined project, I understand we need to re-schedule  the uncompleted work to start after the status date.

This is required to  prevent the ambiguity of certain tasks with 0%  progress to start earlier than the status date.

The   Re-schedule   uncompleted work  button  under Update project  in MS Project has two options Entire Project  or  Selected Tasks.

Please  clarify when to use which of the options.

Also  when we   hit the re-schedule button , the Schedule Start  date for the tasks with 0%  progress  moves to a date later to Status Date and a SNET date constraint is imposed.

Moving  forward,   do  we need to retain the SNET constraints?

My understanding is, we need to remove the SNET constraints   by  adding lags to the predecessors and match with the SNET dates.

I feel this is essential  to obtain an accurate critical path as any   date constraints  imposed on the tasks  may hamper an accurate critical path.

Please  clarify.

First I will create brand new Project in MS PROJECT 2013:

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For Task 5 I will put  Constraint Start No earlier than 14.11.2014:

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Now, I’m going to save my Project Plan as a Baseline:

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and then:

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and I will show Tracking Gantt View:

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Now suppose that Task 1 and Task 2 are 100% finished, Task 3 is 50% finished, and Task 4 and Task 5 are 0% Finished:

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OK. Now suppose that Status date is Friday, 21.11.2014:

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What is done is done! I mean, time has passed, and I have to move my Project to the Status date to have real Plan. I will use Update Project:

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and I will get:

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Notice this:

  1. Task 1, and Task 2 are as they were
  2. Task 3 has split.  50% (finished) remains as it is, and another 50% (unfinished) has been moved to Monday, 24.11.2014 (After Status date)
  3. Task 4, and Task 5 are moved as well. Task 4, and Task 5 have new Start no earlier than Constraint which is now Friday, 21.11.2014 (Status Date). You can remove them if you don’t need them.

And it works as it should be.

Now about last question. When to Reschedule entire project and when just Selected Tasks? It is easy. Let’s look again our Project before rescheduling:

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Now suppose that we do not have information about Task 3, and Task 4. Maybe there are finished on time, but we do not know this yet. We set the status date. And we do know that Task 5 has 0% Complete at the status date. So I will reschedule only Task 5:

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and I will get:

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As you can see only Task 5 is rescheduled.

So use Selected Tasks only when you know that those Tasks should be rescheduled. If your Project is up to  date with Actual % Complete, and you want to have Realistic Schedule, Reschedule the whole Project!

 

Hope this helps!

 

Regards!

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

How to Move Project when Project has Manually Scheduled Tasks and/or Constraints in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

I’ll how you how to move Project when it has Manually Scheduled Tasks or Constraints in MS PROJECT 2013

First I will make a simple Project with no manually Scheduled Tasks or Constraints.

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Now suppose that your plan is not valid any more, and you have to start with your Project one week later. You can do this with changing Project Start Date:

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and you will get:

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Everything is Perfect. BUT! Suppose that you have Project Like this:

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As you can see Task 3 is Manually Scheduled, and Task 4 has Start no Later Than 7.11.2014.  Now I will try to move Project on the same way I did it with my previous:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, Task 3 and Task 4are same as they were before setting new Project Start date. Is this a Bug? No it is not! To get expected result you should use Move Project Button:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, everything is fine now. So, use Move Project instead of changing Project Start Date in Project Information dialog window!

 

Regards!

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

How to split work among Resources without splitting Tasks in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

My Blog reader has a problem:

“1. Define Resource pool. for example John and Mary is Resources with 100% units in Resource sheet
2. In Project A, Task A is, for example 3 day, e.g. 24 hours
3. In Project B Task A is, for example 1 day, e.g. 8 hours
Though both John and Mary both work on project A task A, John has to work one day, while Mary do the rest. Is there a way to do this without splitting project A task A into two tasks? that is to mark the amount of work that has to be completed by one resource assigned to a task.”

As usual I will use Microsoft Project 2013!

First I am going to Create Resource Pool:

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Now I am going to Create two projects with two Tasks:

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and:

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Now I am going to use Resource Pool for both Projects (I’ll show how to do it in Project1, and for Project2 you should repro this steps):

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and:

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OK! consider this Scenario! Task A in Project 1 has 3 days duration e.g. 3 days X 8hours per day = 24 hours.

I want John to work only 8 hours, and Mary the rest (e.g. 16 hours). And I do not want to split this Task.

I can do it like that:

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and:

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and I will get:

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I consider that for Task A I need 24 hours of work. And I will split this work among John and Mary:

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What do I got? This:

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Now Duration is 2 days. If I want to have 3 days I could use fixed duration. Let’s look at Task Usage View:

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As you can see 24 hours are split among John (8 hours at Tuesday), and Mary (8 hours at Tuesday, and 8 hours at Wednesday).

Piece of cake!

 

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Status date in “what if” scenario, or how to make our Projects actual data up to date in MS PROJECT 2013

Hi,

my Blog reader has a “problem”:

Nenad, thank you for replay! Ok, my be I wasn’t clear with my question… Let me explain my self one more time. Perhaps I’m working on some project, it has 28 task with dependences. After planning everything, leveling resources etc. I see my project start 01.01.2015 and will finish 19.07.2016 instead of 30 06.2016 as planed. I’m OK with new finish date. Now I have to check “what if” scenarios. One of them says that I have to check what happen if after 50 work days from the beginning of the project from task 1 till task 12 everything went ok and those task are completed 100% and task 13 which is also should be completed 100% until end of the day 50, but is completed only for 40%. I.e. it will be delayed. Task 13 planned duration is 15 days, so for now it should take a while until it will 100% finish. Task 14 depend on this task (finish to start) so it also will be delayed and so on… Now, the question is: in light of this change whole project end date (19.07.2016) also will be delayed? And how much % of task 13 can be done within his desired time (15 days) so it will not affect original finish date (19.07.2016). My question is: how I can check this scenario in MS Project 2013? Like I said I’ve added “complete” column, inserted % completion according to this scenario, but finish date remain the same (all project task configured auto schedule, so any changes in project should be recalculated immediately). Thank you in advance, Igor.

I’ll show how to solve this in MS PROJECT 2013.

First I will explain the Problem! Let us say that we have Project Like this one:

 

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Now suppose that Task 1, and Task 2, are 100% finished (on time), and Task 3 is only 40% finished on time:

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As you can see, Task 3 is supposed to be finished (100%) at Monday, 8.9.2014, but it is not. And suppose that you know that your Project status date is 12.09.2014:

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So what do we know so far. We know that today is 12.09.2014, and that we are late. So we have to move our incomplete Tasks to Monday, 15.09.2014:

 

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and I will get:

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As you can see, Task 3 has split, so the remaining part of this task is rescheduled to Monday, 15.09.2014, and al successors are delayed!

If this is “what if” situation, and you are not happy with Results, just hit undo or CTRL-Z.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

How to update Baseline and Save actual data in MS PROJECT 2013?

Hi,

I have a question from my Blog reader: “Hi, How can I update Baseline with new Tasks if Project has Tasks with Actual data, e.g I don’t want to loose those actual data, nor I want to change Baseline for those Tasks

It is very simple. I will show how to do that in MS PROJECT 2013.

First I am going to Create new Project with three Tasks, and I will link them:

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Now I am going to save the Baseline:

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and then:

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OK, let’s look at the Tracking Gantt View:

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Now suppose that Task 1 was started at 26.02.2014, and finished at 01.10.2014:

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and then:

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and I’ll get:

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Now suppose that I have another two Tasks:

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Those Task are not “Baselined” as you can se at the Picture above. Now, if I save the Baseline as I did for the whole Project I will get:

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As you can see, Baseline is aligned  with Actual data for Task1 to Task 3, and I do not want that.

So I will Select only new Task and I will create Baseline like this:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, Task 4, and Task 5, are now “Baselined”, and Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3, are as they was!

Hope this helps!

 

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments