Inactive Tasks and Actuals in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I saw very interesting discussion in LinkedIn, about making Task Inactive if it has actuals.

First let me show the “issue”. I will create brand new Project in MS PROJECT 2016:

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and I will create John as Resource with $100 / hour rate:

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Finally, I will assign John as Resource to the Task:

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Now, let’s say that I do not need this Task any more, but I want to keep it shown in my Project. I will try to make it as Inactive, like this:

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and I will get:

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So, the Task is Inactive now. But let’s say that Joh has done some work at this Task before I decided to make it Inactive (for example, Task is finished 50%):

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Now, I will try to make it Inactive:

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Is this a bug? No it is not. Why? Let me show you, for example, the Cost Table:

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As you can see, since John had worked 20 hours, it had spent $2000. Of course he had spent 2,5 days at work at this Task, as well. So it is not reasonable to make this Task inactive. Inactive means – I do not need this Task, nor someone is going to work at it – ever. But, if someone had already spent some time on that particular Task, than you can’t consider it as not needed. But, on the other hand, let’s say that noone will work on that Task anymore, but 20 hours are already spent, and you want to finish id with no further work. In that case you can do this (I am going to use Task usage View):

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and I will get:

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Now the Task is finished! The other solution is to put erase all actuals from Task, and then make it Inactive, but I will not recommend it. Why? Because, in that case you are hiding actual work spent on that Task and actual costs, and that is something which is not very professional in Project management, is it?

Regards¨Smile

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Day rates per resources in Microsoft Project 2016

Hi, I have the question from my Blog reader: “After trying for weeks, I’m trawling the net for Microsoft Project, to find out how to add day rates per resource to the schedule. I can do this in SAP, but not every firm has it. These cost are variable and should change automatically if the duration increases, – lets say the dates get pushed out, and work takes place on a Saturday I should see a cost increase with out having to go through each activity one by one……
Have you work with this ?”

I will show you the solution using Microsoft Project 2016. first I’m going to create very simple Project, with one Task:

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For this example I’m going to modify Standard Calendar in a way that every Saturday and Sunday will be working day:

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Now I will create two Resources, John with $100 Standard rate, and Mary with $200 Standard rate:

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Finally, I will assign John and Mary to the Task:

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Let’s see the Cost Table:

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and:

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As you can see Total Cost is $12.000,00. John will work 5 days * 8 hours per day * $100 per hour = 40 hours * $100 = $4.000, and Mary will work 5 days * 8 hours per day * $200 per hour = 40 hours * $200 = $8.000. So John + Mary = $4.000 + $8.000 = $12.000

Now let’s say that John will be paid $150 per weekend and Mary will be paid $300. To do that I must do next:

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and:

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Now I will put 10 days in Duration for the Task:

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and again, let’s see the Cost Table:

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As you can see Total Cost is $26.400,00. John will work 5 days * 8 hours per day * $100 per hour = 40 hours * $100 = $4.000, then on Saturday and Sunday he will work 2 days * 8 hours per day *  $150 = 16 hours * $150 = $2.400, and again from Monday to Wednesday he will work 3 days * 8 hours per day * $100 per hour = 24 hours * $100 = $2.400. So John will have $4.000 + $2.400 + $2.400 = $8.800
Mary will work 5 days * 8 hours per day * $200 per hour = 40 hours * $200 = $8.000, then on Saturday and Sunday she will work 2 days * 8 hours per day *  $300 = 16 hours * $300 = $4.800, and again from Monday to Wednesday she will work 3 days * 8 hours per day * $200 per hour = 24 hours * $200 = $4.800. So John will have $8.000 + $4.800 + $4.800 = $17.600. So John + Mary = $8.800 + $17.600 = $26.400

So this is solution! BUT! If you have those double rates for John and Mary for every weekend than you should put it manually, like I did for every weekend. there is no way to put so called “weekend” rates or something like that in MS Project. It is only date based.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Actual duration for manually entered actual work in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I have a question from my Blog reader, and I’m going to explain the problem step by step. Of course I will use MS PROJECT 2016! My blog reader’s problem is written with Italic.

1. Let’s create a 5 days task with 2 resources. John is  assigned at 100% and Mary at 50%.

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I will now show Task Usage View with some additional fields:

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  1. When the actual work  is manually entered in Actual Work fields on either the table portion of the appropriate view or  in the Timephased view,  Project calculates Actual Duration  and  %Complete using straightforward approach with scheduling formula on the condition that the work that entered for each time period in the Timephased view is exactly equals to each resource assignment units.

    So in the example below Project calculates Actual Duration = Actual Work / Total Units = 32hrs/150% * 8hrs/day = 2.67 days .  From here all other values can be easily calculated.

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Let me explain values from the picture above. when you enter Actual duration manually, day by day (or week by week…), formula Work = Duration * Units does not work anymore. Values are calculated like:

Actual Duration. For Monday and Tuesday –> Work = 12 hours (for John and Mary) per day and Actual work is 12 hours as well. So, Actual duration is two days because everything is done! At Wednesday, John and Mary were supposed to Work 12 hours, but Actual work was 8 hours, so Actual duration is 8/12 = 0,67. So Actual duration for whole Task is 2+0,67 0 2,67 days!

  1. But when the manually entered  actual work does not correspond to resource assignment units in the Timephased view, the Actual Duration cannot be calculated using standard scheduling formula as in the example above. In this example the task’s  Actual Work = 37 hrs, %Work Complete = Actual Work / Work =  62% and  Duration = 5.63 days. This part is clear. But how does Project calculate Actual Duration =  3.67 days? If in this example Project calculates the task’s Actual Duration the same way  it calculates the Duration of 5.63 days , the Actual Duration should be calculated as 4 days, not 3.67 days based on the actual duration of the driving resource John.

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Let me explain values from the picture above. Since you know that formula Work = Duration * Units does not work anymore, Values are calculated like:

Actual Duration. For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are equal to Work, because when you enter Actual, Work field is automatically equal to Actual. So Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are 3 days! At Thursday, John and Mary were supposed to Work 12 hours, but Actual work was 8 hours, so Actual duration is 8/12 = 0,67. So Actual duration for whole Task is 3+0,67 = 3,67 days!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Effort without specific Tasks in Projects using Microsoft Project 2016!

Hi,

often I have a question like this: “How to assign Work to someone when that work is not to be linked with any specific Task?”. I will show you how with MS PROJECT 2016!

But first I have to explain the scenario. Is it possible to have work for someone, and that work IS NOT linked to specific Task? The answer is – YES! For example, let’s say that you are Project manager. And, for this scenario I WILL NOT consider regular meeting, which are covered with recurring Tasks.

As a project manager you can have little work. For example, when you are finished with planning, you monitor and control the execution of the Project, and since everything goes perfect, at the end of the Project, you will close it. So, you as a Project manager has a regular work, and you can assign that work to tasks like Planning, Reporting Closing. And this is scenario is fairy tale! Project, always ha a problems. And guess what! you can not plan when will it occur. You cam mitigate Risks o avoid them using proper Risk manager, but problems will almost always occur. So you must plan some hours for solving them. for example you will have to go to meeting with the Customer to find out where are the problems, you will how to figure out with your team, how to solve it, you will have some reports to write and so on. On the other hand, beside the problem, you will have to do some administrative work, which are not regular, ant there is no easy way to determine when will you have to do that work.

So, for those situations you will have to plan some hours. And since you do not know when will you do the work, you will use Manually scheduled tasks: Your Project might looks like this:

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As you can see, I put 120 hours to Project Management Task, and I assigned Project manager to it, but I left Duration, and Start Date and End Date empty, because I do not know when this work will be performed.

this Task is in relation to End of the Project Task, because due to best practice not a single task in a Project should be an orphan.

Let’s see Task Usage View:

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As you can see work is spread along some dates, but this  not important, since those hours are Planned! And one important thing. If I assign, for example, Project manager to Task 1 Phase 2 I will get:

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Let’ s see Resource Usage View:

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At Monday and Tuesday Project manger is supposed to work 16 hour per day, but he is not shown as over allocated, because Project management Task is Manually Scheduled. And this is correct. We do not have exact Start date and End date, so this resource should not be over allocated.

Now we can save the Baseline:

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and:

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Now, let’s say that Project manager has worked 4 hours on the Project management Task at 22.08.2017 and 23.08.2017. you can put those hours on actual work in Task Usage View:

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Now in Gant Chart View, you will get:

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and It does make a sense.

So, this is on way of using resources and their efforts on non specific Task assigned.

Regards!

Posted in Microsoft Project 2013, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2010, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Over allocation not shown in MS PROJECT 2016 with Windows 10–Bug or not?

Hi,

My blog reader has a problem. He explained it step by step, and I will answer at it in the same way.

Project in certain instances doesn’t flag  over allocated resources.
For example, I created a resource John and assigned him to the project at 50% (Max Units):

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Then I assigned this resource to a task at 51% that exceeds its max units of 50%. In this case Project was supposed to flag John as over allocated resource, but it did not do that. The only place where Project show over allocation is in in the time phased portion of the  Resource Usage view:

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Is it a BUG? No! Is it an over allocation? It depends.

In this particular case, this is not over allocation because of setup:

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John is assigned to the Task with 51%. It means that he will work 51% of 8 hours = 4,08 hour per day, and he is supposed to work 4 hours per day MAX, because of his 50% availability. So yes, John is over allocated per day (as you can see in Resource Usage View), but since Levelling Options is setup to Week by Week (or maybe Month by Month) generally John is not over allocated. WHY? Because John should work max. 20 hours per week (5 days * 8 hours per day * 50% = 20 hours). Task1 has 3 days duration, and John is assigned with 51% which means that he will work 3 * 4,08 = 12,24 hours in particular week, which is less than 20 hours, so he is NOT over allocated. If I put Day by Day in field mentioned above I will get:

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Now John IS over allocated because he is supposed to work no more than 4 hours per day (no matter how many hours he will spend in one week).

When I assign John at his Max. Units  (50%) or less to both tasks Task 1 and Tasks 2  that have  FS relationship, Project behaves as expected as no over allocation for John is detected.

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But when I assign John to both tasks as above, but at any capacity  higher than his Max. Units, e.g. at 51%, Project marks John as over allocated although he is not as the tasks don’t run concurrently.

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Again, since overallociation is set up to Week by Week, now John IS over allocated. Why? He is supposed to work 4,08 the whole week, which means he is supposed to work 5 * 4,08 = 20,4 hours in this particular week, but his maximum capacity is 20 hours per week.

On the other hand when I add a lag to Task 1,  Project behaves as expected and doesn’t show over allocation with the strange exception  in the time phased portion of the Resource Usage View where the work is displayed in red as being over allocated:

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Again, everything works perfect. Since overallociation is set up to Week by Week, now John IS NOT over allocated. Why? He is supposed to work 4,08 for 3 days in a week (because of Lag) , which means he is supposed to work 3 * 4,08 = 12,24 hours in this particular week, but his maximum capacity is 20 hours, and 12,24 is less than 20 hours, so John is NOT over allocated. But he is over allocated in a single day, which is shown in Resource Usage View.

To conclude, before you want to deal with over allocation, be aware that you set it up in a right way (Day by day, Month by Month and so on).

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Multiple relationships between Tasks – using dummy Task in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi, my last post Multiple relationships between Tasks–is this possible?, caused a lot of reactions. all of them are about using dummy Task. Here is one of them:

“Insert a dummy milestone to carry part of the logic between the two tasks. I.e. “Task1” > SS > “Start Task1” (the dummy milestone) > SS+1 > Task2. And “Task1” > FF > “Task2.”

OK! Let’s do it with Microsoft Project 2016:

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First, I will create Start to Start relationship between Task 1 and Dummy Task:

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Now, I will create Start to Start relationship between Task 2 and Dummy Task, with 1 day lag:

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as you can see, Task 2 will start 1 day after Task 1 will start.

Finally, I will create Finish to Finish relationship between Task 2 and Task 1:

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Yeah! I’ve got what I wanted! Wait! Do I?.

Let’s say that for some reason Task 1 Should start at 31.07.2017. I will put it in Start Date field, and I will create Start no Earlier than constraint:

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Everything looks perfect. Task 2 is still going to start one day after Task 1 will start. Now suppose that Task 1 for some reason will have 10 days duration.

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as you can see, Task 2 will finish when Task 1 is to be finished, but it will not start one day after Task 1 is supposed to start.

So, once again, you CAN NOT have more than one relationship between two Tasks! Smile

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Multiple relationships between Tasks–is this possible?

Hi,

I have a great question form one of my Blog readers:
“Hi Nenad,
thanks for your time and experience. I have a question:
I have to tasks 1 and 2.
Task 2 starts with 1 day of delay of the start of task 2 (Start Start +1 day).
But task 2 cant finish until task 1 is finished.
How can I do that?”

I will show you that you can not do that in this way with MS PROJECT 2016!

First I will create a brand new Project with two Tasks:
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Now I have to decide, because there is only one dependencies type that can be establish between two Tasks. In this example it has to be Start to Start with delay of 1 day, like this:

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an I will get:

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In this case, no matter when the Task 1 will be started, MS PROJECT will automatically move Task 2 to start 1 day after Start Date of Task 1.

But no matter when Task 1 will be finished Task 2 will not depend of that Finish date. To do that (make that Task 1, and Task 2 finish at the same date), I have to establish Finish to Finish dependencies:

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and I will get:

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In this case, no matter when the Task 2 will be finished, MS PROJECT will automatically move Task 2 to finish at the same date as Task 1.

But now I do not have Start Date set for Task 2 one day after Task 1 will be started. Of course I can manually adjust Start Date for Task 2 (and then make Start no Earlier Than constraint for Task 2), like this:

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It looks perfect, but it is not. If I, for example, for same case move Task 1 to start at Wednesday, 26.7.2017:

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and:

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I will get:

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Now, I have Start no Earlier Than constraint for Task 1, and the Start Date is Wednesday, 28.07.2017, so Task 2 will start 1 day before Task 1, and not after.

To conclude, you can choose only one dependencies type between Tasks, and then take care manually for the rest , but be aware that in large projects with many Tasks, and multiple dependencies (when one task has multiple predecessors or/and successors) it can be very complicated and you can easily make a mistake which is lately hard to find.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016 | Tagged , | 4 Comments