Actual Duration, Actual work and Fixed work Tasks in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

here is one problem that my Blog Reader has (I will go step by step, and I will use MS PROJECT 2016)

“When multiple resources are assigned to the task, for a given Total Work we can  calculates the   Duration either as Work divided by  Total Assignment Units   OR  by calculating the Duration for each individual resource  as Duration (Ri) = Work (Ri) / Units (Ri))  and then selecting the longest duration of the driver resource to be a task Duration. For example, let’s say we have a 3d, 36 hr task for 2 resources R1(100%)  and R2(50%)”

image

As you can see task is Fixed work type, and I put 3 days in the Duration.

Now I am going to create two Resources, one with 100% units, and other with 50%:

image

and I’m going to assign both Resource to Task:

image

What is wrong with this Scenario. Technically nothing, but logically, if you have Fixed Work Task, it means that work is fixed, and that you know how much work you need for the Task. An, in this scenario, you should not put Duration, but Work. But, let’’ me continue with scenario from my Blog reader, and I’m going to show you Task Usage View:

image

As you can see R1 should work 3 days and 8 hours per day which is 100%, and it equals 24 hours. On the other hand, R2 should work 3 days and 4 hours per day which is 50%, and it equals 12 hours.

My Blog reader continues with: “Now I enter Actual Work of 10h into resource R1  and we get:”

image

The question from my Blog reader is:

“So we can’t anymore use the same approach to calculate Actual Duration using the Actual Work and Units of individual assigned resources. That is, if we calculate the Actual  Duration using the only Actual Work R1 we will get:
Actual Duration = Actual Work (R1) / Units (R1) = 10h / 100% = 1.25d which is not what shown on the screenshot above (0.83d).
So the only way to get Actual Duration right is to calculate it as:
Actual Duration =  Sum of Actual Work of each resource /  Total Units =( 10h + 0h) / (100% + 50%) = 10h/150% = 0.83d

So why is  the method of calculating the task  Duration based on the individual resource Work and Units  with subsequent selection of the longest duration doesn’t work for an Actual Duration calculations?“

Well, Microsoft Project does not calculate Actual Duration in that way. Let’s take a look on the right side of the Task Usage View:

image

As you can see:

  • At Monday Work was 12 hours, and Actual Work is 8 hours (Because R1 works only 8 hours per day). Actual Duration is: Actual work / Work = 8 /12 = 0,66666
  • At Tuesday Work was 12 hours, and Actual Work is 2 hours (Because R1 works remaining 2 hours of 10 hours assigned as Actual work). Actual Duration is: Actual work / Work = 2 /12 = 0,16666
  • So Actual Duration is 0,6666 + 0,16666 = 0,83 Days!

So that is Actual Duration for the Task. And it is always calculated with work and Actual work of all Resources, not one by one!

Regards!

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

Effect of initial resource assignment on calculation of Individual resource’s work in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I’ve got very good question form one of my Blog readers:

“The effect  of initial resource assignment on  calculation  of  Individual resource’s work. Suppose we want have two resources R1 (100%) and R2(50%) to work on a 20h fixed unit task.  When we enter 40h of Work first,  BEFORE simultaneously assigning the resources. After we assign, for example, two resources (one with 100%, an another with 50%), total work for the Task has been changed.

Why does Project disregard each resource’s assignment units and assigns  total work of 40h to each resource so that the total work increases twofold?

So what is the best way to initially assign several resources to a Fixed Unit task for a given Work : that is, if I want 2 resources R1 and R2 to be assigned together to as task of 40h? Only make the task fixed work type?”

OK! I will follow the question step by step!

First I’m going to create brand new Project with one Task, and I am going to put 40 hours in the Work field

image

Now I’m going to create two Resources, and I will say that R1 has 100% Max Units, and R2 has 50% Max Units:

image

Now, I will assign them to the Task:

image

As you can see, work is now 80 hrs. Let’s see Task Usage View:

image

Q: Why does Project disregard each resource’s assignment units and assigns  total work of 40h to each resource so that the total work increases twofold?
A: Because, in MS PROJECT, if you put Work for Task, for example 40 hours, it means that every Resource should spend 40 hours for completing that Task. That’s how it works!

Q: So what is the best way to initially assign several resources to a Fixed Unit task for a given Work : that is, if I want 2 resources R1 and R2 to be assigned together to as task of 40h? Only make the task fixed work type?”
A: You should do it manually. See the example below:

Let’s say that you want for your Task that Each Resource should work 20 hours for that Task.

image

Here I will put 20 hours for each Resource,. and II ‘will click on OK button:

image

In Fixed Units Task Type, if you want to assign different work for the Task, you must specify exact work for each resource. Otherwise, if you put work amount for the Task, and then assign Resources, each Resource will have same amount of work!

Hope this helps,

Regards!

Posted in Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A question for my Blog readers!

Hi,

I got a suggestion, and I want to hear what do you think about it: “Have you considered doing videos instead of screenshots, it would be easier for us to understand and I guess you would save time.”

I can do that as well, but I want to know what do you prefer?

Thanks for your answer!!! Smile

Posted in MS PROJECT 2016 | Tagged | 11 Comments

Relation between Overtime and Duration in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I have a question from oen of my Blog readers:

“Every time I allocate the whole work hours to overtime hours the Duration column turns into 0 and the start and finish dates and time are the same. Why?”

OK! I have to explain how MS PROJECT 2016

image

and I will create John, as Resource, and I will assign him to the Task:

image

and:

image

Now I will switch to the Task Usage View, and I will show Task Form, as well.

image

As you can see, John is supposed to work 40 hours, 8 hours per day, during 5 days of Duration. Now, suppose, that John will work more than 8 hours per day, and you want to put those hours as Overtime work. Suppose that 20 hours will be overtime work:

image

After I click on OK button I will get:

image

As you can see, Duration is 2,5 days now. Why? MS Project calculates Duration according to next formula:

DURATION = (Work – Overtime Work) / Hours per day. In this case it is: DUARTION = (40-20)/8 = 20/ 8 = 2,5 days.

Now suppose that all 40 hours are overtime work:

image

As you can see, Duration is 0 days, according to formula Duration = (40-40) / 8 = 0 Days. This make no sense but you should consider that Overtime work is something like “off the Calendar). If you consider this option you should ask yourself: “Do I understand overtime work?” Overtime work has to be smaller than total work (Work field). Overtime work is something like: “How many hours of regular work, will be over it?”. If overtime work is same as regular work, than it is regular work, not overtime!

Hope this helps!

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

How to setup complex Graphical Indicators with MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I can see on the forums that lot of MS PROJECT 2016 user have problem with graphical indicators. For example, they want to see Actual Work compared with base lined work, and see the status. OK, that is not so complicated. Let’s say that you want to compare Actual work with Baseline work in a way that:

  • If Actual work is equal or lower than Baseline work – you want a Green indicator
  • If Actual work is up to 20% higher than Baseline work – you want a Yellow indicator
  • If Actual work is more than 20% higher than Baseline work – you want a Red indicator

     

    Firs of all I am going to create Simple Project with three Tasks and three Resources:

    image

    and:

    image

    Finally I’m going to assign them to Tasks:

    image

    Now I’m going to create one Custom field – Number:

    image

    and then:

    image

    and then:

    image

    Now I’m going to save the Baseline:

    image

    and, finally I am going to include all relevant fields in Gantt Chart:

    image

  • Now I’m going to put some Actual work:

    image

    As you can see, I’ve got what I want. Notice this little tip. If you put checkmark here:

    image

    and you hoover your mouse on the Graphic Indicator, you will se Value:

    image

    With this you can see actual value of this custom field, and you can check if your formula works properly!

    Regards!

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

    How to change Resource Assignments for Multiple Tasks in MS PROJECT 2016

    Hi,

    Here is a problem that one of my Blog Readers have:

    “Is there a way to have the same resource – Team A work on multiple tasks and a place where I can change the “Units %” from 300% to 500% (or any other number) one in the project instead of changing it at EVERY task ?”

    The answer is: “Yes, you can do it very easy, and I will show you how in MS PROJECT 2016!

    First I’m going to create simple Project:

    image

    and Team A as a Generic Resource:

    image

    Now, let’s say that I want to assign Team A to all Tasks, and I want to assign only 300% per Each Task. Of, course I can do it Task by Task, but I want to do that all in once.

    Steps are:

    image

    I will get:

    image

    If I want now change Units from 300% to 350% for all Tasks, I will follow same steps.

    simple, isn’t it?

    Regards!

    Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

    Why is my Task Type changed from Non Effort Driven to Effort Driven automatically in MS PROJECT 2016

     

    Hi I have a question from one of my Blog readers:

    “I wonder if this is a bug in MS Project 2016?
    Here what I did:
    1. Created a 3-day fixed units, non-effort-driven task
    2. Assigned one resource at 100% capacity
    3. Changed Duration from 3d to 5d
    4. Chose the option “Decrease hours resources work per day but keep the same amount of work” so that scheduled Work remained unchanged

    In response Project :
    a). changed Peak Units to 60%. Which is correct. But it also changed the Assignment Units to 60%. And I don’t understand why?!!!
    b). Project made the task to be an effort-driven. Why?”

    First of all, that is not a BUG! I will show you that in MS PROJECT 2016

    I’m going to create simple Project with one Task with 3 days Duration:

    image

    Then I am going to create one Resource and assign it to the Task.

    image

    and:

    image

    I will now turn on Task Form, and I will get:

    image

    Now I am going to change Duration from 3 to 5 days:

    image

    Finally I will get:

    image

    Now, I am going to answer to questions:

    1. Changed Peak Units to 60%. Which is correct. But it also changed the Assignment Units to 60%. And I don’t understand why?!!! – Because if what happens when you decrease or increase duration. It is real assignment units now, in this new situation
    2. Project made the task to be an effort-driven. Why? – Because if you say that you want to have fixed numbers of hours (same amount of work), than when you add, for example, new resource to the same task, duration or assignment units will be decreased, but the work will remain the same. This is, at the end, all about Effort driven.

    Hope this helps!

    Regards

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment