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:

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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

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Extended Duration with Fixed working hours–MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I have very interesting question from one of my Blog readers:

“Hi Nenad,

I would appreciate if you could advise on the following two  topics:

1. How to handle the situation when a task is delayed due to some unforeseen circumstances, but the actual work performed by several assigned resources remains unchanged

For example:

Task A  = 3d with Resources R1 and R2 assigned at 100% each. Work is 48h . R1 work = 24h, R2 work = 24h

Let’s assume that this task is delayed 2 days. So we enter the  Actual Duration of  5d or instead enter the Actual Finish day for the task to correspond to day 5.

So how and  where should we enter value  for each resource so the 5d task is 100% and the actual work for each resource is planned 24h?

Note: Please explain this for each task type!

2. Same situation as above, but the Actual Duration of the task is shorter than planned, while the Actual Works for resources are same as planned.”

OK! Let me show you that with MS PROJECT 2016!

First I am going to create brand new Project with one Task with 3 days Duration:

image

No I am going to create two resources:

image

and finally, I’m going to assign those resources to Task:

image

Now I’m going to switch to the Task Usage View:

image

For my example, I added three more Columns: Actual work, Remaining work, and Task Type.

I will now change duration from 3 to 5 days, for:

Fixed Units and Fixed Duration

image

As you can see, Work is extended as well, from 24 hours to 40 hours per Resource. But, if I click on the Yellow sign, I can choose:

image

In this case I will get what I want, e.g. work will remain the same for each Resource, but they will work less per day:

image

Fixed Work

If I change Duration on that Task Type, I will not have to choose anything to get the same result, because by default, Fixed work means that if I change Duration, work will remain the same (e.g. 24 hours per Resource), and it will be spread among 5 days (e.g. each Resource will have to work less per day on that Task).

The same thing will happen if I short Duration. But, in that case for Fixed Units, and Fixed Duration I will have to choose that I want to Increase the hours work per day, and with fixed Work it will be automatically done for me.

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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

Duration vs. Manually entered actual work in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

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

“Hi Nenad,
Based on the example in your previous post please answer the following questions:
1) When you manually updated the actual work in each of the 3 days for Resource in Task to 4, 12 and 20 hrs, Project calculated actual duration as 3 days. As the default is that one working day is 8h, how did Project calculate the Actual Duration to be 3 days instead of 4+12+20 =36h/8h = 4,5d ?

2) How in this case does Project uses the scheduling formula Work = Duration * Units to calculate the total task Duration of 5.5 days?”

OK. I’ll show you that in MS PROJECT 2016!

I will first create a Project with one Task, 7 days Duration:

image

I am also going to create John as Resource:

image

Finally, I’m going to assign John to the Task:

image

Now I am going to Switch the View to Task Usage, and I’m going to add Actual Duration to it:

image

On the right size of this View, I’m going to show Actual Work field:

image

and I will get:

image

I will put in Actual Work:

  • 4 hours for Monday
  • 12 Hours for Tuesday
  • 20 Hours for Wednesday

and I will get:

image

As you can see there is a special mark on the Right side of the Task:

image

Now, why is Actual Duration 3 Days instead of 36/8 = 4,5 days? 36 hours were spent to the Task, that is true. Default is 8 hours per day. That is also true. And 36/8 = 4,5. BUT! Once when you decide to put Actual work manually, formula work=Duration * Unit) will not work any more for this specific Task. Why? Because you can put any value in Actual work. So, Microsoft Project does not use formula any more. Instead it recognized that has been some (ANY) Actual Work in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and no matter how much work was spend it says that Actual Duration is 3 days! That is it!

And what about Duration field? It is now 5,5 days. Here Microsoft Project use formula, but partially. Here is explanation how:

  1. Actual Duration is 3 days
  2. At Thursday and Friday, John is supposed to work 8 hours per day. It is 2 days!
  3. At next Monday, John is supposed to work 4 hours. It is 0,5 days
  4. Total is 3 days (Actual) + 2 days (Thursday and Friday) + 0,5 day (Monday) = 5,5 days

To conclude, if you are going to manually put Actual work to the Task, be very careful.

Best Regards!

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

Actual Duration vs. Actual work in MS PROJECT 2016

 

Hi,

I got a Business Case from my Blog Reader wit, of course, a problem. I will go step by step through it with MS PROJECT 2016!

In Italic font is my blog reader Text

1. I created a Task A – non-effort-driven, fixed units with Duration= 5d, Work = 60h (this will be calculated)

image

2. Task A has two resources assigned at their max capacity: John at 100% and Tom at 50%. , John’s standard hourly cost  is $100/h, Tom’s $200/h

image

and:

image

I will switch to the Task Usage View now:

image

3. Planned Works for individual resource over the planned task duration are:  for John = 40h and for Tom 20h (See Picture above)

4. I enter actual 40h of actual work for one of the resources (John) (for this I will add two Columns in Task Usage View):

image

Project calculates Actual task Duration as 3.33d (Actual Work / Total Units = 40h/150%) which equals to 67% Complete for that task.

Here is my question:

While understanding that 40h/8h per day = 5d of the duration,  there is a little confusion with the Actual Duration of 3.33d.
Shouldn’t the Actual Work of 40h for John same as the Actual Work for the task as a whole be distributed over these 3.33 days and NOT over the original planned duration of 5 days as it’s shown in the Task Usage view?    That is, if  John’s Actual Work is spanned over Actual Duration of 3.33d,  then John’s Actual Work should be 26.4d because 24h over the first 3 days (8h/day * 3days)  plus another 2.64 h for the part of the day 4 (8hrs/day * 0.33 day) of a total of 24+2.64 = 26.4h instead of 40h.

The answer is – NO. This is misunderstanding! How MS PROJECT calculates Actual Duration:

  1. How many hours are scheduled per day? 12 (8 for John, and 8 for Tom)
  2. How many hours was John working during 5 days. 40! (8 hours per day)?
  3. Actual Duration is 40 hours (actual) / 12 hours (planned per day) = 3.33 (actual Duration). Or you can calculate like this: 40 hours (Actual) / 60 hours (Planned) * 5 days (Planned) = 3.33 (Actual days)

The problem is that you should understand that if you put 40 hours actual for John that means that John has worked as planned, e.g. 8 hours per day 5 days.

But, since Tom didn’t work at all, the actual duration is calculated as I explained above!

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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

How to show Resource overallocation within one day in MS PROJECT 2016?

 

Hi,

I have a question from one of my Blog Readers:

“Hi,
I have the following issue … I have a resource with an 8-hour working day. I assign him a task starting 9:00 am with a duration of 3 hours. I also assign him a task starting 10:00 am with duration 1 hour. Project does not flag it as an overallocation, I guess it’s because it does not go beyond the 8 hour restriction for a working day. But there is a conflict with the tasks since both have to be performed by the same resource at the same time. Is there a way to have Project indicate this conflict?
Thank you”

Well, here we are talking about showing overallocation within one day. I’ll show you that with MS PROJECT 2016!

First I will create a simple Project with two Tasks:

  • First Task with Duration 3 hours – starting at 09:00
  • Second Task with Duration 1 hour – starting at 10:00

image

Now I‘m going to create John, as Resource with 100% availability for this Project:

 image

Now, let’s say that John will work on both Tasks:

image

John is available supposed to work 8 hours per day, and since he will work 3 hours for First Task, and 1 hour for Second Task, he is not overallocated. Or is he? He is not overallocated in one day (he will not work more than eight hours per day), but what about during the day?

I will change Timescale on the Gantt Chart:

image

and:

image

image

and I will get:

image

As you can see, John IS overallocated between 10:00 and 11:00 but, it is not show on the screen. How to get that. Follow this step:

image

and you will get:

image

John is now marked as overallocated.

If Leveling option is set Day by Day then John will be marked as overallocated only if he is supposed to work more than 8 hours (in my example) per day, no matter if he is supposed to work on two or more Tasks at the same time during the day. But if this is set to Hour by Hour it means that John will be overallocated when he has to work during the day at the same time to two ore more Tasks.

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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

Resource Calendar vs. Units in Microsoft Project 2016

Hi,

I’ve got a very good question from one of my blog Readers:

“Dear Nenad,

Could you please help me with a question on resource calendar?
If a resource is part time only work 3 days a week. I need to assign this resource 1 day for Task 1, and 2 days for Task 2. What is the best way to set in MSP? Shall I set maximum unit 100% and then use resource calendar to adjust the part time 3 days or Shall I set the maximum unit 60% and then use Task calendar to adjust the allocation?”

Well, when we are talking about Units and Resource Calendar, we are talking about two totally different things.

Let me show you a difference in MS PROJECT 2016!

First,  I will create very simple Project with two Tasks:

image

Then, I will create two Resources:

image

As you can see, I told Microsoft Project that John will have 60% maximal units on this Project.

Now, I am going to modify Mary’s Calendar, and I will say that she will work only 3 days per week, but still with 100% units:

image

As you can see, Mary is not going to work on Thursday and Friday.

Now I will assign John to Task 1, and Mary to Task 2:

image

Now, I’m going to explain the difference.

Since John is going to work 60%, and we all know magic formula: Work = Duration * Units, and default Task Type for Task 1 is Fixed Units, we will have:

Work = 5 days (8 hours per day) Duration * 60% Units = 5 * 8 * 60% = 24 hours. And John will work 60% per day e.g. 8 hours * 60% = 4,8 hours per day!

Mary, on the other hand will work 100% per day (e.g. 8 hours per day), but she will not work at Thursdays and Fridays, so to finish Task 2, which is 5 days long, she has to work 40 hours (Work = Duration * Units, e.g. Work = 5 days (8 hours per day) * 100% Units = 5*8* 100% = 40 hours!). She will work 5 days and 8 hours per day on her working days, and that means that she has to work From Monday to Wednesday (3 working days) and then Monday and Tuesday next week, to accomplish her Task.

To conclude. % Units is how many hours can Resource work maximum per day (without over allocation), and resource Calendar determine which day will someone work (and when), and which not.

So there is a huge difference.

Final example. Let’s say that John will not work at Thursdays and Fridays (same as Mary). I will modify his calendar (I’m not going to show you screenshots because I showed you already how to do that in Mary’s case), and I will get:

image

You can see that John and Mary will work same Days (From Monday to Wednesday, and then Monday and Tuesday next week) but since John is only 60% allocated to this Task, he will work 4,8 hours per day which is 24 hours in Total.

Hope this helps!

Regards Smile

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

How to change rates and costs without affecting past Tasks in MS PROJECT 2016?

Hi,

I’ve got a question from one of my Blog Readers:

“Hi!
I am wondering how you would manage a rate increase in MS Project halfway through the project that is not retroactive. If I change the $/hr for a resource, it re-calculates the total cost for the project with the new rates. Which is not reality. I wonder if you already tackled this type of problem in one of your projects and how you went about solving it.

Thank you.”

I will show you this in MS PROJECT 2016

First I will setup a Brand new Project for my example:

image

and I will crate Three different resources:

image

Finally, I’m going to assign Resources to Tasks:

image

As you can see, in the Cost Field, which I put in the Gant Chart View:

  • Task 1 has Cost = $800 (John will work 1 day * 8 hours per day * $100 per hour = $800)
  • Task 2 has Cost = $3200 (Mary will work 2 days * 8 hours per day * $200 per hour = $3200)
  • Task 3 has Cost = $7200 (Peter will work 3 days * 8 hours per day * $300 per hour = $7200)

Now suppose that I want to change rate for someone. If I do it via Resource sheet like this (I will double it for each Resource):

image

I will get:

image

So, that is not what my Reader wants. To avoid retroactive change of Costs when you change rates, you can do only one thing.

image

and:

image

Let’s look at Tsk Usage View now:

image

Let me explain what happens now:

  1. Mary will work at Task 2, which has two days Duration at two different rates: $200 to 17.05.2016, and $300 from 18.05.2016, and cost for this Task is 8 hours * $200 + 8 hours * $300 = 1600 (at 17.05.2016) + $2400 (at 18.05.2016) = $4000
  2. Peter will work at Task 3, which has three days Duration at two different rates: $300 to 20.05.2016, and $100 from 21.05.2016, and cost for this Task is 16 hours * $300 + 8 hours * $100 = 4800 ($2400 at 19.05.2016, and $2400 at 20.05.206) + $800 (at 23.05.2016) = $5600

So if you want to change cost rates with no affect to the past dates, you should follow my example.

BUT! If you want to change cost rate for some date, and avoid changing cost for tasks in this period (for example, you have cost rate $100 for 21.05.2016, and you change this to $200)- forget it. This is now possible!

Whenever you change cost rate for resource global, or for some period all tasks in which this resource is involved in that period will change their costs! That is how MS PROJECT works, and that is not a bug but reasonable behavior!

Regards!

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