% Complete vs % Work Complete in MS PROJECT 2013


some people asked me about difference between %Complete, and %Work Complete. I’ll show you the difference with a very simple example in MS PROJECT 2013.

First, I will create a Simple Project with a single Task:


I will have a single Resource, John, of course:


and I will assign John to the Task:


I’ll switch to the Task Usage View, and I’ll add two columns %Complete, and %Work Complete:


On the right site of the View I’ll add Actual work row:


and I’ll get:


As you can see John has to work 40 hours (5 Days * 8 hours per day)

But, I need only 32 hours for that Task, and I want John to work 4 hours at Monday, and Tuesday, and 8 hours at Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So I’ll manually update work field:


Now I will enter 50% at %Complete field, and I’ll get:


As you can see, %Complete is 50%, but % Work Complete is 38%. Where is the difference?

%Complete is 50%, and that means that John has worked 50% of duration, e.g. 5 Days * 50% = 2,5 days! So, if he worked only 2,5 days Actual work (in hours) is 4 hours at Monday, 4 hours at Tuesday, and 4 hours at Wednesday (half day, because John has to work 8 hours at Wednesday). This is what %Complete means = %Duration

On the other hand, John is supposed to work 32 hours to complete his Task. Hi already worked 12 hours (4 hours at Monday, 4 hours at Tuesday, and 4 hours at Wednesday). Simple math:  %Work = 12 hours (Sum of Actual hours)/ 32 (Sum of work) = 0,375 = 38%

As simple as that!



About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
This entry was posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to % Complete vs % Work Complete in MS PROJECT 2013

  1. Duc says:

    Hi Thank you!

  2. manolo says:


    I know the post is really old, but I have doubts what you exposed.
    I will explain what I’m doing:
    Project configuration:
    1- Create a blank project 2013 file.
    2- Go to options, schedule, select fixed units, auto scheduled tasks.
    3- Go to options, advanced, Physical % complete.

    Task creation
    1. Create a resource with a 100$ rate.
    2. Create a task with 40 hours work (instead duration).
    3. Assign my resource.
    4. Follow your steps to assign the 4, 4, 8, 8, 8 hours as actual work to the task.

    Ok, doing all of that I get different %, instead of 50% and 38, I’m getting 83% and 80%.

    But what I’m worried about, is that I’m trying to do the Earned Value Management, and for me, the task is completed after do only 32 hours. How can I do to update the task as 100% but without changing work hours automatically? Because I want to know that my team is more efficient than expected.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

  3. Cora Kemp-Epps says:

    Can the % Work Complete parameter be used if the project is NOT resource loaded?

  4. iLmi chaniago says:

    Thank you for the article, it’s very help to me

  5. Jeff says:

    Great article and example! Thank you for posting.

  6. Ash says:

    Hi Nenad,
    Is there a feature that can show an S curve with the Gantt Chart in MSProject2010 ?

  7. Narda says:

    Great stuff! But, when I enter the 50% at %Complete field I get everything you get except the %Complete and %Work complete updating on “My Project” summary task. What do I need to do?

  8. mehran sohrabi says:

    Hi thank you


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