Fixed Duration, actual work, remaining work – how are they linked in MS PROJECT 2013?


Today I’ll show you something that looks like a bug but it is not. Suppose that you have a Task with 5 days duration, and the Task Type is Fixed duration. I’ll do that Scenario in MS PROJECT 2013!


I will now Create John as Resource:


and I will assign John to the Task:


I will switch to the Task Usage View:


The Magic Formula is Work = Duration * Units, so Work is 5 days (8 hours per day in my Case) * 100% (John is assigned 100% to the Task) = 40 hours!

Now suppose that John has worked 16 hours on that Task, and he is done! The Task is Finished! So Remaining work is zero hours:


I’ll get:


As you can see, duration is unchanged, because it is Fixed. It is not a Bug! Let’s see Gantt Chart:


And what about % Completed:


As you can see Task is only 40% Completed, because it has Fixe Duration. It seems odd? I know what are you going to tell! If there is no work Remaining, it should be 100% Completed. So, mark it as 100% completed:


and you will get:


and in the Task Usage View:


You don’t like this? You want Duration to be 2 days? Change The Task type to, for example, Fixed Units here:


And everything looks fine now:


If you want Finish date to be Tue, 12.05.2014, than change  Task Type before you put actual and remaining work, and the Task will be 100% Finished when you enter Actual work = 16 hours, and remaining work = 0 hours.




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)!
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2 Responses to Fixed Duration, actual work, remaining work – how are they linked in MS PROJECT 2013?

  1. says:

    Nenad this is very helpful, however, how would you adjust the scenario where the Actual work by John (100%) and Tom (50%) who are two resources assigned to this 5 days of task i.e. planned work will be John (5*8 = 40hrs) and Tom (5*4=20hrs) total work will be 60hrs.

    And if John has worked for 60 hrs alone and Tom has worked for 40 hrs but still the work is only 50% done i.e. at 100hrs spent already the % complete is still 50%, but MS Project will default it to 100% complete, so how can I control this in MS Project ?

    Also, do you recommend to keep the tasks in MS Project as Auto-scheduled or manual scheduled ?

    • Nenad Trajkovski says:

      I wrote today post about that:

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