%Complete vs. %Work Complete in MS PROJECT 2016!–when to use what?

 

Hi,

very often I have questions like this one:

Dear Nenad,

I am going to develop a scheduled for a petrochemical plant shutdown project. My question is: “What percent complete should i use (% Complete or Work % Complete) and why?”

I wrote a blog Post about this issue, but I will now clarify exactly where is the difference between this two % of completeness, and when to use which one of them.

I will create a very simple Project with one single Task in MS PROJECT 2016:

image

I am going to create two Resources, John and Mary:

image

Now. Let’s say that Mary has day off at Wednesday, 05.10.2016:

image

I will assign them to the Task:

image

As you can see Duration is now 6 days. Now I will switch to the Task Usage View, an I will add some columns in it:

image

As you can see, Duration is 6 days. Why? Initial Duration was 5 days, (from Monday to Friday), but since Mary has day off at Wednesday, she should work on next Monday to finish her part of the Task, and it makes 6 days.

John will work 100% which means 8 hours per day and that make Total of 5 (not 6, but 5!!!) days * 8 hours per day * 100% = 40 hours. Mary will also work 100% and that also make Total of 5 days * 8 hours per day * 100% = 40 hours. . So to finish this Task 80 hours of work is needed.

Now, let’s say that we put 50% in %Complete field. We will get:

image

50% in %complete field means that we spent 50% of Duration! So the work was done according to plan at Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! You can see that in right part of Task Usage View in Actual Work field per day.

So John spent 24 hours (8 hours at Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday), but Mary spent only 16 hours (8 hours at Monday and Tuesday, and she did not work at Wednesday, because she had day off!).

Now let’s calculate %Work complete for this example.

  • John has to work 40 hours, and he spent 24 hours, so that means 24/40=0,6 or 60%
  • Mary has to work 40 hours, and she spent 16 hours, so that means 16/40=0,4 or 40%
  • From the Task point of view, John and Mary have to work 80 hours and they spent 40 hours, so that means 40/80=0,5 or 50%

Now let’s say that we did not put 50% in %Complete field, for the Task but instead of thet we put 50% in %Work Completed field. We will get the same result, so I will not show you the same picture again. But I will show you how MS PROJECT calculate %Complete in this example:

  • From the Task point of view, John and Mary have to work 80 hours and they spent 50%, so that means 80 * 50% = 40 hours spent on the Task
  • John and Mary worked on Monday, which is 16 hours together, and Tuesday which is another 16 hours (so for now, Total is 32 hours), and John worked 8 hours at Wednesday (and Mary was at her day off), so Total is 40 hours spent of the Task
  • John has to work 40 hours, and he spent 24 hours, so that means 24/40=0,6 or 60%
  • Mary has to work 40 hours, and she spent 16 hours, so that means 16/40=0,4 or 40%

BUT! Suppose that John spent 50% of his Work on the Task, and Mary only 20%. It means that John has worked 40 hours*50% = 20 hours, and Mary has worked 40 hours * 20% = 8 hours. If I put this values on %Work Completed I will get:

image

From the Task point of view, John and Mary have to work 80 hours and they spent 28 hours, so that means 28 / 80 = 0,35 or 35% of %Work Completed

To calculate %Complete I need Actual Duration which is 1,57 days. It is calculated in this way:

  • For both John and Mary, if they work full time they have to work 16 hours at Monday. And they did. So this make 1 day
  • For both John and Mary, if they work full time they have to work 16 hours at Tuesday. And John worked 8 hours, and Mary didn’t work at all . So this make 0,5 days (8/16=0,5)
  • For both John and Mary, if they work full time they have to work 16 hours at Wednesday. And John worked 4 hours, and Mary didn’t work at all . So this make 0,25 days (4/16=0,25)
  • So, in total it is 1 + 0,5 + 0,25 = 1,75 days. And this means that %Completed is Actual Duration / Duration = 1,75 / 6 = 0,29 or 29%

Now, final conclusion.

  • When you know how much time has passed (e.g Duration) in percentage, use %Complete field.
  • When you know how much work is done (e.g Hours)  in percentage, use %Work Complete field.
  • When you know how much work is done (e.g Hours) in percentage for specific resource, of course you will use %Work Complete field. And this is the most common situation if we are talking of percentage.
  • But, if you know exact number of hours that particular Resource spent on the particular Task, never use %Work Complete, but always Actual work field!

Regards!

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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, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to %Complete vs. %Work Complete in MS PROJECT 2016!–when to use what?

  1. ks pitre says:

    Hi How does one fix different holidays for persons on the same activity? That is if X and Y are working on the same project and Task and while X has weekly off on Sat and Sun, Y has weekly off on Sun only.So how do I fix the working time??Pitre

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