Duration and % completed–relation between them in MS PROJECT 2016


I noticed that lot of MS Project users have a problem with Duration and work which was already completed. Let me give you an example in MS PROJECT 2016.

Let’s say that we have a one Task Project, with 4 Days Duration, and John is supposed to work on that Task:


As you can see John is going to spend 32 hours of work (4 days * 8 hours per day = 32 hours).

Now let’s say that Task is 50% completed:


and we get:


Now let’s say that we made a mistake. Task was originally meant to have Duration 3 days, and Task is 50% completed.

I will change Duration from 4 to 3 days and I will get:


As you can see, when I changed Duration form 4 to 3 days, work has changed from 32 hours to 24 hours (3 days * 8 hours per day = 24 hours). Actual Duration and Actual work remained intact, and % complete is now 67%. Why? Because 2 days (Actual) / 3 days (Total9 = 0,67, e.g. 67%.

Remember this: Actual means – already done! if you don’t change it it will remain as it is no matter if you change Duration or Work.

So, back to the Case. If we want to have a Task which has 3 days Duration and is completed 50%, we should follow next steps:

1. This is the moment when we noticed that we have mad a mistake. So Duration is 4 days and % Complete is 50%:


2. First we will put 0% Completed:


and we will get:


3. Now we will change Duration from 4 to 3 days:


4. Finally we are going to make it 50% completed (as we did before, when Duration was 4 days), and we will get:


Now we have what we wanted at the first place. Of, course, same steps should be taken if we want to increase Duration!



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 2013, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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