Physical % Complete in MS PROJECT and “rollup”


recently I had a conversation with one of my Blog readers about Physical % complete and rollup. I will give you example with new Project, using MS PROJECT ONLINE

First I will create brand new Project:


As you can see, I added two more Columns: % Complete and Physical % Complete. I will create a simple schedule:


OK, Now I will mark Task 1 and Task 5 as 100% Completed:

image As you can see Physical % Complete is zero.

Where is the difference between  % Complete and Physical % Complete. Let me explain this. Let’s say that I have a Task which is Building the wall which will be 4 meters long. And it has duration 4 days. And after 2 days of working, obviously %complete is 50%. But, maybe it is only 25% completed, e.g. 1 meter is built, for an reason. I will put 50% to %Completed, and 25% to Physical % Completed.

In my example I can put something like this:


Task 1 is 100% completed and Physical % Complete is 100%. So, everything is perfect. Task 2 is 50% completed and Physical % Complete is 10%. It means that 50% of time is spent, but it is only 10% finished. This task is going to be late, you may think. But, this could be a wrong conclusion. Why? When I write my Blog post I take 1 day to think about a subject. And this is only 10% of all work. On the Second day I use MS PROJECT, I make a Case, and I try how something works, and I write a post. So, in the second day I finish the rest of 90% of my work. And I am not late. Got it?

If you look at the Task 5 and Task 6 you will see that I have a problem. Why? On Task 5 I spent all the time but I finished only 90% of work, so task is not finished and I have to extend the Duration. On the Task 6 I spent 50% of time and I did not finish anything.

Last but not least, you can see that for Summary Task, and for the whole Project you cannot see Physical % Completed. There is not rollup:


My Blog reader asked me why is that so, and he concluded that he cannot tell the real Project status. But! Physical % Complete cannot be rolled up! It simply doesn’t make a sense. Because there in no algorithm for that. Look at this picture:


I can’t tell what is Physical % complete for the whole Project. If I have only two Tasks and both has 50% Physical % Completed it does not mean that the whole project is 50% completed, or if on Task is 100% completed, and other only 50% that a whole project is 75% Completed. Physical work is not related directly to duration, so it cannot be calculated at Summary Task or Project Level. It is only Task related and it is right thing which tells you about spent time vs work done (not effort but physical work), and with this information you can see the real performance for your Task, not a Project



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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