Status Indicator in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

there are some fields in MS PROJECT 2016, which are very useful but not so often used. One of them is Status indicator. What does it work? I will explain it in a simple example. First I will create simple Project with three Tasks:

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Notice that Project Start Date is 06.02.2017. And Actual date (e.g. Current date) in my example is 07.02.2017:

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Now, I will add two fields in the Gant View: Status and Stratus Indicator.

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Before I explain Status Indicator field, I will change Current date to Wednesday, 08.02.2017, and I will make Task 1 100% Completed. So, I will get:

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So, Status can be: On Schedule, Late, Future Task, or Complete. I do not have to explain what each of them mean. Status Indicator is graphical representation  of Status filed, and it can be:

  • If Status is Complete, Status Indicator = check mark
  • If Status is Future Task, Status Indicator = blank
  • If Status is On schedule, Status Indicator = clock with a check mark
  • If Status is Late, Status Indicator = clock with an exclamation point.

So use those fields because they are showing you status of your Tasks/Project in a simple way.

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Default Assignment units in Microsoft Project 2016

Hi,

I’ve got a question form one of my Blog readers: “I noticed that the generic resource is only used with 100% (default value) instead of the 140% or 240% (depending on the time when the task be processed). I also read one of your articles, which described that the max. units can only be manually adjusted per task. Is that the only option?”

I will explain this with MS PROJECT 2016! First of all I will create wo Resources: Developers with Max. Units = 200%, and John with Max. Units = 50%.

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Now I will create a simple Project with three Tasks:

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Finally I will assign Developers and John to all three Tasks, through Gantt Chart View:

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Finally I’ll have:

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Now I am going to Switch to Resource Usage View, and I will add two Columns on it: Max Units, and Assignment Units:

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As you can see, Microsoft Project will automatically assign Units to the Task (Assignment Units), following two rules:

  1. If Max units for Resource, at given moment is equal or greater than 100%, Assignment Units = 100%
  2. If Max units for Resource, at given moment is less than 100%, Assignment Units = Max Units at given moment for particular resource

So, Developers are assigned with 100% (see rule #1), and John is assigned with 50% (see rule #2).

Now, how can you change Assignment Units for all Tasks. For example, you want to put 200% for all Tasks for Developers. Because this is not video, I will show you one way to do that:

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and you will get:

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So, that is the easiest way, if you do not want to deal with writing Macro.

Hope this helps!

Regards!

Posted in Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Update the task as 100% without changing work hours automatically in MS PROJECT 2016 – is it possible?

Hi,

I’ve got very good question from one of my Blog Readers: “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.”

Basically we are speaking about Work, and Actual work in MS PROJECT 2016! What is problem here. For example, if you need 40 hours for Task, and you finish it in 32 hours, you want that those 40 hours of Work remains unchanged, but % Complete, and % work Complete to be 100%. Well, this is not possible, but there is a solution in which you can see that team is more efficient than expected.

I will create Simple Project, with one Task 5 days Duration, and I will put 40 hours in work field:

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Now I am going to create John as a Resource and I will assign him to the Task:

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and:

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Notice that I’ve used Task Usage View in the picture above.

Now I am going to save this as a plan, or Baseline:

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and:

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OK! Now let’s say that John has spent 32 hours on the Task and the Task is finished. I will use Task  Usage View, and click on John under the Task:

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And I will get:

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So, as you can see Actual Work and Work are equal. But this does not make comparison impossible. I will now use Work Table, and I will get:

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and:

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As you can see, Variance is –8 hours, and this shows that real work was 8 hours less then planned. You can also add some Custom field to see, for example, that efficiency is Baseline / Actual * 100%, so in this Case it will be 40/32 * 100 = 125%, etc.

To conclude when you change Actual work field, Work field is also changed. If Task is finished 100% then Remaining work is 0 hrs. BUT! If you save the Baseline before you put any Actuals, you can get Efficiency if you compare Actual work with Baseline Work field.

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2010, MS PROJECT 2016 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Units field in Resource assignment – MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I’ve got a question from one of my Blog readers: “Max units field in Assign Resources are always in %? I want to use QTY instead of %, like we have 10 cranes available, and how many cranes are needed per task instead of using %.”

I will explain this with MS PROJECT 2016.

First of all, you have two choices when assign resources to the Tasks: to use % (percentage), or to use Decimals.  To clarify this, and what decimals means, I will create a simple Project with only one Task:

image

Now, let’s say that we have 10 Cranes, which are going to be charged per hour, so they will be concerned as worked resource. Let’s say that we have 10 Workers, and they will also be charged per hour. Now, suppose that we need Gasoline, as a Material resource, but it depends on working hours, e.g. we need, for example, 10 liters of Gasoline per hour. And last, we need 500 bricks, no matter how long will the Task take to finish.

Before I create those resources I will change setup for assignment units from Percentage to Decimal:

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and then:

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and finally:

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Now I will create Resources:

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As you can see, Max. Units are now in Decimal, instead in Percentages (e.g. 10 instead of 1000%).

Now I will assign 500% or 5 Cranes, 500% or 5 Workers, 10 liters of Gasoline per hour, and 500 Bricks:

image

As you can see, Costs are:

  • for Bricks are fixed (500 * $5= $2500)
  • for Crane are not fixed (5 days * 8 hours per day * $500 per hour * 5 Cranes = $100.000)
  • for Gasoline 5 days * 8 hours per day * $10 per hour = $4.000)
  • for Workers are not fixed (5 days * 8 hours per day * $100 per hour * 5 Workers = $20.000)

So, yes you can put Decimals instead of percentage, and you will get same results.

Hope this helps!

Regards.

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Task Calendar in MS PROJECT 2016 – the right way to use it

Hi,

as we all know, there are three types of Calendars in MS PROJECT 2016: Base Calendars, Resource Calendars and Task Calendars. they are prioritized in that order (from low to high importance), which means that Task Calendar has  the highest priority. When we are talking about Resource Calendars, we all know why and when to use it. For example, if 12 resources has a common days off, or working hours, we will create Resource Calendar and assign it to those resources. But why to use Task Calendar? Let’s suppose that we have few (or many) Tasks that should be, for example, done in a certain location. And that this location is for some reason available to work at only from Monday to Wednesday, and that it can not be work at Thursday and Friday. for those Task we will have to create Task calendar and Assign it to those, specific Tasks.

Let’s go.  I will first create a new Project:

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For  Special Tasks I will create separate Calendar, and I will call it MON-WEN:

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and then:

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and then:

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Finally I will assign this Calendar to the Special Task, and I will get:

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Finally I will get:

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As you can see in Information column I have a notice that those Tasks has specific calendar, and Finish date is moved.

Now let’s suppose that we have John as Resource who is able to work only at Thursday and Friday:

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What will happened if I try to assign John to the Special al Task?

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As you can see, I can not do it. Why? Because John is supposed to work at Thursday and Friday, and Task should be worked on only at Monday to Wednesday. If I now change the option mentioned above, I will get:

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and:

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As you can see, John is now allocated to this Task, but it is show as over allocated, because this is conflict with his Calendar. So he will work to this Task, even he is not supposed to. Now, finally, in this example we should as ourselves a question: “But what if John is really not available from Monday to Wednesday?”.  Well in this situation you will not assign it to the Task. So what are our options? Only two of them. Find another resource who will be available to work from Monday to Wednesday on those Tasks, or change Task Calendar (so make this location available on Thursdays and Fridays). If those are not options, then you are not going to be able to do the Task. As simple as that. Remember, MS Project is a tool. Real life is something else.

Posted in Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Move vs Update Tasks in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

in my last post I wrote about differences between Move and Update options in MS PROJECT 2016 on the Project Level, Now it is time to explain those two different options on the Task level.

First, I will create simple Project:

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As you can see, I make Task 1, as 50% completed.

Now suppose that for some reason I have to move Task 2 for 5 days (let’s say that we are building the wall, and we fins out that brick are not going to be available as we planned, but 5 days latter, so I have to move Task 2 5 days in the future:

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and:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, Task 2 has a new Starting date, and constraint: “Start No Earlier Than”.

Now look again at the first picture in this post. And let’s say that today is Friday, 13.01.2017., and the only work done is those 50% for Task 1. And again, If you are not the Magician, you will not be able to complete the work in the Past. So, you must update the Schedule to reflect real situation. First of all you should set status date as I will (in my example, Friday 13.01.2017):

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Finally, I will Update my Tasks:

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and I will get:

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So, Move Option is to push Task back and forth from some reasons, and Update Option is for align selected Task with actual Schedule, e.g. to align finished and unfinished Tasks, and their parts to the real life situation (e.g. Status Date). Basically you can get, more or less, the same result with both Options, but my advice is always: Use features for what they are planned for.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Move vs Update Project in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

as a first post for this year I will answer to the question from my Blog reader: “Please advise on when to use Move vs Update Project to reschedule incomplete tasks after a specified date?”

There is a huge difference between this two options in MS PROJECT 2016.

First, I will show you Move function. I will crate a simple Project with two Tasks.

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As you can see, I make Task 1, as 50% completed.

Now suppose, that for some reason this whole Project should be moved. for example, the Investor doesn’t have money for this Project, and will have it at February, 1st. So, in that Case you have to move entire Project to Start at that date, like this:

image

As you can see, because I have some Actual Values (e.g. 50% completed for Task 1), I must confirm that I still want to move my Project, and I want those Actuals to be moved as well. I will get:

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So here, I’m going to put new Start Date, for entire Project, and it will be moved, to start at this specific date:

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So, to conclude, Move is function with which you move entire Project to start at different date!

Now look again at the first picture in this post. And let’s say that today is Friday, 06.01.2017., and the only work done is those 50% for Task 1. If you are not the Magician, you will not be able to complete the work in the Past. So, you must update the Schedule to reflect real situation. First of all you should set status date as I will (in my example, Friday 06.01.2017):

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Finally you should Update this Project:

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and you will get:

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As you can see, Start date remains same, but other, unfinished parts are updated according to Status date.

Notice, that if Task 1 was 0% completed, you will gate the same result in with both features described above, but the purpose of those two features is totally different!

Best Regards!

Posted in Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 2 Comments