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

Hi,

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:

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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:

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and we get:

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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:

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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%:

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2. First we will put 0% Completed:

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and we will get:

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

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

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

Regards!

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Posted in Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Total hours limit with multiple Projects using MS PROJECT

Hi,

I have a question from one of my Blog readers

“Thank you for all your advices which you share on blog. I have an issue where I would like in resource pool file calculate the total “booked” work hours between two (freely chosen) dates (eg between 1.1.2018 and 31.12.2018). In my case I have to monitor the total (planed) work hours per person which should not exceed 1700 h per year. Now I can see only a total work hours between start day of the first project and the end day of the last project per person.
Can you help me?
Thank you in advance.”

I will show you how can you do that using MS PROJECT 2016.

First I will create Resource Pool with John and Mary:

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and:

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I will save this file as Resources.mpp (you know how to da that, so I won’t show you pictures Smile)

Now I will create First Project with two Tasks:

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and:

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I will assign both John and Mary to those Tasks using Resource Pool:

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and:

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and finally:

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Following exactly the same steps I will create another Project – Second Project, and I will get this:

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As you can see John and Mary are over allocated, but for this case this doesn’t matter.

Now I want to see how many hours are John and Mary spend this year in total, for all Projects. I will use Resource Pool and Resource Usage View:

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Finally I will adjust Timescale on the right:

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and:

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and:

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The result is:

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Now I can see “occupation! of every single Resource in all projects, year by year.

Hope this help.

Regards

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

Recording task progress ahead of schedule in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi, today I am going to clarify one important thing which bothers a lot of  of my Blog readers. I will go step by step through example and explain them.

First I’m going to build simple Project:

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Now I will create three Resources:

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and I will assign them to Tasks:

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I will now make Task 1 as 25% completed:

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Task 2 actually starts earlier than planned (that is, earlier than its current Start Date). So Task 2 Actual Start Date is manually updated to an earlier date.

In the Mark on Trask -> Update Tasks dialog box I will enter 25% Complete , the earlier Actual Start Date for Task and click OK:

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and:

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and I will get:

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Now, I will put status date to 24.07.2018, and then I will update the project to reschedule uncompleted tasks to after the Status Date:

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and:

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and I will get:

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The Actual Start Dates of Task 1 and Task 2 are not changed, but their Finish Dates are changed for the later dates. That is  OK! Why? Start date is not changed because some work is already done and it was started at those Start Dates, so they cannot be moved or changed. What is done is DONE! It is written in the stone!

And now, where my blog readers have the biggest problem? Look at this.

I will make  Task 2 100% complete based on its earlier Actual Start Date and original Duration, so I will enter the Actual Finish Date in the Update Tasks dialog box:

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Finally, I will get:

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the question is: The Duration for this task is shown only 0.75 days instead of  its scheduled Duration of  3 days?

At the first look, it seems that this is a bug, because Start Date id 24.07.2018, finish Date is 26.07.2018, but Duration is 0,5 days instead of 3 days. But this is not a bug. I will explain why this is totally normal result:

  1. First I put 25% Completed for the Task 2 which had 3 days Duration. It means that actual Duration is 25% of 3 days is 0,75 days
  2. Then I moved the all unfinished Tasks after the status date, which is 24.07.2018.
  3. Because Task 2 has Finish to start relationship with Task 1, and Task 1 was supposed to finish at 27.07.2018, and the remaining part of Task 2 is supposed to start at that date (27.07.2018)
  4. BUT! I put 100% at %Complete, and Finish date to 26.07.2018. which is before Task 1 was finished.
  5. This means that Task 2 has no work left, so it was needed only 25% of original estimated work, and this is 0,75 days and 6 hours! If you have expected that those 2 days (25.07.2018, and 26.07.2018) work will be performed, you were wrong and this is because nothing is supposed to be done at that dates because Task 1 was not finished at that time. So the earliest date on which work on Task 2 is supposed to be done is 27.07.2018, and this is before the finish date of Task 1 which is 26.07.2018

Hope this helps.

Regards!

Posted in MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Calculate Variance in Working Days after setting another baseline in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I’ve got a question which is: “How do you calculate the working days in formulas when the baseline is not Baseline 0, and you need to see variance of that Baseline?”

It’s easy and I’ll show you how with MS PROJECT 2016. First I will create a simple Project with only two Tasks:

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Now I am going to create some Resources and I will assign them to those Tasks:

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and:

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Finally I will save thee Baseline:

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Now, suppose that, for example, Task 1 was started at 17.07.2018 (instead of 16.07.2018), and Actual duration i1 1 day, but remaining duration will be another 3 days:

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and:

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Suppose that another Task, is needed for the Project, and John and Mary are going to work on that Task:

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Let’s no switch to Variance Table:

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As you can see, Task 1 has Start Variance 1 day (because it was started 1 day latter than planned) , and Finish Variance 3 days (because it has duration 2 days longer than planned, and it was started 1 day latter than planned).

And no suppose that this is your new plan, because Stakeholders, Sponsor, CEO, or anyone else approved it as a new Project plan. But for historic purposes the old should be saved, so you should save this new plan as Baseline 1 (I’m not going to show you pictures, because procedure is the same like when I saved first Baseline. You just have to choose Baseline 1. After I save this baseline I will get in Variance table this:

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Do you notice any change? NO! Same result. Now, if you want to see Variance according to Baseline 1 you should follow this steps:

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and:

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and finally:

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So now if I look at the Variance Table I have:

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So now, everything is OK. you can do this for every single Baseline.

Regards!

Posted in MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Big or small Project – how to know which is which?

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Hi,

many times I heard talking about big and small Projects. Many companies have different procedures for them. Of course procedures are lightweight for small Projects, and heavy for big ones. But, I am not going to talk about different procedures. I will talk about how recognize those Projects.

Almost every company which make differences among big and small project make it by the:

  • Budget – or how much will it cost?
  • Time – or how much will it last?
  • Resources – how many people are going to work on it?

And, for example, decision is:

  • If the Project is under $100.000 it will be considered as small, otherwise it will be considered as big
  • If the Project is under 3 months it will be considered as small, otherwise it will be considered as big
  • If the Project is going to be done under 10 people it will be considered as small, otherwise it will be considered as big

And, frankly, I do not agree with that. YES project can be measured with those parameters, but think about this: RISKS. From my point of view Project is big if it is risky. Let me explain that theory. Let’s say that you are going to upgrade 10 computers to the latest version of operating system. And you need 2 hours per computer. And you are going to be payed $500 per computer. And you need only two persons to do that. So, this is cheap, short, and not people demanding project. According to parameters mentioned above, it should be consider as small. BUT! What if those computers serves as as front end computers in the bank? What if mayor application is running on those computers. And, finally, if this application won’t work, you will get extremely angry customers. In other word, what if this upgrade project is risky? And it is, no matter of budget, time and resources. See where am i pointing at?

On the other hand, if you sold ERP system to company which is subsidiary of another Company. And it follows all processes and procedures as the main company. So, new ERP system is, more or less copy – paste Project. BUT, since we are talking about ERP, and licenses are expensive, we are talking, for example, about $500.000 budgeted Project. Is it big? Well, not exactly.

So risks, risks, risks, are always the primary measure when you think about your Project as big or small.

To be short, and jump in the conclusion at once. If your project is risky, no matter how small your budget, timeline, and resources demands are you should consider it as big!

 

Regards,

Nenad

 

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Material resources over different time than workload in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I have interesting question from one of my Blog readers:
”I am working with Engineering services provider. I have created my resource pool sheet. I have assigned my resources (Employees/Engineers) on different projects. These engineers use different tools (licenses etc.) to complete the task.
We have to pay for those licenses quarterly. I cannot buy these licenses for one month.
I would like to know how to assign the license cost with resource (Employees/Engineers). Sometime my employees have 2 months workload but I have to pay the license cost for three months. Please guide me how can I use MS project for this?”

I will use MS PROJECT 2016 for this example. I will first create simple Projects with two Tasks:

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As you can see Task 1 has 1 month, and Task 2 two months Duration.

Now I am going to create Resources:

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As you can see License is Material cost. I will assign John and License to the Task 1:

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and I will get:

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You can see the result in the Cost table:

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As you can see Total cost is $ 16.300 (John will work 8 hours per day * 100 $ * 20 days e.g. 1 month = $ 16.000 + License $ 300 = $16.300).

Now back to the Problem. How can you assign License to the Task if you for example have to buy License for three months and your Task is shorter? And how to get right Cost.

There are three ways:

  1. You can put price for three months (in my example $ 300) for the License and then assign one license per Task as I did. If you have same license which you will have to pay for 1 month, 2 months etc., then you will have more than one Resource (for example: 1 Month License, 2 Months License etc.)
  2. You can put price per month for License (for example $ 100), and then assign 3 Licenses per Task if you have to pay for three months. this is little bit confusing because even when you have right costs, someone could think that you need 3 Licenses, which you do not
  3. Use fixed Cost like I will do in Task 2, and then write in Notes what are those cost for:

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Hope this helps.

Regards!

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Customized resource calendar and its effect on task duration in MS PROJECT 2016!

Hi,

my blog reader has a question and I’m going to repro his scenario step by step, and answer the question using MS PROJECT 2016.

First I will create a 5 day Task:

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There are 2 resources assigned to the project –  John and Mary:

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Mary is supposed to work on a week  to 4-day 10hrs/week  schedule, so I customize her personal calendar:

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and:

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So Mary is supposed to work 10 hours per day from Monday to Thursday, but she is off at Friday. Now I will assign Mary to the Task:

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As you can see, Duration is 5 days, even Mary is not working at Friday. How is it so?

Let see here:

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and:

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and then:

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As you can see 1 day of Duration is 8 hours! (see hours per Day option in the picture above).

So for Mary, Total work is 40 hours (10 at Monday, 10 at Tuesday, 10 at Wednesday, and 10 at Thursday). Duration of the Task is 40 hours (Total) / 8 hours per day = 5 days.

Now I will  add John to the Task, and he is “regular” worker, so he is suppose to work 8 hours per day from Monday to Friday:

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The question from my Blog reader is: “How Project calculates the new 6-day Duration for the task?”

And the Answer is easy. When only Mary was assigned to the Task the Task duration wad 5 days. Now John will work 1 day more. As simple as that. He will work at Friday. So those 5 days + 1 days (Friday) is 6 days duration. Or let me explain that day by day:

  • Monday to Thursday: John works 8 hours = 1 day. Mary works 10 hours = 10to be worked /8 (hours per day) = 1,25 days. Duration is longest one, so it is 1,25 days
  • Friday: John works 8 hours = 1 day. Mary does not work. Duration is, obviously 1 day.
  • Total: 1,25 (Monday) + 1,25 (Tuesday) + 1,25 (Wednesday) + + 1,25 (Thursday) + 1 (Friday) = 6 days

Hope this helps.

Regards!

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