When to use Task Calendar in MS Project 2019

Hi, I have very good question form one Blog reader: “Hello Nenad. I found your website while trying to solve a very particular problem in MS Project. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a solution and was hoping that you could help. I have a task that is 18 days in duration called Lab Testing. This task is automatically scheduled so that any delay’s to the previous task will push this task out. The Lab will be shut down for 1 month in September, but our task is currently scheduled to finish before then. However, if we encounter delays to our schedule, it is possible that we will have 8 days prior to the lab shutting down and then will have to complete the 10 days after it opens back up. Is there anyway to schedule this such that the Lab Testing schedule will “float” or “adjust” itself around the fixed Lab Shutdown dates, so that the total amount of testing time (18 days) is the same?”

I will show the solution, using MS PROJECT 2019.

In this solution I will NOT use Lab as resource, and I will use Task Calendar.

Here is Scenario:

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Now, let’s say that in March 2019, Lab is going to be shutdown, and Task need Lab cannot be done in this period.

First I will going to create Lab shutdown Calendar:

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and:

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Now I will apply this new calendar to the Task:

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Now, lets say that Task 1 is 100% completed, and Task need Lab has 8 days actual work:

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and:

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and:

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and I will get:

image

Let’s say that this is all work done until 28.02.2019 (end of February). I will move uncompleted part after that date like this:

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and:

image

and I will get:

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The rest of Task need Lab is here:

image

Of course, another way is to create Lab as Resource, and put in it’s calendar March as exceptions. but in that case that Resource should be assigned to that Task, and work is calculated in hours as well.

Hop this helps.

Regards!

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Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MICROSOFT PROJECT 2019 | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to Delay Project in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi all,

I have a question from one of my Blog readers: “The project I am involve in  is using only material resources and the unit rate for each resource did not change through time. Currently the project has more than 4 years of delay . Depending on the current status how am I going to forecast the project end date using Microsoft Project.”

I will show how to do it with MS PROJECT 2019. First of all since only Material Resources are used in Project, I will now use them in my example, because cost remain the same.

Here is on simple Project which starts at 01.01.2019:

image

Now, let’s say that Task 1, and Task 2 are finished 100%, and Task 3 is finished 75%:

image

As you can see Project end date is 21.01.2019. Now, let’s say that for some reasons Project has ben postponed, and it will be restarted  01.01.2023. It is easy to put in MS PROJECT:

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After I click OK button I will get:

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BUT, if I use Move Button, I will get different results:

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and:

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and I will get:

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As you can see, the whole Project is moved (finished, and unfinished Tasks).

So be careful what will you use.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MICROSOFT PROJECT 2019, Micsrosoft Project 2016 | Tagged | Leave a comment

My upcoming webinar

Hi all,

first of all I wish you a happy New Year.

In this post I will not write about MS PROJECT, but I will invite you to join my webinar at MPUG: https://www.mpug.com/event/different-ways-to-track-project-progress-with-microsoft-project/

In this webinar I will explain different ways of Project Tracking, so it will be from Zero to Hero session. You are all kindly invited Smile

Best regards,

Nenad

Posted in MS PROJECT 2019 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Duration and Resource with 0% units assigned–how are they connected

Hi,

in April this year I wrote a blog post about Resource with assignment 0%–what is it?. Now I have a question  Blog reader: “I am trying to use Resources with a 0% Max as a placeholder/generic resource allocation. When I assign the resource, it defaults the assignment unit to [0] and makes the task act like a milestone (no duration). I would like for the task duration to remain unchanged and for the resource to automatically assign 1 unit.”

OK! I explain that using MS PROJECT 2019! First I will create simple project:

image

As you can see, Duration is 5 days. Now I will create resource with 0% Max Units:

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and I will assign that resource to the Task, and I will get:

image

As you can see, Duration is now 0%! Why? Because of the magic formula which is Work = Duration * Units. So, Units is 0%, and it means that there is no work to do. And since there is no work to do on the Task, it is obvious that it will be no duration, so it is milestone.

BUT. If I make a Task as Fixed Duration type like this:

image and then assign John with 0%, I will get:

image As you can see, the Magic formula, Work = Duration * Units still works, e.g. 0 (Work) = 5 days (duration) * 0% (Units). But Duration is unchanged because it is fixed. In previous example, Task was fixed Units, so Duration and Work was calculated as zero.

Regards!

Posted in MS PROJECT 2019 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Task start date depending on predecessors competition–is that possible in MS PROJECT?

Hi,

I’ve got interesting question from on of my blog readers and it is: “Let’s say that you have Task 1 and Task 2. Task 2 can start when 25% of Task 1 is completed, and Task 1 can continue after task 2 is completed. Is there an option to make such relation and such split (not manually)?”

I will show you that in MS PROJECT 2019!

image

This is classis Finish to Start relationship. If I want Task 2 to start after 25% of Task 1 is completed, it is not possible. Why? MS PROJECT calculate successor’s Start date depending on many things like Calendars, Exception dates, Task relationship type (for example, Finish to Finish is not the same as Finish to start), but it does not calculate successor’s start date depending on predecessors completeness. But you can make that Start date of Task 2 is 25% after Task 1 start date like this:

SNAGHTML3f52df37

Notice that I put 4 days for Task 1 duration just to show you that Task 2 will start 1 day latter then Task 1 (which is 25% of duration of Task 1).

If you insist on Finish to Start relationship you can do the following:

SNAGHTML3f551263

So Task 2 will start 75% before Task 1 is finished which is 3 days, e.g. 1 day after Task 1 start date.

BUT! This has nothing to do with % completeness. In both pictures above Task 2 should start 1 day after Task 1 should been started, no matter if it was started or not!

The other question was is it possible that Task 1 can continue after Task 2 is finished? It means that Predecessor can be worked on after successor is completed! And here I can’t show you example because it is just impossible! First , it is impossible to establish two or more different relations between two Tasks, and second it is impossible to control work on one Task depending on completeness of the other Tasks!

Regards!

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Traffic lights for work exceeded Baselined work in MS PROJECT 2019

Hi,

Today I’m going to show you how to make a traffic light which will show you when your work has exceeded planed or Baselined work in MS PROJECT 2019!

I’m going to create Simple Project with one Task:

image

I’m also going to create two different Resources:

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And I’m going to assign john to this Task:

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I put two extra columns just to show you how will it work: Baseline work, and Work.

I’m going to save the Baseline now:

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and:

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And I will get:

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As you can see Baseline Work and Work are the same for now. I want to make a Traffic light which will show:

  • If Baseline work is less than Work – red light
  • If Baseline work is equal Work – yellow light
  • If Baseline work is greater than Work – green light

To do that I will create custom field called – Baseline vs work:

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and:

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Finally:

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No. I will show this Traffic light on the screen:

image

image

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This is very good way to show when you are exceeding work from planned, especially when you have a lot of Tasks in your Project.

image Now, I can filter all Tasks which are “red”:

image

and I will get:

image

One hint! Values like 0,1 or 2 can be confusing because you should remember them (0 is red, 1 is yellow, etc.). Instead of that I could put “red”, “yellow” and “green” in IIf formula, and the result will be the same, but more meaningful when you filter Task on that condition.

Regards!

Posted in MS PROJECT 2019, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Changing Values in Project Summary Tasks in MS PROJECT

Hi,

Today I am going to show you how to change Duration or Start/Finish date on Summary Task using MS PROJECT 2019.

I am going to create simple Project with tow Tasks under one Summary Task, and I’m going to assign two different Resources to those Tasks:

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In summary Task I can change Duration, Start Date, finish date, but I can not change Work. So I will change Duration to 6 days, and I will get:

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Notice that when Duration (or Start or Finish Date) is changed the Summary Task is switched to manually Scheduled mode. If I change Start date, or finish date that will be no constraint set like in “regular” task (like: Start no earlier then, Start no later then etc.)

Now the right question is: Why should we change those values? One reason is that you want to compare what you have plan, and what is really happening. I will now put 7 days in Duration for Task 1, and I will get:

image

You can see that now the Summary Task (e.g. phase) will be later that planned, and this is why this bar is red. If I “right” click on finish date:

image

I can see in Task inspector where exact is the problem:

image

Here I have two possibilities. I can move the finish date according to subtask calculation, or I can switch Summary Task back to Auto scheduled Task.

I never change any field in summary Task, but also, I want to set a deadline for it. Instead of changing duration or Start/Finish Date I put Deadline like:

image

and I get:

image

Now if I change Duration to 7 days for Task 1, I will get:

image

So, I have the same effect, but also I left to MS PROJECT to make all calculations with Auto scheduled Summary Task.

Regards.

Posted in MS PROJECT 2016, MS PROJECT 2019, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment