Changing planned Work is changing Actual Work RRS feed

  • Question

  • I searched the forum for an answer on this but couldn't find anything that matched my issue.

    I am using Project Standard 2010 (SP2).  I have a project plan which I am viewing by Resource Usage. 

    On the project there is a task with three assigned resources.  The task is fixed work and auto-scheduled.  The task has started and one of the resources (resource A)  has already booked actuals.  The other two resources have yet to book any time.  The project's status date is a few days in the past but will be updated again once this week's actuals have been tracked.  The task is shown as 79% complete and the %Work Complete of Resource A is 31%.

    In the time-phased view of the task for Resource A, it shows those weeks where work was planned and actuals were recorded (these are in the past),  a period of a few weeks where planned effort is 0 (starting from the current week and into the future) and then two final weeks where work is planned (also in the future)

    I want to reallocate some of the planned effort to one of the weeks where effort is currently 0.  If I enter 3 hours in the Work column for one of those weeks, project also puts 3 hours in Actual Work for that week.  How come?  This means that it is recording actuals in the future. 

    This is not an isolated case but I know it doesn't happen on other tasks and I am unable to re-create it by setting-up a new task with, what I think are, the same settings.

    Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution?



    Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:58 AM

All replies

  • Hi John,

    It sounds like your file might be corrupted. Try to save it as an xml file. The open the xml file from project and it will prompt an import assistant. At the end of the import process, save the file again as a mpp file and see if it helps.

    Note that any formatting in your initial file will be lose by doing the xml export.

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MCP, MCTS |

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:11 AM
  • Hi Guillaume

    Thanks for your reply. 

    I have attempted the creation and import of the xml file as you suggested but it fails to open - Project thinks the file is corrupt.  I have also tried the following method to clean the .mpp file:

    1. Open a new blank project file
    2. Go to Insert/Project and insert the problem file.
    3. Select the first task which will be the insertion point summary line.
    4. Go to Project/Task Information/Advanced tab.
    5. Uncheck the "Link to Project" button and hit "OK".
    6. If the file isn't already expanded, expand it.
    7. Select all tasks below the top level summary line.
    8. Outdent the selected tasks.
    9. Delete the first task which previously was a summary line.
    10. Save the resulting file.

    However, the problem still remains. 

    Do you think the file is still corrupt and if so is there another method to clean it?  The file is for a major project that is already in progress so we would not want to lose any data.



    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 8:19 AM
  • A further update. 

    I found the same issue on another plan and used the 'saving as xml' remedy.

    On importing this, Project gave a message "The actual finish date is before some of the previous entered timephased actual work value" which it repeated several times.  I clicked 'cancel' in each case and the plan then opened.

    When I enter Work values in the future, the Actual Work is still being populated.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 10:31 AM
  • Perhaps I am missing something basic here.  I copied out the offending task to a new blank plan.  It's now the only task in the new plan.  I've then saved that plan as an xml file and imported it in to new project.

    So now I have a newly imported project with only one task.  The error still exists.

    I can post the xml to here if it would help.  I can't help feeling that there is something about the task setup that is causing the problem.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 2:58 PM
  • John,

    Perhaps a shot in the dark, or at least dim light, but does the task have anything in the Notes field? If so, delete the notes text and try the XML process.

    A screen shot of the XML probably won't help us much but I would like to take a look at the single task file itself. You can send it to me at the address below and i"ll have a look. I will ask some questions.



    (remove obvious redundancies and the 7th character is a letter)

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:03 PM
  • Save the entire project to xml then open and import to a new, blank project.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:21 AM
  • I am still pursuing this issue though not getting any nearer.  I should explain that the issues are appearing on project plans that are maintained by our project planners so it is hard for me to know exactly what buttons they are pressing. 

    I've isolated a single task with a resource assignment from one of our plans.  This task started in September (not sure why) and the assigned resoruce is due to start work in Decmber.  There is a work pattern in the TPV for this.

    If you view the plan in 'task usage' mode and show the Work and Actual Work rows, you can see 0h present in the weeks before 22 December.  However, if you overwrite the zero with a value, Project will automatically record Actual Work.  It is my belief that this is the key to the problem.  The planner re-plans the work using the time-phased view of 'Work' and not noticing that 'Actual Work' is also being applied.  This is only happening on a very small number of tasks and I guess it is ones that in the same state as this.

    I've tried to re-create the setup but had no luck.  I've uploaded the xml of the file here so you can try it yourself.

    [URL= actuals.xml]future actuals.xml[/URL]

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:08 PM
  • Hi John,

    Still exporting as XML doesn't help and considering that it is happening also for other projects, I might conclude that your MS Project application needs to be repaired. To confirm this, you'd need to try on another machine with another MS Project installation, but maybe this is something you cannot do.

    Anyway this could be worth trying to repair MS Project going to the control panel.

    Please tell us if it helps.

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:06 PM
  • Hi Guillaume

    I'm not convinced that a repair is needed.  As it affects more than one plan, operated by different planners on different PCs each with their own installation of MS Project AND i can open these plans on my own PC where I also see the problem.  I have recently upgraded to the Professional version but the problem persists.



    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:21 PM
  • Thus we might come back to your last thought: a corrupted assignment. Have you tried to delete the assignment (the one starting in september but with a resource assigned only from december) and recreate it?

    Hope this helps,

    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:39 PM
  • Thanks.  I've tried your suggestion and deleted the existing assignment and added a new one.  The fault is still there.  If I add 'Work' in the TPV in December 2014, it is populating the Actual Work values.

    If the task is corrupt it makes me wonder how this could happen.  I'm less concerned about spotting and fixing the ones in error than I am about stopping it from happening again.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:48 PM
  • I downloaded your file, deleted Sam from the task then added again. I no longer got the problem. So it does look like a corrupt assignment. The corruption must be some conflict in data that survives export and import via xml.

    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book

    Monday, November 17, 2014 7:30 PM
  • Rod

    Thanks for trying the file and posting an update.  I'll keep on trying to get to the bottom of this but for now we have mechanisms in place to spot if it happens and to apply manual corrections.



    Tuesday, November 18, 2014 1:45 PM