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Work vs. actual work, why is my %complete changing RRS feed

  • Question

  • I set my baseline work with the task dates set and work hours set. When I go to put in the actual work hours my %complete changes. For instance I alloted 30 hrs to complete a job. We finished the job in 20 hrs. When I type in 22 hours my %complete changes to 66%. When I change it to 100% the hours change to 30. I need to get an s curve out of earned value analysis. But my actuals keep changing with my baseline. What am I doing wrong
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:07 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Just to make sure Brian's excellent explanation is fully understood, I want to recall the basidc definitions:

    WORK is the current estimate (dynamic)

    BASELINE WORK is what the estimate was when the baseline was set (static)

    ACTUAL WORK is the work already done

    REMAINING WORK is the work left to be done, sometimes called Estimate to Complete

    %WORK COMPLETE= 100*Actyual Work/Work

    Work=Actual Work + Remaining Work

    Greetings,

    • Marked as answer by RayFlores Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:35 PM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:36 PM
    Moderator
  • First, it sounds like you might be referring to the Work field as the baseline work. Did you save a baseline or are you thinking that the Start\finish\Duration\Work fields are your baseline? in Project 2010 you have to click Project | Set Baseline | Set Baseline and then pick which of the 11 baselines you want to save. In 2007 It is Tools | Tracking | Set Baseline (I think. That is from memory as I dont have 2007 in front of me anymore)

     

    By default Project links the %work complete field and the % Complete field so when you say update the task actual work field to be half of the Work field value it will show that half the duration is also complete. So basically if you enter your actual work or actual duration at the task level these two % fields will always be the same. There are a few ways around this.

    1. You can uncheck the "Updating Task Status updates Resource Status" setting on the Schedule Tab of the Options dialog (in 2010)
    2. you can enter Actual Work in a day-by-day way in a usage view so that it represents the true pattern of how actual work was applied. This does not really break the connection between %Complete and %Work Complete but it will generally show them both more accurately and in a way that often has them not being the same.

     


    Brian Kennemer – DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn
    • Marked as answer by RayFlores Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:36 PM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi RayFlores,

    You have two basic strategies for updating a schedule: tasks or assignments and you are promoting an schedule update based on assignments (hours). For this strategy you should know that % Work Complete = (Actual Work) / (Work). The % Complete is used for a task strategy and it is equal to (Actual duration) / (Duration).

    This previous alignment is important to understand how ms project calculate this fields.

    I simulated your issue.

    I created an activity A assigned to John. John works 8 hrs/day and the works was distributed as you can see in the figure below. The start and Finish are milestones so they don´t have resources assigned.

    Before updating the assignment, you have to check these points:

    0) Check your baseline
    1) Choose the correct options in Tools, Options
    2) Change the view to Resource Usage and customize it.
    3) Apply the table Work and customize it.
    4) Set the Status Date for this update.
    5) Set the task Type for all tasks to be updated to Fixed Units.
    6) Collect the data: avoid asking or updating using the "%". Instead that use the "actuals" (Actual Work and Remaining Work).

    In your case, your actual work is 22 hours and remaining work is 0 hours. When you enter this set of information, MS Project calculate that % Work Complete is 100% with 22 actual worked hours.

    Like Brian said, you can enter the actual work day-by-day to be more acurate. And don´t forget to report the actual work (for progress) and remaining work (for forecating).


    Alexandre Paiva, PMP, MCTS, ITIL Project Manager +55 (21) 8887-3645 alexandre.paiva@gerentedeprojeto.net.br www.gerentedeprojeto.net.br
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:13 PM

All replies

  • First, it sounds like you might be referring to the Work field as the baseline work. Did you save a baseline or are you thinking that the Start\finish\Duration\Work fields are your baseline? in Project 2010 you have to click Project | Set Baseline | Set Baseline and then pick which of the 11 baselines you want to save. In 2007 It is Tools | Tracking | Set Baseline (I think. That is from memory as I dont have 2007 in front of me anymore)

     

    By default Project links the %work complete field and the % Complete field so when you say update the task actual work field to be half of the Work field value it will show that half the duration is also complete. So basically if you enter your actual work or actual duration at the task level these two % fields will always be the same. There are a few ways around this.

    1. You can uncheck the "Updating Task Status updates Resource Status" setting on the Schedule Tab of the Options dialog (in 2010)
    2. you can enter Actual Work in a day-by-day way in a usage view so that it represents the true pattern of how actual work was applied. This does not really break the connection between %Complete and %Work Complete but it will generally show them both more accurately and in a way that often has them not being the same.

     


    Brian Kennemer – DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn
    • Marked as answer by RayFlores Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:36 PM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi RayFlores,

    You have two basic strategies for updating a schedule: tasks or assignments and you are promoting an schedule update based on assignments (hours). For this strategy you should know that % Work Complete = (Actual Work) / (Work). The % Complete is used for a task strategy and it is equal to (Actual duration) / (Duration).

    This previous alignment is important to understand how ms project calculate this fields.

    I simulated your issue.

    I created an activity A assigned to John. John works 8 hrs/day and the works was distributed as you can see in the figure below. The start and Finish are milestones so they don´t have resources assigned.

    Before updating the assignment, you have to check these points:

    0) Check your baseline
    1) Choose the correct options in Tools, Options
    2) Change the view to Resource Usage and customize it.
    3) Apply the table Work and customize it.
    4) Set the Status Date for this update.
    5) Set the task Type for all tasks to be updated to Fixed Units.
    6) Collect the data: avoid asking or updating using the "%". Instead that use the "actuals" (Actual Work and Remaining Work).

    In your case, your actual work is 22 hours and remaining work is 0 hours. When you enter this set of information, MS Project calculate that % Work Complete is 100% with 22 actual worked hours.

    Like Brian said, you can enter the actual work day-by-day to be more acurate. And don´t forget to report the actual work (for progress) and remaining work (for forecating).


    Alexandre Paiva, PMP, MCTS, ITIL Project Manager +55 (21) 8887-3645 alexandre.paiva@gerentedeprojeto.net.br www.gerentedeprojeto.net.br
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:13 PM
  • Hi,

    Just to make sure Brian's excellent explanation is fully understood, I want to recall the basidc definitions:

    WORK is the current estimate (dynamic)

    BASELINE WORK is what the estimate was when the baseline was set (static)

    ACTUAL WORK is the work already done

    REMAINING WORK is the work left to be done, sometimes called Estimate to Complete

    %WORK COMPLETE= 100*Actyual Work/Work

    Work=Actual Work + Remaining Work

    Greetings,

    • Marked as answer by RayFlores Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:35 PM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Ray,

    The correct options (ToolsOptions) i suggest you to check for updating assingments are:

    Now you have the concepts (from Brian and Jan), the best options configurations (Tools, Options) and the step-by-step for updating based on an assignement strategy for updating a schedule.

    Regards,


    Alexandre Paiva, PMP, MCTS, ITIL Project Manager +55 (21) 8887-3645 alexandre.paiva@gerentedeprojeto.net.br www.gerentedeprojeto.net.br
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:12 PM
  • Hey thanks for all the support, I am a noobie to project and am trying to get an earned value analysis of a basic job over time. I think I saved the baseline work as work alone. When you add a baseline you have to add columns for baseline work, baseline start, and completion. I am dealing with work only now as not to confuse myself with resources and cost. We are a small construction company that wants to track progress using our estimated hours and schedule to track where we are at any specific time. Me being the only IT person in the office I am having to learn and come up with a template. I sure do appreciate all the help I am receiving from this forum. You guys rock. Now let me see if I can get this working.
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:31 PM
  • Hi Ray,

    Just a small precision:

    quote:  I think I saved the baseline work as work alone

    This is not possible. When you set a baseline ALL the baseline data are created including start, finish...

    quote: When you add a baseline you have to add columns for baseline work, baseline start, and completion

    Absolutely not !! Again, when you set a baseline all baseline values are created whether you display them or not.

    Greetings,

    Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:31 AM
    Moderator
  • Ray,

    When you save a baseline, you save fourteen specific fileds for tasks: Baseline Budget Cost, Baseline Budget Work, Baseline Cost, Baseline Deliverable Finish, Baseline Deliverable Start, Baseline Duration, Baseline Estimated Duration, Baseline Estimated Finish, Basleine Estimated Start, Baseline Finish, Baseline Fixed Cost, Baseline Fixed Cost Accrual, Baseline Start and Baseline Finish

    So, you save a baseline and all these fields are completed at the same time (if you define the informations correctly during the planning phase).

    After you have your schedule approved by the sponsor/client and before begin the work, set the baseline.

    To set the first baseline

    1) Project tab, Schedule group, Set the baseline command

    2) Select Set Baseline from drop-down

    3) Select Entire Project to set the baseline for all tasks of your schedule/project.

    4) Click Ok.

    The original schedule is copied to those baseline fields i mentioned above.

    To check the baseline informations

    You can check it using the table Baseline. This table already exists in Microsoft Project and you can check some of the baseline fields.

    The Baseline table:


    Alexandre Paiva, PMP, MCTS, ITIL Project Manager +55 (21) 8887-3645 alexandre.paiva@gerentedeprojeto.net.br www.gerentedeprojeto.net.br
    Thursday, November 17, 2011 11:19 AM