Report the History of a Task RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Everybody,

    normally by the definition of a task you enter a beginning date and an end date. 

    I assume that these are target dates. But in real life a project manager often has to shift the end or even sometimes the whole task (beginning and end). From this moment on you have then a target and an actual state, beginning and end.

    Is it possible to compare the original beginning and end dates with the actual dates?

    Further is it possible that every time you shift a task or change either beginning or end or both, you leave a comment in order to have a history of that task for the later justifications in front of the stakes holders?

    E. g. I have shifted the Task A 2 Times. I would like to see in the history report of all tasks:

    Task A

    1. Shift (Beginning), "see correspondence of 07/27/19 2.34 pm from Alex Bardon: The resource was not available"
    2. Shift (End), "see correspondence of 09/03/19 8.34 am from Joe Carl: Because of changes in the plan X&Y the task has to be done 1,5 time so long as original"

    Thank you!



    Saturday, July 13, 2019 4:08 PM

All replies

  • Babysatch,

    First of all it sounds like you are setting up your plan incorrectly when you say, "you enter a beginning and end date". You should never, except for a few isolated instances, directly enter dates into either the Start or Finish fields as that sets a constraint and basically prevents Project from maintaining a dynamic plan. All tasks should be linked in a logical sequence such that the teaks dependencies, along with the estimated durations, drive the dates.

    As far as tracking the current plan with the original, that's the whole purpose of setting a baseline. Project provides several fields that allow the user to compare the plan (e.g. Variance fields) and the user can visually see the difference by using the Tracking Gantt field.

    As far as keeping a "log" of why things were changes, use the Notes field, that's what it is for.

    I suggest you consider getting some training on how to properly and effectively use Project.

    Hope this helps.


    Saturday, July 13, 2019 7:55 PM
  • Hi John,

    thank you for your reply.

    Actually I always calculate most of the tasks based on constrains. For the sake of simplicity I've tried to explain simple.

    My main point is, if you have 100 Tasks e. g. and dependencies between them it is not that simple anymore to keep track of changed dependent tasks, once you have to shift one of them.

    In this case I would at least have the possibility of automatic recognition of the changed tasks in order to leave a log in the notes field of only those, which have changed.

    It's clear to me that you can define baselines and them see how much you deviate from the original plan. But I think I should take a note of the changes every time tasks change. Is there any other possibility to keep track of all changes of a task, I don't think so.

    Tank you!



    Saturday, July 13, 2019 9:10 PM
  • Babysatch,

    when you first start to make your plan, you will make a lot of changes and additions, such as new tasks, new resources, and any other new or better information that comes to hand, and those changes will have large effects.

    As the plan reaches a state of development and gets closer to being "finished" (it's never finished), the changes you make will be fewer and smaller and the effects will be less.

    You can't track every key stroke.

    However, you can keep the history of the plan in incremental versions as you go. Then you can refer back to them to see what the plan was. If you save a new version every day, with some sort of naming and filing system so that you can find them again, you will have the chronological history of the evolution of the plan.

    When tracking progress, every time you change a status date you should save the last best version with the previous status date.

    You also will very likely have different versions of the same plan to test different strategy, Plan B, C etc.

    Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:40 PM
  • Babystach,

    you mention "actual dates". I think you mean the current dates in the plan now, as opposed to whatever the dates were earlier or in a previous version of the plan. I want to suggest that you should be very careful with the use of "actual". This should be only used when it means a date that something, a task, actually happened in the past, and has or will get an actual start, actual duration, actual finish, actual work, actual cost. 

    Since all of the changes that you make are going to result from some instruction or information in the correspondence, why not just log the correspondence items/events in the plan? It is all date/time stamped.

    You could attach a hyperlink to these events so that you can access the original document from within the MSP file.

    Hyperlink is a command that is not on the ribbon. You will have to customise the ribbon.

    Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:58 PM
  • Babysatch,

    If you "calculate" your task start and finish dates based on constraints and not as a logically linked network of activities, then I think you will be better off using Excel and forget about Project. Based on this post and your previous post you appear to want to automate everything and honestly, Excel is better suited for that. The only thing you won't have is the Gantt graphic.

    However, if I'm missing something that makes sense for you to use Project, then the Notes field is the best option for keeping a running log of "reasons for change".


    Sunday, July 14, 2019 3:12 PM