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Accurately reflecting Project Progress status in Power BI RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am working with a client who are using Power BI to present project data to stakeholders. Our Power BI developer has produced a range of useful reports including one which displays a list of projects and gantt bars for each project showing their total duration and when they are happening (uncannily like the Project Centre in PWA!).

    Our Power BI person has elected to display status as a darker colour bar, again not dissimilar to how things display in a project centre view. 

    However using the project % complete value tends to distort things - we have some projects that are on track but when viewed in the Power BI report appear to have progress way ahead of where we are in time due to the project having a significant period of time where we are waiting on external factors over which we have no influence and there is nothing actually scheduled to occur in terms of task activity.

    Has anyone got a better way of calculating or representing progress - I was thinking of a comparative, what was planned to have been done by the current date compared to what has happened by that date. Earned Value could have offered some opportunity but we are not generating any cost data in our plans that could drive earned value metrics.


    With good wishes,

    Dominic

    Microsoft Project Evangelist

    Twitter:   LinkedIn:    Web:   

    Friday, February 14, 2020 10:46 AM

All replies

  • Hi Dom,

    I'm not sure I fully understand the issue.  % (duration) complete is a blunt instrument and will have the same issue in PWA as in Power BI.  Are you saying that if something is 50% complete in PWA, the same 50% complete is not displaying the same in Power BI; if so, this is a common issue because you cannot just plonk the Project Percent Complete from PWA into the % Completion field in the Gantt Chart visual.  Same applies for Project Duration, as in PWA this is expressed in minutes and exlcudes non working time, whereas in the PBI Gantt Chart visual I think it is expressed in Days, and includes non working time.  To conclude, ensure your PBI developer is using the right data, and if necessary, converting it correctly, so that you are comparing apples with apples, and not apples with pears.



    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    Friday, February 14, 2020 3:50 PM
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. My problem with % complete is that in situations where a project can have a burst of activity at the outset and then a sustained period of time where nothing other than the passing of time occurs due to a lag period there is a distinct difference between % complete as calculated by Microsoft Project and the reality of where we planned to be by this point in time. This screen grab is for a simple project of 20 1 day consecutive tasks but with an 80 day lag between tasks 19 & 20. The first 5 tasks are complete on schedule and they equate to 25% of the sum of task durations but not 25% of the span of time for the project although Project is showing actual duration of 25 days when in fact only 5 days duration is complete.

    I modified the bar styles to show a project progress bar that shows the % complete, intriguingly the Summary Progress bar displays a truer overall measure of actual progress against planned progress, perhaps I should look to replicate how it is determined in Power BI reporting.


    I found this explanation about Summary Progress - https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/summary-progress-task-field-31a0cb15-f1b3-443d-96e2-da206f62449b

    It includes a telling statement - The Summary Progress field provides a more accurate indication of progress on summary tasks than the % Complete field. This is because the Summary Progress field considers when the subtasks are scheduled.

    With good wishes,

    Dominic

    Microsoft Project Evangelist

    Twitter:   LinkedIn:    Web:   



    • Edited by Dominic Moss Monday, February 17, 2020 2:24 PM edit
    Monday, February 17, 2020 9:53 AM
  • You'll need to create some form of calc to work out the Summary Progress value it you want to display it in PBI.  I didn't know what that field was until now, so thanks for the info.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:14 AM
  • Intriguingly Summary Progress does not appear to be a visible field in Project - it is used in the To section when defining a bar style but there is no task level field of that name.

    I guess a calculation would need to identify the latest (highest) Actual Finish or Stop date for in progress tasks in a project schedule to reflect where progress is up to in time.

    Thanks for your input - as my old boss used to say every day is a school day


    With good wishes,

    Dominic

    Microsoft Project Evangelist

    Twitter:   LinkedIn:    Web:   

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:14 AM