Altering an existing schedule to find out the true finish date RRS feed

  • Question

  • I created a Microsoft project 2010 schedule for a project here at work.  We have found ourselves to be behind schedule.  The customer is asking us of when the finish date will be.  What can I do to this Microsoft project schedule to reflect what the finish date will be given the path that is being taken.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Thursday, December 3, 2015 10:14 PM

All replies

  • This is a HUGE discussion topic, but I will try to be direct. I see that you are already tracking actuals, but I am not sure if you are tracking just the % complete, or the actual start and finish dates as well. If you track the dates, then the schedule automatically calculates the new finish date for you. 

    If you have not been doing so, I suggest doing that now. Update your schedule with Actual Start and Actual Finish dates for each started/completed task, and the schedule will automatically move. BTW, if you have not set a baseline, do so right away.

    . More info on Updating a Schedule


    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

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    Thursday, December 3, 2015 10:43 PM
  • mackconsult,

    Prasanna is correct that your general question is not a simple one. He addressed some issues, let me throw in my two cents on some others.

    Linking summary lines is not a good practice as it generally creates un-intended results. You might want to read the following Wiki article for more information:

    I see several tasks that are past due with respect to the current date (red vertical line). In order to even begin to determine the impact to your schedule, you need to review those tasks and figure out how to resolve them (e.g. delete if no longer relevant, slip out if task is relevant and perhaps assign additional resources make up some schedule time, etc.)

    It isn't clear why the last summary line extends to Dec 21 when it looks like the last milestone is on Dec 4. Are some tasks not shown?


    Thursday, December 3, 2015 11:34 PM
  • This might be a long conversation.

    Monitor progress, keep accurate records, log the progress status frequently and regularly, re-estimate and re-schedule as required, and re-issue the new version of the plan.

    Since the whole point of making the plan in the first place is to be able to use it to apply project controls during the course of the project, it is important to know how to do this before making the plan, or at least well before the project execution starts.

    Of course it has been written about many times in the last couple of decades, so answering your question requires either repeating what has already been said or else directing you to it.

    This link is to a Google Group, which used to be a called a newsgroup and it has discussions going back to about 1993, and some of them are about tracking progress. Try a search on the word "tracking".!forum/microsoft.public.project

    The monitoring, tracking and updating starts with these steps:

    1) have the appropriate view, which is the tracking Gantt
    2) have the appropriate table, which is the tracking table
    3) set a status date (essential, see project, project information)
    4) set a baseline (not essential, but useful)
    5) format the gridlines so that the status date is a solid, vertical red line on the chart.

    Start with the facts first.
    Actuals are facts and all that is required is accurate records.
    A task which has actually started has an actual start date.
    It also has actual duration (probably).
    A task which has actually finished has an actual finish date, and so it must also have an actual start and an actual duration.

    Start with this first, let us know how you go and we can continue from there.

    Do not just have one version of your plan and continually over-write it. Save a version every day so that you preserve a record of the development and incremental adjustments throughout the course of the project.

    What kind of project is this? Building, construction?

    Friday, December 4, 2015 12:33 AM
  • Thanks all these are great comments. To answer a few questions.

    When I did a screen capture the bottom got truncated off, so yes there are tasks not shown at the bottom that brings the schedule out to the completion date.

    This project schedule is for the fabrication of some "coffer dams" which are big carbon steel produced components that go into a marine barge for the storage of ammonia.  Lot of A36 plate and "weld all around".

    I can see now that we have not been setting the baseline and saving versions of the file like we should be.

    Our customer is coming tomorrow and we will probably just have to estimate on extending all our tasks to determine the completion date.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 1:00 AM
  • There are some mistakes in your plan which are going to make the progress tracking very difficult if not impossible.

    To get good tracking you need an "error free" plan to start with.

    John mentions the summaries linked as predecessors/successors, which I did not spot but is definitely a huge obstacle to proper tracking.

    It is also clear that you have planned/schedule tasks (or parts of tasks in the past and even some actuals in the future, near the bottom. No two ways about it, these are wrong.

    Where is this project being done?

    This discussion which will attract all of the expert opinion and assistance that you need, but it will take a while. The quick way to get some help on this is send me the file, or else put it in dropbox or similar.

    Friday, December 4, 2015 1:24 AM