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Remaining Duration RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi All

    Am in need of some urgent basic project management refreshing !!

    Like most people (I guess), I've created a programme and baselined it. As time passes, I've changed the status date and added values into the % complete field, then updated the task to show a new finish date (if it's been delayed). So this changes the 'finish' dates but it also changes the % complete to reflect the new extended duration. The remaining duration is calculated from Duration-Actual Duration, which results in a figure larger than the original duration ! I can (just) follow why this is but my team reading the programme can't - I have to use a calculate field to show the 'number of days required to finish the task', OK this is simply new finish date-status date. The way the system 'remaining duration' calculation works just seems a little wrong to me.

    My question is this, The standard progress bar format on the gantt chart uses the actual start & 'Complete through' fields which reflect the  value of % Complete. However, after updating progress, I want to show a 'progress' bar between the actual start date and the current status date - to demonstrate when we started and where we're at, then the the rest of the bar to the right of the status date shows the remaining duration (which is usually less than the original duration).

    Apologies if I haven't explained this very well but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had problems with remaining durations and % complete. Please point me to any guidance available !!!!!

    Thanks

    Swansea Jack

    Monday, September 16, 2013 12:32 PM

All replies

  • Hi Sansea --

    You stated that the progress bar should run to the project status date for a task... but what if the task is behind schedule? If the progress bar runs to the project status date and the task is behind schedule, then the progress bar does not necessarily reflect reality.

    If you are statusing the tasks in the project properly, then the percentage completion -- and therefore the progress bar -- should automatically update to accurately reflect reality. Perhaps you can describe an example -- step-by-step -- and include a screen shot of the example?

    Good luck!

    -- tz


    Tony Zink | Vice President, EPMA | http://www.epmainc.com | Blog: http://www.epmablog.com | Training: http://www.epmainstitute.com

    Monday, September 16, 2013 1:51 PM
  • Hi TZ

    Thanks for replying.

    The issue is probably by virtue of my own idiosyncratic way of working. I like to show the baseline bar and the forecast bar together on the gantt chart - this way I can  clearly see  what's behind schedule just by comparing the bars (I don't use the Progress Lines approach). An actual start date 'fixes' the beginning of the progress bar and a % Complete value will determine the remaining duration (beyond the status date) to give a revised finish date. In simple terms (ignoring any breaks), the 'time spent' on a task is when it actually started up to the status date. The remaining time to complete is represented by the bar in front of the Status Date. Most of our engineers will understand this format. However, MSProject recalculated the % to take into account the new overall duration

    Consider the 'Draft Report' task below.

    The original duration for this was 4 weeks. However at the Status Date, although it actually started on time,  it was only 25% complete (1 week done and  3 weeks remaining). The 3 weeks are moved beyond the Status Date but the 'Duration' is now the overall duration from the actual start date to the revised finish date - 14 weeks. It's this figure that is then used to recalculate the % complete value based on actual duration of 1 week (1/14 = 7%) so the % Complete changes from the value first input. Confusing.

    I would like to show the (black) progress bar from the actual start date through to the status date (no split). I know I can use a calculated field to display the real remaining duration. Our engineers are really only concerned with the time they have left to complete a task, time taken is less important to us. It may not be best practice but it's what they understand that counts ! Any thought's most welcome.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:19 AM
  • Hi Swansea --

    First of all, sorry for spelling your name incorrectly in my last response. ;-)

    How exactly did you indicate the progress (i.e. the 25%) on the task, and how did you move the remaining portion of the task into the future?

    I just simulated your scenario (I think...), and the task duration remained at 4 weeks:

    Here is what I did:

    1. Created a task and estimated a 4 week duration.
    2. Saved a baseline.
    3. Marked the task 25% complete by entering 25% into the '% Complete' field.
    4. Set the project status date to the end of the first week (not necessary, but I did it anyway).
    5. Rescheduled the remaining work: 'Project' ribbon > 'Update Project' command > Select the 'Reschedule uncompleted work to start after' option > Enter a date 10 weeks after the status date.

    Does this help?

    Good luck!

    -- tz


    Tony Zink | Vice President, EPMA | http://www.epmainc.com | Blog: http://www.epmablog.com | Training: http://www.epmainstitute.com

    Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:25 PM