# % Complete for a summary task to a specific date (not the end date)

• ### Question

• It seems that MS Project calculates % complete from the task's Start date to End date. (both individual tasks and summary tasks)

I need to get a % complete calculation from the summary task's Start date to a specific schedule date (not the end date of the task)

For example, I have summary tasks that span a year or more.  Since the tasks are not level loaded (i.e. the first 6 months may be only 25% of the work and last 6 months are 75% of the work).  When I look at the percent completion in MS Project it makes no sense in relation to the current date.  Another example of this is lets say I have a 12 month summary task that started in January, it may show it is 25% complete on April 1 but it may be 100% complete for the tasks associated with the first 3 months)

Is there a way that MS Project can calculate % complete for a summary task to a specific date (that is not the end date)?

Thank you.

Sunday, December 3, 2017 3:07 AM

### All replies

• phrogphlyer,

The percent complete for a summary task is NOT the same calculation as percent complete for a subtask, rather the percent complete for a summary line is a weighted average of the percent complete of all subtasks under it using the formula:

summary line % complete = (sum of actual duration of all subtasks)/(sum of total duration of all subtasks) x 100%

However percent complete is a poor metric for measuring project progress since it is solely based on elapsed time (duration) and does not take into account the amount of effort (work) completed. A much better measure of progress is the % Work Complete field as it directly measures the amount of work performed to date (actual work) versus the total work content of the task, or at summary level, subtasks.

Also keep in mind that Project has a plethora of baseline fields that can be used to compare the current plan with the original plan, but of course that only works if the user set a baseline before execution started.

Does that help resolve your dilemma?

John

Sunday, December 3, 2017 5:51 PM
• phrogphlyer,

John has pretty much covered it; duration percent complete is essentially meaningless, especially for summary tasks.  To his excellent answer I would add that your concern implies at least a passing need for application of earned value concepts.  Provided you have resource loaded and baselined you project as John suggests, you may wish to investigate use of the earned/planned value fields (BCWP/BCWS) and associated variance fields.

Sunday, December 3, 2017 9:52 PM