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Effort based scheduling and work completed RRS feed

  • Question

  • My project reports work completed reports show we are lagging through our project

    Most of the work assigned to these long duration tasks is performed close to finish date.

    What is the best suggested approach to this situation ?

    I know this is a fairly common problem with most of the projects

    Vj


    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 6:02 PM

Answers

  • The problem has different dimensions

    What is the reporting cycle vs the long duration tasks you mentioned about  ?

    Do you update %complete or % work complete ?


     From what I suspect this could be a close approximation of whats going on 

    You update % complete as % work complete and the management thinks  more work is expected to be complete, the fact that more work is done lately in not reflected in planning which leads to wrong expectations from the management.

    Well then as suggested, please use a work contour that best suits to your work style. while contours may not be  significantly  different for short duration tasks , it matters for long duration tasks. (which is the case)

    using contours will help with setting the right expectations and also helps with showing the right progress on a task

    Click on 'Task Usage' button in View tab, it should bring up additional rows under task showing per resource assignments. Insert 'Work Contour' column and the change the same ( or double click on assignment rows), try 'Back Loaded' to start with. 

    Long duration tasks. In my programs we usually ensure none of the tasks duration is longer than the reporting cycle duration. This way the tasks or projects have a healthy tracking and progress

    Srikanth Bogadapati


    • Edited by SB97 Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:11 PM
    • Marked as answer by vjk21 Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:13 PM
    Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:11 PM

All replies

  • VJ,

    You could use Work Contouring to model exactly how work is planned in your projects. See this article for more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/project/archive/2009/11/14/tips-and-tricks-contour-your-work.aspx

    You could also manually edit the assignments and plan the work as your model.

    Each of these approaches, however, will require some maturity in the usage of the tool.


    Cheers,

    Prasanna Adavi, Project MVP

    Blog:   Podcast:    Twitter:    LinkedIn:   

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 6:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Your solution is part management and part scheduling. I'm assuming time is important here?

    Assuming yes, then long duration tasks will never finish on time. For tight time frame tasks I would have a maximum of 1 week durations.

    You say most work is done close to the finish date, so your work plan is to "just too late"! To stop this you need to identify what needs to happen when. So instead of:

    Long task - duration 10w

    have

    Plan task and prepare for doing the work - duration 1w
    Lag of 8w
    Review work to be done and make sure all people, information and other resources are lined up ready to start - duration 1d
    Do the work - duration 9 days or whatever it takes.

    You must have clear milestones and realistic targets at regular intervals otherwise work is never done on time without a panic or working stupid hours for poor quality results.

    Prepare the work so it can be started and finished in one go. Schedule that preparation then make sure they start when they should and can then finish on time.


    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book
    www.project-systems.co.nz

    Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:37 PM
    Moderator
  • The problem has different dimensions

    What is the reporting cycle vs the long duration tasks you mentioned about  ?

    Do you update %complete or % work complete ?


     From what I suspect this could be a close approximation of whats going on 

    You update % complete as % work complete and the management thinks  more work is expected to be complete, the fact that more work is done lately in not reflected in planning which leads to wrong expectations from the management.

    Well then as suggested, please use a work contour that best suits to your work style. while contours may not be  significantly  different for short duration tasks , it matters for long duration tasks. (which is the case)

    using contours will help with setting the right expectations and also helps with showing the right progress on a task

    Click on 'Task Usage' button in View tab, it should bring up additional rows under task showing per resource assignments. Insert 'Work Contour' column and the change the same ( or double click on assignment rows), try 'Back Loaded' to start with. 

    Long duration tasks. In my programs we usually ensure none of the tasks duration is longer than the reporting cycle duration. This way the tasks or projects have a healthy tracking and progress

    Srikanth Bogadapati


    • Edited by SB97 Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:11 PM
    • Marked as answer by vjk21 Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:13 PM
    Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:11 PM
  • Thanks for the replies. Rod, Srikanth and Prasanna

    I will change the work contours and also break tasks into short duration tasks in alignment with reporting cycle

    Vjk

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 7:15 PM