Recording actual hours spent on a task RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi MS Project pros:

    I'm having trouble understanding how to track actual hours properly in MS Project.

    At the end of the month, I'm getting the hours my team has spent on their tasks. I want to enter those actual hours into MS Project so I can compare them against the planned hours (planned work.)

    Tasks are set as fixed duration, not effort driven.

    Here's what happens: A task is scheduled to take 10 days (duration), there is one resource assigned to it. Planned work is 32 hours. Suppose the person has effectively spent 40 hours, what do I do with that number? I tried entering it into the actual work column (Task Usage), but then the duration increased from 10 to 12.5 days. But the task was still finished within 10 days as scheduled, but my team member put in more hours.

    What would be the correct way enter the actual hours without affecting my schedule?

    Thanks so much!

    Friday, November 20, 2020 7:56 PM

All replies

  • Windshear98,

    First of all, what version of Project are you using? Is it fully updated?

    What is the Project calendar? What is the Base Calendar of the assigned resource?

    It may depend on exactly how you entered the 40 hours for the resource. Here is the basic setup, Standard calendar, resource Base Calendar is the Standard.

    Now the 40 hours is entered as the actual work. Note the duration is still 10 days.

    However, let's say 32 hours was entered as actual work initially.

    But then it became known that Joe actually spent 40 hours so the actual work was updated. Entering the 32 actual hours first made a critical difference because that effectively caused the task to be complete. Adding 8 more hours to the actual work extends the already complete task so it now has a duration of 12.5 days. Is this what happened?


    • Edited by John - Project Friday, November 20, 2020 10:43 PM more clarity
    Friday, November 20, 2020 10:41 PM
  • Once there has been work > 0 done on a task, it must have an actual start date/time.

    Before entering the actual work, nail down the actual start date/time. If you just input the actual work, you force MSP to adopt the scheduled start date/time as the actual start date/time, and it replaces the scheduled start date/time. See the tracking table. You say they put in more hours, but you don't say what (actual work) hours they put in on each day of actual duration. Let'say 1 day is 8 hours (as defined in file, options, schedule). And you are using the standard calendar for the task and the resource. I am guessing the resource must be assigned uniformly over the 10 days duration at 40% units or 3.2 hours/day, and MSP will schedule them for the first 3.2 hours each day. If so, you can see those hours, and which hours they are, in the task usage and/or resource usage view (adjust the timescale). You don't say whether the task is actually finished, and the 40 hours is all there is and there is no remaining work. We'll assume that the task is actually finished. You need to know which particular actual hours were worked on each day of actual duration.

    Saturday, November 21, 2020 11:06 PM