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Question about MS Project Team Planner or Custom reports RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi everyone,

    Trying to solve a problem which I google'd and tried to search on the forums but wasn't able to find an answer. (Also asked this question on a diff forum/website but didn't get a response, might be due to lack of details in my question so hope there is enough information here)

    I am trying to get the Team Planner to use a custom Duration column or be able to use multiple duration columns, I would hope to use the custom column also on doing resource reports. I am wondering if there is an option where I can edit where its pulling the data from or something similar.

    This is my scenario,

    We have 2 Duration Columns

    Columns #1 (just a normal duration column this is with the start/finish) 

    Custom Column #2 (the task Bid which is the actual time worked on the task, it is usually always shorter then the duration which is why I want to track that also)

    (Gave a small example below)

    Task Name Duration Bid Start Finish Predecessors Resource Names
    Example 61 days 44 days Mon 23/05/16 Mon 15/08/16 Happy Helper

    When i get to a point I want to use the Team Planner or a Custom report to understand how many manned days (which is the Bid) that I have assigned a resource or all my resources. It default and pulls from the Duration Column. Is there a way to make the custom team planner pull from my 'Bid' column? also when I use custom reports for it to find my 'Bid' column.

    Still learning a lot about MS Project and hoping someone can help point me in the right direction.


    • Edited by Kent Byers Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:14 AM Typo.
    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:14 AM

All replies

  • Kent,

    From what you describe, your "bid" column is the Work field in Project. In other words, it's already there. Let me explain.

    In Project duration is the time during which a task is worked. It is expressed in working time so a 14 day calendar task is shown with a 10 day duration (2 normal 5 day work weeks). Duration accomplishes nothing, it is simply a time span. On the other hand, work is the effort required by one or more resources to perform the task. If a single resource works full time on a task, then duration and work will be the same. However this often is not the case. A resource may only be assigned to work half time on a task, or the task may take more or less effort than originally planned.

    So in your example, you apparently estimated the task to take 61 days from start to finish. Depending on how the resource(s) are assigned and whether or not the task started as planned, it apparently took 44 x 8 or 352 hours to complete the task. Those work hours may have been expended over the full 61 day duration (less than full 8 hour days), or they may be the result of a late start or early finish such that the actual duration ended up being less than the original 61 day estimate. Or if the task was a fixed duration task, the 352 hours was spread across the full 61 days either linearly or in some other fashion.

    As far as I know you cannot add fields to the Team Planner view but then I don't really see that the Team Planner view will be of much benefit to you. I suggest you take a look at the Resource Usage view. That will give you all kinds of information which you can add or hide for whatever type of report you want.

    And if you want to compare how you are doing on the current plan compared to the original plan, then you must set a baseline after the initial plan is developed but before execution starts. Project has multiple variance fields derived from the baseline.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 1:59 AM
  • Hi John,

    Thanks so much for replying and helping I really appreciate it.

    The issue I am having with the Resource Usage view is that when it pulls the data it is not grabbing 'Bid' days it is taking the duration which in the example above is 61 days, which isn't the true workload we've assigned to that resource. We have some tasks where the assigned work is only 4 days of actual work but its spread out of over a 30 or more days. So we put the start date and Est when the finish date will be for when that task is finalized in the overall pipeline. (I can only see my view of what is needed in the pipeline)

    I thought the team planner would assist me and just looking at the 'Bid' days we have against a Task / Person to see where we are overloading or not overloading a resource. This way we can drag and drop to balance tasks out to resources where we are only really looking at the Bid days and not the overall duration of a task from Start-Finish

    I am making some progress with the Visual reports on the export by just using the custom fields but I was hoping I could do it with the team planner for a way to just see our capacity and make on spot changes in that window to shuffle around tasks based on bid days.

    I hope I didn't make this super confusing how I explained it, but I appreciate all the help!

    - Kent

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 2:51 AM
  • To add to John's reply you now need to assign resources realistically. In your example set the duration to 30d. Then set Work (insert column work) to 4d then assign the resource.

    Units = Work / Duration so Units will be 13% (rounded to nearest whole number).

    If you resource works full time on the task when they do it, rather than a few hours spread over 30 working days, then:

    Save the baseline once the project is scheduled. Change duration to 4d and then assign the resource. Links tasks in the most efficient way. update as actually happens.

    To refer to the original bid look at the baseline. The Tracking Gantt View is great for this.


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

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 4:06 AM
    Moderator
  • Kent,

    Rod kicked in with some excellent additional information but let me get back to one basic concept that seems to be missing in your thought process. In Project duration and work are two separate entities, and what you call "bid" time is really work. The two are related by Project's work equation, which Rod detailed.

    Hopefully between the two of us, you're getting a better understand of how Project works and how to set up what you need.

    John

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 3:21 PM
  • Hi John & Rod,

    Thanks for taking the time to give a lot of great advice.

    Makes sense a lot, I will take the advice and work on a few ideas I have with that to try and achieve some of the results I want with planning and reports.

    Thanks a lot for the help!

    - Kent

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 11:14 PM