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Earned Value and Actual Cost depends on status date RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a plan with a saved baseline including named resources against tasks.

    I am using physical % complete to indicate progress on each task.

    When I look at ACWP and BCWP then these values look fine on most tasks, but a number of tasks that are scheduled in the future show up as zero.  When I move the status date beyond the project end, then they calculate fine.

    It looks like ACWP and BCWP in Project 2010 are affected by the status date.  Is this meant to happen?  Is there a way of changing the behaviour so that ACWP and BCWP do not depend on status date.

    Thanks

    David

    Friday, March 23, 2012 10:46 AM

Answers

  • Hi David,

    BCWP and ACWP both use the status date in their calculations by design. The following page describes how the status date impacts these:

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/analyze-project-performance-with-earned-value-analysis-HA101819808.aspx

    My interpretation of this is that actuals recorded in the future (i.e. after the status date) are not taken into account for the ACWP/BCWP figures. If you move the status date forward, these actuals are then taken into account.

    Afraid I don't know of anyway to change this behaviour, but I hope this explanation is helpful nonetheless.

    Andrew

    Friday, March 23, 2012 11:33 AM
  • David --
     
    In addition to Andrew�??s excellent answer, I would add that if you are marking future tasks as completed or in-progress, then you are not using Microsoft Project 2010 correctly when you are entering progress.  Future work cannot be done in the future, as we do not have a time machine to allow this to happen.  Instead, we can work on future tasks in the present, which is what we describe as early progress or out of sequence progress.  If a resource worked on a task last week, but that task was schedule for a month in the future, you should enter an Actual Start date for last week, plus the progress the team member reporting.  If you do this, then your EVA will show correctly up through the Status Date.  Hope this helps.
     

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Friday, March 23, 2012 5:16 PM
    Moderator
  • deyvh ---
     
    I would definitely NOT break task B into two separate tasks.  If you do this, you will not be able to maintain your Baseline information for task B in any meaningful way.  Instead, to enter progress properly on task B, do the following:
     
    1.  Apply the Gantt Chart view.
    2.  Right-click on the Select All button (upper left corner of the task sheet) and select the Tracking table.
    3.  In the Actual Start field for task B, enter a date from last week�??s reporting period.
    4.  In the % Complete column, enter the amount of progress made by the team member.
     
    This will show you the correct EVA information in your project.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:28 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi David,

    BCWP and ACWP both use the status date in their calculations by design. The following page describes how the status date impacts these:

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project-help/analyze-project-performance-with-earned-value-analysis-HA101819808.aspx

    My interpretation of this is that actuals recorded in the future (i.e. after the status date) are not taken into account for the ACWP/BCWP figures. If you move the status date forward, these actuals are then taken into account.

    Afraid I don't know of anyway to change this behaviour, but I hope this explanation is helpful nonetheless.

    Andrew

    Friday, March 23, 2012 11:33 AM
  • David --
     
    In addition to Andrew�??s excellent answer, I would add that if you are marking future tasks as completed or in-progress, then you are not using Microsoft Project 2010 correctly when you are entering progress.  Future work cannot be done in the future, as we do not have a time machine to allow this to happen.  Instead, we can work on future tasks in the present, which is what we describe as early progress or out of sequence progress.  If a resource worked on a task last week, but that task was schedule for a month in the future, you should enter an Actual Start date for last week, plus the progress the team member reporting.  If you do this, then your EVA will show correctly up through the Status Date.  Hope this helps.
     

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Friday, March 23, 2012 5:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks.  That helps.

    A specific issue I have is that I have two tasks. A, B.  B depends on A.

    I then find that my team have done some work on B.  As you say this indicates that the original plan is not quite right. So I need to split B into two tasks B1 and B2.  But I need to do this in a way that preserves my baseline and spreads my baseline planned value across the two tasks.  Otherwise I would earn value off one task but not the other.

    Do you have any advice as to how to do this in Project?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:06 PM
  • deyvh ---
     
    I would definitely NOT break task B into two separate tasks.  If you do this, you will not be able to maintain your Baseline information for task B in any meaningful way.  Instead, to enter progress properly on task B, do the following:
     
    1.  Apply the Gantt Chart view.
    2.  Right-click on the Select All button (upper left corner of the task sheet) and select the Tracking table.
    3.  In the Actual Start field for task B, enter a date from last week�??s reporting period.
    4.  In the % Complete column, enter the amount of progress made by the team member.
     
    This will show you the correct EVA information in your project.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:28 PM
    Moderator
  • To add on a bit:

    You'll want to ensure the option "Split in progress tasks" is enabled as well.  This will allow you to record the early work on Task B and keep the remaining work still scheduled after the finish of task A.

    You'll find the option in File > Options, Schedule (Project 2010) or Tools > Options, Schedule (Project 2007 and earlier).

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 8:46 PM
    Moderator