Why is my Actual Work being evenly distributed across days? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Let me first explain my setup:

    I am using TFS to track my estimate, actual hours, and effort remaining on a task.  I am pulling these values into MS Project for my schedule.  I have the need to create a burndown chart based on the data in my MS Project file, so I followed the instructions for doing so from this article:

    Everything seemed to be working great:  on the first day I entered 3 hours of work into TFS and pulled that into MS Project.  The next day I reported 4 hours of work, and the 3rd day I reported 5 hours of work.  But now when I look in Project, it is reporting 4 hours for Day 1, 4 hours for Day 2, and 3 hours for Day 3.  I'm at a loss as to why this is occurring.  I know I probably need to provide more information regarding my MS Project setup in regards to the task/resource, so if someone can give me some specifics that I left off, I can quickly provide this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:02 PM


  • Hi,

    It looks as though indeed only totals for Actual Work and Remaining Work are imported so Project doesn't know of the 3-4-5 distribution; so its best guess is an even distribuition.


    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:29 PM

All replies

  • subucni,

    How exactly are you "pulling" the data into Project? There are basically two methods, unless TFS (and I don't know what that is), has it's own export to Project functionality. One is via an import map. The other is via VBA. The former doesn't work for timescaled data while timescaled data can be imported with VBA.

    With more detail on how you are importing the data to Project, we can explain why you see what you see.


    Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:30 PM
  • Hey John,

    Thanks for the response.  TFS is Team Foundation Server, and I am importing via the "Team" Ribbon in Project.  I linked up to a particular project in TFS and imported the desired work items.  Following is my mapping file for TFS field to Project field.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.


        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.Id" ProjectField="pjTaskText10" ProjectName="Work Item ID" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.Title" ProjectField="pjTaskName" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.WorkItemType" ProjectField="pjTaskText24" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.AssignedTo" ProjectField="pjTaskResourceNames" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.TrackingItem.ActualEffort" ProjectField="pjTaskActualWork" ProjectUnits="pjHour" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.TrackingItem.EstimatedEffortRemaining" ProjectField="pjTaskRemainingWork" ProjectUnits="pjHour" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.TrackingItem.EstimatedEffort" ProjectField="pjTaskWork" ProjectUnits="pjHour" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.TrackingItem.EstimatedStartDate" ProjectField="pjTaskStart" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.TrackingItem.EstimatedEndDate" ProjectField="pjTaskFinish" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.State" ProjectField="pjTaskText13" ProjectName="State" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.Reason" ProjectField="pjTaskText14" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="TechnoSolutions.Common.Priority" ProjectField="pjTaskText19" ProjectName="Work Item Priority" />
        <Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.Rev" ProjectField="pjTaskText23" />
        <ContextField WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.TaskHierarchy" />
        <LinksField ProjectField="pjTaskText26" />
        <SyncField ProjectField="pjTaskText25" />

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:39 PM
  • Hi,

    It looks as though indeed only totals for Actual Work and Remaining Work are imported so Project doesn't know of the 3-4-5 distribution; so its best guess is an even distribuition.


    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:29 PM
  • Thanks for the reply. 

    Not the answer I was hoping for, because this eliminates the idea of doing a burndown chart.  If anyone has any additional information or workarounds on how to do a burndown chart using MS Project, please share.  Thanks again everyone.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:50 PM
  • Hi,

    I don't know TFS so I don't know whether the actual work data by day are readable by any language or system that can also address the Project API but if there is, a program could be developped doing that.


    Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:53 PM
  • Subucni,

    You reported in TFS 3-4-5 hours (a total of 12h)

    some questions:

    1. I assume you see 4-4-4  (a total of 12h) and not 4-4-3 (a total of 11h) in Project Server?!
    2. I assume you are booking in TFS on workitems (one or more?) that (all) rollup to one task in Project Server (PS)?
    3. I Assume that the script above is used by each transfer to (PS)?
    4. What I am missing in the structure above, is that there is no time-phase indication of the reported actuals pulled over to Project Server.
    5. either there is an indication of "% work complete" or "% complete". Is there such an indication in TFS or is it concluded via Actual/planned/remaining work?
    6. Is the task in MSP planned with a resource assigned at 50%?

    If progress is offered to PS, there are dependent on some settgings in PS, different behaviours.

    1. You are sure about the definition of days (in the calendar) and hours per day (in the options) in both systems?
    2. Is there maybe a relation with the Tracking Method in PS? (resulting in a conversion of actuals toward an indication of Percent of work complete",

    With all this reflections in consideration:

    • Since I am missing a time-phased indication of the transferred actuals ...
    • and since in PS, there is a behaviour that matches the symptoms (your reported actuals are spread with a flat distribution) you get when tracking progress via the  "Percent of work complete" (the task is completed as planned in PS),

    the scenario as you described, would make sence...

    Maybe this is all nonsence, but if so, can you already check for the questions I have, so we can narrow the search area ;)





    Saturday, August 27, 2011 9:48 AM
  • I think this "guess" is not correct ;)

    Saturday, August 27, 2011 10:41 PM
  • Hey Subucni,


    I think it would be a good idea to have a look to an article written by Andrew Lavinsky :

    With TFS and Project Server at your disposal, you wil probably find the answer to the problem you faced in this article!




    Monday, August 29, 2011 9:54 PM