How to persuade Project to save actual data correctly? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, everyone

    In my schedule I have a task and I'd like to put in an actual data for it.

    I have a Planned Start at 25.12.2015 and Planed Finish at 27.12.2015. Also I have Planned Work for that task - 16 hours.

    I save baseline for that task.

    Today I've started to input actual data:

    1. via Update Task form - Actual Start as 30.12.15, Actual Finish as 03.01.16, 100% complete. After hit OK, I can see changes in Gantt Chart with Tracking View (Tracking Table)

    2. after that I use combined view and in Task Form (Work view) insert an Actual Work - 4 hours. When I hit OK, Actual Finish Date suddenly changes from 03.01.16 to 31.12.16.

    No idea why Project does it that way. Are there any way to avoid changing Actual Finish Date in such scenario?

    Project Professional 2013.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12:50 PM

All replies

  • Konstantin,

    I get a slightly different result when I emulate your scenario but yes there is a good reason why Project is giving you strange results.

    In the first step you declare that the task is 100% complete. Okay, that's fine, it didn't start on plan and it apparently was delayed quite a bit. But then in step two you say the actual work is only 4 hours. Whoa! If the task was declared complete in step 1 and no actual work was entered, Project rightly assumes the actual work was as originally planned, 16 hours, although it is spread over the full duration from 30.12.15 through 03.01.16. By changing (backtracking) in step 2 you effectively reset the task such that it is no longer 100% complete. Project takes the new information and re-plans the task.

    Is there a way to avoid changes in this scenario? No, because it is an invalid scenario. What you should have done is to not declare the task complete. Instead enter the actual start date, actual work value, update the remaining work if applicable, and then Project will calculate a new finish date.


    Wednesday, January 13, 2016 4:08 PM
  • Views and tables are not the same thing. A table is just a particular selection and arrangement of fields as columns. A table is just one part of a view.

    A view contains a table, possibly also a group and a filter, and also everything to do with formatting text and bars as well as everything in page setup such as page size, orientation, headers, footers etc.

    There is a tracking Gantt view, and the main difference between this and the Gantt chart view is that it has thin bars for the current scheduled tasks stacked on top of the thin baseline bars. If there is no baseline then of course you don't see any grey baseline bars.

    There is a tracking table, and it has all of the fields necessary for tracking (what else?).
    I use this, not the task update form, although I could.

    You should deal with the facts in the order in which they occur.

    The first column in the tracking table next to the task name is the actual start, and this is the first fact that you need. Next is actual duration etc and so on. They are more or less in the order that you need them in.

    Declaring the task to be 100% complete, and then adding actual work is just the wrong order of doing it.

    For one thing, as soon as you do this, you force MSP to assume that all of the work is actual work.

    It would be better to input the actual start in the tracking table, then use the task usage view to input the actual work on the actual times and actual days on which it occurred, which will determine the days and times of actual duration, and then input actual finish in the tracking table.

    If you do it this way, you never have to type in % complete which is always problematic and usual advice is don't do it.

    I am curious. When you input 4 hours of actual work, where did you expect it to go?

    Any help?

    Thursday, January 14, 2016 4:52 AM