none
Can I track lost savings as milestones are delayed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to track a programme where we have a number of buildings being updated to achieve revenue savings. Each building is listed as a summary task in Project, with every stage in that summary a sub-task, and milestones throughout. For every month that delivery of the building’s updates is delayed, I know the cost to us in lost revenue savings. I am trying to track that, so if Site A is delayed by three months, I can report that we have lost 3x in potential savings. There are 31 buildings so it would be good to track the total revenue impact.

    I have found an old Project forum post from 14 years ago (!) that says "In the past I have been able to show some customers the cost of delay to their project by creating a resource called Delay and giving this resource a cost. We have created a summary task with 2 milestones within it, one is the target completion date and the other the actual finish date scheduled by dependencies to predecessors. The Target completion date milestone has a MFO
    constraint, the actual finish milestone is SNET with the date being the same as the Target completion date (watch out as this could cuase a problem if you are in danger of actually finishing ahead of schedule as these two events will not pull back in time!!). We then assigned the Delay resource to the summary task, as long as there was no delay to the project there was no resource cost on the Summary Task, however as soon as the project was in delay the Summary tasks duration "grew" to reflect the delay in the project and the Delay resource started accruing costs. By checking the Summary Table in the Resource Sheet it was possible to see how much the Delay resource was costing, this could also be checked in Total Cost Value and Cost Variance values in the cost table
    ."

    I have successfully completed the first stage, getting a summary task to grow and reflect the delay, but I cannot work out what type of Resource to create, and how to assign a monthly cost that increases with each month delay.

    Can someone either suggest a solution to my whole problem, or guide me how to finish the second section of the above solution?

    Thanks in advance!

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:27 PM

Answers

  • Nik,

    To make the hammock, copy the start date/time of the target finish date and paste special, link into the start date/time of the hammock. Then copy the finish date/time of the job completion milestone and paste special, link into the finish date/time of the hammock. As the job completion milestone goes further to the right the hammock gets longer. Assign a work type resource called "cost of lateness" with a std rate of $100/hour.

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Friday, March 23, 2018 8:50 AM
  • Nik,

    I cannot see the problem of the lateness bar having a duration of 0, and be a milestone and a diamond, if the scheduled project finish date is the same as the target MFO finish date.

    I think you mean copy, paste special, paste link and don't forget that you copy from the target (start or finish, it doesn't matter) and paste to the start of the hammock, and copy from the project finish milestone to the hammock finish.

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:13 AM
  • Hi Trevor,

    I think I've got there! For the benefit of anyone searching this thread later I think this is the process:

    1. Set a baseline
    2. Create a Delay or Specials hammock with Target Finish Date (TFD) and Lateness sub-tasks
    3. Set the TFD as a Must Finish On with the date the same as the current planned completion milestone
    4. Copy/Link the TFD cell to the hammock start
    5. Copy/Link the current planned completion milestone cell to the hammock end
    6. Copy/Link the hammock start cell to the Lateness start
    7. Copy/Link the hammock end cell to the Lateness end
    8. Create a work resource with the cost of lateness as the Standard Rate and assign that resource to the Lateness Sub Task

    Does that sound right?

    I have one last question to ask: The Lateness subtask has to be set as 1 day or it becomes a milestone, but then it immediately incurs a days lateness before you have even started. How do I stop that?

    Thanks in advance, Nik

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 7:57 AM

All replies

  • NikBB7,

    Seems more complicated than necessary.  This would be easy to do with a baseline and a few custom fields:

    If you have a Baseline, then: Cost1 = the total cost of delay where Cost1 is a formula that multiplies the finish variance by your delay cost factor.  Refine the formula to compute the cost only if the variance is >0 and a Flag1 is "Yes," where Flag1 is assigned to your 31 completion milestones or 31 summary activities.

    If you don't have a Baseline, then you need a custom field - e.g. Finish1 to enter the target completion date for each of the 31 completion milestones, then write your formula to compute the variance by subtracting the target finish from the Finish.  Refine same as above.

    Done.  Good luck, tom

     

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:08 PM
  • This approach sounds more complicated than necessary, and also contains some rather sloppy and misleading use the terms.

    It mentions "actual finish milestone" and "actual finish date scheduled by dependencies . Be careful with the use of the word "actual".
    actual finish is a field in MSP. When a task has an actual finish date (see the tracking table), which must be in the past relative to the status date, that date replaces the scheduled or planned finish date.

    It is ok to include a "target completion date" as a milestone with a MFO constraint, but it should not have predecessors or successors. I would usually put it at the top in a special section with its own summary called "specials". It is just there for comparison with the scheduled finish date milestone as determined by the predecessors and the the scheduled finish date milestone should have no date constraint.

    As for the part about the cost of the scheduled finish date milestone being later than the "target completion date", I would make a hammock task which would have the duration of the difference between those milestones, and assign a resource to that.

    Any help?

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 11:51 PM
  • Hi Trevor,

    Thanks for the reply, could you expand on "I would make a hammock task which would have the duration of the difference between those milestones, and assign a resource to that."

    What is a hammock task?

    When I assign the resource, would I set it as a cost or work resource, and how do I get the variance to increase by a fixed amount for each additional month?

    Cheers, Nik

    Friday, March 23, 2018 7:34 AM
  • Hi Tom,

    Wow. Erm, not sure where to start, other than I have a baseline!

    I am comfortable with MSP basics but never got into custom fields or formulas, wouldn't know where to begin. I have found a basic guide and can see where to edit Cost1 in the Custom Fields window, but have no idea on the settings or syntax.

    Can you give step by step instruction, or links to tutorials or guides that might explain your solution?

    Would your solution give individual site delay costs, or just a programme total? I really need the breakdown as well.

    Cheers, Nik


    • Edited by NikBB7 Friday, March 23, 2018 7:52 AM
    Friday, March 23, 2018 7:38 AM
  • Nik,

    To make the hammock, copy the start date/time of the target finish date and paste special, link into the start date/time of the hammock. Then copy the finish date/time of the job completion milestone and paste special, link into the finish date/time of the hammock. As the job completion milestone goes further to the right the hammock gets longer. Assign a work type resource called "cost of lateness" with a std rate of $100/hour.

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Friday, March 23, 2018 8:50 AM
  • It works good if the finish milestone is late, not so good if it is early. Sometimes the links need an update and you need the edit links command on the ribbon to do it. The edit links command is, by default, not on the ribbon so you have to customise the ribbon.
    Friday, March 23, 2018 8:55 AM
  • Hi Trevor,

    I'm getting there! Hammock and sub tasks created, start/finish dates pasted with special links, 'edit links' added to the ribbon, 'cost of lateness' work resource created...

    Do I have to set any predecessors?

    Do I have to create links from the Lateness task to the hammock or milestones?

    Can I changes the cost of lateness units from hours to months, or do I have to divide my monthly cost by number of working hours in a month?

    cheers, Nik

    Friday, March 23, 2018 10:34 AM
  • Nik, predecessors on what? The target finish date and the hammock have no predecessors or successors. Lateness is the hammock. std rate for the cost of lateness resource can be expressed as $/mon if you like, but $/hours is less ambiguous.
    Friday, March 23, 2018 8:56 PM
  • Nik, predecessors on what? The target finish date and the hammock have no predecessors or successors. Lateness is the hammock.

    Sorry Trevor but I must be missing something... If the hammock and sub tasks are not linked to the previous tasks in the project, how can delays further up affect the end milestone? The hammock appears isolated. And what is acting on the lateness to change the dates. I feel like I'm so close but getting more confused.

    Do you have an online resource I can follow? I apologize if I'm being thick, and really appreciate your help!

    Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:09 PM
  • Nik, those two are isolated in the sense that they have no predecessors or successors, but the hammock is definitely linked to the finish date of the target at one end and to the start date of the project finish milestone at the other end. Using the example above, I increased the duration of some of the critical tasks, the project finish milestone gets later, the duration of lateness increases, and the cost of lateness is calculated.
    Sunday, March 25, 2018 10:26 PM
  • Hi Trevor,

    I think I've got there! For the benefit of anyone searching this thread later I think this is the process:

    1. Set a baseline
    2. Create a Delay or Specials hammock with Target Finish Date (TFD) and Lateness sub-tasks
    3. Set the TFD as a Must Finish On with the date the same as the current planned completion milestone
    4. Copy/Link the TFD cell to the hammock start
    5. Copy/Link the current planned completion milestone cell to the hammock end
    6. Copy/Link the hammock start cell to the Lateness start
    7. Copy/Link the hammock end cell to the Lateness end
    8. Create a work resource with the cost of lateness as the Standard Rate and assign that resource to the Lateness Sub Task

    Does that sound right?

    I have one last question to ask: The Lateness subtask has to be set as 1 day or it becomes a milestone, but then it immediately incurs a days lateness before you have even started. How do I stop that?

    Thanks in advance, Nik

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 7:57 AM
  • Nik,

    I cannot see the problem of the lateness bar having a duration of 0, and be a milestone and a diamond, if the scheduled project finish date is the same as the target MFO finish date.

    I think you mean copy, paste special, paste link and don't forget that you copy from the target (start or finish, it doesn't matter) and paste to the start of the hammock, and copy from the project finish milestone to the hammock finish.

    • Marked as answer by NikBB7 Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:59 AM
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:13 AM
  • Thanks Trevor for all your input, much appreciated.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:00 PM