# Microsoft Project 2013 • ### Question

• Explain why an active task (a task in which the duration extends into the future but has started) doesn't show the work variance when populating actual work in Task Usage view? The field shows the variance for previous tasks ended where there is a difference between actual work and the baseline, but doesn't do so with a task that has reached its scheduled finish?
Thursday, March 8, 2018 12:41 PM

• Hi,

Maybe it comes from your erroneous understanding of the variance. The variance is the difference between the duration and the baseline duration. The actual duration doesn’t directly appear in the calculation. So updating the actual duration won’t update the variance. The process is then to update the REMAINING duration/work, so the duration will be updated, consequently the variance will also be recalculated.

Hope this helps,

Thursday, March 8, 2018 1:59 PM
• WeronikaG --

Work = Actual Work + Remaining Work

Work Variance = Work - Baseline Work

Above are the two formulas used by Microsoft Project to calculate Work and to calculate Work Variance.  When you are entering Actual Work, the software uses the first formula to calculate the current Work value, and then uses the second formula to calculate the Work Variance.

Suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work.  And suppose you enter 24 hours of Actual Work, which leaves 16 hours of Remaining Work.  If you do not increase the Remaining Work at this point, the Work Variance is 0h because the total amount of Work does not exceed the Baseline Work.

Or suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work and then you enter 56 hours of Actual Work with 0h of Remaining Work.  At this point, the software will calculate 16h of Work Variance, which indicates the task went over its work budget by 16h.

Or suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work.  You enter 24 hours of Actual Work and then you increase the Remaining Work from 16h to 32h.  At this point, the Work is now 56h (24 + 32), and the Work Variance is now 16h.

So, while a task is in-progress, you will not see Work Variance greater than 0h UNLESS you increase the Remaining Work.  Does this help?  Let us know.

Dale A. Howard [MVP]

Friday, March 9, 2018 5:25 PM

### All replies

• Hi,

Maybe it comes from your erroneous understanding of the variance. The variance is the difference between the duration and the baseline duration. The actual duration doesn’t directly appear in the calculation. So updating the actual duration won’t update the variance. The process is then to update the REMAINING duration/work, so the duration will be updated, consequently the variance will also be recalculated.

Hope this helps,

Thursday, March 8, 2018 1:59 PM
• WeronikaG --

Work = Actual Work + Remaining Work

Work Variance = Work - Baseline Work

Above are the two formulas used by Microsoft Project to calculate Work and to calculate Work Variance.  When you are entering Actual Work, the software uses the first formula to calculate the current Work value, and then uses the second formula to calculate the Work Variance.

Suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work.  And suppose you enter 24 hours of Actual Work, which leaves 16 hours of Remaining Work.  If you do not increase the Remaining Work at this point, the Work Variance is 0h because the total amount of Work does not exceed the Baseline Work.

Or suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work and then you enter 56 hours of Actual Work with 0h of Remaining Work.  At this point, the software will calculate 16h of Work Variance, which indicates the task went over its work budget by 16h.

Or suppose you have a task with 40 hours of Work.  You enter 24 hours of Actual Work and then you increase the Remaining Work from 16h to 32h.  At this point, the Work is now 56h (24 + 32), and the Work Variance is now 16h.

So, while a task is in-progress, you will not see Work Variance greater than 0h UNLESS you increase the Remaining Work.  Does this help?  Let us know.

Dale A. Howard [MVP]

Friday, March 9, 2018 5:25 PM
• Does help a lot. It's clear an fully <g class="gr_ gr_31 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" data-gr-id="31" id="31">understable</g> for me now. Thank you.
Sunday, March 11, 2018 7:34 AM