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Tracking the project at Task Summary level RRS feed

  • Question

  • I want to plan the Project detailed, but because the fact that resources often do not return actual work at the right tasks, I just want to enter the actual work at the summary Level. I do know that they are working in the right area, but not on a specific task. I can update the actual work, but if the tasks belonging to the summary task finished in a less work I am not able to update that. Then MSP will copy work into actual work. It seems that work and remaining work is locked. Is there any way that I can track my Project this way? For information, all tasks are fix duration. I need the right numbers to make a proper "earned work" report. Not cost, but work. (we do not use cost in Our Project plans) Somebody that have a good idea for me?

    Thanks, Knut fr


    Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:34 AM

Answers

  • Knut --

    I would not recommend entering Actual Work at the summary task level.  The trouble with doing that is that Microsoft Project makes assumptions that may not be correct.  When you enter Actual Work at the summary task level, it applies the Actual Work to the subtasks consecutively, beginning with the first subtask.  If the first subtask has 40 hours of Work, and you enter 56 hours of Actual Work on the summary task, the software enters 40 hours of Actual Work on the first subtask, and then enters 16 hours of Actual Work on the second subtask.  In other words, the software assumes that the Actual Work was done on each task EXACTLY AS PLANNED.

    So, I would not recommend the approach you are thinking about.  I think you need to enter Actual Work at the task level, not the summary task level.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, January 23, 2014 2:49 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Knut,

    I don't think you can track your project the way you describe.  The only way I can think of is to add a new number field to your schedule and put in the actual work at the summary task level.  Then, you will have to manually update the actual work.  That is how I have tracked summary level values before. 

    Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:43 PM
  • Thanks for your reply. Yes, I have been thinking about that. The only problem is that custom field is not TimeScaled which make it difficult to se the progress over time. Anyway thanks.
    Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:48 PM
  • Knut --

    I would not recommend entering Actual Work at the summary task level.  The trouble with doing that is that Microsoft Project makes assumptions that may not be correct.  When you enter Actual Work at the summary task level, it applies the Actual Work to the subtasks consecutively, beginning with the first subtask.  If the first subtask has 40 hours of Work, and you enter 56 hours of Actual Work on the summary task, the software enters 40 hours of Actual Work on the first subtask, and then enters 16 hours of Actual Work on the second subtask.  In other words, the software assumes that the Actual Work was done on each task EXACTLY AS PLANNED.

    So, I would not recommend the approach you are thinking about.  I think you need to enter Actual Work at the task level, not the summary task level.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, January 23, 2014 2:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Knut,

    When you say that "resources often do not return actual work at the right tasks", probably the update strategy for your plan should be revised or the decomposition of workpackages into activities in your schedule. Today you are updating assignments (actual and remaining work) so you have to use the Resource Usage or Task Usage view to do the updates using the assignment approach. Apply the work table in these views and include Baseline Work and Actual Work in the timesheet. Ok, fixed duration is the right type at this moment of the project.

    As Dale said, never update the summary task! The summary task, as the name already says, consolidates the data you provided in the activities.



    Alexandre Paiva, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, MCTS, ITIL
    Project Manager +55 (21) 8887-3645 alexandre.paiva@gerentedeprojeto.net.br www.gerentedeprojeto.net.br



    Thursday, January 23, 2014 4:20 PM
  • Hi Dale

    Yes I am aware that the Reporting will be incomplete, but this is the best Guess we get. When dealing With craftsmen (sorry if I defend someone) they do not understand the importance of correct Reporting. If I get correct number of hours for one Control area, I am satisfied. So far, I think I will put up a "dummy task" track the area using this task.

    Thanks for Your help.

    Knut Fr

    Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:15 PM