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Percent of Tasks completed by a time frame. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I am very new to Microsoft Project 2010, please excuse me if this is a stupid question. 

    I need to see the % of tasks completed by a time frame.  So if there are 5 tasks to do this week and they have done 4 of them the indicator would show 80%.  I was able to easily get an indicator and score-card that shows Actual Work / Work for various time-frames, but management wants to see % of tasks rather than ActualWork / Work metric.  

    I have a background in dashboards, data analysis, SQL and such. I have been using Performance Point and the pre-packaged project reporting cubes that come standard, but I don't see a simple 'task compete' vs 'total tasks' with a time-dimension in the cube.

    Which option is the easiest way to do it?

    1) It already exists in the stock cubes, I need to just go to...

    2) Work on inserting Calculated Measures in one of the Cubes using MDX expressions  ( Server Settings -> OLAP Database Management-> Cube Cnfiguration).  (I tried iif([Actual Work]/[Work] = 1,0,1) but the cube failed to build)

    3) Use PerformancePoint's "Calculated Metric" feature. (Which I got to work on a task-line level, I just couldn't aggregate it.  The formula was basically if(ActualWork/Work = 1,1,0) )

    4) Create a custom cube on the same analysis server using SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio and just run the transformation there.

    Thanks for any suggestions.  There seem to be many options and I am not certain as to the best road to go down.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:29 PM

Answers

  • A % of Tasks completed is not really a good number unless all your tasks are the same size. for example, you have 5 tasks that should have  been done this week. You complete 4 of them and did not even start the 5th one. That is 80% of the tasks. But if the 4 you finished were all 2 hour tasks and the one you did not complete was a 100 hour task then this 80% number makes you 'feel' like you did great this week when in fact your project schedule is now in HUGE trouble.

    It is worth repeating that 'Burn Rate' metrics based on task numbers only work if all your tasks require the same effort (work) to complete. Even then doing it with hours is still just as effective in communicating the status.

    The other trouble is that you end up having to account for tasks that were supposed to have finished either last week or this week. Example: you should have finished 5 tasks this week and 5 tasks do finish this week but they were all tasks that should have finished last week. Your metric is 100% but  it is from tasks that should have finished last week.

    In the end doing what you are asking takes a bunch of logical work to come up with a metric that does not really tell you ANYTHING about your project.

    Try to talk your management team out of this. :-)


    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:56 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • A % of Tasks completed is not really a good number unless all your tasks are the same size. for example, you have 5 tasks that should have  been done this week. You complete 4 of them and did not even start the 5th one. That is 80% of the tasks. But if the 4 you finished were all 2 hour tasks and the one you did not complete was a 100 hour task then this 80% number makes you 'feel' like you did great this week when in fact your project schedule is now in HUGE trouble.

    It is worth repeating that 'Burn Rate' metrics based on task numbers only work if all your tasks require the same effort (work) to complete. Even then doing it with hours is still just as effective in communicating the status.

    The other trouble is that you end up having to account for tasks that were supposed to have finished either last week or this week. Example: you should have finished 5 tasks this week and 5 tasks do finish this week but they were all tasks that should have finished last week. Your metric is 100% but  it is from tasks that should have finished last week.

    In the end doing what you are asking takes a bunch of logical work to come up with a metric that does not really tell you ANYTHING about your project.

    Try to talk your management team out of this. :-)


    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your reply.  I agree totally and I will try and push back. 

    I thought that if it was an easy metric to make I'd put it up and eventually people would see that it was not useful and I'd wean people off of it.  This is an implementation for a process that has never had any tracking, so people are already resistent to seeing their tasks recorded and doubly put off by seeing 'hours' in their tasks. 

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:57 PM
  • No problem.

    In the end you can give them the metric straight off of number of tasks whose Baseline Finish dates fall into a time period versus the number of tasks whose Actual Finish were in the same time period. So the exact thing they are asking for is not that hard to give. It will just not actually MEAN anything. ;-)


    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:01 AM
    Moderator