Whether you are manually updating task data or using the work group tools to have Project update task data based on Team Status reports, comparing the actual results with the baseline and interim plan data gives you a lot of information about the status of the project. Project calculates variances to baseline for start and finish dates, duration, work, and costs.
You can most easily display these variances by switching to Tracking Gantt view and selecting the Variance table. The Tracking Gantt view displays gray bars for the baseline start and finish dates, in addition to the blue or red bars for actual or scheduled start and finish dates (red bars indicate critical path tasks).
The Variance table, shown In Figure 12.8, cbntains fields that show the baseline data and variances, and you can add additional fields to compare actual and scheduled dates and interim plans. For more about baselines, see “Capturing Baseline Data to Track Progress”
Viewing and Printing Summary Reports
Add progress lines to see where the project ii ahead of schedule
and behind schedule. Printing views and reports provide the hard documentation that you sometimes need to evaluate what is going on in a project and communicate information to project stakeholders. At this point in the project, you may be interested in printing some of the project in-progress reports, such as Tasks in Progress, Should Have Started’ Tasks, and Slipping Tasks.
These reports are available from the Reports menu (View> Reports and choose Current Activities). Costs reports=such as the Cash Flow, Over budget Tasks, and Over budget Resources reports-provide invaluable cost information to help you make necessary budget adjustments.
The Over allocated Resources reports on the Assignment button and the Task Usage and Resource Usage reports on the Workload button all provide an in-depth look at the status of resource assignments. And, of course, any of the Overview reports give you a snapshot of the project as it stands on a global basis. You can learn more about printing views and reports in , “Using Views to Evaluate Data,” and Chapter 18,.”Using Reports to Analyze Data.”
Adding Progress Lines to the Gantt Chart
To help you see the status of the project schedule, you may want to add progress lines to. the Gantt Chart or Tracking Gantt. When you add progress lines, Microsoft Project draws a line that connects in-progress tasks and tasks that should have started. Peaks pointing to the left represent work that is behind schedule, and peaks pointing to the right represent work that is ahead of schedule.
To define progress lines, choose Tools Tracking Progress Lines to open the Progress Lines dialog box and follow these steps:
1. Select the Always Display Current Progress Line check box to always display the current progress line.
2. Click At Project Status Date or At Current Date to indicate where you want the progress lines to appear.
3. Select the Display Progress Lines at Recurring Intervals check box; then click Daily, Weekly, or Monthly to specify a time interval to display progress lines at specific time intervals.
4. Indicate whether you want the progress lines to start at the Project Start date or another date that you define.
S. Select the Display Selected Progress Lines check box, and then type or select the dates for which you want progress lines displayed to display a progress line OR a specific date. Click the Delete button if you want to remove a date. .
6. Choose whether you want to display progress lines in relation to the actual plan or the baseline.
7. Click the Line Styles tab and select progress line type, color, progress point shape, and progress point color for the current and all other progress lines. You can also Indicate if you want a date displayed for each progress line.
8. Click OK to close the Progress Lines dialog box and apply the progress lines .
If you want to add additional progress lines to the Gantt Chart, click the Add Progress Lines button on the Tracking toolbar (View To are Tracking). When the pointer changes to a tracking line shape, click in t not Chart at the desired date to insert a