If you’ve spent a lot of time in planning a project, nothing is more exciting than seeing the first few project tasks completed. The project is finally underway and all the hard work that went into preparing for the project begins to payoff.
In and , we discussed the two most common methods of communicating with project team members about the status of tasks using Microsoft Project’s work group tools: email and Web communication. With email, discussed in Chapter 15, you can use Project’s Team Assign, Team Update, and Team Status tools to send and receive reports
.from team members. With the Web, discussed in Chapter 16, you can use Microsoft Project Central to keep team members informed about the status of the project, assign them tasks, and receive task reports. Both of these methods automatically update the project with actual work, timephased work, percent complete, and start and finish dates. Refer to and if you want more information about how to use Project work group tools to update project information.
In the next section, we’ll describe each of the data fields that you can use to track project data and then provide an overview of the different ways you can use to update data.
Understanding the Project Update Fields
Some tasks may not have resources assigned to them. Or, for whatever reason, perhaps you can’t include some resources in the work group communication process.
You can record progress on these tasks manually in Project. For tasks that do not have resources assigned to them, you can manually update title following:
• Actual Start and Finish
• Task Status, including Percent Complete, Actual Duration and Remaining Duration ” Costs For the tasks that you have assigned resources to, you can also update
• Actual Work
• me phased Work.
Actual start and Finish Dates
Actual Start is the date and time that a task actually begins. Project calculates this date based on entries to the Percent Complete field, Actual Work, or Percent Work Completed fields.
You can also manually adjust the Actual Start date,used Start Date field changes to match the Actual Start Date you enter.Actual Finish is calculated when there is 0 remaining work or when the Percent Complete or Percent Work Complete fields are set to 100%.
The % Complete field is the percentage difference between Actual Duration and Duration .SQ actual formula Project uses is~ Complete – Actual Duration I Duration
• 100 When you enter % Complete, Project automatically calculates Actual Duration and Remaining Duration. If you enter Actual Duration, Remaining Duration, or Actual Work(because it affects Actual Duration), Microsoft Project calculates Percent Complete.
Actual and Remaining Duration
Actual Duration is the total span of working time, regardless of the actual number ofhours (amount of work) spent on a task. If a task, for example, starts on Monday andis completed on Friday, the Actual Duration is five days Remaining Duration is the difference between Scheduled Duration and Actual Duration.Project also calculates Remaining Duration based on the entry in Percent Completed.
For example, if the duration of a task is five days and the task is SOOA> completed, . the Remaining Duration is two and a half days.
Actual Costs include costs incurred by the project to date for resources and fixed costs attached to a task. Project calculates this field based on Actual Work, Actual Overtime Work, Per Use Cost, and Fixed Cost. The formula that Project uses is Actual Cost – (Actual Work
• Standard Rate) + (Actual Overtime Work * Overtime Rate) + Resource Per Use Costs + Task Fixed Cost Because of the complexity of calculating prorated actual costs, we recommend that
you generally let Project calculate Actual Cost. However, you can specify whether you enter actual costs or have Microsoft Project automatically calculate them. Follow these steps to calculate Actual Costs manually:
1. Tools > Options, and then click the Calculation tab.
2. Clear the Actual Costs Are Always Calculated by Microsoft Project check box.
3. Click OK to close the Options dialog box and save the changes.
If you choose to manually calculate actual costs, any actual costs you already entered will be cleared. If you choose to have Microsoft Project calculate actual costs, you can manually enter additional actual costs after the task is 100% complete.
Project calculates Actual Work based on the amount of work completed by the resources assigned to the project. This field is not available if you do not have resources assigned , to a task. When you manually enter Actual Work, Project calculates Percent Wor~ Complete and Remaining Work according to these formulas:
Percent Work Complete – Actual Work/Work Remaining Work – Work-Actual Work When you enter Percent Complete, Percent Work Complete, or Actual Work, Microsoft Project updates Actual Work for the task.
Time phased Actual Work is the actual work broken down into time periods. For more information about entering time phased Actual Work, see “Tracking Time phased Actual Work,” later in this