Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering actual values for tasks
Because you did not specify an actual start date, Project assumes that the task started
as scheduled. However, the actual duration you entered causes Project to calculate an
actual finish date that is later than the originally scheduled finish date. Likewise, the
actual work value (112 hours) is larger than the originally scheduled work (80 hours).
TIP You can apply all the tracking methods shown in this chapter to manually scheduled
tasks as well. You can also record an actual start, actual finish, or remaining duration value
for a manually scheduled task.
Project management focus: Is the project on track?
Evaluating a project’s status properly can be tricky. Consider the following issues:
For many tasks, it is very difficult to evaluate a completion percentage. When is an
engineer’s design for a new motor assembly 50 percent complete? Or when is a
programmer’s code for a software module 50 percent complete? Reporting work
in progress is, in many cases, a best-guess effort and inherently risky.
The elapsed portion of a task’s duration is not always equal to the amount of work
accomplished. For example, a task might require relatively little effort initially, but
it might require more work as time passes. (This is referred to as a back-loaded
task .) When 50 percent of its duration elapses, far less than 50 percent of its
total work will be completed. In fact, Project tracks both values: % Complete tracks
the percentage of the task’s duration that has been completed, while % Work
Complete tracks the percentage of the task’s work that has been completed.
The resources assigned to a task might have different criteria for what constitutes
the task’s completion than the criteria determined by the project manager or the
resources assigned to successor tasks. In other words, the team lacks a common
definition of “done.”
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