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Identifying tasks that have slipped
A key to communicating project status properly is knowing the following:
Who needs to know the project’s status, and for what purpose?
What format or level of detail do these people need?
The time to answer these questions is in the initial planning phase of the project. After work
on the project is under way, your main communications task will be reporting project status.
This can take several forms:
Status reports that describe where the project is in terms of cost, scope, and schedule
(the three sides of the project triangle, as described in Appendix A, “A short course in
project management”)
Progress reports that document the specific accomplishments of the project team
Forecasts that predict future project performance
In this chapter, you’ll look at project status in terms of schedule variance and costs.
PRACTICE FILES Before you can complete the exercises in this chapter, you need to copy
the book’s practice files to your computer. A complete list of practice files is provided in
“Download the practice files” at the beginning of this topic. For each exercise that has a
practice file, simply browse to where you saved the book’s practice file folder.
IMPORTANT If you are running Project Professional with Project Web App/Project Server, take
care not to save any of the practice files you work with in this topic to Project Web App (PWA). For
more information, see Appendix C, “Collaborating: Project, SharePoint, and PWA.”
Identifying tasks that have slipped
When tasks start or finish earlier or later than planned, schedule variance is the result. One
cause of schedule variance is delays in starting or finishing tasks. You certainly want to
know about tasks that started late or future tasks that might not start as scheduled. It’s also
helpful to identify completed tasks that did not start on time to try to determine why this
occurred.
 
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