Monitoring Schedule Progress

Use one or more of the following techniques to help you monitor progress toward your finish date:

• Review finish dates and the critical path.

• Check and adjust task constraints, dependencies, and durations.

• Add resources to tasks.

For more information about monitoring and adjusting the schedule to achieve a specific finish date, see "Bringing In the Project Finish Date" on page 258.

Another method for monitoring schedule progress is to save a baseline and then compare it with the current schedule. For example, you can see baseline finish dates for tasks next to their scheduled finish dates, based on actuals you entered. Then, you can look at the variances between the baseline and scheduled finish. The finish date variance, for example, is calculated as follows:

(Scheduled/Current) Finish - Baseline Finish = Finish Variance

Tip Evaluate your schedule variances and performance with earned value analysis

You can use earned value calculations, such as the Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and Schedule Variance (SV) earned value fields, to analyze your project performance so far.

For more information on examining project performance, see "Analyzing Progress and Costs Using Earned Value" on page 401.

Note Because baseline information is vital to tracking and analyzing progress on your project, be sure to save a baseline early in the project. The ideal time to save a baseline is after you build your project plan and adjust all values to hit your target finish date, budget, and resource workload levels.

Even if you realize you hadn't saved a baseline until you're well into tracking, go ahead and save a baseline at that time. Better late than never. _/

For more information about saving baseline information, see "Saving Original Plan Information Using a Baseline" on page 298.

Reviewing Overall Schedule Progress c Review your project statistics to get a broad view of how your project status compares with p your baseline. Project statistics show your currently scheduled start and finish dates, along

® with their baseline, actual, and remaining values. To review your project statistics, follow

1 these steps:

H 1 Click Project, Project Information.

The Project Information dialog box appears. 2 Click the Statistics button.

The Project Statistics dialog box appears. The current (scheduled) finish date appears in the Finish column (see Figure 11-1).

Responding to Changes in Your Project

Project Statistics for "1 ISwDev.mpp'

Start

Finish

Current

Thu 1/1/04

Mon 5/24/04

Baseline

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 5/13/04

Actual

Thu 1/1/04

NA

Variance

Od

7.25d

Duration

Work

Cost

Current

103d

l,668h

$72,528.00

Baseline

95.75d

l,532h

$64,888.00

Actual

15.39d

252h

$12,420.00

Remaining

87.61d

l,416h

$60,108.00

Percent complete: Duration: 15%

Percent complete: Duration: 15%

Figure 11-1. The Project Statistics dialog box shows overall project information with its currently scheduled values, baseline values, actual values, and more.

I Tip Click the Project Statistics button

'' '< You can also use the Tracking toolbar to quickly open the Project Statistics dialog box. On

Project Statistics the Tracking toolbar, click Project Statistics.

Another way to keep your eye on the schedule at all times is to add the project summary task row, as follows:

1 Display the Gantt Chart or other task sheet.

2 Click Tools, Options, and then click the View tab.

3 Select the Show Project Summary Task check box.

The project summary task appears at the top of any task sheet view, including the Gantt Chart (see Figure 11-2). Task information is rolled up for the entire project, and its summary total is displayed in the project summary row. Specifically, the Finish field in the project summary row shows the latest finish date in the project. If you added additional fields or applied different tables, information is also rolled up for those fields as appropriate.

0

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

El Scope

3.5 days

Thu 1/1/04

Tue 1/6/04

V

Determine project scope

8 hrs

Thu 1 /I >04

Thu 1/1/04

Secure project sponsorship

1 day

Thu 1/1 «4

Fri 1 /2/Q4

V

Define preliminary resources

1 day

Frl 1/2/04

Mon 1 /S/04

Secure core resources

1 day

Mon 1/5/04

Tue 1 /6/04

V

Scope complete

0 days

Tue 1/6/04

Tue 1 /6/04

B Analysis/Software Requireim

14.5 days

Tue 1/6/04

Mon 1/26/04

V

Conduct needs analysis

7 days

Tue 1/6/04

Thu 1/15/04

Draft preliminary software spe

4 days

Tue 1/13/04

Mon 1/19/04

V

Develop preliminary budget

2 days

Frl 1/16/04

Tue 1 /20/04

Review software specification

4 hrs

Tue 1/20/04

Tue 1 /20/04

Incorporate feedback on softw

1 day

Wed 1/21 /04

Wed 1/21/04

; ,'JI-jii Hector uClair Hector

Figure 11-2. The Project Summary row rolls up task information to display the totals for the entire project.

By default, the regular Gantt Chart shows progress as a thin black line through the Gantt bar. To also see percent complete next to the Gantt bars, apply the Tracking Gantt. Click View, Tracking Gantt (see Figure 11-3).

Baseline And Tracking Gantt
Figure 11-3. The Tracking Gantt shows the progress, the percent complete, the baseline, and the critical path in the chart area of the view.

Reviewing Schedule Variances t

To review the differences between your original baseline plan values and your currently scheduled values, apply the Variance table, as follows:

1 Display the Gantt Chart or other task sheet.

2 Click View, Table, Variance.

The Variance table is applied to the current view (see Figure 11-4).

Task Name

Start

Finish

Baseline Start

Baseline Finish

Start Var.

Finish Var.

0

3 Software Development

Thu 1/1/04

Mon 5/24/04

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 5/13/04

0 days

7.25 days

1

E Scope

Thu 1/1/04

Tue 1/6/04

Thu 1/1/04

Tue 1/6/04

Odays

Odays

2

Determine project scope

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 1/1/04

0 days

0.5 days

3

Secure project sponsorship

Thu 1/1 m

Thu 1/1/04

Thu 1/1/04

Fri 1/2/04

0 days

-0.5 days

4

Define preliminary resources

Fri 1/2/04

Fri 1 /2/D4

Fri 1 /2/04

Mon 1/5/04

Odays

-0.5 days

5

Secure core resources

Mon 1/5/04

Tue 1 /6/04

Mon 1 /5/04

Tue 1/6/04

0 days

0 days

6

Scope complete

Tue 1/6/04

Tue 1 /6/04

Tue 1 /6/04

Tue 1/6/04

Odays

Odays

7

B Analysis/Software Requirements

Tue 1/6/04

Mon 1/26/04

Tue 1/6/04

Mon 1)26/04

0 days

0.5 days

8

Conduct needs analysis

Tue 1/6/04

Thu 1/15/04

Tue 1 /6/04 Tue 1/13/04

Tue 1/13)04

0 days

2 days

9

Draft preliminary software specific«

Tue 1/13/04

Mon 1/19/04

Fri 1/16/04

Odays

1 day

Figure 11-4. The Variance table shows the currently scheduled start and finish dates as compared with the baseline start and finish dates (including the differences between them).

Tip Quickly switch tables

To quickly change to a different table, right-click the Select All box in the upper-left corner of the table in a sheet view. The list of tables appears.

To quickly see the name of the current view and table, position your mouse pointer over the Select All box. A ScreenTip lists the name of the current view and table.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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