Your scheduled values change whenever you enter actuals

Whenever you enter actual progress information, Microsoft Project recalculates your scheduled information based on these actuals, so you can see any effect the actual progress information has on the rest of your schedule. This also enables you to continue to see scheduled projections for the project finish date and total cost, based on performance to this point. For example, if Task A was scheduled to be finished on May 15, but it is finished on May 20 instead, you'd need to know how its successor Task B is now scheduled. This information is especially important if these are critical tasks.

If you want to keep your original start and finish dates for comparison purposes, save a baseline or interim plan before you enter the actuals. Then, add the Baseline Start and Baseline Finish to a task sheet, perhaps right next to your scheduled Start and Finish fields. If you're using start and finish dates saved with your interim plan, add Start1 and Finish1 (or whichever custom fields you used for your interim plan) to a task sheet.

For more information about saving baselines, saving interim plans, and adding original field information to your task sheet, see "Saving Original Plan Information Using a Baseline" on page 298.

Reviewing the Critical Path

By viewing the finish date or the critical path, you can easily see whether you're still scheduled to hit your target finish date, given the actuals you've entered. To see the critical path, click View, Tracking Gantt. If you need to bring in the finish date, you might want to focus on the critical tasks. You can filter your task sheet to show only critical tasks by clicking Project, Filtered For, Critical. To show all tasks again, click Project, Filtered For, All Tasks.

Tip Click the Filter tool

To select a filter, you can also click the Filter tool on the Formatting toolbar. In the Filter list, click Critical. When finished, click All Tasks in the Filter list.

For more information about viewing the critical path, see "Viewing the Critical Path" on page 254.

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Note After a critical task is completed, it becomes noncritical because it can no longer affect the completion of future tasks.

Reviewing Task Progress

Reviewing the progress of critical tasks is the most effective means of learning quickly whether your project is staying on track with its target finish date. The following filters can help you focus on any potential problems with task progress:

Late/Overbudget Tasks Assigned To Should Start By Should Start/Finish By Slipped/Late Progress Slipping Tasks (see Figure 11-5) Tasks With Deadlines Tasks With Fixed Dates

Figure 11-5. Apply the Slipping Tasks filter to quickly see which tasks are in jeopardy.

Figure 11-5. Apply the Slipping Tasks filter to quickly see which tasks are in jeopardy.

To apply one of these filters, follow these steps:

1 Display the Gantt Chart or other task sheet you want to filter.

2 On the Formatting toolbar, click the arrow in the Filter tool.

All Tasks t

In the Filter list, click the filter you want. 3 When you want to show all tasks again, click All Tasks in the Filter list.

You can also run reports that provide information about the progress of tasks, such as the following:

• Unstarted Tasks

• Tasks Starting Soon

• Tasks In Progress

• Completed Tasks

• Should Have Started Tasks

• Slipping Tasks

To run a report, follow these steps:

1 Click View, Reports.

2 Double-click Current Activities.

3 Double-click the report you want.

4 If a dialog box appears asking for more information, enter the information and then click OK.

The report appears in a preview window. You can zoom or print the report for a closer look.

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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