Updating Progress Using Task Scheduling Controls

You can update progress by entering actual information from task scheduling controls such as percent complete, duration, start date, and finish date. You can use these methods whether or not resources are assigned in Microsoft Project.

Updating the Project as Scheduled

Probably the easiest method of entering tracking information is to provide information to Microsoft Project that shows that your project is going exactly according to plan. You can use today's date or another date as the reference complete through date. With this method, tasks are updated as follows:

• Any tasks with a scheduled finish date before your complete through date are shown as completed on that scheduled date. In other words, your scheduled finish dates become your actual finish dates up to today's date or whichever date you specify.

• Any tasks with a scheduled start date before your complete through date (and a finish date after your date) are shown to be in progress through that date.

• Any tasks with a scheduled start date after your complete through date are untouched. To update the project as scheduled, follow these steps:

1 Click Tools, Tracking, Update Project.

The Update Project dialog box appears (see Figure 10-8).

Update Project fk}

i* Update work as complete through: jlBEPEBiEl

3

i? Set 0% -100% complete

C Set 0% or 100% complete only

C Reschedule uncompleted work to start after: | Sun 3/7/04

3

For: i* Entire project C Selected tasks

Help | OK

Cancel

Figure 10-8. Update your project as scheduled through a specified date.

2 Make sure that the Update Work As Complete Through option is selected.

3 Enter the complete through date in the box. By default, today's date appears.

4 Select the Set 0% - 100% Complete option if you want Microsoft Project to calculate whether the task is not started, 100% complete, or in progress.

If a task's scheduled start date is after your complete through date, the task remains 0% complete.

If a task's scheduled finish date is before your complete through date, the task is set to 100% complete.

If a task's scheduled start date is before your complete through date, and the scheduled finish date is after your complete through date, Microsoft Project calculates a percent complete value (see Figure 10-9).

The task is shown as complete on its scheduled finish date of April 7. April 8

This task is not due to start until April 13, so no progress is entered.

This in-progress task shows progress through April 8. Figure 10-9. If your complete through date is April 8 and you want the Update Project function to calculate current progress of completed and in-progress tasks, your Gantt Chart shows progress bars looking like this.

5 Select the Set 0% or 100% Complete Only option if you want in-progress tasks to remain at 0% (see Figure 10-10). That is, any tasks whose scheduled finish date is after your complete through date do not have any progress entered for them.

This task is shown as complete on its scheduled finish date of April 7. April 8

This task is not due to start until April 13, so no progress is entered. This task, scheduled to be in progress, shows no progress. Figure 10-10. If you want the Update Project function to display in-progress tasks as 0% complete, this is the result when your complete through date is April 8. o

You can use this method to update the entire project or selected tasks. Select the Entire Project or Selected Tasks option to specify your choice.

Entering Percent Complete

Another relatively simple method of tracking task progress is to specify percent complete. When you enter percent complete, Microsoft Project calculates actual duration and remaining duration.

To enter percent complete for one or more tasks, do the following:

1 In a task sheet view, such as the Gantt Chart or Tracking Gantt, select the task(s) whose percent complete you want to update.

On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information and then click the General tab.

3 In the Percent Complete box, enter the percent complete that applies to all selected Task tasks.

Information

The tasks are updated to reflect the percent complete. In the Gantt Chart, the percent complete is represented as a thin black line within Gantt bars (see Figure 10-11).

Figure 10-11. Gantt bars display how much of the task has been completed.

50% Complete

Tip Use the Tracking toolbar to update percent complete

To display the Tracking toolbar, click View, Toolbars, Tracking. Click the tasks whose percent complete you want to update. Click the 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% buttons as appropriate.

Note By default, when you enter percent complete for a task, this percentage is distributed evenly across the actual duration of the task. You can change this to distribute to the status date instead. Click Tools, Options and then click the Calculation tab. Select the Edits To Total Task % Complete Will Be Spread To The Status Date check box.

Entering Actual Duration

If you enter the actual duration of a task, Microsoft Project calculates the percent complete. You can change remaining duration, if necessary.

To enter actual duration of one or more tasks, do the following:

In a task sheet view, such as the Gantt Chart or Tracking Gantt, select the task(s) whose actual duration you want to update.

Click Tools, Tracking, Update Tasks. The Update Tasks dialog box appears (see Figure 10-12).

Figure 10-12. Use the Update Tasks dialog box to enter different types of progress information for one or more selected tasks.

Figure 10-12. Use the Update Tasks dialog box to enter different types of progress information for one or more selected tasks.

In the Actual Dur box, enter the actual duration value.

If you expect the task to take more or less time than currently scheduled, update the remaining duration in the Remaining Dur box.

Note By default, when you enter progress information for tasks, Microsoft Project automatically calculates the actual and remaining work and cost for assigned resources. This is the case when you update Percent Complete, Actual Duration, or Remaining Duration of tasks or assignments.

If you prefer to enter values for actual and remaining work and cost yourself rather than have Microsoft Project calculate it for you based on entered task progress, you can turn this option off. Click Tools, Options and then click the Calculation tab. Clear the Updating Task Status Updates Resource Status check box.

Entering Actual Start and Actual Finish

When you enter actual start and finish dates for tasks, you can better monitor the finish date of the project as whole, especially when working with critical tasks. When you enter an actual start date, the scheduled start date changes to match the actual start date. Likewise, when you enter an actual finish date, the scheduled finish date changes to match the actual finish date. Any successor tasks are rescheduled as needed.

To enter an actual start or finish for one or more tasks, do the following:

1 In a task sheet view, such as the Gantt Chart or Tracking Gantt, select the task(s) whose actual start or finish you want to update.

2 Click Tools, Tracking, Update Tasks.

3 Under Actual, enter the actual start date in the Start box or the actual finish date in the Finish box.

The scheduled start and finish dates are shown under Current.

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