Recording actual durations

The actual duration of a task is the amount of time that was needed to complete the task. To record an actual duration, you can use the Update Tasks dialog box. Choose Tools O Tracking O Update Tasks or click the Update Tasks button on the Tracking toolbar to display the Update Tasks dialog box, as shown in Figure 12-3.

Tip You can display the Tracking toolbar by choosing View oToolbars o Tracking.

Figure 12-3: Use the Update Tasks dialog box to set the actual duration for a task by filling in the "Actual dur" field.

When you set an actual duration that is less than or equal to the planned duration, Project assumes that the task is progressing on schedule. Therefore, when you click OK, Project sets the actual start date to the planned start date — unless you previously set the actual start date. In that case, Project leaves the actual start date alone. In either case, Project calculates the percentage complete and the remaining duration for the task.

Note To see the updated remaining duration, reopen the Update Tasks dialog box.

If you set an actual duration that is greater than the planned duration, Project assumes that the task is finished but that it took longer than expected to complete. Project adjusts the planned duration to match the actual duration and changes the Percent Complete field to 100% and the Remaining Duration field to 0%.

You can use the Calculation tab in the Options dialog box (choose Tools O Options) to set Project to update the status of resources when you update a task's status. If you set this option and then supply an actual duration, Project also updates the work and cost figures for the resources.

You find out more about this option in the section "Overriding resource cost valuations," later in this chapter.

Don't change the actual duration of a task if you use effort-driven scheduling. Instead, change the number of resource units that are assigned or the amount of the resource assignment. Remember that the duration of effort-driven tasks is affected by resource assignments.

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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