Microsoft Project Tutorial Part 14 – Reporting progress simplest ways
For some, this is when Microsoft Project gets really interesting, for most, this is when you give up using the program. The most important thing you can do is decide how much effort you want to put into reporting progress. The second most important is what you want to track.
This first post is just going to show the easiest ways: an upcoming post will cover the more complicated methods.
The simplest solution – just track percentage complete
The easiest thing you can do is that you can simply just select how much of the task has been completed.
For accomplishing this you have a field called % Complete.
If you insert this column in the Gantt chart you can simply change the value. Another method is selecting Window—>Split and change the value there:
You can also select View—>Toolbar—>Tracking. This toolbar include butcons for some different values for % Complete.
When you start changing this value you can see that something happens to your bars in the Gantt chart. They become filled with a black line. This shows the actual progress.
But how is it calculated?
Well, up until now, we’ve talked about Duration and Baseline Duration. The difference between these two values were covered in the previous session of this class but to put it shortly: the Duration value shows us the current plan and Baseline Duration shows us the plan when we started the project (or the last time you saved a baseline).
Now we add two more columns into this mess: Actual Duration and Remaining Duration.
Duration = Actual Duration + Remaining Duration
The part of Duration which is Actual Duration is % Complete. Easy as pie! Or not…
I gave the example with Duration, but you can also add the same thinking to Work, Cost, etc. You can easily insert these columns and watch the values for yourself.
So, when it comes to the easiest way to track progress, it’s simply just adding this column and change % Complete.
The easiest way to get a feeling for the project is showing Project—>Project Information—>Statistics. Her you can see the current plan, Baseline, Actuals and remaining.