DEFINING %COMPLETE IN MICROSOFT PROJECT

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1 CelersSystems DEFINING %COMPLETE IN MICROSOFT PROJECT PREPARED BY James E Aksel, PMP, PMI-SP, MVP For Addtonal Informaton about Earned Value Management Systems and reportng, please contact: CelersSystems, Inc East Mra Loma Ave, Sute 43 Anahem, CA Unted States Telephone: or E 3 V 8 M 6 S 7 [Intentonally Blank]

2 CelersSystems Contents Table of Contents Introducton Background Percent Complete Calcuaton Types Percent Complete Percent Work Complete Physcal Percent Complete Analyss Duraton Analyss (Detal Tasks)... 7 Equatons Equaton Duraton Based Percent Complete... 3 Equaton 2 Percent Work Complete... 5 Equaton 3 Physcal Percent Complete... 6 Fgures Fgure Percent Complete Screen Shot... 4 Fgure 2 Resource Sheet... 4 Fgure 3 Resource Loaded Schedule Showng Total Work... 4 Fgure 4 Work Profle (Task Usage Vew)... 4 Fgure 5 Percent Work Complete Screen Shot... 5 Fgure 6 Costed Resource Loadng... 5 Fgure 7 Physcal Percent Complete Screen Shot... 6 Fgure 8 Graphcal Illustratons of Three Methods of Percent Complete... 7 Tables Table Expected Values of Percent Complete... 7

3 CelersSystems INTRODUCTION The key to understandng percent complete s to recognze the value s a fracton. To obtan a fracton, dvde two numbers. Ths mples the user knows whch two numbers to dvde: Brcks lad dvded by total brcks requred, wages pad dvded by total budget, work hours spent dvded by total work hours estmated. Wthout knowng whch two numbers to dvde, a percent complete s just a number for msnterpretaton by others. The real questons here are: If I am on schedule, how many brcks should I have lad? How many dollars n wages should I have pad? How many work hours should have been expended? How much cost should I have ncurred? 2 BACKGROUND Mcrosoft Project contans three measures of %Complete. Many users of the software want to know: If they are on schedule, what should be the values calculated by each of the measures of percent complete. The three measures are: Percent Complete (%Complete), Percent Work Complete (%Work Complete), and Physcal % Complete. Addtonal measures are avalable f created by the user. 3 PERCENT COMPLETE CALCUATION TYPES 3. Percent Complete The default method of measurng %Complete by Mcrosoft Project s based on actvty duraton, a 0 day actvty s 40% Complete at the close of busness on the 4 th work day from the start date of the actvty. Mcrosoft Project wll ndcate ths task s late f the value for %Complete s less than the expected value as of the status date. Ths nformaton s vewable n ether the status ndcator or status columns. The formula to roll up %Complete for summary level tasks, and eventually the entre project s gven by: = tasks = % Complete * Duraton = task = Duraton Equaton Duraton Based Percent Complete Usng Fgure below, Mcrosoft Project wll calculate the percent complete as follows: Page 3 of CelersSystems Telephone

4 CelersSystems Fgure Percent Complete Screen Shot %Complete = [(50%*(5 days) + 30%*(7 days) + 65%*(3 days)]/(5 days + 7 days + 3 days) %Complete = % Mcrosoft Project wll round to the nearest whole nteger, 44%. 3.2 Percent Work Complete Percent complete based on the number of work hours completed s another measure calculated by Mcrosoft Project. For ths purpose, two resources wll be loaded to the tasks wth work as shown. Fgure 2 Resource Sheet Fgure 3 Resource Loaded Schedule Showng Total Work The man-hour profle for work-hours s loaded wth the majorty of the work n the frst three days: Fgure 4 Work Profle (Task Usage Vew) Percent work complete s calculated n accordance wth an effort based weghtng: Page 4 of CelersSystems Telephone

5 CelersSystems % WorkComplete = tasks % WorkComplete * Work = = = tasks Equaton 2 Percent Work Complete Usng the same percentages as the orgnal example, the calculaton becomes: %Work Complete= [50%*(40) + 30%*(4) + 65%*(2)]/[40+4+2] %Work Complete=48.48% Mcrosoft Project confrms the calculaton: = Work Fgure 5 Percent Work Complete Screen Shot 3.3 Physcal Percent Complete When the desred unt of measure s Physcal Percent Complete, a baselne s requred and the calculaton s based on the dollar costs nvolved. In ths case, the cost of the project s spread as shown below: Fgure 6 Costed Resource Loadng For the moment, the Project Status Date wll be set far nto the future, past the last day of the project. In ths case, although any measure of the three measures of percent complete should ndcate a behnd schedule condton, the Physcal % Complete appears n the fgure below: Page 5 of CelersSystems Telephone

6 CelersSystems Fgure 7 Physcal Percent Complete Screen Shot The equaton used by Mcrosoft Project depends on the dollar value of the work budgeted and s shown below: Physcal% Complete = tasks Physcal% Complete * BAC = = = tasks Equaton 3 Physcal Percent Complete Note: BAC s Budget At Complete, Total Cost, or Baselne Cost. The detals of the calculaton are: Physcal Percent Complete = [50%($3,440)+30%($204)+65%(228)]/[$4872] Physcal Percent Complete = 46% Further analyss regardng calculaton of Physcal % Complete s n a later secton of ths paper. Specfcally, what happens when the status date s before or durng the perod of performance of tasks? 4 ANALYSIS The prevous secton descrbes three methods of determnng percent complete. In each case, the value clamed for percent complete was numercally dentcal for the three dscrete tasks (50%, 30% and 65%, respectvely). The weghted value of the calculaton produced a dfferent result n each case at the summary level. In the example, the values are close. However, consder what mght happen f there was a large dscrepancy n the amount of work assgned to the tasks, or, f the costs of the resources were vastly dfferent from each other. Further, the measures of percent complete (Duraton, Work, and Physcal) all represent dfferent thngs. Although the possblty does exst that the measures could theoretcally be equal under certan crcumstances, the general case s the measures wll not be numercally equal. If a project marches along on schedule the table below wll show the cumulatve % Complete for each calculaton type: = BAC Page 6 of CelersSystems Telephone

7 CelersSystems Table Expected Values of Percent Complete Method vs. Day %Complete %Work Complete Physcal % Complete Graphcally the results are dfferent for each method of percent complete as a functon of tme: %Complete %Work Complete Physcal % Complete Fgure 8 Graphcal Illustratons of Three Methods of Percent Complete 4. Duraton Analyss (Detal Tasks) By defnton, the duraton percent complete of a task grows only wth the passage of tme and s always on schedule. Snce t s duraton based measurement, unless the task has not started and needs to be delayed, the user should always clam the tasks to be as scheduled when updatng the duraton based percent complete. Where the calculaton wll vary s when the user makes updates to the remanng work and remanng duraton felds. Ths author has no understandng of the concept a user can clam any duraton based %complete and then provde remanng duraton estmates that are nconsstent wth the percent complete provded. In the case of Page 7 of CelersSystems Telephone

8 CelersSystems duraton based percent complete, t s best to adjust remanng duraton (or remanng work) and let the software calculate the percent complete. If the user provdes remanng work or duraton greater than calculated by the program, the %Complete value wll regress. If the user revses the remanng duraton/work to be less than calculated by the program, the %Complete ncreases. Dependng on the reportng rules n place on the program, t may be a volaton of reportng rules to allow the percent complete to decrease from a pror reportng perod. If an estmator beleves t wll take three days to pant 24 feet of fence, the planned profle wll be 33% per day. If at the end of the frst day the panter clams four addtonal days are needed, then the job s /5 = 20% duraton complete ( day of actual duraton, 4 days of remanng duraton). What the user really wants to know s how the 20% complete calculaton compares to the 33% complete that s expected (the baselne). Indeed, what duraton percent complete s expected for the purpose of ths comparson as of the status date (end of day )? The answer s 33% and the panter met 20/33=6% of expectaton (39% behnd schedule). What can be done n a case such as ths? If the task s orgnally assgned as fxed unts wth one resource, then management needs to decde how to recover from the gven stuaton. There appears to be several choces: Clearly the panter has re-estmated the job, perhaps because of ncreased ntellgence ganed durng the performance of Day. The panter provdes a revsed estmate to complete so the cost of the job ncreases (from 24 hours to 40 hours). Management must decde f the addtonal cost wll be absorbed or passed on to the customer, and, f the addtonal duraton s acceptable to all the stakeholders. Substtute a resource and assgn the task to someone who can complete the job wthn the remanng baselne duraton (2 remanng days). Ths may change costs. Change technology, perhaps the panter can use spray equpment as opposed to a brush and complete on the baselne fnsh day (Day 3). Ths may also mpact cost. Man-load the task wth addtonal workers (perhaps at ncreased cost) to save the baselne duraton, or at least compress duraton. It s a matter for management to reconcle estmatng practces that 24 manhours were estmated for the job when the performng organzaton provded a hgher estmate once the task was underway and more nformaton was known. Of course ths scenaro that sooner or later Page 8 of CelersSystems Telephone

9 CelersSystems the maxmum amount of productve resources wll have already been added to the job and addng more resources wll decrease productvty. Page 9 of CelersSystems Telephone

10 For nformaton regardng Earned Value Management Systems, Program Offce functonalty and schedulng management, please contact: CelersSystems 3335 East Mra Loma Ave, Sute 43 Anahem, Calforna Toll Free n the Unted States ext 706 Outsde the Unted States: CelersSystems

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