Tracking Project Progress

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1 L E S S O N 2 Tracking Project Progress Suggested lesson time minutes Lesson objectives To begin tracking an active project, you will: a b c Modify the environment for tracking. You will use the Tracking Gantt Chart to modify the environment for tracking. Enter data for completed tasks. You will use the Update Tasks dialog box and the Tracking toolbar to enter data for completed tasks. Enter data for tasks in progress. You will use the Update Project dialog box and the Tracking toolbar to enter data for tasks in progress. 2-1

2 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training a Modifying the Environment for Tracking As you enter information about a project's progress, the Gantt Chart reflects the progress of each task by displaying a thin, black bar in the center of the main task bar. The progress bar displays the completed percentage for each task. When the task is 100% complete, the progress bar extends the entire length of the task bar. The Tracking Gantt Chart displays a pair of bars for each task. The top bar of each pair represents the current schedule: red for critical and blue for noncritical. If the task is complete or in progress, Microsoft Project uses a darker color to represent the portion of the task that is complete. The bottom bar, which appears in gray, represents the original plan. The top bar changes to reflect changes in your schedule; the bottom bar doesn't change, so that you can always compare the current schedule to the original plan. Let's take a look at a project by using the Tracking Gantt Chart. Task A-1: Applying the Tracking Gantt Chart q Objective: To apply a view that best illustrates project progress. 1. Open the file C:\Student\Track Plan. A baseline plan has been set. 2. Choose View, More Views to display the More Views dialog box. 3. In the Views list box, select Tracking Gantt and click Apply. 4. Press [Alt][Home] to move to the start of the project. 5. Look at the two sets of Gantt bars. The Tracking Gantt view displays two sets of Gantt bars. The lower bars represent the baseline task dates, and the upper bars represent the current task dates. You can use this view to compare the baseline plan to the current plan. Changing the Current Date Microsoft Project uses the system date on your computer as the current date. In a project, you can view the current date line. It is a dotted vertical line marking the location of the current date. This line is displayed in the Gantt Chart, Resource Graph, and Resource Usage views. At some point, you may want to change the current date from within Microsoft Project. This allows you to analyze project data from any perspective. To change the current date: 1. Choose Project, Project Information. 2. In the Project Information dialog box, select the entry in the Current Date text box. 3. Type the date that you want to use as the current date. 4. Click OK or press [Enter]. 2-2

3 Ashbury Training Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress Let's change the current date of a project. Task A-2: Changing the current date Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Choose Project, Project Information to display the Project Information dialog box. 2. Look at the Current Date text box. Microsoft Project displays today's date. 3. Change the date to 3/4/ Click OK to close the Project Information dialog box. 5. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box. You can use this dialog box to quickly move to a specific task or date. 6. In the Date text box, type 3/4/03. Click OK. 7. Look at the line between 3/3/03 and 3/4/03. This line represents the current date, which is now in the middle of the project timeline. 2-3

4 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training b Entering Data for Completed Tasks You have entered all of the information for each task, and you've created a baseline plan. As the project progresses, you will enter information about what happens in each task. By definition, a finished task has a % Complete value of 100. The task could have started and finished on- or off-schedule or changed duration. Tasks That Started and Finished on Schedule Microsoft Project provides you with some options for updating tasks. You can use the Tracking toolbar or the Update Tasks dialog box. To display the Tracking toolbar, choose View, Toolbars, Tracking. Figure 2-1 displays a copy of the Tracking toolbar and identifies the buttons on the toolbar. To display the Update Tasks dialog box, you can click the Update Tasks button which appears on the Tracking toolbar, or you can choose Tools, Tracking, Update Tasks. Figure 2-1: The Tracking toolbar. When a task is completed on schedule, the data in the Scheduled field are copied to the Actual field. To accomplish this, you can click the 100% Complete button on the Tracking toolbar, or enter 100% in the % Complete field of the Update Tasks dialog box. Once the percent complete is set to 100, you can change any of the Actual values and Microsoft Project will not recalculate them. Actual values that you enter are copied to the corresponding Current Start and Finish fields. Task B-1: Tracking a single task that started and finished on schedule Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Choose View, Toolbars, Tracking to display the Tracking toolbar. 2. Slowly drag the mouse pointer over the buttons on the Tracking toolbar to view the ScreenTips associated with each of the buttons. 3. If necessary, scroll back in the Gantt Chart to display task 3.Select task 3 (Interview Subject Matter Experts). 4. Look at the Gantt bars for task 3. The bars indicate that the task is on the critical path, a baseline has been set, and it is 0% complete. 5. On the Tracking toolbar, click the 100% Complete button to record that task 3 has been completed. A check mark appears in the Indicators column. Now, let's take a look at the Update Tasks dialog box. 6. Verify that task 3 is selected. On the Tracking toolbar, click the Update Tasks button to display the Update Tasks dialog box. 2-4

5 Ashbury Training Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress 7. Notice that % Complete is 100% and that the Actual and Current Start and Finish dates are the same. 8. Click OK to close the Update Tasks dialog box. Practice Task 1. Mark task 4 (Search The Web) 100% complete. Tracking Multiple Tasks Now that you know how to track a single task that started and finished on schedule, let's track multiple tasks that started and finished on schedule. To save time when tracking tasks, you can update multiple tasks by selecting both tasks and clicking the appropriate button on the Tracking toolbar. Let's try it. Task B-2: Tracking multiple tasks that started and finished on schedule Tracking Gantt view is applied. Complete the Practice Task exercise at the end of Task B Drag to select tasks 6 and 7 (Create Outline and Present To Publisher). 2. Mark both tasks 100% complete. (On the Tracking toolbar, click the 100% Complete button.) 2-5

6 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training 3. If necessary, click the Go To Selected Task button. Look at the change in the Gantt Chart. The bars that were once shaded blue to indicate a task are now solid blue to indicate the progress of the task. Also, task 5, which is a project summary task, now displays a summary progress bar underneath the summary bar. Tracking Tasks that Finished Off-Schedule For completed tasks that started or finished off-schedule, you must enter the actual date that deviated from the schedule in the Update Tasks dialog box. If the task started early or late, first enter the date the task started in the Actual Start text box. Microsoft Project moves the task to the actual start date. Then, to indicate that the task is finished, enter 100 in the % Complete text box. If the task finished early or late, then enter the date the task finished in the Actual Finish text box. Microsoft Project automatically marks any tasks with an Actual Finish date as 100% complete and sets the Remaining Dur text box to zero. If both Actual Start and Actual Finish dates differ from the schedule, enter the Actual Start date first, and then enter the Actual Finish date. If a task is behind schedule, you can update the project by rescheduling the remaining duration of the task. The easiest way to reschedule remaining duration is to click the Reschedule Work button on the Tracking toolbar. Rescheduling the remainder of a task has a different effect on tasks that have started than on tasks that have not started. If the task that you're rescheduling hasn't started, Microsoft Project moves the entire task to start on the current date. It automatically assigns a constraint of Start No Earlier Than (the current date). If the task that you're rescheduling is in progress, Microsoft Project moves the remaining duration of the task to start on the current date. It assigns a special constraint of Resume No Earlier Than (the current date). 2-6

7 Ashbury Training Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress Task B-3: Tracking tasks that finished late Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Select task 8 (Revise Outline). 2. Display the Update Tasks dialog box. (On the Tracking toolbar, click the Update Tasks button.) 3. Under Actual in the Finish text box, type 2/5/03 to replace NA with a task finish date. 4. Click OK to close the Update Tasks dialog box. 5. Look at the Gantt bars for task 8. Notice how the subsequent tasks are effected. The actual finish dates have been extended. Practice Task 1. Mark task 9 (Subject Matter Experts Review) 100% complete. 2-7

8 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training c Entering Actual Data for Tasks in Progress What's New: Use Network Diagram view A task that is in progress has an Actual Start date but no Actual Finish date and a % Complete greater than 0 and less than 100. You can indicate that a task has started by entering the start date in the Actual Start text box. Use this method if the Actual Start is different than the Planned Start. Using the Update Project Dialog Box When some aspects of a project occur as scheduled, you can use the Update Project dialog box to copy some or all of the information from the Scheduled text boxes to the Actual text boxes. In the Update Project dialog box, use the following options: If most tasks in your project are currently on schedule, select Entire Project. Enter exceptions in the Tracking table. For greater control over the tracking process, select one or more tasks and choose the Selected Tasks option. If you want Microsoft Project to calculate % Complete as a number oftasks that should be complete by the current date, select Set 0% 100% Complete. If you want Microsoft Project to enter an Actual Start value but you want to enter a value for % Complete yourself, select Set 0% or 100% Complete. An Actual Finish value is copied from the Scheduled Finish text box only if the Scheduled Finish date is earlier than the current date (as it appears in the Project Information dialog box). Task C-1: Tracking tasks that are currently in progress q Objective: To require Microsoft Project to estimate the percentage of a task that is complete. Tracking Gantt view is applied. Complete the Practice Task exercise at the end of Task B Select and look at task 12 (Write Content). This task was supposed to begin on 2/6/03 and finish on 3/7/03. Our current date is 3/4/03. Therefore, task 12 should be started and more than half completed. 2. Choose Tools, Tracking, Update Project. The Update Project dialog box appears. 2-8

9 Ashbury Training Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress 3. Look at the dialog box. You can use this dialog box to record percentages of work completed or to reschedule uncompleted work. 4. Verify that Set 0% - 100% Complete is selected. For each of the selected tasks, a percentage of completion is automatically calculated and recorded. 5. Select Selected Tasks to indicate that this estimation be performed only on the selected tasks. 6. Click OK. 7. Look at the Gantt Chart. (You might have to scroll the Gantt Chart to the right.) Task 12 has an estimated percentage of completion recorded, and the summary task, Development Phase, has also been updated. Manually Updating an Unfinished Task In addition to automatically updating tasks in progress, you can manually enter a percent complete for an unfinished task. For example, imagine that someone who is working on a particular task has given you an estimate on the percentage of the task that is complete. To enter a percent complete for an unfinished task, display the Update Tasks dialog box and enter the appropriate percentage in the % Complete text box. Let's try it. Task C-2: Entering a percent complete for unfinished tasks q Objective: To enter your own estimate of percent completion. Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Select task 13 (Add Graphics). In this task, students click the Update Tasks button to see percentages complete for a task. 2. Click the Update Tasks button. 3. In the % Complete text box, type 15. If your date is different than Microsoft Project's, you can override it. 4. Click OK. 2-9

10 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training Rescheduling Uncompleted Work At some point, you may need to reschedule uncompleted work. You can reschedule the work to start on the current date or a future date. In addition, you can have Microsoft Project reschedule the uncompleted work, or you can reschedule it yourself. To have Microsoft Project schedule uncompleted work: 1. Display the Gantt Chart, if necessary. 2. Verify that the appropriate task is selected. 3. Choose Tools, Tracking, Update Project. 4. Select Reschedule Uncompleted Work To Start After and type the appropriate date in the accompanying text box. 5. Select Selected Tasks to reschedule the selected task only. 6. Click OK. Splitting a Task When you reschedule work, a split task can result. A split task occurs when the scheduling is interrupted. For example, you may have a task that requires materials that won't be available for a few more days. You can also split a task by following the steps below: 1. On the Standard toolbar, click the Split Task button. 2. On the task's Gantt bar, click the area of the bar on the date where you want the split to occur. Drag the second part of the bar to the date on which you want the work to resume. You can split a task multiple times. If you find that you want to remove a split, drag a portion of the Gantt bar until it touches another portion. Task C-3: Rescheduling uncompleted work Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Look at the finish date of the project. It is 3/26/ Verify that task 13 is selected. 3. Display the Update Project dialog box. (Choose Tools, Tracking, Update Project.) 4. Select Reschedule Uncompleted Work To Start After and in the accompanying text box, type 3/6/ Select Selected Tasks. 6. Click OK. 7. Look at the Gantt Chart. A split task has been created. 2-10

11 Ashbury Training Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress 8. Place the mouse pointer over the critical bar for task 13. The finish date is now later. 9. On the Gantt Chart, look at tasks 3 through 13. In a number of instances, the actuals for the tasks are different than the baseline plan. 10. Display the Project Statistics dialog box. 11. Look at the Actual Finish statistics versus the Baseline Finish statistics. The Current Finish date is now 3/28/03. The Variance Finish is 3.25 days. The finish date has moved forward three days. 12. Close the Project Statistics dialog box. Adding a Progress Line to a Gantt Chart If you have saved a baseline plan for your project, you can add a progress line to the Gantt Chart. A progress line connects and is a visual representation of inprogress tasks. Microsoft Project draws progress lines connecting in-progress tasks in a Gantt Chart thereby creating a graph. Peaks that point to the left represent work that is behind schedule. Peaks that point to the right represent work that is ahead of schedule. To add a progress line: 1. Choose Tools, Tracking, Progress Lines. The Progress Lines dialog box is displayed. 2. Verify that the Dates And Intervals tab is active. 3. Select Display Selected Progress Lines. 4. In the Progress Line Dates list box, click to display a drop-down arrow. 5. Click on the drop-down arrow to display a drop-down calendar, and then select a date. 6. In the Display Progress Lines In Relation To box, select Actual Plan or Baseline Plan. 7. Click OK. You can also add a progress line by using the mouse. Viewing Progress in the Network Diagram You can also view the progress of your project in the Network Diagram view. If a task is complete, its node will have an X drawn through it. If a task is in progress, its node will have a slash (\) through it. Tasks that have not yet started remain unmodified. 2-11

12 Microsoft Project 2000: Level 2 Ashbury Training Task C-4: Viewing progress in the Network Diagram Tracking Gantt view is applied. 1. Choose View, Network Diagram. 2. Choose View, Zoom to display the Zoom dialog box. 3. In the Zoom dialog box, select 50% and click OK. 4. Look at the nodes at the beginning of the project. Tasks that are complete appear with an X through them. Tasks that are in progress appear with a slash through them. 5. Return the view to Tracking Gantt. 6. Save the file as My Track Plan. 7. Close the file. Practice Task In this activity, you will track the project progress by marking tasks complete and adding lines. 1. Open the file C:\Student\Practice Tracking. 2. View the Tracking Gantt Chart and move to the start of the project. 3. Change the current date to 1/20/ Select task 1 (Paint The walls) and task 2 (Lay Carpet) and indicate that they started and finished on schedule. 5. Select task 3 (Install Partitions) and indicate that it finished late on 1/18/ Select task 4 (Install Network Cables) and indicate that it is behind schedule with only 15% completion at this point. 7. Save the file as My Practice Tracking. 8. Compare your Tracking Gantt Chart with the one in Figure Close the file. Figure 2-2: My Practice Tracking after step 7 is complete. 2-12

13 Lesson 2: Tracking Project Progress ) Wrap-up for Lesson 2 a When do you begin tracking your project? Ideally, you begin tracking your project after the planning is complete and the project is in progress. What do the two sets of bars in the Tracking Gantt Chart represent? The top bar of each pair represents the current schedule: red for critical tasks and blue for non-critical tasks. The bottom bar, which is gray, represents the original plan. b List the steps necessary to track a task that finished late. 1. Choose Tools, Tracking, Update Tasks (or click the Update Tasks button on the Tracking toolbar). 2. In the Actual Finish date text box, enter the finish date for the task. 3. Click OK. c How are completed tasks represented in the Network Diagram? Completed tasks appear with an X through them. How are tasks in progress represented? Tasks in progress appear with a slash through them. 2-13

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