MS Project – Lesson #7

| August 14, 2017

MS Project – Lesson #7Objectives – MS Project 2010

q Track
the actual progress of tasks
q Updating
a Project
q Compare
baseline data to actual and scheduled data
q Viewing
a Network Diagram
q Earned
Value Overview

Once the project starts, it’s time to begin
tracking the actual progress of tasks and resources. Tracking
is the process of gathering and entering task information into the
schedule. You can track progress by
entering all or some of the actual information.

In the previous lesson, we complete our
scheduling and resource assignments. For
this lesson, we will assume our project is underway and that several tasks have
either finished or are partially finished.
We will then determine if our project is behind or ahead of schedule.

Tracking Progress

Before we can begin tracking progress, the
project schedule should be fully developed and a baseline plan should be set.
Once work begins, progress should be tracked throughout the
project. The more often we update the
information, the easier it is to identify problems and take corrective action.

When actual information is entered, the
project is automatically recalculated.
For this reason, task progress should be entered starting at the top of
the task list and continuing down the list.

There are three types of dates stored for each task:

Scheduled: Tasks that
haven’t started yet or are in progress.
Actual: Tasks that are in
progress or are completed.
Baseline: Originally planned dates.
These dates are used to compare the original plan with the actual dates
and scheduled dates. Baseline dates do not change.

There are fivetypes of actual data that can be entered in MS Project:

Actual start and
finish dates
Actual duration
and remaining duration
Actual and
remaining work
Actual and
remaining costs

Our project was scheduled to begin on October 9 2013 and end on November 26, 2013. For the purposes of this lesson, we will
assume that it is now Monday, November 11,
2013 and the project is underway

To ensure that all students are
starting from the same scheduling parameters, download the following file: Lesson7Base.mpp. DO NOTuse your project file from week 6.

Open the above file in MS Project.
If you receive a scheduling error select “Continue: Allow the scheduling
conflict” and then immediately…

Save as MyLab7_XXX.mpp, where XXX are your initials.

Under File > Project Information >Advanced Properties, change the author’s name and the manager’s
name to your name.

Change the name of the main summary task (task #1) to reflect your name.

Once you have made those
changes, make sure the file is saved with
a baseline!
File > Project Information >Project Statistics). If your file does not have a baseline then
save one (Project tab > Schedule > Set Baseline).

Finally, before continuing,
under Project tab in the Status group, select Status Date.

Change the Status Date to November 11, 2013. (Important: You must do this every time you open this

If you receive a Planning
Wizard, allow the Scheduling Conflict.

Entering Actual Dates

Select task 3, Inventory Current Equipment.

From the Task tab and the Schedule
group click on the arrow next to Mark on
Track and select Update Tasks. The Update Tasks dialog box appears:

Do Not Click on the “Mark on Track” as this will automatically update the status
as 100% complete. If you did this then use the Undo button
to roll back the change.
In the Actual area,
click the Finish down arrow.

Select/Enter October 10, 2013 and click OK.

If the Planning Wizard appears,
click the radial, “Continue. Allow
the scheduling conflict.”

The actual finished date is
entered and a checkmark is displayed in the indicator field, and a progress bar
is displayed on the Gantt chart.

Go back to the Task tab and the Schedule group click on the arrow next to Mark on Track and select Update

Notice the actual start date
has been entered, the actual duration was 2 days, the % complete is 100% and
the remaining duration is 0d. Click Cancel.

Position your mouse on the
checkmark in the indicator field and a tip box will open showing you
when the task was completed.

With completed tasks, you can either
enter the actual finished date or
enter 100% complete or both!

Entering Actual and Remaining Durations

Select task #7, Research
Products and Services.

From the Task tab and the Schedule group click on the arrow next
to Mark on Track and select Update Tasks

Click the Actual Duration up
arrow until 2 days (2d) is displayed.

Click the Remaining Duration
down arrow until 2 days (2d) is displayed. Click OK.

Figure 2 shows the completed Update Tasks window for task
7. The duration is 3.5 days, the actual
duration is 2 days and the Remaining duration is also 2 days.

Still on task #7 Select Update Tasks again.

Notice the actual start date is
entered as October 24 and percentage
completion is 50%. (Note, since this task was originally at 3.5 days, you have
just added one-half day to the duration. That is an additional 4 hours of work
for each System Analyst. Therefore you just added 8 hours of additional work to
your overall Project. The baseline,
however, will still be at the original 3.5 days. Obviously this task took
longer than you expected.

You will notice there is no
icon in the task information column, but if you look at your Gantt chart for
this task, you will see that the task is partially filled in with a black bar
(indicating progress).

With partially completed tasks,
you can either enter the actual duration with remaining duration or enter the
percentage completed. You can also enter
any different start date than that reflected.
However to affect the change you must press OK.

Entering Percentage Completion

There is also a Tracking table
and a Tracking toolbar that you can also use to update task information.

On the View tab, in the Resource
Views group, click on Other Viewsthen More Views…and then select Task Sheet. Press Apply.
(See figure 3).

Notice the Gantt chart has been
removed from your view.

Still in the Viewtab, go to Tables in the Data group point to Table and select Tracking.

Your table should look similar
to Figure 4.

Figure 4 shows
the Tracking Table. The columns are:
Task Name, Actual Start, Actual Finish, % Complete, Physical % Complete,
Actual Duration, Remaining Duration, Actual Cost and Actual Work. Based on the status entered, the Actual Start
of the project is 10/9/2013, the % complete is 8%, actual duration 2.95 days,
remaining duration 34.55 days, the actual cost $2,720 and the actual work 80

Go back to the Task tab. On the Schedule group you should see:

Figure 5 is a screen capture of the schedule area of the
ribbon. It includes icons to update task completion by 0%, 25%, 75% or 100%

Select task 4, Assess Current Department Needs, on the Task table.

On the Tracking toolbar, click
the 75% button. This will complete 75% of the work.

The actual start date is
entered as scheduled (October 10)
since the predecessor was completed on time.
The actual and remaining durations are updated as scheduled; 2.25 days
has been completed (75% of 3 days) and there is .75 days remaining on the task.
Your overall project completion percentage is 12% and this phase of the project
(Proposal Creation) is 33% complete.

Note: using
percentage completion data for tracking can be somewhat subjective and should
only be used when everyone involved understands what the percentage means.

Entering Actual Work

Sometimes, you need to update or report
actual work hours performed on a task.
There are times the work that you projected for a resource or resources
may be different than what they actually performed.

From the Task tab and View group,
click on Task Usage.

Your screen should now appear
as in Figure 6. (You may have to widen
the task name column to see the entire task name).

From the Formattab, in the Detailsgroup,
check Actual Workbox.

Notice the Details column splits
into two rows: Work and Actual Work.

Go to task 7, Research Products and Services, and scroll, if
necessary, until you see the hours work for the System Analyst. (See Figure 7).

In the row for Systems Analyst, select the cell with 16 hours for Thursday (Oct 24) that is in the Actual Work row (Act.Work). (DO NOT
change the Work row!).

Change the 16 hours to 24
hours. If you receive a Planning Wizard,
Allow the Scheduling Conflict.

Note the icon that
appears in the Indicator Column.
This indicates that the work assignment has been changed.

your own, do the following:

Edit/track task 5,
Design and Diagram New System, as 2 days actual duration with remaining 3 days
duration. (Hint: Do NOT press
OK…continue with next step…)

Edit task 5 for an actual
start date of Tuesday, October
15, 2013. (Hint: Now, press OK.)

Edit/track task 6, Proposal to
Accounting, as 50% completed.

For task 6,
Proposal to Accounting, indicate that the Project Manager’s actual work for
Tuesday, October 22from 11 to 7

At this point in time, the
project team has also met for the first 5 meetings. Show these meetings as being 100% complete.

Entering Changes in Fixed Costs

To enter changes to fixed costs, after you
have begun a project, do the following:

Change to Gantt chart view.
From the View tab, in the Data group point to Tables and select Cost.

Move the Gantt chart so you can
see all the columns of this table.

Go to task #14, Install

In the Fixed Cost column,
change $4,000 to $6,000

Notice the column Baseline
still says $4,000, but the total cost column says $6,000 for a variance of
$2,000. (Note the variance

Tracking actual costs, other than fixed
costs, can only be done after the task is completed or the
remaining work is zero. In our
lesson, the only task that is completed is task #3. To change that task’s actual cost would
require changing the details of our task sheet to add cost information and then
change that information. For this lab,
we will not be doing this.

MS Project automatically calculates actual costs, so you must turn off
this option to manually change actual costs.)

Comparing the Baseline to Actual Data

When we save our project with a baseline,
we did so because we need to have something to serve as a basis for comparing
costs, work and dates for task and resources.
It is the only way we can know if we are on-schedule, within budget,

Project baselines and actual data can be
viewed graphically in charts or numerically in tables. The following describes the tools in MS
Project to analyze and compare baseline, actual and scheduled data:




Tracking Gantt


Displays the actual and baseline
information for tasks in a graphical format



Displays the difference between actual
information and baseline information



Displays the difference between actual
and baseline work hours



Displays the difference between actual
and baseline costs

Cost Over budget

Task Filter

Displays all tasks with a cost greater
than baseline cost

Slipping Tasks

Task Filter

Displays all tasks that are behind in

Work Over budget

Resource Filter

Displays all resources with scheduled
work greater than baseline work.

You can quickly see overall progress by
displaying project statistics:

From the Project menu, click Project

Click Statistics. Note: You may
also use the icon on the Tracking toolbar to display these statistics.

You should see the information
as in figure 8. The Percent Complete is for the entire project.

Or you can view the Tracking Gantt Chart:

From the View tab, select Tracking

The Gantt chart now is
displayed showing actual versus baseline scheduling information.

Another graphical
representation of your project is the Network Diagram. The Network
Diagram view displays tasks and task dependencies in a network or
flowchart format. A box (sometimes called a node) represents each task, and a
line connecting two boxes represents the dependency between the two tasks. By
default, the Network Diagram view displays one diagonal line through a task
that is in progress and crossed diagonal lines through a completed task.

To see the Network Diagram,
select Network Diagram from the View
tab. Your screen will look something like this:

You can change to zoom levels
to see the more of the diagram, but for now leave it at 100%.

MS Project’s Network Diagram is
similar to a PERT chart. You may want to view the legend on this diagram to see
what each shape and color means.

Understanding Earned Value

Another way to view information about the
baseline are in Earned Values. Earned value is a measure of cost of the work
performed up to a given date in a project.
Earned value information is based on three pieces of information. This information is:

Planned Value (PV) – This is
the amount of budget planned to be spent during a given period of time.
Earned Value (EV) – This is a
value indicating how much of the budgeted cost should have been spent given the
amount of work actually completed.
Actual Cost (AC) – This is the amount
of money actually spent on the completed work.

Knowing these numbers can help you
understand if the task (or project) is on, over or under cost and on, behind or
ahead of schedule, by calculating variances.

To calculate the cost variance (CV) the formula
used is EV-AC. A zero, “0”,
indicates the task (or project) is right on budget. A negative number indicates the task (or
project) is over budget and a positive number indicates the task (or project)
is under budget.

Likewise to calculate a Schedule Variance
(SV), the formula is EV-PV. A zero,
“0”, indicates the task (or project) is right on schedule. A negative number indicates the task (or
project) is behind schedule and a positive number indicates the task (or
project) is ahead of schedule.

The shortcut rule for variances is a
negative number bad (over budget or behind schedule) and a positive number is
good (under budget or ahead of schedule).

To see the Earned Value numbers
in MS Project, first switch back to the Gantt chart view and then from the View tab and the Data group, select Tablesthen
More Tables,from the list select Earned Value. The PV, EV, AC and SV and CV are now

Notice three other columns,
EAC is “Estimated Cost at
Completion”. This is the new forecast
value of the final budget, based on current actual values.
BAC, “Budgeted Cost at
Completion” is the baseline value.
VAC, “Variance at
Completion” is the difference between the BAC and EAC (BAC-EAC). As with SV and CV, negative numbers represent
an over budget condition and positive numbers represent below budget.

The project’s current PV = $22,919.23. What do you think this means? (NOTE: If your value is $0, then make sure you have
set the Status Date to 11/11/2013, per step 4, page 2.) If your EV amounts do not match, then the
status information has been entered incorrectly.

It means that if we had worked according to
the plan, we would have completed $22,919.23 worth of budgeted work. What do the EV and AC mean?

Note the positive VAC. As of this date, we expect our project to be $1,710.01
under budget at completion.

There are 2 other values which can be
calculated from the PV, EV and AC. These
are SPI (Schedule Performance Index) and CPI (Cost Performance Index). These values are ratios and can be used for
trend data.

To calculate SPI, divide the EV by the PV (EV/PV=SPI). When the SPI is at 1, the project (or task)
is right on schedule, when the SPI is less than 1, the project (task) is behind
schedule and when the SPI is greater than 1, the project (task) is ahead of

To see the SPI values, again go to More Tables and this time, select Earned Value Schedule Indicators.
Note the project has an SPI value of 0.31.
This means the project has completed 31% of scheduled work… or that for
every $1 worth of work scheduled, only $0.31 worth of scheduled work has been
completed. Do you know why this is? Hint:
Look for those tasks with negative SV’s.
Note the task that has a particularly large SV.

The last value we are going to look at is
the CPI or Cost Performance Index.

To calculate CPI, divide the EV by the AC
(EV/AC=SPI). When the CPI is at 1, the
project (or task) is right on budget, when the CPI is less than 1, the project
(task) is over budget and when the CPI is greater than 1, the project (task) is
below budget.

To see the CPI values, again go to More Tables and this time, select Earned Value Cost Indicators.

The Project’s CPI is 1.05. This indicates the project is ahead of
schedule. For every $1, the project team
completed $1.05 worth of work. Not bad
so far! See if you can identify the
tasks that helped the project to be under budget.

At this point:
Save your filePrint out the following reports: (use proper header/footer information)

Project Summary
Overbudget Tasks
Earned Value

This concludes our survey of MS Project
2010. MS Project is a great tool to help
manage projects. It does take effort,
but with proper usage the effort will pay off with better project results.

There is much more to explore and
learn. We hope this will encourage you
to explore more about the tool.

When submitting required printouts, if you
are not bringing them to class, from the Print Preview Page, take a screen shot
(in Windows ) of the report and paste the screen shot
to a MS Word Document. Make sure to crop the screen to show only the report.
After cropping, resize the image appropriately.
If the printout is on more than 1 page, paste each page individually. Save the Word document containing printouts as Week_7_Printouts_XXX.docx
(where XXX are your initials) and submit this file to the Weekly iLab Dropbox.

When you have
completed this lesson please save it as MyLab7_xxx.mpp and submit the file to
the Weekly iLab Dropbox.

Also complete the following page and submit the Review Question
sheet to the Weekly iLab Dropbox.

Review Questions


Answer the following questions:
1) Why
is it best not to enter a percentage (%) completion?

2) According
to your Project Summary, is this project on schedule? Will you
be over or under budget and by how much?

3) After
printing out the Earned Value report, define
(you may use MS Project help) the following terms and write in the Total Values of each from your Earned Value Report
(Make sure your current date is properly
set to 11/11/2013).









Turn in this
sheet with your MS Project file to the Week 7 iLab Dropbox..0pt;mso-pagination:none;mso-layout-grid-align:
none;text-autospace:none”>Case Study 4.2: Finding the Emotional
Intelligence to Be a Real LeaderRecently, Kathy Smith, a project manager for
a large industrial construction organization, was assigned to oversee a
multimillion-dollar chemical plant construction project in Southeast Asia.
Kathy had earned this assignment after completing a number of smaller
construction assignments in North America over the past three years. This was
her first overseas assignment and she was eager to make a good impression,
particularly given the size and scope of the project. Successfully completing
this project would increase her visibility within the organization dramatically
and earmark her as a candidate for upper management. Kathy had good project
management skills; in particular, she was organized and highly self-motivated.
Team members at her last two project assignments used to joke that just trying
to keep up with her was a full-time job.Kathy wasted no time settling in to oversee
the development of the chemical plant. Operating under her normal work
approach, Kathy routinely required her staff and the senior members of the
project team to work long hours, ignoring weekend breaks if important
milestones were coming up, and generally adopting a round-the-clock work
approach for the project. Unfortunately, in expecting her team, made up of
local residents, to change their work habits to accommodate her expectations,
Kathy completely misread the individuals on her team. They bitterly resented
her overbearing style, unwillingness to consult them on key questions, and
aloof nature. Rather than directly confront her, however, team members began a
campaign of passive resistance to her leadership. They would purposely drag
their feet on important assignments or cite insurmountable problems when none,
in fact, existed. Kathy’s standard response was to push herself and her project
team harder, barraging subordinates with increasingly urgent communications
demanding faster performance. To her bewilderment, nothing seemed to work.The project quickly became bogged down due to
poor team performance and ended up costing the project organization large
penalties for late delivery. Although Kathy had many traits that worked in her
favor, she was seriously lacking in the ability to recognize the feelings and
expectations of others and take them into consideration. 1.Read the case study 4.2 Finding the Emotional
Intelligence in the text on pages 130.1.
What are the
differences between leaders and managers? Can anyone be a leader? Which would
you prefer to work for and why?2.
Share an
example from your work or school experience with working through the five
stages of team development.3.
Select one of
the characteristics of an effective project manager and tell why it is
important.Take the Future Time Perspective scale on page
129. Share your results and comments with the class.FIGURE 1.12 Overview of the Project
Management Institute’s PMBoK Knowledge Areas.jpg”>Source: Project Management Institute. (2008). A
Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK Guide), 4th ed.
Project Management Institute, Inc. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material
from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.Students will find several direct links to
the PMBoK in this text. First, the key terms and their definitions are intended
to follow the PMBoK glossary (included as an appendix at the end of the text).
Second, chapter introductions will also highlight references to the PMBoK as we
address them in turn. We can see how each chapter not only adds to our
knowledge of project management but also directly links to elements within the
PMBoK. Finally, many end-of-chapter exercises and Internet references will
require direct interaction with PMI through its Web site.As an additional link to the Project
Management Institute and the PMBoK, this text will include sample practice
questions at the end of relevant chapters to allow students to test their
in-depth knowledge of aspects of the PMBoK. Nearly 20 years ago, PMI instituted
its Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as a means of awarding
those with an expert knowledge of project management practice. The PMP
certification is the highest professional designation for project management
expertise in the world and requires in-depth knowledge in all nine areas of the
PMBoK. The inclusion of questions at the end of the relevant chapters offers
students a way to assess how well they have learned the important course
topics, the nature of PMP certification exam questions, and to point to areas
that may require additional study in order to master this material.This text
offers an opportunity for students to begin mastering a new craft—a set of
skills that is becoming increasingly valued in contemporary corporations around
the world. Project managers represent the new corporate elite: a corps of
skilled individuals who routinely make order out of chaos, improving a firm’s
bottom line and burnishing their own value in the process. With these goals in
mind, let us begin.Page 254.
Why are measurements critical to quality
management? What types of measures are available for quality?5.
How important
is it to include a quality assessment in your project WBS? What can happen if
quality is overlooked?6.
Let’s do a
little research on Six Sigma. What is it and why is it important to quality

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