How Do I update Project Tasks To Reflect Actual Duration But Not Change % Complete or Actual Work

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How do I update the tasks of a project to reflect actual duration (time that has passed since the task started) based on the status date, but where work on the task has not progressed from the previous status date to the current status date, and therefore, the % complete and actual work don't change between the previous status date when work stopped and the current status date? 


So, for example let's say a task started and was worked on for 2 days, then work stopped leaving the task at say 25% complete, then 5 days pass where no work was done, so actual duration would be 7 days, the status date is reached, but % complete should still be 25%.  


4 Replies


There is no way to divorce % complete from actual duration since the formula Project uses is:

% complete = (Actual Duration)/Duration


Percent complete is not a good representation of what has been accomplished despite the fact that many users like to use it to measure progress. Percent complete is a subjective metric based solely on the passage of time. Indeed there are a few things that are "accomplished" by the passage of time, (e.g. paint drying, concrete curing, wounds healing, love lost), but the best measure of accomplishment is % Work complete which relates the amount of work accomplished versus the amount of work estimated for the task. Progress is measured by actual work and remaining work.



@John-project Well, I sort of solved for my issue. I was able to create a custom field that calculates Elapsed Duration between the actual start date and the status date using the ProjDateDiff fuction. So, the built in Actual Duration field would reflect the duration based on actual work. Now I'm trying to figure out if there is a way I can measure and evaluate what the % Work Complete should be at a given status date versus the % of Actual Work Complete.  I know project has automatic filters built in where I can review slipping/late tasks which should display all tasks that are at risk of not meeting their baseline finish.  I guess this could work but I'd still like to see the Planned % Work Complete with the % Work Complete values.

Have you considered just using the earned value metrics already available in Project?

If the task work is linearly spread across the task duration, then the planned % work complete at any point in time is the work divided by the actual duration as of that point in time expressed as a percentage. However, task work isn't always linearly spread (e.g. contoured work loading or multiple resources working different times). In that case, you could use the Cumulative Actual Work and Cumulative Work, both available as timescaled data in either Usage view. Those are not accessible with custom field formulas but they are with VBA.

I do use earned value like SPI AND CPI. Even though we do agile with Jira and EVM isn’t really used in monitoring agile project performance. So I end up using Project and JIRA. The metrics generated from both products are beneficial.