Microsoft Project Vs Primavera P6 % Complete Discrepancy

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We need some help where there is % complete discrepancy while importing the Microsoft Project schedule into Primavera P6. 


We did some testing on our side and identified some issues with the actual duration capture in Microsoft Project. Seems it's different with Primavera P6. 


We need to ensure Planned Vs Actual should match between Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project.

Kindly check the attached document and the Microsoft project schedule which explains the issue we are facing right now. 





5 Replies
Arief --

I am not sure exactly how you enter task status in your projects. Here is what I did:

1. I set the Status date for the project as October 8th.
2. In manually entered 56% in the % Complete field for this task. Microsoft Project DID calculate the Actual Duration as 10 days.
3. I rescheduled the incomplete work from the past (prior to October 8) into the future (after October 8). The Duration remains at 18 days, and the Finish Variance is 12 days.

Since I do not have Primavera, I cannot speculate on why that tool calculates different numbers than you see in Microsoft Project, however, I would ask you to consider that perhaps the two software applications handle both Duration and progress calculations differently.

In Microsoft Project, Duration is always calculated in working days, according to your Project Calendar. The Actual Duration of 10 days does exactly correspond to the number of working days shown by the progress line in the Gantt bar for this task. And after rescheduling the incomplete work from the past into the future, the Duration of this task is still 18 working days, as it does not consider the nonworking time, such as weekends and the task split.

Is it possible that Primavera calculates Duration values in a different manner? Just a thought. Hope this helps.

@Dale Howard 


  1. In Primavera P6, we set the data date to a specific date up to which the schedule progress has to be updated which is similar to the status date in Microsoft Project.


  1. In MSP, we manually enter the "% Complete" field for tasks and the actual duration gets calculated based on the percentage entered. For example, for a 20 days activity, if we enter the percent complete as 50%, then the actual duration gets calculated as 10 days and the remaining duration gets calculated as 10 days. This is based on formula % Complete = (Actual Duration/Duration) * 100% = (10/20) * 100% = 50%. Please refer to the activity "guard House1" in the below screenshots. P6 almost gives the same output with a different formula: Duration % Complete = (Planned - Remaining)/Planned Duration  * 100% = (20-10)/20 * 100% = 50%. 


Result: When there is no delay in the activity/task, both MSP and P6 give almost the same value output for the actual duration and the percent complete.


  1. If there is delay in the activity progress, then the actual duration column in MSP shows only the duration the activity actually progressed. The delay in the activity duration reflects in the finish variance column and is not added to the actual duration whereas in P6 the progress delay gets added in the actual duration as we move the data date. please refer to the activity "School Building" in the below screenshots. P6 shows the actual duration as 90 days(Actual start: 10-03-2021,Data date: 13-07-2021, Remaining duration: 60 days) and MSP shows the actual duration as 60 days (Remaining duration: 90 days) and finish variance as 30 days after rescheduling. 


Result: When there is delay in the activity/task, P6 includes the delay duration to the actual duration, whereas MSP doesn't include the delay duration to the actual duration, instead showing it in the Finish variance column.


MSP Schedule:






P6 Schedule:




Arief --

You have confirmed my suspicion that Microsoft Project calculates Duration differently than P6 when the task includes a task split. There is really nothing you can do about this, I am afraid. My advice would be to live with the differences between the two tools. Hope this helps.
I'm ok with it but not easy to explain and justify to customer. Any workaround? -Arief-
Arief --

No, there is no workaround of which I am aware. If it were me, I would explain that Microsoft Project works a little different than Primavera when it comes to calculating Duration. Tell your client that Microsoft Project expresses Duration in the number of working days for the task, and the number of days in a task split ARE NOT counted as working days. Primavera counts the total number of working days from the task Start to the task Finish and ignores task splits in the Duration calculation.

And then stress to your client that the really important information about each task is NOT the Duration; it is the Start and Finish date of each task. And point out to your client how Microsoft Project and Primavera are in agreement on the Start and Finish date for each task. Hope this helps.