MS Project actual time overwrites time

Copper Contributor

In project 2016 PRO, why does the Actual time overwrite the 'planned' time??

5 Replies
I assume you mean that when you enter an actual start, Project automatically updates the scheduled start to the actual start date. That's the way it works. There is no point in having a schedule date that is out of sync with what really happened.

Project has a whole set of baseline fields that exist to capture the original plan. Those fields can then be used to compare the current plan with the original as the plan is executed. But in order to take advantage of that functionality, the user needs to set a baseline once the plan is ready for execution but before execution starts.

If what I explained above is not what you mean, then please elaborate on exactly what you mean by "overwriting time" and we'll explain that.
Sorry, I made a mistake in my message…
What I’m trying to solve is why the ‘Actual work’ (and not ‘actual time’…) overwrites the ‘planned’ work? It makes no sense to me.
If I update the ‘actual work’ in my PWA timesheet or directly in Project, the ‘work’ (planned) numbers get adjusted with the ‘actual work’ I just entered. Is it a question of configuration? Is there something I should do to stop that? It is a serious issue for my project and my client…



Well, what exactly is your configuration? Are you in a Project Server environment? What are your task types (i.e. fixed work, fixed duration or fixed units)? Are resources assigned? If so, how many and what kind (i.e. work, cost or material)? How are you entering actual work?


I know, that's whole lot of questions, but until we can better understand what you have, we can't provide much help. A screen shot may also help.


@AnnickV2706 Actual hours - for example from timesheets - will always replace planned hours. You may wish to set a baseline if you want to compare planned hours vs. actual hours historically.

AnnickV2706 --

To add to the replies you have already received, the principle that you need to understand about Microsoft Project and Project Online is this: "Actuals always replace estimates." Suppose that the Start date of a task is Monday, but the team member assigned to the task did not start until Wednesday. The Actual Start date of this task will now be Wednesday, which means that the task Start date is now Wednesday as well. This is behavior that you CANNOT change.

So, how do you know the ORIGINAL planned Start date of each task? You need to save a Baseline for your project (click the Project tab and then click the Set Baseline button). The Baseline will capture the original Start date, Finish date, Duration, Work, and Cost for each task in the project. Microsoft Project will use the Baseline information to calculate the variance on each task. You can see the variance information in the Tracking Gantt view, plus the Variance, Work, and Cost tables.

Hope this additional information helps.