Task Control - Actual Start and Actual Finish Wrong data

Occasional Contributor

Hello team.

Once again I very much want to receive your dear help.

I have a work resource that has been allocated a task with 5% (11 mins) of its availability, in a 220 mins task. (...this task also has other work resources).

In the task usage view, in the control table, this resource is updated with the actual work of 5 mins. It is from this moment that the calculations of real start and real end give me incorrect data. I would like to know why is this happening?1.png2.png

13 Replies
It would help to see a screen shot of the Task Usage view showing that task with its all resource assignments and the Work and Actual Work detail in the timescale data (right side of screen). Be sure to include task Duration, Start, Finish, Assignment Units, and Peak (left side of screen). Start and finish dates should include the time.



Thanks for your feedback john. I hope the images are as requested.


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Thanks for the screen shot, it gave me what I needed to analyze your scenario. One interesting observation, not related to your questions but curious nonetheless, is that the projector was assigned at 50% yet you entered 240 minutes of work. That should result in a Peak value of 109% but your screen shot shows 100%. When I emulated your task the projector shows a 109% Peak value. I don't know why yours is different.


With respect to your question, the reason you get the schedule alert is because you have set the task as fixed duration. If the task type is fixed work or fixed units, you will not get the message. However, by entering the actual work value in the timescale data you are fixing (confining) the 5 minutes of actual work to that day (Monday). The total work for that resource is 11 minutes on Monday. To resolve the mismatch for Monday, Project adjusts the original 11 minutes on Monday to the actual 5 minutes on Monday but Project needs to do something with the remaining 6 minutes so it alerts you that the 6 minutes will need to move to the next day, thus the conflict with the fixed duration of the task.


You can avoid this problem by entering the 5 minutes into the Actual Work field on the left side of the screen. That still leaves 6 minutes of remaining work for that resource but you have not "committed" the 5 minutes of actual work to Monday only so the fixed duration can still be valid and no alert will be issued.



So what to do with the 6 minutes remaining work for that resource? If the resource is all done, set remaining work to zero and Project will adjust the work value to be the actual work value of 5 minutes. If the resource is not done, then you need to decide if the resource will perform the remaining 6 minutes of work on Monday or will it indeed flow into the next day.


Something to wrap your head around.



:stareyes::lol::lol:Thank you so much for the explanation John. It helped a lot.

But I would like to know how it turned out in your case "Real Start and Real End of the Dr. Amadeu Resource with the hours displayed. In my case it was like this, Dr amadeu.png

(The resource has 5 minutes as real work, but in the spreadsheet it shows 100 minutes) .... Is this normal?


You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.


May I assume that by "real start" and "real end" you mean the Actual Start and Actual Finish fields. Is that true?


Unfortunately, once again your screen shot doesn't show enough information to answer your question. Let me see a screen shot that shows the Task Usage view with all these fields and the timescale data.




I will send the file to facilitate a more detailed analysis. On the other hand, it is difficult to make a print screen by the number of columns you requested.



Thanks Jonh.

I have marked the resources in red in the Task Usage - Control Table view. The Actual Start and Actual Finish fields

I've never used One Drive before but I do have it set up. However, when I tried to open your file I got an error message saying "Project cannot open the file". What version of Project are you using? I have Project 2019 Pro.

After it crashed my computer, your file did finally show up in my downloads folder. I'll have a look tomorrow.



I took a quick look at your plan and I see a problem that needs to be addressed. There are dependencies on summary lines and that is bad practice. Refer to the following Wiki article:



With respect to your question about why the highlighted resources show a period of performance which is greater than their actual work (e.g. Dr Amadeu Lemos period of performance is 9:00 AM to 10:40 AM which is 100 minutes, but his actual work is only 5 minutes), I cannot tell unless I know EXACTLY how his actual work was entered. For example, into which field did you enter the actual work? Did you manually enter an actual finish date?


This is the screen shot showing how the actual work data was "logged" by Project into the timescaled data (what you call the "spreadsheet"). But I can't tell how that data was logged without a step-by-step accounting of his work and progress from initial assignment to assignment completion.



The actual work data entered in the Task Usage Worksheet - Control Table in the Actual Work field.
And don't enter an end or start date.
Thank you John.
Sorry, that does not help. I asked for a step by step process of how you entered the data, starting from initial plan with no actual work to the final result. With Project it matters how you got to a particular point.

And please clarify what exactly you mean by "Control Table" in the Task Usage view. Is it the left side of the screen (field table) or the right side of the screen (timescaled data)?

Hi John, I hope all is well with you.
I found the solution to my problem. I reflected on all your advice and found a way out.
The trick is to change the assignment percentage of the resource to the task from 5% to 100% (stating that the Dr. Amadeu resource is available for 220 mins although in reality it has only 10 mins) this makes the work update real works correctly.

But I would like to know your point of view. There are some downsides to this method
Unless your intent is to have a resource only available for a limited time, (e.g. resource can only work on a specific task half time - 50%), then the best approach is to assign the resource at his/her max unit value. The fact that the resource actually spends less time on the task to complete it is captured by their actual work value.