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When a task is completed for x%, can it be planned only for the (100-x)%?

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I use Microsoft Project Professional 2019 and I have "Task A" (type "Fixed Units", Effort Driven) which has a whole duration of 10 days and at the day of planning is completed at 70%. As far as I can understand, this means that I have another 3 days of work to plan.

 

When I schedule such a task for the resource "Person A" which has a restriction of max capacity at 50%, I would expect the task to be scheduled with a duration of 6 days. However, I can see that automatic scheduling suggests a duration of 10 days.

 

Am I missing something?

 

9 Replies

@Pantelis_Natsiavas 

Why would you expect the remaining duration to be 6 days? You said the resource is only available half time, therefore when you assign that resource the total work content of the 10 day task is 40 hours, not 80 hours. So when the task is updated for 70% complete, the Actual Work shows 28 hours and the Remaining Work over the 3 remaining days of duration is 12 hours.

 

Hope this helps.

John

@John-project 

Thank you very much for your answer (and your time)

 

We have two issues here (as far as I can tell).

 

Issue A: regardless of how much the left work would be, Project should plan for only the left 30% of the work. Am I right to expect that? This does not happen in my case (perhaps I do something wrong) as I can see the task planned for the whole duration of 10 days.

 

Issue B: I think I agree with your calculation. My mistake is that I should have defined my task type as a "Fixed Work".

@Pantelis_Natsiavas 

I don't quite understand what you mean by, "Project should plan for only the left 30% of the work". If you look at my calculation, the original work content is 40 hours. Claiming 70% completion translates to 28 hours of completed work. That leaves 12 hours of remaining work, or 30%.

 

This is what it looks like before any progress is reported.

2021-10-31_09-56-46.png

Then when progress is reported at 70%, this is what we get.

2021-10-31_09-58-55.png

No mystery.

John

@John-project Thank you once again for your time.

 

I can see in your screenshots that the task (regardless if it is 70% completed [picture B] or had no progress at all [picture A]) it is scheduled/planned to be conducted for the same dates (from Nov 1st until Nov 12).

 

I would expect in picture B the task to be planned from Nov 1st until Nov 4th, since there is only the 30% of the work left to be done. Shouldn't the duration be also reduced to 3 days? 

 

Is this because I selected "Fixed Units" as the task type or is there another issue? Is there something else I could do so that the completed part should not be taken into account for the planning of the task?

@Pantelis_Natsiavas

Okay let's back up a bit. In your original post you have a 10 day task. The work content of that task is not stated. Note, duration and work are two separate parameters in Project. Duration is the time span during which a task is performed. Work is the effort by one or more resources to accomplish the task. If a single resource works full time on a task, then the time span (duration) and effort (work) will be the same (e.g. a 10 day task with a single full time resource will perform 80 hours of work).

 

You stated the task is 70% complete. I assume that means the half time resource was assigned to the task from the beginning so that resource has completed 28 hours of work in 7 days. Therefore there will be 12 hours of remaining work for the last 3 days of the task.

 

However, perhaps you are saying that another resource was originally assigned to the task and that resource completed 70% of the work. And now, a new resource (half time) is assigned to finish the task. If that's the case and the original work content was indeed 80 hours, then the first resource would have completed 56 hours of work with 24 hours remaining. Then if a resource that is only available half time were assigned to finish the task, it would indeed take 6 days to finish.

 

I'm a little confused by your last statement, "...the completed part should not be taken into account for planning of the task." For a single task there is no way to separate was has been performed from what is yet to be performed, the two are interconnected. If for some reason you need to separate the two, there are a couple of options. One is to manually change the resource assignments on the task via the Task or Resource Usage views. The other is to break the task into two separate parts, task "a" which describes the completed part, and task "b" which describes the remaining part.

 

Another feature of Project I should mention. You can go to Project >Status group > Update Project. That will allow you to automatically update a task through a specified date or, reschedule uncompleted work starting at a certain date.

 

What exactly are you trying to do? Your original description asks, if a task if x% completed, can it be planned (re-planned?) for 100-x%? Yes it can and I explained that in detail, if the half time resource is the only resource assigned to the task from the beginning. However, if the scenario is more like the alternate (i.e. two resources working at different times and assignments levels on the single task), then more information is needed. For example, the task has a 10 day duration but what is the total work content of that task and how are the resources assigned?

 

John

@John-project Thank you once again.

 


... However, perhaps you are saying that another resource was originally assigned to the task and that resource completed 70% of the work. And now, a new resource (half time) is assigned to finish the task. If that's the case and the original work content was indeed 80 hours, then the first resource would have completed 56 hours of work with 24 hours remaining. Then if a resource that is only available half time were assigned to finish the task, it would indeed take 6 days to finish. ...

This is my case actually.

 

For a single task there is no way to separate was has been performed from what is yet to be performed, the two are interconnected.

This is what I trully needed to confirm.

 

 

Another feature of Project I should mention. You can go to Project >Status group > Update Project. That will allow you to automatically update a task through a specified date or, reschedule uncompleted work starting at a certain date.

I tried that but I could not make it work.

 

Thank you once again for your support.

best response confirmed by Dale Howard (MVP)
Solution

@Pantelis_Natsiavas 

In light of the alternate scenario (i.e. one resource working the task full time for the first 7 days and then another resource finishing the task working half time), I think the easiest approach is to separate the task into two parts.

1. Set up the first part as the full task of 10 days with 80 hours work and assign the full time resource. Enter 70% into the % Complete (or % Work Complete) field. Make a note of the remaining work, it should be 24 hours.

 

2. Create the second part (i.e. task b). The duration will default at 1 day. Enter the remaining work from the first part (i.e. 24 hours) into the Work field. Assign the half time resource. The task duration should expand to 6 days.

 

3. Edit the Work field for task a (the first part) to the existing actual work value (i.e. 56 hours). The Percent Complete should go to 100%. That captures the task effort completed by the first resource.

 

This process works whether the tasks are set to Fixed Work or Fixed Units and it should give the end result you need.

 

There are other ways to get this same result but I believe this is the easiest and most straight forward.

John

@John-project Thank you very much for the guidance

You're welcome and thanks for the feedback. If I answered your question please consider marking my response as the answer.
John