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Estimated duration vs actual duration ($ per hour) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm a newbie to Project and I'm trying to figure out what column titles I need for this example...

    I have a task that I have been allotted 4 hours to complete. I have assigned a resource @ $75/hr, and I have one column that shows 'duration' at 4 hrs (because that's my allotted time). It only took 3 hours for that task to be completed... I already have a column to show how much 4 hours would have been. That is my 'cost' column. However I want to show that, as well as the actual cost for the 3 hours. What title or resource changes do I need to make in order to show this?

    I have these columns up currently ---> Duration, Actual Duration, %Complete, Cost, Actual Work, Actual Cost....

     If I change the 'actual duration' to 3 hours, it then changes my '%Complete' to 75%.... I want  a column that will show that the task is in fact 100% complete, that it just took less time than allotted.

    Basically I have been quoted a price for this project. I have a column that shows my project cost and the hours that was given to complete it. Now I want to show that it is coming in under budget...  Help/Thanks 

    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:07 PM

Answers

  • ChipMuck304,

    Welcome to Project. Unfortunately Project isn't particularly intuitive and the learning curve can be rather steep, but we are here to help.

    First of all, what version of Project are you using? Is it updated with the latest service pack?

    One of the basic tracking features of Project is put in place when you set a baseline. After you have laid out your estimated plan and before you are ready to execute it, you need to save a baseline. In Project 2010 that is found under Project/Schedule group/Set baseline icon. Project copies several of the schedule and cost fields to special baseline fields, basically a snapshot of your original plan. When you execute the plan and enter actual values you will note that the estimated schedule parameters (e.g. start, finish, duration, etc.) will change to turn the "estimate" into reality. That is the dynamics of the schedule. But because you saved a baseline, you can look at the built-in variance fields (e.g. Start Variance, Duration Variance, Cost Variance) and see how the executed plan compares with the original plan. You can also see that graphically by using the Tracking Gantt view.

    One more important thing to understand. Project has two often misunderstood fields - Duration and Work. Duration is the time span in working days during which the task is being worked. Work is the effort by one or more resource to accomplish the task. If a single resource is assigned at 100% (full time), then work and duration will be the same.

    Now about your example. First, set up the task and then save a baseline. But instead of tracking performance by inputting to the % Complete field, add the Actual Work and Remaining Work fields as columns in your view. The task was originally planned for 4 hours. Since it only took 3 hours, enter that value into the Actual Work field. If you still have the % Complete field displayed, you will see the 75% complete. However, the task is done, so enter 0h into the Remaining Work field. Note that Project now sets the % Complete to 100% and also note that the Actual Cost comes in at $225 which Project also automatically enters into the Cost field. However, because you saved a baseline, if you display the Cost Variance, you will see the $75 underrun.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    • Marked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:04 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:05 PM
    • Marked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:05 PM
    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:34 PM

All replies

  • ChipMuck304,

    Welcome to Project. Unfortunately Project isn't particularly intuitive and the learning curve can be rather steep, but we are here to help.

    First of all, what version of Project are you using? Is it updated with the latest service pack?

    One of the basic tracking features of Project is put in place when you set a baseline. After you have laid out your estimated plan and before you are ready to execute it, you need to save a baseline. In Project 2010 that is found under Project/Schedule group/Set baseline icon. Project copies several of the schedule and cost fields to special baseline fields, basically a snapshot of your original plan. When you execute the plan and enter actual values you will note that the estimated schedule parameters (e.g. start, finish, duration, etc.) will change to turn the "estimate" into reality. That is the dynamics of the schedule. But because you saved a baseline, you can look at the built-in variance fields (e.g. Start Variance, Duration Variance, Cost Variance) and see how the executed plan compares with the original plan. You can also see that graphically by using the Tracking Gantt view.

    One more important thing to understand. Project has two often misunderstood fields - Duration and Work. Duration is the time span in working days during which the task is being worked. Work is the effort by one or more resource to accomplish the task. If a single resource is assigned at 100% (full time), then work and duration will be the same.

    Now about your example. First, set up the task and then save a baseline. But instead of tracking performance by inputting to the % Complete field, add the Actual Work and Remaining Work fields as columns in your view. The task was originally planned for 4 hours. Since it only took 3 hours, enter that value into the Actual Work field. If you still have the % Complete field displayed, you will see the 75% complete. However, the task is done, so enter 0h into the Remaining Work field. Note that Project now sets the % Complete to 100% and also note that the Actual Cost comes in at $225 which Project also automatically enters into the Cost field. However, because you saved a baseline, if you display the Cost Variance, you will see the $75 underrun.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    • Marked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:04 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:05 PM
    • Marked as answer by ChipMuck304 Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:05 PM
    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:34 PM
  • Sounds like that should do it... I will try tomorrow! Thanks for the help! 
    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:52 PM
  • ChipMuck304,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback. If this answered your question please mark it as answered.

    John

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:57 AM