MS Project 2013

Posted on 2014-12-20
Last Modified: 2015-01-06
I am trying to use MS Project 2013 to manage my project. I'd like to know the best way to present the duration and automate the % complete column. This is what I have:
- server upgrade (1/12/14 - 2/12/14)
     -> server assessment (4hrs - 1/12/14)
     -> server documentation (4 hrs - 1/12/14
     -> server backup (3 hrs - 1/15/14)

I have a duration column, start, and finish. How would I present the hrs and cross reference with % complete.

I hope it makes sense what I am asking. Thanks
Question by:leblanc
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LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 40511362
I'm afraid it makes no sense to me. Could you explain further please?
 1 summary; 3 tasks

Author Comment

ID: 40511902
Let say it will take 2 days for the server assessment, 2 hrs on 12/12 and 2 hrs on 12/13. How would I present that in MS Project? Also if i am done with my 2 hrs on 12/12, is it possible to have the % complete column update automatically to 50% (like in this case)? Thx
LVL 48

Assisted Solution

PortletPaul earned 500 total points
ID: 40512457
Dates that put the month first are weird, but I assume your mean
2014-Dec-12 2 hrs then 2014-Dec-13 2 hrs

2014-Dec-13 is a Saturday and by default that is a non-work day so I'll use the 11th and 12th but the actual dates aren't important to the principles of how to do this.

Your question seems to need planning of WORK  (not duration) which could be represented as:
2 hours work on the 11th and 2 hours work on the 12th

so you create a task
create a resource to perform the work
assign the resource to the task
arrange the views so that you have "Resource Usage" in the lower right;
this view allows you to type in the hours of work on a day, see below those highlighted hours were type in at those locations on the view
type in work on the days required

is it possible to have the % complete column update automatically to 50%
I truly don't understand
Are you assuming that the work is planned for the 11th and today is now after the 11th and therefore that MSP will auto-magically spread pixie dust on your file and update it for you?

How do you know that 2 hours of work was really performed on that task?
is it really 50% complete if 2 hours work is performed? (maybe it is easier or harder than planned?)

Keeping a project plan up to date and relevant is a Project Manager's responsibility - that's a person, not the software.
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Author Comment

ID: 40513785
ok. So the duration is the number of days I will be working on a project, not the time I will spend on the task, Correct? If yes, then I understood incorrectly.

So this is how I did it. If my task takes 4 hours to get it done for 2 days, I input in the duration as 4 hrs instead of 2 days. But I am running into a problem because it does not list 4 hrs for those 2 days, it changed as 16 hrs. I am so confused.
LVL 48

Assisted Solution

PortletPaul earned 500 total points
ID: 40513840
"WORK" is not the same as "DURATION"

They are different concepts (and have different places for input or display)

If you expect to WORK on a task for 2 hours today and 2 hours tomorrow that is 4 hours of planned WORK.
The  DURATION is 2 days.

You really need an introductory tutorial or book it is well beyond the scope of a question/answer dialog.

Author Comment

ID: 40513852
Sorry for my ignorance. I am just trying to learn. Thanks
LVL 48

Accepted Solution

PortletPaul earned 500 total points
ID: 40513853
Please try this youtube:
Microsoft Project Tutorial - Work vs Duration

It uses these 3 terms that are defined as:duration-span-work.png

Author Comment

ID: 40514121
I guess I misunderstood the meaning of the summary task duration of MS Project. This sure is helpful. Thx

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