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Microsoft Project 2010 : Tracking Progress on Tasks (part 3) - Entering a Task’s Completion Percentage

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1/17/2014 3:25:22 AM

Entering a Task’s Completion Percentage

After work has begun on a task, you can quickly record its progress as a percentage. When you enter a completion percentage other than 0, Project changes the task’s actual start date to match its scheduled start date. Project then calculates actual duration, remaining duration, actual costs, and other values based on the percentage you enter. For example, if you specify that a four-day task is 50 percent complete, Project calculates that it has had two days of actual duration and has two days of remaining duration.

Here are some ways of entering completion percentages:

  • Use the 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% Complete buttons in the Schedule group of the Task tab.

  • Enter any percentage value you want in the Update Tasks dialog box (to access this dialog box, on the Task tab, in the Schedule group, click the down arrow to the right of the Mark on Track, and then click Update Tasks).

Tip

If you can collect the actual start date of a task, it is a good practice to record the actual start date (described in the next section), and then record a completion percentage.

  1. In the Task Name column, select the name of task 5, Design and order marketing material.

    This task has some progress reported against it from the previous exercise, but has not yet been set as complete.

  2. On the Task tab, in the Schedule group, click 100% Complete.

    Tip

    100% Complete

    Project records the actual work for the task as scheduled and extends a progress bar through the length of the Gantt bar.

    Tip

    Next you’ll record that the completion milestone for the Planning Phase and the first task of the Internal Launch Phase are complete.

  3. In the Task Name column, select the name of task 6, Planning complete! and while holding down the Ctrl key, select the name of task 8, Kickoff book launch meeting.

  4. On the Task tab, in the Schedule group, click 100% Complete.

    Tip

    Next, you’ll get a better look at how progress is displayed in a task’s Gantt bar. You will enter a completion percentage value for a different task.

  5. Click the name of task 9, Prepare book P&L statement.

  6. On the Task tab, in the Schedule group, click 50% Complete.

    Tip

    50% Complete

    Project records the actual work for the task as scheduled and then draws a progress bar through part of the Gantt bar.

    Tip

    Note that although 50% of the work on task 9 is completed, the progress bar does not span 50% of the width of the Gantt bar. This is because Project measures duration in working time but draws the Gantt bars to extend over nonworking time, which in this case includes Thursday, January 19, the nonworking day.

    Tip

    By default, Project shows Gantt bars in front of nonworking time (such as weekends), as you see in this section. However, Project can show nonworking time in front of task bars, visually indicating that no work on the task will occur during the nonworking time. If you prefer this type of presentation, right-click any shaded nonworking time in the chart portion of the Gantt Chart view, and click Nonworking Time in the shortcut menu. In the Timescale dialog box, click the “Non-working time” tab. Next to Draw, click “In front of task bars.”

  7. In the chart portion (on the right) in the Gantt Chart view, hold the mouse pointer over the progress bar in task 9’s Gantt bar. When the mouse pointer changes to a percent symbol and right arrow, a Progress ScreenTip appears.

    Tip

    The Progress ScreenTip informs you of the task’s completion percentage and other tracking values.

    Tip

    You can also set percent complete by pointing to a Gantt bar (or progress bar within a Gantt bar). When the mouse pointer changes to a percent symbol and right arrow, drag the mouse pointer from left to right within the Gantt bar. As you do so, note the “complete through” date value that appears in a ScreenTip.

So far, you have recorded actual work that started and finished on schedule. While this might prove true for some tasks, you often need to record actuals for tasks that lasted longer or shorter than planned, or occurred sooner or later than scheduled. This is the subject of the next topic.

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