Lesson 4: Tracking - Mark Tasks Complete

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Creating a schedule is only the first step in successfully managing a project. With Project Plan 365, you can also monitor the progress of your project.

Tracking progress has several benefits. You can:

  1. Identify and solve problems as they occur.
  2. Produce status reports for management and project participants.
  3. Maintain historical data to help you plan future projects more accurately.

Once the execution of your project began, your team may actually start to enter their recorded progress on their assigned tasks, so that the project manager can track the current progress of the tasks. In order to do this, each team member should mark at least the tasks that are finished and mark them as complete, by entering in the corresponding cell from % Complete column the value of percent = 100%.

You can indicate how much progress has been made on a task by entering the percentage of the total task duration that is complete. For tasks that are relatively short in duration, it may not be worthwhile to track progress in such detail; but for tasks of an extended duration, indicating the percentage of the task that is complete helps you track actual progress against the baseline plan.

A task is zero percent complete when it has not yet begun, and it is 100 percent complete when it is finished.

Indicate progress on a task as a percentage

  • In the Gantt table, select the task for which you want to update progress.
  • Open the Task Information window.
    Or entering the progress of tasks using the mouse.
  • In the Percent Complete box, type a whole number between 0 and 100.
  • Choose the OK button.

By default, Project Plan 365 indicates the percentage of the task that is complete on the Gantt bar chart as a thin line drawn horizontally through the middle of each task bar.

The completed tasks are easily to spot with Project Plan 365. You may look in the Indicators column (the one next to the ID column in the Gantt Chart view) and tasks that are completed, having % complete = 100%, are visually marked with a special checked icon.

You can enter a % complete quickly with the mouse. In Gantt panel point to the start bar of the task representation. When the pointer changes to a %complete arrow, drag right to increase the percentage complete value or drag left to decrease the percentage complete value.

To see the total % Complete of your project, check Show Project Summary Task option. The Project summary task shows the overall % Complete. Or check Statistics dialog from Project menu (Project menu → Project Information → Statistics).

icon_exercises.png           Practice

   1. For the current opened project plan, using the mouse in the right Gantt panel introduce %complete values: 50% for task with ID = 12 (Submit shop drawings and order long lead items - steel), 100% for task with ID = 3 (Receive notice to proceed and sign contract), 70% for task with ID = 4 (Submit bond and insurance documents), 30% for task with ID = 5 (Prepare and submit project schedule), 100% for task with ID = 25 (Install temporary power), 100% for task with ID = 26 (Install temporary water service), 50% for task with ID = 27 (Set up site office), 30% for task with ID = 70 (Rough-in mechanical in masonry walls), 50% for task with ID = 71 (Rough-in mechanical in drywall walls), 100% for task with ID = 76 (Install hard tile flooring in common areas), 50% for task with ID = 77 (Clean hard tile floors). Also use Task Information dialog to insert % complete values for some tasks.​

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​    2. Look in the % Complete cell of Project summary task to notice the overall progress of the project and notice how percent complete of tasks in depicted both in left side grid (for completed tasks) and on the task bars in right side Gantt panel:
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   3. You can use reports to have a quick overview on the completed tasks from your project. This facility is especially useful in case of large projects, when its more difficult to spot the finished tasks. Go to Reports menu and select Current Activities category, then click on Completed Tasks:
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This is what you should get:
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4. Increase the cost of Std. Rate from $70.00/hr to $80.00/hr for G.C. General Management resource. Now that you've entered progress in your project, you can have a look at Project Statistics (available under Project Information option) and see what are the values for the actuals vs. current vs. the saved baseline.
Overall Progress

   Notice the value of the variance for the finish date of the project, showing that the finish date of the project was reduced by 5.5 days to meet the deadline of the project. Notice also the increase of the current total cost of the project when compared to the baseline cost, caused by the raise of the cost for G.C. General Management resource.

   5. Switch to Tracking Gantt view to have a better look on the progress entered in your project and to spot the differences between the actuals vs. what was initially planned when the baseline was set.

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