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Microsoft Project 2010 70-178

Comparing Progress Against a Baseline – Remedial Actions

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What is Project Management?

Create a New Project

Create and Maintain Calendars

Create Custom Fields

Customize Options Settings

Setup Project Information & Create a Logical Project Structure

Create a Logical Schedule Module

Create a User Controlled Schedule

Manage Multiple Projects

Enter and Edit Resource Information

Assign Resources

Edit Assignments

Manage Resource Allocation

Manage Resource Allocation using Team Planner

Model Project Costs

Setting Project Baseline and Tracking Percentage Completion

Setting Project Baseline and Tracking Percentage Completion 2

Comparing Progress Against a Baseline

Comparing Progress Against a Baseline – Remedial Actions

00:00:01 - This nugget completes 4.3 compare progress against the baseline.
00:00:06 - A previous nugget did the comparison
00:00:11 - and we identified the variances. This
00:00:15 - nugget is going to talk about the remedial actions,
00:00:21 - how can we update,
00:00:26 - how can we fix
00:00:28 - the plan to deal with the variances that track in the actuals
00:00:32 - has made to our plan. Our plan may be ahead of schedule, great
00:00:36 - maybe all we need to do is tell the boss that we are ahead of
00:00:39 - schedule, but if our project is behind schedule we will start
00:00:42 - to need to do those remedial actions. We will need to review
00:00:46 - the tasks, our resource assignments and everything required to
00:00:51 - try to get our project back on track that is what this nugget
00:00:55 - is focused on doing that remedial action to get our project back
00:00:58 - on track. This
00:01:01 - nugget continues to use our dream home hours tracked and we are
00:01:04 - going to explore what we can do in this plan to rectify the issues
00:01:09 - that we had
00:01:11 - identified as we are going through and tracking our progress.
00:01:16 - There is no sense in looking at any of tasks two through 12,
00:01:19 - they are complete. If they are complete there is no work to be
00:01:22 - done, therefore no remedial actions appropriate in fact no remedial
00:01:26 - actions can be done because they are complete so as we begin
00:01:30 - our exploration of the remedial tasks its task 13 through 17
00:01:34 - we need to focus on so let's move our Gantt out and have a look
00:01:37 - at those
00:01:39 - and here we have the current task 13 of building the walls
00:01:45 - the outside walls. We have got some work. We have got about 2
00:01:49 - weeks worth of work tracked on it and we have considerable work
00:01:55 - about 3 weeks left to be done on that particular task and then
00:01:59 - our remaining task to get the project done. We know from our
00:02:02 - previous nugget that this task is running late. We got that by
00:02:05 - looking at our tracking Gantt
00:02:10 - and I don't have it there so let's look at more views and find
00:02:15 - our tracking Gantt
00:02:22 - and let's go with that one and again we see that the task started
00:02:27 - a little late
00:02:30 - without a day a day and a half later and if we move over a little
00:02:34 - bit we see the task was posted complete- no, I went too far sorry
00:02:38 - about that. We are supposed to complete on this Tuesday and it
00:02:43 - is going a good week and probably a day longer which then has
00:02:48 - pushed out all of the remaining task so we see building of the
00:02:52 - outside walls has been pushed out. It was support to start way
00:02:55 - back here hasn't started here. The siding has been pushed out
00:02:59 - even longer than the actual expectation of the task in someone. So
00:03:03 - I first start of trying to do remedial action needs to be on
00:03:07 - the outside walls and I am going to go back to my Gantt view
00:03:10 - itself simply because I find this display to be cluttered. I
00:03:16 - know it is late so I don't need to see all that extra information.
00:03:20 - Let's bring back like my Gantt chart again Steve is a simple
00:03:23 - guy. He likes to keep everything very simple and he will begin
00:03:28 - to explore what he can do on that task
00:03:32 - to remediate the problem.
00:03:36 - First thing I want to see is a little more information so I am
00:03:40 - going to add in my actual work. I am going to add in my remaining
00:03:45 - work and I am going to add in
00:03:53 - my baseline work. The
00:03:57 - location I am putting these is simply a personal preference.
00:04:00 - Steve tends to like to have his baseline and his current side-by-side
00:04:05 - and then he puts his actual remaining over here beside each other. That
00:04:09 - is again the logic behind where I was putting these columns there
00:04:13 - is no magic to any of the above.
00:04:16 - So again my focus is on building my outside walls. My original
00:04:19 - estimate was 150 hours. My carpenters have come to me and told
00:04:23 - me as a result of spending the 75 hours on this task it is going
00:04:27 - to take longer so there is really nothing I can do with that
00:04:31 - particular task estimate
00:04:34 - assuming I believe my carpenters and as soon as we start guessing
00:04:38 - our resources we re probably putting ourselves in a bad position
00:04:41 - as a project manger so I have to believe my carpenters that yes
00:04:46 - it is gong to take 200 hours to get this job done so there is
00:04:49 - nothing I can do about the facts I have at hand so what else
00:04:54 - can I do to try to speed up this particular task. So
00:04:59 - one of the first things I would consider doing is talking to
00:05:01 - the carpenters saying can I get you any help.
00:05:05 - You realize this is a much larger task, what can I do to help
00:05:08 - you out? and they say, "Yes, we really need some laborers, we
00:05:12 - are spending a lot of time just wondering around getting our
00:05:15 - materials if you brought in some laborers
00:05:20 - they could do the same work as we are doing- well they could
00:05:24 - do some of the work that we are doing obviously the skilled work
00:05:26 - still needs to be done by the carpenters but a lower end laborer
00:05:30 - saving me some dollars and giving me more resources on the task
00:05:34 - could help me get the job done." So he said, "Wonderful!"
00:05:38 - So we are now in flight we are going to go to our resource sheet,
00:05:43 - we are going to add in a resource called laborer. It
00:05:49 - is a work resource.
00:05:52 - How many of them do you need probably just one, what are we going
00:05:56 - to pay them? Well if we are paying our carpenters $20 an hour,
00:06:01 - laborers are going to be significantly cheaper than that. Let's
00:06:04 - say they are half price, they are $10 an hour, beautiful, we
00:06:08 - are going to go back to our bank chart
00:06:12 - and we are going to assign those laborers to this particular
00:06:16 - task so if I go to my resource window
00:06:20 - the sign resource I am going to go to my laborer
00:06:26 - and I am going to assign them to work on that task
00:06:34 - so my estimates are still identical but
00:06:39 - if I look at my duration
00:06:47 - I see that I pull the task in by considerable. It used to be
00:06:50 - almost 3 weeks out now it is just over 2 weeks out. My duration
00:06:55 - has dropped back, my task is being done faster and obviously
00:07:00 - my other task are being started sooner. I
00:07:04 - can get similar information by looking at my split view so I
00:07:09 - move this down a little bit so I am showing my outside walls
00:07:12 - here. Here is my carpentry crew, the work has been reassigned,
00:07:16 - the carpentry crew is working on some of the work
00:07:20 - and the laborer is working on some of the tasks.
00:07:24 - Important thing to consider here is the baseline.
00:07:29 - My baseline says I had 150 hours of work for the carpenters and
00:07:34 - that is it. My current work is telling me I have the 200 and
00:07:40 - I have no baseline work for the laborer.
00:07:44 - In recognizing that there is no baseline for the laborer is key
00:07:49 - as we go on and do additional project tracking against the baseline
00:07:55 - for this particular task. All
00:07:58 - of the work was originally planned for the carpenter at their
00:08:01 - rate and if I change my form here to be my resource form I can
00:08:05 - see what my carpenters rate was going to be so the 150 hours
00:08:10 - of work
00:08:14 - was to be done by the carpenter- oh I am
00:08:18 - down here the 150 hours was to be done by the carpenter at the
00:08:23 - carpenter's rate and
00:08:26 - the laborer has no baseline but they are going to do 76 hours
00:08:32 - of work at the laborers rate so if I was to bring in the
00:08:38 - cost field
00:08:44 - and the baseline cost field for just a second.
00:08:50 - We will see again some variance. My baseline was 3,000,
00:08:57 - my current cost is 3,200 but if I was to take all of that work
00:09:02 - and assign it back to the carpenter I would find my cost overrun
00:09:06 - would be much higher because I had the extra work
00:09:13 - being done by the carpentry crew.
00:09:17 - These 76 hours of work being done by the carpentry crew at their
00:09:21 - $20 rate instead of their current rate. So some very significant
00:09:27 - things have happened as we have gone through and adjusted to
00:09:30 - plan. Now another consideration for how Microsoft project assigned
00:09:35 - that remaining work
00:09:37 - 48 hours to the carpenters,
00:09:44 - 76 hours to the laborers, why did it do that way again it is
00:09:49 - trying to do the most appropriate and effective assignment.
00:09:54 - We may not like that, carpenters is it really true that the laborers
00:09:58 - can do this much workforce and they say no absolutely,
00:10:02 - that there is a limited amount of work the laborer can do we
00:10:05 - can, they can help us a lot but they can't do everything, you
00:10:09 - need to assign that work a load a little bit better and I could
00:10:13 - do it on this particular resource form but since I am not seeing
00:10:16 - all of my resources on the same form I am going to o back on
00:10:20 - that other form I was looking at which is my task team form
00:10:29 - where I can see all of my resources at the same time and I am
00:10:33 - going to say yeah that really doesn't make sense. I really need
00:10:37 - of the remaining work I need to have approximately
00:10:42 - half of it done by the carpenter crew and half of it done by
00:10:46 - the laborers so let's say
00:10:50 - 65 hours is going to be done by the carpenter crew and 65 hours
00:10:55 - is going to be done by the laborers
00:10:59 - and we click okay
00:11:03 - and again we are dynamically adjusting our plan.
00:11:08 - As we are making these allocations
00:11:10 - we need to work very carefully with the carpenters
00:11:14 - since they are the "bosses on this particular task saying is
00:11:17 - this appropriate, is this is the best way to assign the work,
00:11:21 - I am trying to get this job done faster and they are gong to
00:11:23 - say absolutely that makes a lot of sense, but we are dealing
00:11:27 - with the actuals, we are understanding the progress. We are modifying
00:11:32 - it and we are dealing with the ramifications of making the change
00:11:35 - on our project.
00:11:37 - So we present the results back to the homeowner ad they are very
00:11:40 - happy with saying thank you for doing that work, you are making
00:11:43 - my home ready to move in to sooner, but you know what I still
00:11:48 - need that home built a little bit faster is there anything else
00:11:51 - you can do. So we look through the project plan and say what
00:11:54 - else can I do?
00:11:56 - And the very next task is building of the inside walls and we
00:12:00 - think about it and say, is there any way I can get this work
00:12:04 - done faster do I truly have to have all of the outside walls
00:12:08 - constructed before I can build the inside walls. Is there anyone
00:12:12 - else that can do this work and the answer is let's bring in more
00:12:16 - carpenters and bring in more laborers,
00:12:20 - but that means it changed in our dependencies.
00:12:24 - Right now we have the building of the inside walls as a hard
00:12:28 - finished start dependency and the building of the outside walls
00:12:30 - if we add more carpenters
00:12:35 - if we increase our allocation of our carpentry crew
00:12:39 - we can add a couple of carpenters to the outside walls, we can
00:12:43 - add a couple of carpenters to the inside walls assuming there
00:12:46 - are different resources and we can begin to build the inside
00:12:51 - walls at the same time. So
00:12:53 - how do we do that? We start to deal with the dependencies. One
00:12:57 - of the easiest ways to deal with dependencies is we simply do
00:13:00 - a double click in the task
00:13:02 - and we look at our predecessors and we see that the building
00:13:06 - of the outside walls
00:13:08 - is a finish start with a 0 lag so we talked to the carpenters
00:13:14 - and say, "Hey, if we were to give you 10 days and as a matter
00:13:20 - of fact we already have the 10 days into the task so now we are
00:13:23 - 10 days into this task is it realistically that we can bring
00:13:26 - in more carpenters. Get more carpenters working and get those
00:13:30 - inside wall started absolutely and they say absolutely so if
00:13:34 - we say there is a negative 10 day lag
00:13:39 - between the building of the outside walls so
00:13:43 - lets rearrange this a little bit
00:13:46 - and bring this over just a little bit. I guess it is not going
00:13:50 - to do me that is a stay on top window so we will simply say okay.
00:13:55 - We can see now that we pull that task back and my 10 wishes in
00:14:01 - approximation so you know beginning early next week I can bring
00:14:05 - in more carpenters and I can get that job done a little bit faster. We
00:14:11 - are understanding the progress on our plan and seeing what we
00:14:15 - can do so the same question can be applied for the siding and
00:14:19 - the roof. Do we have to have all of these tasks done before we
00:14:23 - can start to do these and again we could start to work with the
00:14:27 - dependencies, we could change the dependencies and say you know
00:14:30 - what there is no reason that I have a hard dependency between
00:14:34 - here and here, I can start to adjust it and fine tune refine
00:14:39 - the plan and yes this is no different than the decisions we are
00:14:43 - making back, many nuggets ago when we are doing the original
00:14:46 - project schedule it is important that we continue to make those
00:14:49 - decisions do those evaluations, do that assessment as we go through
00:14:54 - the project in an ongoing basis
00:14:57 - and we continue to do that sort of activity ongoing
00:15:01 - I would suggest weekly basis. Tracking the actuals, understanding
00:15:05 - the progress, validating the variances against the baseline and
00:15:08 - taking their remedial actions and as a result we are actively
00:15:12 - managing our project and actively able to predict to the homeowner
00:15:17 - when the home will be done and they are moving in and we are
00:15:20 - doing such a good job at doing this that the homeowner comes
00:15:23 - back to us and says, "Steve, you know what, I am really impressed
00:15:27 - with your work, I am really impressed with everything your team
00:15:29 - is doing. I want you to do a little more work for me. I won the
00:15:35 - 50/50 draw at work yesterday and I have got a little more money
00:15:38 - in my pocket, I would like you to build a deck for me." I didn't
00:15:42 - think I was going to have enough cash to put a deck under my
00:15:44 - house but as a result of this 50/50 winning I would love you
00:15:48 - to install
00:15:52 - a deck so we sure absolutely I would love to install a deck for
00:15:54 - you. We add the task, we talk to the team, we understand who
00:15:59 - should do the work, well probably the carpentry crew. We talk
00:16:04 - to the carpentry crew and say, "How long is it going to take
00:16:07 - to do a deck?" It is not an extremely large deck, we could probably
00:16:13 - do that deck with 20 hours of labor so we say 20 hours,
00:16:20 - we need to assign the carpentry crew to that particular task
00:16:25 - and I am going through this fairly quickly because again this
00:16:29 - is exactly the same process that we would have used
00:16:33 - during planning.
00:16:35 - We need to set the appropriate dependencies. When is that task
00:16:39 - going to be done? Well
00:16:41 - we can probably do that as soon as the crew working on the outside
00:16:46 - walls has done. There is no reason they can't start to install
00:16:49 - the deck, at that point in time, so we are going to go back to
00:16:53 - our task window and we are going to add the dependency.
00:17:00 - Again, I am going through this fairly fast because it is no different,
00:17:03 - the real reason I wanted to bring in this additional task during
00:17:07 - active project delivery is we can talk about the incremental
00:17:11 - baseline. At this point in time there is no baseline for this
00:17:17 - task. The baseline work is zero every baseline, the baseline
00:17:21 - start, the baseline finish, the baseline duration, the baseline,
00:17:24 - the baseline, the baseline are all zero because the baseline
00:17:27 - is not automatically set. Now
00:17:30 - we as a project manager need to make that decision.
00:17:34 - Is this change significant enough actually there is probably
00:17:39 - one decision we need to make before that. Is this change an approved
00:17:43 - change and it is the homeowners came to us and said Steve build
00:17:48 - the deck so this is an approved change so therefore this 20 hours
00:17:52 - of work are within our approved capacity when I am reporting
00:17:57 - variances I am allowed to include those 20 hours into my planned
00:18:01 - work so therefore I need to include it into my baseline.
00:18:07 - As a project manager and probably as in consultation with my
00:18:11 - homeowner, I need to make a decision, are you happy if I include
00:18:15 - those additional approved 20 hours into the original project
00:18:18 - forecast which is
00:18:22 - almost 1200
00:18:24 - hours or 1120
00:18:33 - hours or do you want
00:18:37 - me to do this
00:18:40 - as the incremental? And
00:18:45 - the homeowner says, "No, no, that is fine
00:18:50 - I understand. I have approved this just include it in to the
00:18:57 - original forecast so we will go to project and
00:19:02 - we would save set baseline and because the homeowner said no
00:19:08 - that is fine included
00:19:11 - in the original and actually I was looking at the wrong number
00:19:15 - a second ago and I said the approved baseline was the 1,200,
00:19:22 - you probably caught that already. The approved baseline is just
00:19:26 - shy of a thousand hours so I want to set the approved
00:19:31 - baseline under the current, I don't want to do it for the entire
00:19:36 - project. If I did it for the entire project and I actually I
00:19:42 - am going to do it and then I am going to undo it because I
00:19:50 - want you to see what happens. We have variances in our plan.
00:19:55 - We have a little over a hundred hour variance overall. We have
00:20:00 - a 6 hour variance in this task we have 16 hour
00:20:08 - variance in this task and down here on our carpentry or the building
00:20:13 - of the outside walls we have that very significant variance.
00:20:18 - If I simply said
00:20:21 - reset the baseline for the entire project and when I click okay
00:20:27 - it is going to say, "Are you really sure you want to do this?"
00:20:31 - Yes I am. All of those variances have
00:20:37 - been wiped out by setting it for the entire plan my baseline
00:20:42 - is now the 1,119
00:20:46 - hours and all of those other variances are gone so exactly I
00:20:51 - have removed all of my variances and I have now said project
00:20:54 - is perfect. Any of the problems I have had in the past I am just
00:20:59 - ignoring. I am wiping them out. They didn't happen. I am turning
00:21:06 - my eyes against them and that is not the real situation. The
00:21:09 - only approval we have to adjust the baseline is for those 20
00:21:13 - hours so let's undo that and now we will set the baseline appropriately
00:21:24 - for just that
00:21:26 - task, suggest a
00:21:29 - task we don't want to do the rollup into
00:21:34 - the baselines and
00:21:37 - we are going to say yes. Now the baseline work and all of the
00:21:41 - other baselines has said appropriately
00:21:49 - for our new task and as we begin
00:21:54 - to track our
00:21:59 - progress against the baseline and managing our variances against
00:22:05 - the baseline we are now going to determine as the carpenters
00:22:12 - begin to work on that deck whether or not they are working on
00:22:17 - schedule another new feature that we have in project 10 professional
00:22:23 - version is the ability to set tasks inactive. Now I really have
00:22:27 - no true tasks in here that are not appropriate
00:22:30 - for building my home but let's use our imagination a little bit
00:22:35 - and lets decide that we have a task that really isn't critical
00:22:41 - to making my home appropriate
00:22:44 - or probably a better way to phrase that, let's determine that
00:22:52 - we have a task that just does not need to be done when I originally
00:22:57 - plan the task I felt I needed to install the siding that is no
00:23:02 - longer the case, moving to a desert,
00:23:07 - don't need siding I don't, again I am not trying to come up with
00:23:13 - some ridiculous scenario why inside
00:23:17 - installing the siding is no longer an
00:23:23 - appropriate task in my project plan but in our project plan we
00:23:31 - have determined there is a task that doesn't need to be done. We
00:23:38 - could simply go in and say task select and delete
00:23:47 - and I would
00:23:50 - certainly wipe it out. It would remove all of the
00:23:57 - dependencies it would remove all the resource assignments
00:24:01 - so yes you could
00:24:04 - do that but the problem with doing
00:24:10 - that is this task has
00:24:15 - baseline information. We had a baseline of 130 hours of work
00:24:20 - that was expected to be done on this project if all we do is
00:24:26 - delete the task we are in fact changing, adjusting, the baseline
00:24:33 - inappropriately. We have removed 130 hours of work end of the
00:24:40 - baseline and
00:24:43 - therefore when we are doing a gross level
00:24:48 - comparison we wouldn't be able
00:24:51 - to as easily track some of our detailed
00:24:56 - variances because that is 6 hour overrun and that is 16 hour
00:25:01 - overrun and this 55 hour overrun
00:25:04 - is going to be eaten into or will consume that 130 hours of simply
00:25:08 - deleting of tasks. But in previous releases
00:25:13 - of project that was the only option that we had. The good news
00:25:16 - is in this release we have the ability to set that task as inactive
00:25:22 - so we go to our task tab and we have this new button down here
00:25:27 - that says activate or inactivate selected tasks so if we select
00:25:32 - on that it is struck out all of that information
00:25:36 - over here in the Gantt area it
00:25:41 - has taken all
00:25:44 - of the shading out of
00:25:47 - the task itself and it has
00:25:56 - made it gray so we have a lot of visual
00:26:02 - indicators that says the task has been set
00:26:11 - inactive but primarily the key, the benefit of using this and
00:26:14 - activate is
00:26:21 - the original baseline
00:26:26 - facts are still retained and therefore when we are doing our
00:26:29 - individual variances and we are understanding
00:26:37 - what my variance
00:26:39 - against my baseline is going to be it
00:26:45 - has been done appropriately and you will notice. Actually, I
00:26:50 - am going to undo that for just a second. Going in my baseline
00:26:55 - was 994
00:26:58 - and my total project work
00:27:01 - was 1,119.
00:27:04 - I am gong to deactivate this task again. My baseline didn't.

Task Inspector, Critical Path and Earned Value Management

Using Views and Tables

Fine Tuning Views and Tables

Share Data with External Sources

Print Schedules and Reports

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Steve Caseley

Steve Caseley

CBT Nuggets Trainer


Area Of Expertise:
Project Management, MS Project, Development Methodologies, Agile Development

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Comparing Progress Against a Baseline – Remedial Actions
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