This is the last article of this series highlighting common incorrect uses of Microsoft Project. The images are built using the Microsoft Project 2013 Pro edition, but this series can be useful for all versions of the product. This article will be about setting a status date.

Flaw #1: Date-Related Planning

Flaw #2: Capacity as Activity 

Flaw #3: Lack of Structure (Work Breakdown Structure)

Flaw #4: Too Much Detail in the Schedule

Flaw #5: Not Using the Baseline Functionality 

Flaw #6: Using Predecessors in Summary Tasks

You, the planner of projects, will almost certainly build schedules for an organization. Therefore you are not alone – comforting thought right? There is a team working on that project, maybe you are the project manager, or a member of a PMO (Project management organization) or maybe you are the MS Project guru and people just know how to find you and build schedules the right way. In any case you are the go-to guy when they want an update of the schedule.

What’s your status?

What happens to your schedule when you close the application MS Project? The project happens!

The real work is done within your company (or with third parties) and there is real progress. We need to update the schedule regularly. But what happens when you win a lottery, or when you take a long vacation? The schedule should still be edited, but who knows what the last update date was?

With the Status date you can make it really clear for everyone what your status (date) is. This is because it is a fixed date you manually change when you update a schedule. By using the tips on this Microsoft page you will be able to view the status date in a different perspective, making it more tangible.

A status date can also be used in reports to show management. It will be quite clear to them that something is wrong when a status date hasn’t been changed in months…

In the screenshot the red line is the status date, the green line is the current date.




This article was originally published on Erik van Hurck’s website, The Project Corner. You can visit his website for more helpful tips.