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Different ways to track project progress with Microsoft Project


Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs):
This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDUs in the Technical category of the Talent Triangle.


Event Description:
This is a – from zero to hero session (1 hour) which will clarify how project progress can be tracked from a very simple to a very complicated way, with an explanation of when to use which one.

Please note: This session applies only to Microsoft Project Desktop client.


Presenter Info:
MVP – Project Nenad Trajkovski was born in Zagreb in 1963. year. After completion of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Nenad has started on the development and implementation of enterprise systems (ERP) in companies of various areas (banks, card houses, production companies, auto industry, wholesale businesses, oil companies, and others). He has extensive experience in working with business processes, people and knowledge in information technology and financial accounting activities. Currently, Nenad works as a consultant for the implementation of business systems, and as Project Manager. He is trainer for Project Management and Risk Management in Microsoft Innovation Center in Varaždin. At WinDays08 conference he has been declared as the best speaker, and his session as the best one. He was among TOP 10 speakers in the Microsoft Sinergija 2009 and at the Microsoft Vzija 2009. Shared first place as the best lecturer at KulenDays 2009 and the PMI Forum 2009 in Zagreb. Regular speaker at the Microsoft Community. On WinDays10 conference Nenad was among the top three speakers; at the conference Microsoft Vision 9 in Skopje between the top 5 speakers as well as on Microsoft Synergy 11 which was held in Belgrade. Certified Accountant, PMP (Project Manager Professional), PMI – RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS – Microsoft Project 2010 (Microsoft Certified Technical Professional). and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).



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  1. Could not hear video

  2. Oliver Gildersleeve

    There is an important addition that needs to be made to Nenad’s WebnLearn:
    • There are three problems with updating by %-complete:
    o Most resources, project managers, and executives believe that %-complete expresses progress toward the task’s objectives, not the fraction of the task’s Duration.
    o The result of updating by %-complete is almost always that the progress bar within the Gantt Bar will either leave in the past an incomplete part of the task, or that the progress bar will show part of the task has been accomplished in the future. Accomplishments in the future are physically impossible. Similarly, it is physically impossible to return to the past and continue working on the part of the task scheduled to be done previously.
    o Updating by %-complete has no effect on the Finish date of a task, without change to Remaining Duration or Remaining Work. Successors’ dates remain unaffected, as may be the product delivery date.
    • Inserting the %-complete column and pausing over its header shows the definition Nenad quotes: %-complete = Duration * Assignment Units. In Primavera, there is no such term as “%-complete.” However, it does have the more meaningful term, “%-duration-complete.”
    • Because of the three problems with updating by %-complete, better updating is by:
    o Setting the Status date and updating with Actual Start and Mark on Track. However, if the resource has not worked on each past day of their task; then, update with Actual Start, Actual Duration, and Remaining Duration – plus, move any incomplete part from the past into the future where additional progress can actually occur.
    o Similarly, for Work estimating schedules, better updating is by Actual Start, Actual Work, and Remaining Work – plus the move of any incomplete part from the past into the future.
    • It can be useful to insert the %-complete column next to the Physical-%-complete column, as they appear in the Tracking table. If a task’s Physical-%-complete is less than it’s %-complete, the task might be slipping and need additional Remaining Duration or heroic, error prone, recovery. But, if the Physical-%-complete is greater than the %-complete, then the task’s Remaining Duration possibly might be reduced.
    • For precise tracking, task Durations should be less than double the interval between project reviews. Thus, a task that is on track is approaching, in progress only once, or completed.
    • Conclusion: %-complete and %-work-complete are better as outputs calculated by Microsoft Project using actuals, not as inputs for updating tasks

  3. Nenad Trajkovski

    Hi Oliver,
    what can I say? Great comment. Taht is exactly my point, but you put it in worda as great takeaway. Thank you a lot.
    Best regards,


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