Quick Links

% Complete acting funny

Home Forums Discussion % Complete acting funny


Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #479133 Reply

    Trying to figure out why my % complete is acting goofy.

    For example on a task with:
    Duration = 3w
    Work = 18h
    Constraint type = ASAP
    Predecessor task 100% complete
    Effort Driven = Yes
    Task Type = Fixed Duration

    I am getting the following % complete values:
    Actual work % complete
    6 Hours 5%
    9 Hours 8%
    16 Hours 13%
    18 Hours 100%

    The thing that brought this to my attention was that I tried to click the 50% complete button and it jumped right to 100%.

    I am able to cure this by deleting the hours (=0) then moving them back to 18, but I’m trying to figure out how this got “corrupted” like that in the first place. I’ve seen it happen a few times before as well and haven’t been able to put my finger on the cause.


    -Bob C.

    #479159 Reply
    John RiopelJohn Riopel

    Is the task in the past, meaning the start and end dates are in the past of the current date? The % complete button are progressing duration complete, work complete can be different than duration complete.

    #479166 Reply

    Hi John!

    No – the example task I’m working on is a 3-week task which started before Christmas and will probably be done the end of this week.


    -Bob C.

    #479167 Reply

    What confuses me is that the % complete values it seems to be using would be accurate if I had about 120 hours of work on the task (i.e. 100% for the 3 weeks duration). But since I only have 18 hours of work for the task, I would think that when I enter Actual Work = 9 hours it should mark the task 50% complete (or vice versa if I mark the task 50% complete it should fill in 9 hours in the Actual Work column).

    For what it’s worth, I am not using Project Server but I am using a “resources” file for tracking resource utilization across all projects.

    -Bob C.

    #479182 Reply

    Bob C.
    I think the confusion your seeing is based on the way we (people) think of % complete and the way MS Project actually calculates it. As per MS:

    “The % Complete fields contain the current status of a task, expressed as the percentage of the task’s duration that has been completed. You can enter percent complete, or you can have Project calculate it for you based on actual duration.”

    Typically, we think of a 40 hour task that takes 1 week for example. In this case work effort is pretty much tied 1-1 with, and drives duration. As a result, %complete seems to work as our expectation of how it works. In your case however, you have 18 hours of work spread over 3 weeks so our expectation that %complete is based on hours of work completed doesn’t align with how MSP actually calculates it (which is duration based). As a result, %Complete numbers seem to make no sense. As you mentioned, if you increase the hours to match 100% allocation for 3 weeks, the %Complete now presents numbers you expected to see.

    See if this MSP posting helps explain it further:

    Hope this helps.

    #479201 Reply

    Hey Daryl-

    Oh wow! I’ve been using MS project almost 15 years now, and I always assumed that % complete was tied to actual work and not just duration. I’m sure it was happening to me before, but I’m in a new environment which is heavily R&D (and therefore heavily multitasking) so it’s probably more noticeable to me now.

    It seems the only other option I have is to check the “Edits to total task % complete will be spread to the status date” box, which is unchecked by default. At least that’s what I think the article refers to. I still won’t get a clean representation of hours spent on the job so far versus % complete shown, but it will be a little closer (and at least now I understand why I’ll be seeing a discrepancy). And the good news is that the discrepancy really won’t have a huge impact on resources since it’s really just a reporting thing and I’ll be cognizant of this as I am looking at resource usage / availability across departments.

    If I was really brave I’d start playing around with different work contours in this situation but I think I’ll find other ways to obtain my excitement…


    -Bob C.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
Reply To: % Complete acting funny
Your information:

42 + = 48