This movie explains how to update tasks that run according to schedule. It shows how to filter the task list to display tasks that might require updating. It also shows how to turn off summary tasks to focus on tasks to update. Then, it shows how to use the Mark on Track feature to update selected tasks.
- When tasks are running according to schedule updating doesn't get much easier. Running on schedule means tasks have started on their scheduled start dates and are progressing toward or have finished on their scheduled finish dates. To update tasks that are on schedule use a task view like the Gantt chart view. To apply that view I'm already on the View tab here. So I'm going to go to the left side of the View tab and click the bottom half of the Gantt Chart button.
Then in the drop down menu I'm going to choose Gantt Chart. I have the Gantt Chart view applied. And I can tell that I've got the tracking table applied because if I go to the top left corner of the table and right click that cell, it checkmark is to the left of the tracking table. The first thing I want to do here now that I've got the Gantt Chart view displayed is I want to make sure that my status date is set. I'm going to head to the Project tab and go to the Status section.
Sure enough, we've already set the status date for this update. I can see that the status date is set to June 16th 2017. If the status date isn't set click the Calendar icon. In the Status Date dialog box that opens up just type the date or click the down arrow and choose the status date that you want and then click Okay. The next thing I want to do is I want to make sure that I can see the tasks that are on schedule.
We can do that by applying a filter to the task list. To do that, I'm going to click the View tab and in the Data section I'm going to go to the Filter box. Click that down arrow. The filter that I want is not in this list. But don't worry. You just go down to More Filters. And when you click that the More Filters dialog box opens and it shows you all the filters that you have access to for tasks. I'm going to scroll down until I find the filter I want which is, Should Start/Finish By.
Select that filter and click Apply. What we have to do is we have to tell the filter what date tasks should have started by. Well, that's the status date. We want to see tasks that are on schedule that should have started by the status date those should be in the list. So I'm going to type the status date in this box. When I click Okay I get another prompt. I have to specify the date for tasks that should have finished by.
It's still the status date. I want to see tasks that either should have started by or finished by the status date. So I'm going to type the status date in again and this time, when I click Okay, I've told the filter everything it needs to know and it filters the task list. The task list is filtered. And it shows three tasks that either should have started by the status date or finished by the status date. Those three tasks, if they're on schedule, they're going to need some kind of update.
To make them even easier to see let's get rid of those summary tasks. I'm going to hide those. And to do that, we're going to jump to the Format tab, go over to the right end to the Show/Hide section, turn off the checkbox for Project Summary Task and the checkbox for Summary Tasks. And there are the three tasks that should have started or finished by the status date. If they're running according to schedule I want to update all three of these tasks.
And I can do that, really easily. What I'm going to do to select them is drag over their task ID cells. Now that I have all three of them selected there's a feature to update them as Running According to Schedule. And here's how you do that. We're going to go to the Task tab. In the Schedules section there's a button Mark On Track. Well that sounds like what we want. And it is. You want to click the Mark on Track button.
Not the down arrow but where it says Mark on Track. When I do that let's take a look at what Project does. The first thing it does, for tasks that should have finished by the status date it sets them to 100% complete. It uses the scheduled start and finish dates as the actual start and finish dates. So the actual start has been set to June 7th which is when it had been scheduled to start.
And the actual finish is June 13th. With Task 11, the start date is June 14th and the actual finish is June 16th which happens to be the status date. Both of those tasks are 100% complete as of the status date. Now let's look at Task 13. This one was scheduled to start by the status date but not finish. In this case, Project changes the actual start date to the scheduled start date, which is June 7th.
But it leaves actual finish empty. Actually, to NA, which means there's no date value. The other thing that Project does is it changes the actual duration to the duration between the actual start date and the status date. We have an actual start date of June 7th. And the status date is June 16th. It turns out that there are eight workdays between those two dates. So actual duration is set to eight days.
Because Project has the actual duration as eight days, and we know that the total duration is 20 days, it can calculate percent complete to be 40%. I also want to tell you about a few other ways that you can update on track tasks. If a task is on schedule, you can just change its percent complete to 100%. And there are a few ways that you can do that. For example, you can right click in the row for a task.
Anywhere in the row. And a few pop up menus appear. This one that has formatting options also has a button that says 100%. You can click that button to set it to 100%. And that says that task completed according to schedule. You can also type a value in the table. For percent complete. If it's on track just type 100% and press Enter. If you have a form in the Details pane here I am on the Task tab.
I'm going to head over to the right side to the Properties section and click Details. That opens up the Details pane with the task details form. And in that form there's a Percent Complete box. You can type your percent complete in that box, as well. To hide that form in the Details pane go back up to the Properties section and click the Details button again and that form goes away. Now that we've updated our three tasks that are on schedule, I'm going to change my view back to the way it was.
Let's start by redisplaying the summary tasks. Remember, you go to the Format tab, head to the right side of the ribbon, and in the Show/Hide section turn on the checkbox for Project Summary Task and the checkbox for Summary Tasks. We also have to remove the filter we applied. On the View tab, in the data section go to the Filter box and click that down arrow. At the top of the list it says No Filter. When you choose that it removes whatever filter is applied.
And when I do that here I go back to my full task list and my tasks that ran according to schedule are updated. That's how easy it is to update tasks that are running to your current schedule.
Note: This course was designed in collaboration with author John Riopel. It will show how to use Project to implement the skills taught in Project Management Fundamentals, Managing Project Budgets, and Agile Project Management with Microsoft Project. You can follow along with Project 2010, 2013, or 2016, using the free or premium versions of the exercise files.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Explain how to set up a custom view that can be modified.
- Recall the importance of setting a status state prior to reviewing or updating.
- Calculate the percentage of remaining work.
- Recognize the function of 4 keyboard shortcuts.
- Determine the steps to take when identifying an individual responsible for providing updates on a specific task in a custom view.
- Explain how to set up an Import Wizard for the first time.