Actual Hours and Task Types in MS Project

Hi All

Just thought I would put a quick post up showing what impact changing actual hours has against each of the three task types. The three task types available are;

  • Fixed Units (Default)
  • Fixed Duration
  • Fixed Work

Before we continue, learn the formula for task types;

Duration x Units = Work.

One of these types has to be fixed. Depending on which type is fixed, will mean different things happening to your tasks (e.g. duration, dates etc) when actuals are applied.

Here is some examples of what will happen.

Schedule Used
The schedule used for this post has three tasks, each using the different task type available. Other than the task type and resource name applied, they are identical. I have set relevant columns, and colour coded them for easier viewing;
ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img1

Scenario 1
Below shows 8hrs of actual work performed, across each planned day. The exact planned work, has been carried out;
ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img2-8hours each day

As you can see in the plan below, everything lines up in the columns. Planned, Baseline and Actuals, for all three people;
ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img3-8hours each day

Scenario 2
Below shows 4hrs actual work per day instead of 8hrs planned, for 4 of the 5 days. (16hrs);

  • Fixed Duration: 4hrs Mon – Thu builds up the work for Friday to 24hrs
  • Fixed Unit: 4hrs Mon – Thu means the following Monday and Tuesday have work
  • Fixed Work: Same as Fixed Unit

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img4-4hours 4 days

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img5-4hours 4 days

Scenario 3
Below shows 4hrs of actual work for all 5 days (20hrs instead of the planned 40hrs);

  • Fixed Duration: 4hrs Mon – Fri means the following Mon – Wed have work. The duration will have to change in this case.
  • Fixed Unit: 4hrs Mon – Fri means the following Mon – Wed have work
  • Fixed Work: Same as Fixed Unit in this case

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img6-4hours each day

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img7-4hours each day

Scenario 4
Below shows 12hrs actual work per day instead of 8hrs planned, for 2 of the 5 days. (24hrs)

  • Fixed Duration: 12hrs Mon – Tue means the work is reduced for each remaining day, but duration remains the same (The finish date does not change)
  • Fixed Unit: 12hrs Mon – Tue means the work is reduced for each remaining day, and the finish date is now sooner as the duration is reduced
  • Fixed Work: Same as Fixed Unit in this case

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img8-12hours 2 days

ActualHoursAndTaskTypes-Img9-12hours 2 days

That shows some examples, and at least gives you some idea about things that may change! There are other scenarios as well, it is worth practising before planning and fully understanding the mechanics of the tool.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s