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% Complete and Durations

  1. Hi,


I am a recent user of SmartSheet and was unable to find an answer in any of the current help venues.  My apologies if this is duplicated elsewhere.


Here is the situation I am facing:

 - I have a task with a two day duration.  Let's say it was set to complete yesterday.

 - Today, I am told that the task is only 50% completed

 - Logically, this means that the task should complete today (50% complete of two days = one day completed.  Two days duration means that I have one day of work left.  Today, being a workday, is that day.)

 - If I indicate that the task is only 50% completed, I would expect the Finish Date to change to today.  It doesn't.  Alternatively, if I change the Finish Date to today, it changes the Duration to 3 days which is inaccurate.  The other side effect of this is that it also affects the Overall % Complete of the project since I've now effectively added one more day of work to the effort.


Any ideas on how to get around this?  Ultimately I think this probably ties to the some of the Baseline/Actual threads but I'm a newbie on formulas and haven't figured out how to do those calcs yet.


Any help would be appreciated!






  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Project Management software can't interpret the data in the way we would sometimes like.


    In your example, the original plan/expectation was that the task would take 16 hours (effort - I assume there is no allocation % since you did not mention it)

    It is only have finished and the due date has past.


    Here's some possible reasons why this happened:

    1. Only 8 hours of work was completed over two days. (PM question - what was the person doing instead?)

    2. 16 hours of work was done but the task is only half finished (PM questions - was the original estimate wrong? was the person not skilled enough to perform the task in the 'usual' time? how much effort is left?)

    3. some combination of 1 and 2.


    Other PM questions: how much did the half completion cost? did you pay for two days and get less? 


    Effort is how much time something would take to accomplish.

    Duration is how long that effort will take. 


    Working on a 16 hour task for 4 hours a day (effort/day) results in a duration of 4 days.


    Back to your example


    Original Start = Monday

    Original Due = Tuesday

    Duration = 2 days


    Depending on the reason for the non-completion, you could end up with


    New Start = Monday

    New Due = Thursday (it will take longer than expected)

    Duration = 4 days




    New Start = Tuesday

    New Due = Wednesday (Monday was a sick day)

    Duration = 2 days




    lots of variations.

    And it is up to the human PM to determine what happened, why, and what to do next.


    That's kind of the reason why % Completion does not feed back into the system. It is a status and metric, and we can use it to gauge where we are.


    If at the end of the Monday, your person had said they had worked a full day and was 25% done, or hadn't made progress, or other status, the system can help you determine that something is wrong with flags and conditional formatting. But it won't be able to help us determine what to do next.


    Hope that helps.





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