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Estimated vs Actual Time

Laura ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

How does everyone accurately document their Estimated Time vs Actual Time Spent on tasks for a project? 


Currently, in our planning process we assign a Start Date and an End Date for each task (with allocation %, duration, and predecessors for each task) once the person assigned to the task acknowledges and begins working, they update their % complete until task is complete. We know when the task is 100% complete but when we look back at the project we cant see if they actually finished the task in 1 day when we estimated 2, etc. 


How do you all keep up with this without the person assigned to a task manually changing start date, end date, allocation %, duration? 


  • Add 3-4 additional columns:

    Baseline Start Date, Baseline End Date, Baseline Variances (make 2 columns if you need to check variances to both start and end dates)

    How to use this:

    Fill out all your start/end dates with what you are projecting.  Copy these dates over to your baseline date columns.  When you actually work on the project, adjust the start/end dates as needed. The Baseline variance formula should subtract the difference between a baseline start date, and the actual start date. So you can essentially see if you start date is +/- 3 days from when you projected.

    Clear as mud? :)

  • Hi Brent, 


    That's a nice idea that you have suggested. The only downside that i see, is that, if the resource takes an unplanned PTO (currently,one cannot mark non-working day for an individual resource), the only option is to increase the duration and put a note that he/she is on PTO. This would cause an "improper" data when calculating the actual effort as you suggested. How do you handle this in your plan?  


  • Break the task down into child tasks.

    • Start/End  Dates- part 1 
    • Gap in dates for leave of absence
    • Task 2 date range.
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