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Calculating project deviation

By felisa ·
I have to decide how I am going to measure the project advance. I think that is better measure comparing with the plan at the measure moment and not comparing with the complete project because if I measure with the complete project may occur that I can think that a deviation is not important and it may be very important later. Can somebody help me to decide? excuse me because my english is not so good, I can explain it better in spanish.

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by BFilmFan In reply to Calculating project devia ...

Your English was sufficient for explaining your question, so no apology was needed in my view sir.

Now for my questions, which project management methodology are you using? Depending on the method, there could be several right and wrong ways to measure the project.

My personal thoughts are you should measure the project based on the original dates as scheduled.

You should also measure the completion based on any date changes due to scope creep, issues, etc. This will allow the project manager and ownders to see the effects of scope creep on the project.

And of course you should show the overall project completion based on current work completed. This would allow you to identify issue areas and take action to correct and get the project back on track.

Some other references:

There is an excellent paper here by Ashish Gupta, which appears to have been a portion of his Master's thesis on measurement methodology:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has several excellent collections of papaers on this subject:

I can also recommend the Project Management Institute:

As well as the Infromation Technology Infrastructure Library:

And last, but not least, the International Standards Organization:

Lo m?s mejor posible de la suerte en su proyecto!

And I hope my Spanish is not as rusty as I fear it is!

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by SridharPandu In reply to Calculating project devia ...

In the simplest form project tracking and deviation mesurement can be done as follows.

1. Transfer the WBS number, activity, Effort, start date and completion date from the MPP (if your using MS Project) to an Excel sheet (Just a Cut and Paste works fine)

2. On another sheet have two columns one for the week ending date and another for percentage completion
Enter the date of the 1st saturday fro which you want to track the project.
The subsequent rows should have the dates of the following saturdays. Accomplish this by adding 7 to the previous date. Say you have entered the 1st saturday in the Cell A1 then cell A2 should contain the following formulae =A1+7. Copy this formuale to as many rows as you require.

2. write a simple formulae to add the planned completion hours for each of this week. It is something like this =SUMIF(EndDate,"<"&A1,!Sheet1WorkHours) This will give you the cumulative planned completion hours against each of the weekend. Say this is in Cell B1. Now Copy this for all rows against the dates in step 1.

3. Create another column where you can enter the planned % complete. Which is B1/(Total number of hours). Total number of hours is arrived at summing all rows of column B.

4. Now in column D enter the % complete as per your tracking gantt in MS Project.

5. Plot a curve of the data in column C and D so effectively you are plotting planned completion vs actual completion. Deviation can automatically be measured.

You can reach me on my mail Id in this forum in case you have further doubts

Best regards,

Sridhar Pandurangiah

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by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Calculating project devia ...

It is important to know how you have made your project plan. If you use a system as MS Project you would work with tasks and milestones. They may be parallel, that is actually the core of project planning. In MS Project there is a basic option which, unfortunately, a lot of people never use. It is saving your baseline, that is the original plan. Any change, because you changed the plan later or are entering actual data because of progress, or insufficient progress, can be compared with the baseline. Standard reports are available which will show any tasks which should start soon, is too late compared with the baseline etc.
If you need more information about the baseline you can comment here or send me an e-mail message. There are many options in MS Project, so there is absolutely no need to export these figures to Excel.
With the more modern versions of MS Project it is even possible to use custom fields which will allow to get a warning if a task is just some time before or after the baseline date.
The most important issue is to know which tasks are on the critical path, that is a task which directly will bring the scheduled end date in danger. Suppose we have two parallel tasks A of 2 days and B of 2 weeks. If both are completed task C may start. In this case if task A would start a few days later, there is no problem. However, any delay in B will result in a later completion of the project. This if no other measures are taken, such as more or different resources, trying to do more tasks in parallel, with different equipment, ordering goods earlier, etc.
The critical path will in MS Project be shown in the tracking Gantt, which will also show the actual plan compared with the baseline, if you saved that one.
There are more options for checking the status of your project.
Good luck.

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by oconnortw In reply to Calculating project devia ...

Project advance and progress can be measured in a number of ways;

(1) Assuming that you have already produced an overall project plan, it may contain the following:

- a work breakdown of the activities which form part of your project.

- a plan showing the schedule and duration of each activity, including any allowance for uncertainties.

- the dependencies and critical path.

Use these to form the baseline for your plan against which progress can be measured.

(2) Breaking the project into smaller stages or phases makes the project easier to manage and control. It will help you to identify the activities or products which you will be delivering during each stage/phase.

If you have done this, you can produce a checklist to see that you are delivering the products you expect to within each stage.

Project advance is then a matter of identifying the resources and costs expended to date against your original/ revised plans.

Your second question concerning detecting deviation can be much easier managed if you use the stage approach to measuring progress, for two reasons:

(1) Everything you will have achieved to date will now be known and is certain. Therefore forecasting the project outcome is a matter of adding the known costs to date against the future planned costs outstanding.

(2) By addressing a project in greater detail during stage planning, you are much more likely to be able to identify where potential deviations occur and manage the risk to the project more proactively.

This enables you to manage effectively, monitoring only those risks or issues which threaten to exceed acceptable margins, take controlling actions early at minimal costs and manage project delivery in successive steps.

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by Haris In reply to Calculating project devia ...

Mida el funcionamiento del proyecto en los intervalos regulares. Mida el trabajo terminado y el horario restante. Por ejemplo, si una tarea es duraci?n de 4 d?as entonces en el final de 2 d?as usted debe ser el 50% terminado con el trabajo. Si es menos de el 50% usted debe tomar inmediatamente acciones correctivas. Etc?tera.

Measure the project performance at regular intervals. Measure the work completed and the schedule remaining. For example, if a task is 4 days duration then at the end of 2 days you should be 50% completed with the work. If it is less than 50% you should immediately take corrective actions. And so on.

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by RealGem In reply to Calculating project devia ...

There is a fairly simple technique called Earned Value Management. You can get more information from They also have links to other sites that might be useful.

If you are using MS Project, it can help you with these calculations.

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by Paul.Krauskopf In reply to Calculating project devia ...

1. Look at the Earned Value Method (Source: PMI, The PMBOK). There is a "standard" set of formulars which help you to determine the current project status (i.e. EV, SI, SPI, EAC, ETC,VAC,..)and draw conclusions.
2. Find the critical path in your project, does foreward scheduling allow you to keep the project end date?

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