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Progress Bars Behind Schedule

If the progress bars in your Gantt chart seem like they are ahead of or behind schedule, it may have to do with how your percent complete values are being calculated in Microsoft Project. OnePager has two different ways to help you overcome this, depending on the specific type of inaccuracies you are seeing:

Progress Bars on Summary Tasks

If your progress bars look good for most tasks, but appear ahead or behind schedule for summary tasks, then your issue has to do with how Microsoft Project calculates percent complete for summary tasks:

This progress bar looks like it's behind schedule, but other progress bars can sometimes look like they are ahead of schedule.

Microsoft Project averages all of the tasks underneath the summary--including the ones that aren't scheduled to start yet--and gives you an overall percent complete value. Microsoft's percent complete value grossly underestimates your progress, as the calculation of 14% shows here:

This is because Microsoft Project's percent complete calculation doesn't consider today's date, which tasks are actually supposed to have started, or how the work allocated to the tasks is loaded across the entire project or phase. Work on a task is never evenly-distributed. You have busy days, and you have slow days. Microsoft Project doesn't account for this variability when it calculates percent complete for summary tasks.

OnePager has the ability to recompute progress for summary tasks, giving you a more accurate picture of how much work has been done. Here's how:

  1. Go to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars and click the Percent Complete Properties button.
  2. You'll have an option to choose which Microsoft Project field to use for percent complete. Change it from % Complete to % Complete EV, which is OnePager's special percent complete calculation for summary tasks:

    Summary Progress or Summary Percent Complete
  3. Click OK, and OnePager will adjust the progress bars for your summary tasks to more accurately reflect the work that is complete:

    Summary task with accurate progress bar

This calculation doesn't adjust the percent complete values for your individual tasks. Instead, it uses a proprietary algorithm to recalculate percent complete only for summary tasks.

If you are experiencing issues with progress bars on non-summary tasks, please read the next section for another option.

Progress Bars Based on Working Hours

Some project managers have a habit of setting their Microsoft Project plans current through a certain date:

When Microsoft Project adjusts its percent complete values to match a precise status date, it does so based on working time, which is typically eight hours per day. However, the percent complete values that Project sends to OnePager are still based on a 24-hour period, not an 8-hour workday. This can cause progress bars in OnePager to appear out of sync with the status update in Microsoft Project:

To avoid conflicting representations of work completed, you need to switch OnePager's progress bars to account for working time, instead of a 24-hour clock. Beginning in OnePager 6.1, you can do this by:

  1. Going to Home > Project View Properties > Task Bars and clicking the Percent Complete Properties button.
  2. Checking the Honor Non-Working Time box:

    Percent Complete Based on Working Time
  3. Click OK, and OnePager will adjust the progress bars for all tasks in your project plan to account for nights and weekends, like this:

    Adjust percent complete based on working hours

The progress bars in your OnePager chart should now perfectly match the status that you have set back in Microsoft Project. This adjustment is based on a typical workday, running Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If your work week follows a different schedule, you can modify your working hours in OnePager before adjusting your percent complete bars.