Hello, fellow Microsoft Project users! In this blog post article, I’ll guide you through the process of crafting a custom Duration Variance view in Microsoft Project. Understanding Duration Variance is crucial during the Execution stage of your projects.
So, imagine a task whose Duration was scheduled to take 5 days, but that task ended up taking 8 days. That creates 3 days of Duration Variance, meaning that the task took 3 days longer than planned to complete. So, let’s dig into creating your custom view to effortlessly track and analyze Duration Variance.
If you would rather watch a YouTube video on this subject, click here or click the thumbnail below.
Duration Variance: Understanding View Elements
Before diving into creating the custom view, let’s discuss the elements that comprise a View in Microsoft Project. Every View consists of the following elements:
- Screen: The Screen displays the information shown on the right side of the View.
- Table: The Table contains the columns of data shown on the left side of the View.
- Group: The Group organizes rows into groups with similar attributes or characteristics.
- Filter: The Filter displays or highlights specific rows that meet your filtering criteria.
Steps to Create Custom View
Following is the 4-step process that I personally recommend you use for creating your own custom Views in Microsoft Project:
- Create a custom Table with the columns you want to display in the custom View.
- Optionally create a custom Filter to display or highlight the rows shown in your custom View.
- Optionally create a custom Group to organize the rows in your custom View into groups.
- Create your new custom View with the Screen you want, your custom Table, your custom Filter (if needed), and your custom Group (if needed).
For the custom Duration Variance view, I want this View to use a Tracking Gantt screen, a custom Table with Duration-related columns, and a custom Filter to display or highlight tasks with a Duration Variance value greater than 0 days. Here is how to create this custom View:
Creating a Custom Table
Complete the following steps to create the custom Table:
- Right-click on the “Select All” button and then select the “More Tables” item on the menu.
- In the More Tables dialog, select the “Work” table and then click the “Copy…” button. By the way, the easiest way to create a new Table is to copy an existing Table and then to modify the copy.
- Enter a name for the new table, such as “_Duration”. I like to use the underscore character for the name of custom objects to signify that they are custom objects.
- Replace every Work-related field with its corresponding Duration-related field. For example, replace the Work field with the Duration field, the Baseline Work field with Baseline Duration, etc.
- Remove column labels by selecting each “Title” value (other than Task Name) and pressing the “Backspace” so you don’t accidentally delete the row.
- Click the “OK” button to create the new custom Table.
- Test the new Table by selecting it and clicking “Apply.”
- Edit the custom Table, as needed, until it looks the way you want it to look.
Creating a Custom Filter
Complete the following steps to create the custom Filter:
- Click the “View” tab to display the View ribbon.
- Click the “Filter” pick list and select the “More Filters” item.
- In the More Filters dialog, click the “New…” button to start creating the filter.
- Enter a name for the new filter, such as ” _Duration Variance > 0 Days”.
- Set the filter criteria to display tasks where Duration Variance is greater than 0 days.
- Click the “Save” button to create the new custom Filter.
- Test the new filter by selecting and applying it to view tasks with longer-than-planned durations.
Creating the New View
Complete the following steps to create the new custom View:
- At the left end of your Task ribbon, click the “Gantt Chart” pick list button and select the “More Views” item on the menu.
- In the More Views dialog, select the “Tracking Gantt” view and then click the “Copy…” button.
- Enter a name for the new custom View, such as “_Duration Variance”.
- In the View Definition dialog, click the “Table” pick list and select your custom Table.
- Leave the “Group” setting to the “No Group” value.
- Click the “Filter” pick list and select your custom Filter.
- Select the “Highlight filter” checkbox option.
- Click the “OK” button to create the custom View.
- Apply the new custom View and notice the tasks that are highlighted in yellow are the tasks with Duration Variance greater than 0 days.
Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of crafting a custom Duration Variance view in Microsoft Project.
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What is Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling?
Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling is a feature within Microsoft Project that allows you to create flexible project plans, update schedules based on changing circumstances, and optimize resource allocation.
How can Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling benefit my project management?
Microsoft Project Dynamic Scheduling can benefit your project management by enabling efficient planning, increased productivity, and the ability to adapt to changes, allowing your projects to thrive.
What role does dynamic scheduling play in effective project management?
Dynamic scheduling plays a crucial role in effective project management by helping you stay on track, manage resources efficiently, and meet project goals.
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Microsoft Project offers various features and functions for dynamic scheduling, allowing you to create flexible project plans, update schedules in real-time, and optimize resource allocation.
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Dynamic scheduling enhances collaboration in Microsoft Project by offering collaborative features that promote effective communication, facilitate teamwork, and foster a shared understanding of project goals and progress among team members.
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Dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project helps track progress and manage project risks by providing real-time updates and customizable reports that allow you to identify potential bottlenecks, mitigate risks, and take proactive actions to keep your project on track.
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Dynamic scheduling in Microsoft Project provides valuable data and insights for continuous improvement by analyzing project performance metrics, identifying trends, and making data-driven decisions to enhance project outcomes and increase overall efficiency.
Microsoft Project MVP “20 Years”
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