Friday, July 11, 2014

Using the RESUME field to reschedule incomplete work #projectserver

Since MS provided the ability to plan only using PWA, this has been a really useful feature for some users.  However there has always been a (certainly from my perspective) perceived issue, in that the ability to reschedule incomplete work into the future (a key component of the planning cycle) was only available in MS Project client.

The other day I was asked by a customer how they could get around this issue.  They use PWA extensively (cost reasons) for planning but were struggling with realising correct resource forecast data as they PM's were not able to re-forecast their remaining work schedule.

As we had recently patched the Project Server to 2013 SP1 + 0614CU I thought I would look at the STOP/RESUME fields in the Project views to see if these were editable, and surprise surprise they were.

The stop/resume fields are how MS Project handles task splits and the "update remaining work to restart after" component of rescheduling.  The Stop field will indicate the last day that progress was added to the task (either via % Complete or Timephased Actual Work edits/status updates) and by default the resume field will be the next day (or minute, in truth)

If you edit the resume field to a date in the future, then the task becomes split and the remaining work moves forward to restart from that date.

Don't ask me to explain multiple or manual splits.  I can't

Anyhoo... the repro

Firstly create a new project, with one task on it with 10d duration for simplicity of querying, and assign one resource to the assignment and publish the schedule

As the user assigned to the task, complete the first day of actual work and submit

As the Project Owner, approve the task.  Then go into Approval History and publish the assignment

Wait until it publishes

Then open the project in PWA for editing.

Set the Resume date to some time in the future, in this example 18th August
Note the finish date changes

Now query the assignmentbyday table and see the work move forward (ignore the nulls in my results, these have been replaced in my query to make it easier to discern between 0's and 8's!)

Notice that the planned work now has a gap between the 1d actuals assigned and the Resume date of 18 August