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MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

  • 1.  MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 05-19-2011 05:49 AM
    Hello
    I have an issue that I am hoping the wider Clarity community may be able to assist me with. As a company we are using Clarity in conjunction with Microsoft Project to plan our projects, however we have hit the following issue.

    I create a task in Clarity for 2 weeks duration.
    I then assign a team member to this task - now lets assume our team members are set up with 30 hrs a week availability (6hrs a day)
    Clarity sets the ETC for the team member to 60 hrs
    All good so far
    I then know that this task is actually only 12 hrs work but the team member will not be working full time so I change the ETC to be 12 hrs but leave the duration of the task to still be 60hr i.e. the team member is working at 20% over the two weeks to get the task done.

    When I now open this project in MSP then before I get a chance to do anything MSP reschedules the task to be just 2 days in duration and sets the Units to be 100% for the resource ignoring the dates I have set in Clarity.

    Is there anyway around this. In effect I am asking if I can stop MSP automatically performing this calculation or if it must calculate then it sets the Units rather than changing the start and end dates of tasks.

    Any advice appreciated. I have raised this as a support case with CA but thought to ask here to see if others have experienced this issue. We have a workaround in that you always create tasks and set the units in MSP first but this is open to error if someone creates the tasks in Clarity first.

    Many Thanks


  • 2.  RE: MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 05-23-2011 02:29 PM
      |   view attached
    Hello.
    The items you mention below are some of the reasons we decided to go with Open Workbench instead of MSP.
    MSP will recalculate the schedule every time a project from Clarity is opened in MSP.
    Also, MSP does not utilize resource availability in the same manner as Clarity & OWB do.

    We received the attached document that compares the 2 scheduling tools and points out what you need to know with each.
    For the questions you have below...please see page 11 - Effects of Resource Scheduling on Duration & page 14 - Schedule Calculation.
    I believe these 2 sections will answer the questions you have below.

    The rest of the document is also very helpful in understanding the way each tool works.
    I hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    Lisa


  • 3.  RE: MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 06-06-2011 09:11 AM
    Thanks for the reply I will check the paper.


  • 4.  RE: MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 05-24-2011 04:37 PM
    Microsoft Project is a project scheduling tool and it does what it does best...it schedules, even when you do not want it to. MSP works of the formula:

    Work = Duration x Units, so if you change one, you can affect the others. The first step is to see how you have your defaults set up in MSP. Are your tasks being set as 'Fixed Units', Fixed Work', or 'Fixed Duration'. You really need to know who MSP works to use it effectively with Clarity. The green books are a good resource, and also a few threads on this topic done in the past in the forums. If you send me your email I'll send you a presentation done at the Canadian Clarity User group on MSP.

    Also,
    Since you are using MSP, are you looknig at using timesheets in Clarity? If so, be prepared for the affect that actuals has on a MSP schedule.

    Regards,
    Michael
    mike@journeyassistance.com


  • 5.  RE: MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 06-06-2011 09:22 AM
    Thanks for taking the te to respond but I am not sure you have understood the issue.

    Try this experiment.
    Create a task in Clarity for a project
    Set the start and end date for the task to say be 2 weeks apart.
    Assign a generic resource/role to the task - Clarity will then set a number of hours/time units for the ETC.
    Change that ETC to be say be 50% less than the number clarity has set (to reprent that the resource will only be working at 50% effort during the two weeks)
    Save all the above.
    Now open that project in MSP. Before you even get to press a button MSP will automatically change the task start and end dates to be 50% less than waht they were. This seems to be irrelevant as to whether you have tasks set as fixed effort,duration etc, if you have auto schedule turned off or defaults set for MSP as a whole.

    The issue seems to be that Clarity has no concept of what MSP calls 'units' at task level and there when the project gets opened in MSP it seems to assume that all resources are at 100% and changes the value accordingly. If you then change the units value in MSP it does save this for next time but this is disconcerting the first time you open the project. The obvious answer is to always build the project using MSP once the project has been created in Clarity

    Again I do appreciate your comments but they don't seem to work for this issue. If you have a solution it would be much appreciated.


  • 6.  RE: MSP automatically changing task lengths issue

    Posted 06-06-2011 10:26 AM
    Just as an update. Apparently there is a fixed duration flag for tasks in Clarity that is not shown by default but you can add using Studio. This may be the answer I am seeking, have yet to try it out but thought to mention it in case it helps anyone else.