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Chapter 16. Tracking Work on the Project > Tracking Actual Performance and Cost...

Tracking Actual Performance and Costs

After the project gets underway, you might find that some tasks start or finish early or late, or that completing a task takes longer or costs more than expected. As you respond to these unexpected changes in the project, you might need to adjust estimated durations for later tasks—based on the experience of the earlier tasks—and you might want to change task relationships. If the cumulative effects of the changes threaten the cost and finish date as set forth in the project goal, you might need to crash the schedule again and find ways to reduce costs.

If you record the actual dates, durations, and work for tasks as events unfold, Microsoft Project uses this data to reschedule tasks affected by the changes. You can see right away the implications for the rest of the project when the actual work doesn't go according to plan. With this knowledge beforehand, you can take corrective measures to minimize unwanted consequences. By entering actual performance data in the computer on a timely basis, you can predict problems and do something about them early in the project. You also can use the project schedule to try what-if tests to measure the effects of alternative compensating actions.


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