How to Use the Auto-Status Scheduling Feature in Microsoft Project

99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectSimple Procedure for Statusing a Schedule in MS Project – Using Auto Status

The following process should be considered for people who require one simple method of statusing a schedule. This may not suit all situations especially when a project is way off plan:

  • Set the Baseline by selecting Tools, Tracking, Save Baseline….
  • Display the Baseline bars by selecting Format, Gantt Chart Wizard….
  • Display the Status Date gridline, select Format, Gridlines…, select Status Date.
  • Select Tools, Tracking, Update Project… to open the Update Project form and select Set 0% – 100 % Complete, set the date in the form to the new Status Date.
  • The project will be statused as if it has progressed exactly as planned and the Status Date should now be displayed in the bar chart.
  • Displaying the Tracking Table may assist here.
  • Now adjust the task dates by dragging the bars or entering the dates in the appropriate column; the order that the actions take place is important:
  • Complete tasks should have the Actual Start and then the Actual Finish dates adjusted, in this order, to the date that the task actually started and actually finished. If you adjust the Finish date first then the Start date, you will then have to readjust the Finish date again.
  • Completed Milestones will be changed to a Task when an Actual Finish date is entered, so only enter an Actual Start and 100% if a Milestone is complete.
  • In-Progress tasks should have the Actual Start entered first, then the task bar dragged or Duration adjusted so the finish date is where it is expected to finish, and finally the % Complete adjusted.
  • Consider using the Tracking toolbar at this point.
  • Unstarted tasks should have their logic and durations revised.
  • Add any scope changes to the schedule.
  • Save the project with a new filename and save for future reference.

Paul Harris writes training manuals for MS Project and Primavera P6 and Delivers Project Management Training Courses Throughout Australia and the world.  His books are available on Amazon and Kindle.