Each reporting cycle, you should be collecting updated information about how your project is progressing (“Actuals”). In the last post we discussed how to collect this information, but what information should you be collecting, at least from a schedule perspective?
- Actual Start (AS)
- Actual Finish (AF)
- Actual Duration (AD)
- Remaining Duration (RD)
- Percent Complete
Despite management’s belief otherwise, percent complete is probably the least useful item on the list. If you do use percent complete, be careful, as you can have Physical Percent Complete, Schedule Percent Complete, Cost Percent Complete, and Work Percent Complete. Which one does management think you are giving them?
We normally recommend that you always collect Actual Start and Actual Finish dates, to make sure your overall schedule is as accurate as possible, and because it provides useful information for future phases and/or projects. We also recommend you collect Remaining Duration, which is often overlooked, but is an important element of confirming commitments.