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MSP - ETCs increase as duration is increased

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Article ID: 229110

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Updated On:

Products

Clarity PPM On Premise Clarity PPM SaaS

Issue/Introduction

You have a project with a lot of tasks in Clarity.  You are adding resources and hours as you start work on a specific section.  Baseline numbers are correct, but ETC’s are way too high.  If you look at the duration in Microsoft Project (MSP/MS project) it is 1 day.  When you change the duration of those tasks, then the ETCs seem to assume 8 hours per day for the number of days in the duration.  Is there a “button” that needs to be checked to stop MS Project from automatically adding 8 hours a day for the duration?

Cause

This is working as designed if you are using Fixed Units or Fixed Duration task types. See more details at: Work, Units, and Duration (WUD). When you change duration for both Fixed Duration and Fixed Units tasks types, this causes the Work to be recalculated on the tasks. 

Environment

Release : All Supported

Component : CLARITY MICROSOFT PROJECT (MSP)

Resolution

Use Fixed Work Task Type

The one option is using the Fixed Work task type, which will keep your hours the same, but it will spread the hours out through the entire duration of the task when you increase the duration. 

  1. Make sure the Task Mode for the task is "Auto Scheduled" instead of "Manually Scheduled"
    1. Right-click an existing column and click 'Insert column'
    2. In the column header, delete the text there and type "Task Mode"
    3. Verify the tasks have the auto scheduled icon versus manually scheduled icon (Thumbtack). If they are manually scheduled change the values to auto scheduled. 
  2. Add the Type column to your view:
    1. Right-click an existing column and click 'Insert column'
    2. In the column header, delete the text there and type "Type"
  3. Click on the drop-down for the Task field for the task and select Fixed Work
  4. To make Fixed Work the default task type for newly created tasks in the current project:
    1. In MSP, click File->Options
    2. Click Schedule on the left-hand menu
    3. Change Default task Type under "Scheduling options for this project" to Fixed Work
    4. Click OK
  5. To make this change for new projects going forward:
    1. In MSP, click File->Options
    2. Click Schedule on the left-hand menu
    3. Next to Scheduling options for this project, click on the project list drop-down and select 'All New Projects"
    4. Change Default task Type to Fixed Work
    5. Click OK

Use Fixed Duration / Fixed loading pattern

Using a task type of Fixed Duration with a Work Contour of Contoured (Loading Pattern in Clarity of Fixed) can also help to keep the durations from changing. It may require a couple of cycles to keep the durations from updating.

To update the assignment Work Contour to Contoured/Fixed:

In MSP

Make a change to the assignment hours in the Time Scale (you can use a view such as the Task Usage view to add hours). Example, change the work for one day from 8 to 7, then back to 8. 

In Clarity

You can change the loading pattern to fixed from the assignments section of the task.

When using Fixed loading pattern, the one thing to be aware of is that ETCs are deleted after time is posted for any prior weeks (KB: ETC Hours are Lost in the PPM Gantt and MSP)

See the screenshot below of the different task types and how the hours get spread when you increase durations (with Work Contour of Contoured):

Additional Information

For information on loading patterns and contours, see: Loading Patterns and Contours

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