This is a first lesson about how to organize a project plan structure to manage a project using Microsoft Excel.
Define the Work Breakdown Structure
What is it a Work Breakdown Structure? We can say it is a hierarchical tree structure useful to organize all necessary task to complete a project. In this example I chose a simplified structure wih only two level (Activity - Task):
An activity is composed from many tasks and every task has some informations about its status, for example: percentage of completion, owner, start date, finish date...
I suggest you not to exaggerate with the levels' structure. A three level plan such as the following is the in many situations:
Level 1. Macro Activity
Level 2. Activity
Level 3. Task
Calculate Start Date, Finish Date and POC of an activity
Let's look an activiy is an group of tasks therefore, all informations about its status depend from the single tasks that compose it.
Start Date of an activity is calculated such as the minimum value of all start date of tasks that compose it.
...where SDTi are the start date of tasks that compose the activity i.
In the same way, Finish Date of an activity is calculated such as the maximum value of all start date of tasks that compose it.
...where SDTi are the finish date of tasks that compose the activity i.
POC, percentage of completion (%), is calculated such as the average value of all percentage:
...where POCTi are the percentages of completion of tasks that compose the activity i.
Adding a control for replanned task
It can be useful to mantain a trace of original dates, in case you want to re-plan start date or finish date for one or more tasks . In this case, you can add the following columns on your file: Replanned Start Date, Replanned Finish date, Replanned Days (total), Delay (days):
Delay is calculated like the difference of:
In the next lesson I will explain how to add a cost control on this plan and how to implement it with Excel.