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Microsoft Project 2010 : Tracking Your Project Progress - Working with Project Baselines (part 2) - Using Usage Views to Show Time-Phased Details

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3/29/2015 9:10:01 PM

Using Usage Views to Show Time-Phased Details

Microsoft Project has very powerful viewing and editing functions that are enabled when you decide to use special display formats called Usage views. You can access Usage views in many ways through the Ribbon, but they are always under the View controls in the View groups on the Task, Resource, and View tabs. There are three major view types that show time-phased, sometimes also known as time-scaled, data details of resource assignments. You should become thoroughly familiar with the Usage views so that you can take advantage of several powerful features to view and edit data.

The Task Usage view displays tasks with each resource assigned within individual rows below the task. The Resource Usage view simply inverts the data, showing resources with a list of task assignments for each resource.

You can arrange the left half of a Usage view to show numerous data columns based on the Table that you select, or you can insert any combination of task and assignment columns you need. The right half of the screen shows a detailed breakdown of the assignment data, such as Work, Cost, Baseline Work, and so on. Figure 2 shows a typical layout of a Task Usage view with the Baseline Table showing the columns on the left side and time-phased details on the right.

Figure 2. The Usage views show time-phased details.

You can see tasks with assigned resources listed below each task as you inspect the left side of the screen. Each task and resource assignment row on the left side of the screen can have one or more time-phased detailed row on the right side of the display. You can right-click within the right-side data display to show more rows, and also include other hidden rows if you select the Detail Styles menu item.


You can right-click the calendar header of a Usage view to adjust the display characteristics, such as zoom factor and timescale column headers.

The time-phased data rows on the right side of the Usage view display show the internal details for each task and resource assignment. You can zoom into a level of detail that shows date and time information to 15-minute increments for each hour in each day. You can also zoom out to show data in a year-by-year rollup.

You can directly edit many time-phased data fields on the right side of the Usage view. Those fields are usually displayed with a white background. The numbers you enter are internally distributed between the task start and finish period for the selected cell according to factors such as task and resource calendars. Therefore, you need to be cautious when directly editing data in the time-phased fields.

You should also be aware that most time-phased data fields immediately roll up to the associated tasks or summary task items and might also change the column data on the left side of the Usage view. However, some time-phased fields do not immediately roll up as you alter the time-phased data. Baseline data fields are an example of data that does not immediately roll up when you change the time-phased data.

Time-phased baseline data is copied from planning data fields when you set the baseline using the Set Baseline control on the Project tab. Taking a baseline essentially performs a general copy and paste operation from planning data into the time-phased baseline rows.

Some time-phased data field, such as Cost, might be derived or calculated from other conditions such as individual resource settings. You cannot directly edit the derived fields in the time-phased fields, even though the data cells might have a white background. Those data fields are calculated by factors such as resource cost per hour, or cost per use settings.

You also need to be careful when editing Task Usage time-phased data within the task rows, generally shown with a yellow background. You can directly edit some of those time-phased data fields, such as Work. Data you enter within a task row cell will be distributed, also called rolled down, to the resources assignments for that task. This type of edit can also transfer directly to the data columns on the left side of the display.

You are encouraged to create some simple schedule examples with resource assignments that you can use to experiment with Task and Resource Usage views. Watch how edits made in the left side of the display propagate to the right side time-phased data and vice versa. Then watch what happens to time-phased data when you perform functions such as setting a baseline. You will learn a lot about how Project stores and manipulates internal data when you learn how to use the Usage views.

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