20 Custom Filters for Schedule Analysis [Microsoft Project]

20 Custom Filters for Schedule Analysis [Microsoft Project]

20 Custom Filters for Schedule Analysis [Microsoft Project]

By Aaron J. Parham, PMP, CSM, MS Project Orange Belt 2013 Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

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Here is a list of 20 custom filters and criteria for creating them. You can use these filters to analyze schedules for completeness, find common scheduling errors, and create custom reports.

Sequencing Logic

1. Tasks without Predecessors

This checks for and displays any detailed tasks that do not have a predecessor(s).

Best Practice: Every task and milestone in a schedule (with exception to the first task and summary-level tasks) should be connected to at least one predecessor.

Tasks -Pred

2. Tasks without Successors

This searches for and displays any detailed tasks that do not have a successor(s).

Best Practice: Every task and milestone in a schedule (with exception to the last task and summary-level tasks) should be connected to at least one successor.

Tasks -Succ

3. Summary Tasks with Dependencies

This looks for and displays any summary-level tasks that have a predecessor and/or successor.

Best Practice: Predecessor(s) and successor(s) should be limited to detailed tasks and milestones only.

Summary +Depend.PNG

4. Out of Sequence Logic

This checks for and displays any detailed tasks that have a reported actual start that is before the baseline start. For this filter, I use a custom flag field with the following formula:

IIf([Actual Start]<[Baseline Start],Yes,No)

OOS Logic

5. Manually Scheduled Tasks

This inspects for any tasks that have a manually scheduled task mode.

Manual.PNG

Constraint Logic

6. Tasks with Hard Start Constraints

This seeks for and displays any tasks that have a SNET, SNLT, or MSO constraint.

Start Constraint

7. Tasks with Hard Finish Constraints

This looks for and displays any tasks that have a FNET, FNLT, or MFO constraint.

Finish Constraint.PNG

8. Tasks with Constraints other than ASAP

This checks for and displays any tasks that have a constraint type other than ASAP.

Constraint ASAP.PNG

Time Logic

9. Tasks with Lead/Lag Time

This finds and displays any detailed tasks that have lead or lag time applied to the duration.

Lead or Lag.PNG

10. Tasks with Undefined Duration

This will display any detailed tasks that have a duration of “1 day?”

Undefined Duration.PNG

11. Unassigned Task Calendar

This will show any detailed tasks that do not have a Task Calendar assigned.

No Calendar.PNG

12. Tasks Overlapping FY

This will find any detailed tasks that start or finish after the end of the fiscal year.

Overlapping FY.PNG

13. Critical Duration Tasks

This will display all the detailed tasks where the duration of the task is greater than XX% of the total duration of the project.

Best Practice: Any task(s) that comprises a significant percentage of the overall duration, as defined by the project, should be considered for further decomposition into smaller tasks.

Total Duration.PNG

Critical Path Logic

14. Single Point of Failure on Critical Path

This will illustrate all the detailed tasks on the critical path that have only one assigned resource.

Best Practice: 80/20 rule…If ~20% of the resources are responsible for ~80% of the critical tasks, it is beneficial to identify alternate resources and/or assign more resources.

SPOF on CP.PNG

15. Milestones on Critical Path

This seeks and displays any milestones that are on the critical path.

MS on CP.PNG

Resource Logic

16. Tasks without Resources

This hunts for and shows all the detailed tasks that have no assigned resource(s).

without Resources

17. Summary Tasks with Resources

This checks for and displays any summary-level tasks that have assigned resource(s).

Best Practice: Resource allocation should be limited to detailed tasks only.

Summary Resources

Baseline Logic

18. Tasks Not Baselined

This will display any detailed tasks that have not been baselined. For this filter, I use a custom flag field with the following formula:

[trx_infobox style=”regular” closeable=”no” icon=”inherit”]IIf([Baseline Start]<50000,Yes,No)[/trx_infobox]

Not Baselined.PNG

19. Missing Baseline Info

This will display any detailed tasks that are missing Baseline Start, Baseline Finish, Baseline Duration, Baseline Cost, or Baseline Work information.

Missing Baseline.PNG

Cost

20. Critical Cost Tasks

This will display any detailed tasks where the cost of the task is greater than XX% of the total cost of the project.

Critical Cost.PNG

Applying these filters to your schedules will help to ensure that the schedule is built adhering to best practices. If you are in a PMO or Project Audit role, these filters will be very useful to ensure all projects across your portfolio are scheduled correctly and consistently.

Learn more about IIL’s Microsoft Project training at www.iil.com.

Aaron Parham is a Project Management Professional and management consultant for various Government clients, including the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps in Maryland and South Carolina. He has a degree in Business Management from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana and served 4 years as a Communications Officer in the Marine Corps, deploying twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Aaron earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification from Scrum Alliance, and Microsoft Project Orange Belt 2013 certification from the International Institute for Learning (IIL).