Merlin – Do a bit of magic in Merlin reports – PART XXII

Those of you who do project management with Merlin on your Mac  and have checked our post series explaining how to create custom templates for Merlin reports, know by now…

Now let’s do some magic with the reports.


Complete vs Expected Complete % Analysis

Merlin color codes tasks automatically according to their scheduling. If they are behind schedule they are shown red. If they are in progress and in time they will be colored yellow. Tasks which are completed are green, and non yet started tasks planned on future dates are blue. Merlin also calculates the overall progress of your project and you can compare this with the time line to see how much behind, or a head you might be currently. It does not provide however a column showing the expected complete percentage or the current deviation from it. This Merlin report was originally implemented by me and uploaded here to output such information by project, activity group, task and/or assignment. There was however an issue found by Marco Jorge (a Merlin user) with the created template. Marco corrected the issue and added some more options for the output, he also chosen to change the usual bluish colors in the css and used a greenish scheme.

Please see contained methods in ‘MERComplete.py’ if interested in finding out exactly how expected complete % is calculated (iterating all sub activities or assignments of a task based on the expected start of the task or project and the current date). There is an option for the numbering, so you can view the # or WBS code if you like. The flags are implemented as explained here and Marco added an option to disable them if not needed. Should you require other colors for the deviation, simply check and modify the colors for styles red, green and neutral in the Style.wbl and PrintStyle.wbl files.

Many thanks to Marco for providing this modified report template.

Remember: The custom Merlin reports provided on our blog as templates, can be downloaded and used for free.

An output sample:

reportSampleOutput

Available optionsreportOptions

Installation:

  • Extract the zip first
  • place the contained mrept package under the following path of your mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Merlin/Reports
  • (in case you have no “Reports” folder please create it first and pay attention to name it exactly as “Reports”)
  • restart your Merlin and
  • call File > New Report… to find the new report called “Complete vs Expected Complete % Analysis”.

16 thoughts on “Merlin – Do a bit of magic in Merlin reports – PART XXII

  1. Pingback: Merlin – Do a bit of magic in Merlin reports – PART XXII » MacPM

  2. You are not calculating expected complete correct (it does not match what is presented in the gant chart colours).

    My guess is that expectedWorkingUnitsBetweenStartDate_endDate_ i snot working as expected…

  3. Hi Marco,

    hmm, are you sure? Please send a sample project to Merlin support (support@merlin2.net) so I can test and try to understand what is not calculated as expected.
    Thanks and best regards, Vicky

  4. Hi Vicky,

    My suspicion was completely off…but I fixed the report and I would like to share it with you.

    Didn’t quite figure out what was the problem with the original (expected completion % was incorrect…any simple project can show that)…but this one works and results are what is expected.

    Feel free to use/publish/redistribute/improve/reward me 🙂

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2331384/merlin/Complete.mrept.zip

    Regards,
    Marco

  5. Hi Marco,

    I still don’t see where the original report is wrong…
    If I check it with existing or new projects I cannot spot an error.
    What have you changed?
    Help me understand my logical error, if I had made one.

    Best regards 🙂
    Vicky

  6. Now I see… the project row had sometimes an issue or tasks with multiple assignments.

    I’ll correct this. Thanks for pointing to an issue 🙂
    Your report is also very interesting, it gathers project and activity info into one array for easy iterations.
    It has very nice and simple methods.
    I don’t see however how you handle milestones.
    And the report assumes 8 hours per working day. This is a bit dangerous.

    I’ll change the report to correct above mentioned issues.
    Vicky

  7. 🙂

    Checkout:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2331384/merlin/correct.png
    and
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2331384/merlin/incorrect.png

    Your reports tells me that I am ahead by 7%…when I should be breaking even – as merlin shows with the “yellow gantt bar” (4 days complete of 10 planned days). Or at most, I should be late by a couple of hours (today’s elapsed time).

    The problem is with expectedWorkingUnitsBetweenStartDate_endDate that for group activities does not return what is expected (I had to loop child activities to calculate the correct value).

    If I am right about this, feel free to grant me a license 🙂

    Regards,
    Marco

  8. Exactly Marco 🙂 the groups with parallel planned work were calculated wrong.
    Thanks for finding this.
    Let’s see how we can reward your good work 😉
    Best regards, Vicky

  9. highjack alert….

    Thanks for the heads up on the 8h…how can I get
    project settings > work units > hours per man day?

    Thanks,
    Marco

  10. Pingback: Merlin – Do a bit of magic in Merlin reports – PART XXIII » MacPM

  11. Hi Carmen,
    I don’t understand your question.
    You are viewing the blog post offering exact this template.

    Just check the complete text of this blog post.
    Best regards, Vicky

  12. Pingback: Merlin – Do a little bit of magic in Merlin reports – part XXV | MacPM

  13. Pingback: Merlin – Do a little bit of magic in Merlin reports – part XXVI | MacPM

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