Merlin – when to enter an actual start when updating a task

When managing a project with Merlin on your Mac you create your tasks and assign them to your resources. As your resources work on their tasks, you as a PM usually update your Merlin project by entering actual values and record progress.

There are various ways to record progress on your tasks:

  1. You use the ‘Actuals’ inspector
  2. You enter the completion % in the ‘plan’ inspector
  3. You enter the completion % in the according column in the outline.
  4. You select a completion % in the according sub menu of the context menu you get, when you right click a task.

Should you go for the first approach
You enter first the actual start date and then the progress by entering the percentage of completed work or the absolute work done as explained here.

If you choose to directly enter the progress on the task (without defining an actual start date), Merlin assumes the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.

Should there be a difference between the planned and actual start of the task, a grey Gantt element will be shown in addition (for the planned values).

Should you go for approach 2, 3 or 4
Merlin assumes (as explained above) that the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.

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Merlin iOS app – enter actuals to record progress and update your Merlin projects

When managing a project with Merlin on your Mac you create your tasks and assign them to your resources. As your resources work on their tasks, you as a PM usually update your Merlin project by entering actual values and record progress.


Merlin user on an iOS device:

As a Merlin user editing a shared Merlin project on the iOS device with Merlin iOS app, you tap the i button of a task, switch to the ‘Actuals‘ and tap on ‘Edit‘… Depending on what you want to log, you enter actuals in ‘percentage‘ or ‘absolute‘ mode.


    Use percentage, when the total work expected for this task matches the planned entry. Means, you entered 3 planned days, you expect the task to be done within 3 planned days, and have currently a 25% progress to record.

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    Use absolute, when the total work expected for this task does not match the planned entry. Means, you had 5 planned days, but after having worked for 4 days onto this task you realize that it really needs 3 more days.

    If the task is completed, enter the correct amount of actual work for the task, for example 7 days in the ‘normal‘ field and enter 0 days in the ‘remaining work’ field.

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Merlin user on Mac update their progress thus.

 

 

Merlin – enter actuals to record progress and update your Merlin projects

When managing a project with Merlin on your Mac you create your tasks and assign them to your resources. As your resources work on their tasks, you as a PM usually update your Merlin project by entering actual values and record progress.

Updating actual values in the ‘Actuals’ inspector and ‘absolute’ mode

Which means, you enter the percentage of completed work and the actual start date. Whenever planned work does not match the actual work, you update the tasks in absolute mode, and enter actual work or remaining work and duration values in time units.

How to proceed next time your resources work on their task, and your want to update your Merlin project to record the new progress?

Just update existing actual values (in the ‘Actuals’ inspector or the columns):

When updating in ‘percentage’ mode, enter the new ‘% complete’ value.

For tasks updated in ‘absolute’ mode, just edit the new amount of actual work done and remaining work so far. If the task is completed, enter 0 h in ‘remaining work’ field.

 

Merlin – Moving Elements on Gantt in the timeline

Merlin keeps track of the following three kind of values: planned, expected and actual.

You can enter planned and actual values, expected values will be automatically calculated by Merlin. When you have a task and you enter a given planned earliest start in the inspector or the according column, you place your task on a specific start date in the time line.

Move not started activities:

If you move the Gantt chart element of a not yet started activity, Merlin will understand that you are changing the planned values, and adjusts the given planned earliest start date accordingly.


Move activities in progress: Continue reading

Merlin: resources utilization dynamically adjusted

This is a tip of our CEO, Frank Blome, as discussed at the CeBIT 2010 and published on our German MacPM blog:

Supposedly you plan an activity of 5 days work to be accomplished in the duration of 10 days. As an experienced PM and Merlin user you create the activity in your project as follows:

activity

This results to a 50% utilization for the assigned resource

utilization

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